News on the Hill from Rep. Rob Taylor

Rob TaylorBy State Rep. Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines)
House District 44


House Republicans released their Fiscal Year 2016 General Fund budget targets, and for the fifth year in a row, House Republicans have proposed a budget that spends less than the state will take in.
For Fiscal Year 2016, the state would spend $7,168,144,634 out of the General Fund. This amounts to a 2.48 percent increase in state spending and spends 99.9 percent of the Revenue Estimating Conference’s latest estimate for ongoing revenue in FY 2016.

The General Fund would be spent as follows:
Administration & Regulation – $49,800,000 (decrease of $1,995,769) Agriculture & Natural Resources – $42,000,000 (decrease of $1,111,995) Economic Development – $41,400,000 (decrease of $1,181,886) Education – $977,578,044 (decrease of $8,558,321)
Health & Human Services (decrease of $14,859,686)
Justice Systems (decrease of $3,380,575)
Standings (increase of $204,905,562)

As has been stated since the start of the session, K-12 education which is funded out of the Standings budget area is getting the first bite of the apple, with funding for the Teacher Leadership Program as well as a 1.25 percent increase in supplemental state aid to schools.
Also, included in the Republican budget is the backfill to local governments for the property tax cut. The budget will also address mandatory increases in Medicaid due to further declines in federal funding participation.

House Republicans believe that it is important to lead by example when holding the line on spending. This is done by reducing the Legislature’s own budget by over $1 million below the Fiscal Year 2015 level. Additionally, funding for organizational dues has been removed from all budgets. The Executive Council will be given a set amount of funds to pay for organizational dues that it has given approval to. As the current round of early retirement benefits comes to a close on June 30, the funds spent in this program are being repurposed to other areas.

We’re not buying a used car. Senate Democrats started off at 6% or $294 million, then moved to 4% or $212 million and now to 2.625% or to $155 million. This has been a cold calculated political calculation from the start for Senate Democrats. They believe it is politically advantageous for them to cast Republicans as anti-education. They are interested in political gain, not funding schools.
The first bill House Republicans approved in 2015 was school funding. This could have been solved in February. Schools are getting the first bite of the apple when it comes to state spending.


Waukee Warriors Impress at Drake Relays

I’m proud of all the students who competed in the Drake Relays recently, specifically Waukee students. I thought the story of the Gray family from Waukee is one worth sharing. Father, David Gray was a high school track star and now three of his children have been stars for the Waukee Warriors. Oldest son Riley was on the winning team two years ago, and this year siblings Patrick and Mary Gray took part in a sibling shuttle – running back to back winning shuttle hurdle relays. Mother Cathy, said she cheered so loudly that she felt an apology was in order because she was screaming the whole time, completely understandable.

Congratulations to all the Warriors who placed in the 2015 Drake Relays, you make your community very proud!


Clerk’s Corner

Since this is our last newsletter for the 2015 Legislative Session, I wanted to introduce you to my clerk Cheryl who has been helping our district at the statehouse this session.

I’ve known Rep Taylor for many years, and was in a changing time in my life when he asked me to be his Clerk. I thought he was making a huge mistake asking me, I have no political training or background. Rep. Taylor’s response to that was, “That’s perfect–please say yes!”, and here I am.
This has been one of the most awesome experiences of my life, and completely reinforced in me, having been born and raised in Iowa, why I love this beautiful state, my forever home!

I’ve seen members of the Iowa House, of many different walks of life work together for the same goal, what’s best for Iowan’s. The respectful way that everyone is treated and listened to is something to be proud of and admired. You hear a lot of news about what goes on here in the Iowa State Capitol, but trust me, these elected Representatives that we voted for to be our voices here are very passionate about your concerns and they work very hard to make a difference for each of you.

I have been especially honored to serve as Rep Rob Taylor’s Clerk this year, what a remarkable man that you have sent to the Capitol on your behalf. You’ve put your faith and trust in the right person!

Thanks for having me Rep Taylor, “I’ve had the time of my life and will take all of this with me!”