On the last official day of the Legislative Session with several key pieces of legislation yet to be decided, Governor Reynolds left the state to attend a fundraiser for her campaign instead of remaining to finish the negotiations. Due to Republican gridlock over how much money to give away to wealthy special interests, the legislature has yet to pass a budget and, therefore, must stay in session on taxpayer dime until that business is complete.
Reynolds herself thought this week’s negotiations were important enough to cancel her work-related travel, but, apparently, fixing the Reynolds Budget Crisis falls to the wayside when donors call.
Additionally, it is unclear how she traveled to and from Rhode Island. Public records indicate that Reynolds could not have taken a commercial flight back from Rhode Island. Reynolds was called to the carpet last June for using Casino magnate Gary Kirke’s private jet to fly around the state of Iowa.
“Governor Reynolds has shown time and again her priorities lie with her campaign donors, so it’s no surprise that she would ditch our state in the middle of critical budget negotiations to rake in the cash. We know that she earned that money by selling Iowa priorities out to extreme, conservative policy experiments, like the privatization of Medicaid and the attack on workers’ rights. Unfortunately for the Governor, jet-setting to the east coast for campaign cash won’t change her record, and it won’t keep Iowa voters from kicking her to the curb in November,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.
On Tax Day, the Iowa Democratic Party is reminding folks that Governor Reynolds’ tax giveaway proposal disproportionately benefits the wealthiest, leaving Iowa’s future in the dust.
According to a recent article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, “children would be losers in the budget scenarios created by tax-cut plans offered by Gov. Kim Reynolds and GOP majorities in the House and Senate.” Excerpts from the article can be found below.
“The Reynolds Budget Crisis has already caused deep cuts to education, safety, and the human services that protect the dignity of Iowa communities. It is absurd that Reynolds and Republicans are now attempting to cut more than a billion dollars from state revenue. This tax day, our future is clearly nothing more than a political game to Governor Reynolds, it’s time for new leadership in Des Moines,” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger.
CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE: GOP tax plans could hit children hardest
“Proposed Republican tax cut plans would have major impacts but not necessarily to the benefit of all Iowans, according to analyses presented Monday at the Capitol.
Children would be losers in the budget scenarios created by tax-cut plans offered by Gov. Kim Reynolds and GOP majorities in the House and Senate, while Iowa seniors would fare well, Charlie Bruner said at a tax briefing attended by about Democratic lawmakers and human services lobbyists.
Bruner, the former executive director of the Child and Family Policy Center, said he offered his analysis ‘as an individual citizen and without compensation from any organization.’
He concluded from his study that ‘tax reductions are not, in themselves, tax reform.’
That was not lost on his audience, some of whom questioned how Republicans can propose tax cuts when they’ve had to make midyear cuts to the budget for two years in a row.
‘I don’t see any case for the state to give up any more revenue,’ said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. Although he favors the ‘tax modernization’ proposals regarding e-commerce, he said the state ‘doesn’t have adequate revenue today to entertain reduction.’
Overall, Bruner said the governor’s proposal, which was the basis for the House Republican plan, would result in tax increases of nearly $6 a year for Iowans with incomes of $30,000 to $60,000 to $42 for people in the $100,000 to $250,000 range. The increases, he said, are the net effect of charging sales taxes on the “new economy,” such as online shopping.
Those with incomes less than $30,000 would see a cut of about $18.
‘I don’t know if that’s enough for a Happy Meal for a family of four,’ Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, said.”
“If the Legislature adopts tax changes that reduce state revenue, Bruner said, children and families could feel the largest effect.
That’s because about 72 percent of the Iowa budget goes toward services that directly or indirectly impact children, Bruner said. In the $7.24 billion 2017 budget, 41 percent goes to school aid, 18 percent for Medicaid and 12 percent for higher education.
‘Anything you do that erodes revenue almost necessarily will affect kids in one budget item or another,’ he said.”
Last week, a bombshell report from the Republican-controlled Missouri House revealed Missouri Governor, and Reynolds Campaign fundraiser, Eric Greitens sexually assaulted a woman in 2015 in addition to attempting to blackmail her. This prompted a major backlash from fellow Republicans, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who have called on Greitens to step down. However, Governor Kim Reynolds has yet to say anything on the subject.
Following Greitens’ indictment for sexual blackmail, Reynolds refused to call on him to resign or to return the money she raised at a campaign event he headlined for her. Will that change now that a graphic report indicates he repeatedly hit and sexually assaulted a woman in 2015?
“Governor Reynolds says she has zero tolerance for sexual harassment, yet has time and again failed to back those words up with action – from the sexual harassment scandal in the GOP-controlled Senate, to the actions of Bill Dix, to the first time this bizarre story came to light about Eric Greitens. Governor Reynolds must finally show that she will not tolerate this by calling on him to resign and returning the money from the event he headlined for her. Anything less shows Governor Reynolds is providing the same empty rhetoric that Iowans have come to expect from the Governor’s Office,” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger.
This morning, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price was joined by a group of rural Iowans to discuss their concerns with Trump’s trade war and Governor Kim Reynolds’ lackluster response.
“I’ve been a farmer all my life. There are a bunch of unhappy farmers out here now. Trump says he’s going to make it up to the farmers, but he needs to be pressured to say how. Governor Reynolds, Senator Grassley, and Senator Ernst need to get with it and stand with us, and stand up for rural Iowa. I’m proud to be a farmer, I’m proud to be from rural Iowa, and we need to be heard.” – Chris Petersen, Hog farmer from Cerro Gordo County
“What we’re seeing out of Reynolds and Trump is disrespect for rural Iowa and especially small businesses that make a living with agriculture. This trade war and its negative impacts are all preventable. Trump and the Reynolds Administration can easily prevent this. They can stand up and be a voice for farmers and rural Iowans and small businesses, but instead they’re going to point fingers and hope that it gets swept under the rug before the election. Well it won’t. We’re going to stand up and get loud and make our voices heard so we can have a better way forward.” – Bryce Smith, Small business owner from Dallas County
“I think one of the main reasons that farmers and others have concern over the trade policy that we are pursuing is that no one is really sure that there is a plan. No one is really sure what is going to be gained in the end. I think we’ve seen that the administration is pretty good at breaking things, it’s get to be determined whether they’re able to put things back together in a way that is beneficial for everyone.” – Tim Gannon, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of Agriculture
Listen to the full audio of the call here.