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Public Statements

Branstad Hails Landmark Session Achievements: Significant Property Tax Relief, Transformational Education Reform, Meaningful Health Modernization that Focuses on Quality Outcomes for Low-Income Patients

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Des Moines, IA

Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today commended the Iowa Legislature for working with them to enact significant property tax reform, transformational education reform and a modernizing of the Medicaid system that focuses on making patients healthier while protecting Iowa's taxpayers.

The governor noted that the priorities outlined in his Condition of the State address last January have been fulfilled.

"We have demonstrated today that Des Moines is not Washington, D.C.," said Branstad. "We worked together the Iowa way. Both parties in both chambers came together to pass the most significant legislative achievements we have seen in a generation. This was our opportunity. This was our year. These results will benefit generations to come, ensuring higher student achievement, job creation and healthier Iowans."

"These achievements are the product of visiting every county, every year and listening to Iowans," said Reynolds. "We are pleased that legislators were willing to put in the time and energy to pass significant legislation this year. This demonstrates that as elected officials, we work for Iowans, not the other way around."

In his January 15, 2013, Condition of the State address, Gov. Branstad stated the following:

"This is the chapter in our history that you and I, each and every one of us in this chamber, have the opportunity to write. So let's write it well and write it together. This is our opportunity. This is our Iowa."

A look at the landmark achievements from the 2013 legislative session:

PROPERTY TAXES:

What was said in the governor's January 15, 2013, Condition of the State address:

"The principles guiding our property tax plan are simple: Permanent property tax relief. No shift of the tax burden between classes of property. And property tax reduction for all classes of property."

"No longer will the school aid formula trigger automatic increases in local property taxes."

"If left unchecked, current law will allow property taxes to grow by over two billion dollars in the next eight years and half of the increase will fall directly on Iowa homeowners. I find that prospect terrifying and ask you to work with me to ensure property taxpayers are protected from this unprecedented property tax increase."

"The businesses pay the taxes yes, but it is our middle class families who truly feel the pain.

And it is those same middle class families who will reap the benefits of a competitive property tax structure that makes it easier for us to recruit, retain, and grow those companies that create the new jobs our families need. Our plan to reform and reduce property taxes is an investment in Iowa families and small businesses, but not at the expense of Iowa's local governments."

What was accomplished in the 2013 legislative session:

* The largest tax cut in Iowa history
* This reduction will stimulate job creation
* Permanent property tax relief
* No shift of the tax burden to other classes of property
* Property tax reduction for all classes of property: agricultural, residential, commercial and industrial
* Fully funds the Homestead Tax Credit and the Elderly and Disabled Tax Credit in fiscal year 2014 with an additional appropriation of $33 million
* Changes the school finance formula so that "allowable growth" is replaced by 100% state aid
* The first full year of implementation of the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan will result in $48 million in property tax savings
* Approximately $90 million in annual income tax savings to Iowa taxpayers

EDUCATION:

What was said in the governor's January 15, 2013, Condition of the State address:

"Unfortunately, our teachers are stuck in a system designed for the 20th century. We must work together to transform Iowa's schools for the 21st century. Let's establish new roles for top teachers who will provide instructional leadership alongside principals to better meet the needs of every student. That is why elevating the teaching profession is at the heart of our 2013 education plan."

"I believe we should resolve the issue of what we are collectively willing to invest in achievement-driven reform before we spend one minute discussing additional resources to support our existing educational system."

"I propose boosting beginning minimum teacher pay."

"Our children deserve our best efforts because this is our opportunity. This is our Iowa."

What was accomplished in the 2013 legislative session:

* The governor's goal of transformational, systemic education reform
* Making the teaching profession more attractive with leadership roles and higher pay
* Creates a new process that calls for reliable student assessments that move us toward better teacher evaluations with student achievement growth as one component
* Historic school choice legislation that offers independent accreditation for private schools and strengthens home-school freedoms
* Changes the school finance formula so that "allowable growth" is replaced by 100% state aid

MAKING IOWANS HEALTHIER:

What was said in the governor's January 15, 2013, Condition of the State address:

"First, my budget proposes two million dollars to support medical residency programs in Iowa."

"My second proposal provides two million dollars to launch the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program and expand it to include OB-GYN and emergency medicine doctors as well as primary care physicians."

What was accomplished in the 2013 legislative session:

* $2 million for medical residency programs in Iowa
* $2 million to launch the Rural Physician Loan Repayment Program, including OB-GYN and emergency medicine doctors as well as primary care physicians

MEDICAID MODERNIZATION = THE IOWA HEALTH AND WELLNESS PLAN

* Iowa is the national leader for patient outcomes for our Medicaid population
* Iowa is now a national model for providing health care for low income individuals
* The way the legislation is structured will qualify Iowa for federal financing
* Back-up financing is in place to protect Iowa taxpayers should the federal government fail to live up to its funding promises
* The first full year of implementation will result in $48 million in property tax savings
* Iowa is the first state in the nation that will have Medicaid patients paying premiums


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