The Iowa Senate gaveled this morning. Here is the transcript of the opening remarks made by Iowa Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock):
I am proud and honored to stand here today and address my fellow legislators and Iowans.
The 2013 Legislative session proved very productive as we made great strides in property tax and education reforms. However, it is important not to rest on our laurels. The people entrusted us to make our great state stronger, and be attentive in creating an Iowa where everyone prospers. We can do even better.
Since adjourning in May, many of us have spent the past seven months talking with our constituents and neighbors. It is through these conversations around kitchen tables across Iowa, we have learned more about the issues facing families and our state.
Iowans worry about making ends meet. They want us to remain steadfast in creating an environment where jobs are as plentiful as the crops Iowans produce to feed the world. They share their stories and concerns about easing the tax burdens and limiting the scope of government. Senate Republicans are listening.
While we are all proud of the accomplishments of the 2013 Legislative session, President Thomas Jefferson said it best, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” We must be mindful of the issues impacting Iowa families, and act responsibly in 2014 with sensible legislation to strengthen our economy, foster job creation and provide Iowans a world-class education.
New federal taxes passed by Congress are looming on the horizon to fund such things as Obamacare, among other government programs. At the end of the day, these new taxes will burden the middle class and many Iowa families. It is up to us – as state lawmakers – to help ease that burden.
We must explore income tax reform to put more money back in Iowans’ pockets, as well as make Iowa more appealing for businesses looking to expand or relocate in our great state.
With our state growing stronger, Iowa is in a great position to achieve economic success. Senate Republicans know we must remain focused on providing substantial tax relief which empowers hard-working Iowans. Significant tax relief emboldens businesses and leads to job creation.
A strong Iowa has a business climate that is as rich as the soil where our farmers flourish. We must reduce the regulatory and tax burdens on those who create jobs, because those who work hard to earn their money tend to spend it more wisely than those who collect it through tax levies.
With the reform packages passed in 2013, it is vital we maintain fiscally responsible budgeting practices. We need to ensure that commitments we made to Iowans in regard to education and property tax reform are met in the coming years without burdening Iowans by raising taxes.
Though our coffers are full, it is important to stay focused on minding the store. We, as legislators, must exhibit bold leadership by insisting that we return some of the overpayment in tax money back to the people. After all, it is their money; it does not belong to us, or to the government that we comprise.
There are many who believe that the 2014 Legislative session may not be as productive as last year. I disagree. There is a lot of work still to be done on behalf of Iowans, and Senate Republicans give you our assurance we will not give up on that fight. That is the government you expect, the representation you deserve and the leadership you elected us to provide.
It is through hard work, dedication and determination we will create a legacy of opportunity for Iowa’s future. Let’s make it Happen!