The Iowa House Appropriations Committee passed House Study Bill 1 on January 12, by a party-line vote of 15 to 10. Republicans call the bill the “Taxpayers First Act” and claim it would save the state more than $500 million over three years, while refunding some money to taxpayers and allocating an extra $25 million for mental health services over the next 18 months. As Bleeding Heartland discussed here, the potential savings in the current budget year are far smaller. The Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate is unlikely to approve some of the big-ticket spending cuts, such as complete elimination of the voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds. The full text of the bill as introduced is here (pdf file). The Legislative Services Agency analysis of how much various provisions would cost or save is here (pdf file).
Looking through the lobbyist declarations on HSB 1, so far only Iowans for Tax Relief, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Washington-based 501(c)4 group American Principles in Action have declared support for it. The bill’s opponents include the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, the Iowa Association of School Boards, the Iowa chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, major labor unions (AFSCME and the Iowa State Education Association), the State Bar Association, and many organizations that advocate for public health and environmental causes. Numerous lobbyists haven’t taken a position on the bill; influential organizations still undecided include the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the League of Cities, the State Association of Counties, the Iowa Medical Society, the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, the Iowa Chamber Alliance, and the American Association of Retired Persons.