This week in the House we continued our work moving the state budget through the process. We passed the Administration and Regulation (funds state government), Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (funds infrastructure projects throughout the state), and the Education budget bills to the Senate.
The Education budget bill, which passed with bipartisan support, contains funding for Iowa’s community colleges, state universities, and the Iowa Tuition Grant, amongst other things. Additionally, it included the funding necessary to freeze tuition for in-state students at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.
The Board of Regents has requested $19.2 million for a tuition freeze. The bill increased funding at all three state universities; $4.5 million in additional money for the University of Iowa, $7 million more for Iowa State University and $7.7 million more for the University of Northern Iowa. The reason UNI has the largest appropriation is to address the disparity in funding. Currently, UNI receives $7,676 per student. ISU receives $8,765 and UI receives $13,126.
The work our state universities and community colleges do to educate Iowa students is second to none. As the cost of college continues to rise, a tuition freeze goes a long way to ensure Iowa’s students can afford to go to college without incurring debt.
Senate File 2347 also included:
$8 million funding increase for Iowa’s community colleges
$1.4 million increase to the Iowa Tuition Grant
$850,000 increase for Vocational Rehabilitation
Increases for: state libraries, private school families through textbook assistance, students making a positive life decision in Iowa Jobs for America’s Grads (iJAG), preschool students in early head start programs, and Iowa Public Television
April 13th was Tax Freedom Day in Iowa. This is the day when Iowans have finally earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year (including federal, state and local taxes). In my opinion, this is just sad. Iowans work way too hard to continue giving so much of their hard-earned paycheck to the government. I will continue to work to send more money back to your pocket. For more information about Tax Freedom Day or to see how Iowa measures up to other states, visit http://www.iowahouserepublicans.com/happy-tax-freedom-day-iowa-2
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me at my office at (515) 281-3521 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org