capitolIowa JobWatch: A bumpy start to 2018
April job drop part of a long-term sluggish trend for growth
Iowa payroll jobs dropped for the second time in the first four months of 2018 as the unemployment rate held steady at 2.8 percent.

See our Iowa JobWatch summary



capitolWhat We Got with Iowa's Backroom Tax Overhaul
Less revenue for services, more benefits to the wealthy, no reform
Iowa’s end-of-session tax overhaul, hatched behind closed doors with scant disclosure of details before passage, offers unbalanced breaks for the wealthy, a $400 million-a-year cut in revenues when the state already faced mid-year budget cuts and underfunded services. Oh, about those promises of “reform” and simplifying tax filing? Don't bother looking — it didn’t happen.

See our Iowa Fiscal Partnership analysis of the final tax legislation by Charles Bruner and Peter Fisher

See Peter Fisher’s blog post: Five things to know

Iowa Fiscal Partnership 2018 Tax Policy Kit



donald cohen Dismantling Democracy — Paving the Road Back
Progressive leader Donald Cohen headlines IPP spring event
Donald Cohen, founder of In the Public Interest, has a new book about the 40-year attack on government, and strategies to build a movement to advance “the long game for the common good.”

Cohen discussed the trend at IPP’s spring fundraising event May 8 in Altoona. He was joined by several Iowa experts on what we're seeing in Iowa with the drive to privatize services and damage public education, public pensions, Medicaid and more.

See our event page for more


higher ed graphOver 15 years, state slashes commitment
to higher ed in share of university budgets

New on our blog: Tuiton rising — is anyone surprised?
This week’s announcement of plans to raise tuition at Iowa universities should not surprise anyone. When the Legislature cuts back, the regents need to fill in the gaps. And that creates new gaps, in family budgets immediately, and beyond, with — student debt.
Iowa Policy Points post by Brandon Borkovec
4/3/2018

Research giveaways: Here we go again
Big profitable companies again the big gainers from $66 million subsidies
Begun as an effort to help startup businesses in research, Iowa's lucrative Research Activities Credit program once again is shown — in an official state report — to be a boon to large, profitable companies that pay no state income tax.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release
2/15/2018


healthcareOn our blog: Be neither Kansas nor North Carolina

Steer clear of the spin — and the low road
Tax and budget cuts are a formula for decline, not prosperity. Let’s hope Iowa does not follow either Kansas or North Carolina down the path of chronic budget crises and underfunding of education, health and public safety.
Iowa Policy Points post by Peter Fisher
3/7/2018


healthcareMedicaid expansion boost: Reason to celebrate

Jobs, income expanded along with boost in health access
Under the Affordable Care Act, a significant expansion of Medicaid brought health coverage to an additional 150,000 low-income adults in Iowa. An infusion of federal dollars — $730 million in 2015 — has provided a huge boost to the state’s economy, creating over 10,000 jobs and over $500 million in annual income to Iowans.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership brief by David Swenson and Peter Fisher
2/12/2018


matrixpigsIowa's explosion of CAFOs

Rapid growth carries impacts on water quality and public health
Iowa should consider major policy changes including a moratorium on new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that pose growing environmental and health challenges. A new report also recommends revising the failing Master Matrix.
Full report
1/25/2018
Executive summary or PDF (2 pages)1/25/2018
News release 1/25/2018


state quarterOpportunity missed in ‘unleashing opportunity’

Condition of the State short on details, long on old themes

Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her first Condition of the State address, but delivered few details to show how Iowa will keep its responsibilities to working families, education and clean water.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement1/10/2018 PDF

The realities of Iowa education funding

Iowans long took for granted a strong and ongoing commitment to local schools. That is increasingly threatened by budget choices and options being considered at the Statehouse.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder 1/8/2018 PDF


itepgraph
US tax giveaways: Red ink, and pain

Tax plan in Washington has nothing long-term for vulnerable Iowans, middle class, or sensible budgeting; service cuts will bring hardship — and our U.S. senators are not telling us that reality

Our senators should have warned us what the 2017 tax bill will actually do. Instead, both Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst are selling only cherry-picked data molded into a messy ball of spin and trickle-down economics, bereft of full context or history.
Iowa Policy Points post
12/29/2017

Congress is making a deficit-compounding giveaway to big corporations and rich households at the ultimate cost of services for all, particularly the most vulnerable.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement
12/19/2017