jobsLet’s celebrate 15 years of solid analysis and responsible solutions
Featured speakers: Bill Stowe, Peter Fisher, David Osterberg
Are you a loophole closer? A policy wonk, maybe? We'll be happy to note it at our 15th anniversary fundraising reception.

Hear Bill Stowe of Des Moines Water Works outline clean water challenges, and hear IPP’s Peter Fisher give a sneak preview of new research on work supports. David Osterberg will talk about some of the folks who were around at the founding of IPP. And if all that is not enough, there will be great food and a silent auction you won't want to miss.

Join us for a fun event — and support a legacy of solid analysis and responsible solutions that we'd like to carry on for another 15 years, and beyond!
For more information, click here
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jobsIowa JobWatch: Step back, see more
Despite July increase, long-time job picture remains slow
Iowa showed payroll job increases of 5,300 and 3,400 in June and July — well ahead of the monthly pace of job growth recently and over several years. But stepping back for a look at the last six months is less impressive: about a 700-job increase on average, well below the slow pace.
Iowa JobWatch 8/22/16 NEW!

“We need to see the kind of job growth of June and July sustained over a long period for Iowa to fully recover.” — IPP's Mike Owen



jobs1 in 5 working Iowa families fall short
Cost of Living in Iowa report shows basic needs out of reach for many;
Larger shares struggle as wages fall short in rural areas of the state

Nearly 114,000 working households in Iowa — 19 percent — do not earn enough to meet a basic needs family budget.
Full report 7/6/16 NEW!
Full report printable PDF (6 pages)
News release (or 2 page PDF)

“Even with one or more full-time wage earners, hard-working families face a serious challenge in Iowa.” — IPP’s Peter Fisher.

Part 1: Basic Family Budgets 4/5/16
Full report printable PDF (21 pages)
News release (or 2 page PDF)
Local, regional data

Hear report author Peter Fisher discuss these reports on The Devine Intervention, KVFD-AM Fort Dodge
Part 1: Basic Family Budgets 4/7/16
Part 2: Many Iowa Families Struggle to Meet Basic Needs 7/7/16


capitoldetailGetting serious about clean water

Iowa needs stronger restrictions on manure application

Weakening rules for how manure is applied is clearly out of step with Iowa's stated goal to comply with cleaning our streams and lakes of nutrients.
Comments on rule change (3-page PDF) 6/3/16

David Osterberg interview on The Devine Intervention, KVFD-AM 6/9/16

Iowa falls short in limiting manure runoff into lakes and streams when soil conditions are unfavorable. The state could learn from another Midwestern state to create better protection of water flowing to the Mississippi River.
Full report or 19-page PDF 5/4/16
Executive Summary or 2-page PDF
News Release or 2-page PDF

IFPlogo“Iowa does not place strong limits on manure application on frozen, snow-covered or saturated ground.”
— IPP's David Osterberg


Raising the minimum wage when state lawmakers won’t:
A look at who would gain in Polk County

Often a Boost for Women, Full Time Workers, and People Over 20 Years Old with Education Past High School

Inaction by Congress and state legislatures has led many cities and counties to adopt a local minimum wage, including Johnson County in Iowa. But what would it look like in counties considering whether to do the same, such as Polk and Linn counties? We show that a $12 or $15 county minimum wage, phased in by 2019 or 2021, would raise the incomes of at least 60,000 to 88,000 workers in Polk County; the majority would be full-time workers and over a third would be parents.
min wage - polk co characteristics
IPP Policy Brief 5/16/16
News release 5/16/16

“income in the local economy would rise by $230 million to $444 million. This in turn would increase spending in local retail and service businesses, boosting economic activity and supporting jobs.”
— IPP’s Peter Fisher
 

Why a teen wage would be a mistake

A new two-page fact sheet from the National Employment Law Project says a teenagers' subminimum wage, being discussed in Polk County's consideration of a minimum wage increase, would hurt teen workers and their families, and offer few benefits for employers.
  IPP Policy Brief 8/22/16


— and in Linn County
A $10.10 county minimum wage, phased in by 2017, would raise the incomes of at least 18,400 workers in Linn County, the majority of them full-time workers, and most (4 out of 5) age 20 or older.
IPP Policy Brief 1/11/16
IPP 1-page backgrounder 1/13/16

Also:
Johnson County at $10.10 9/30/15
Johnson and Linn County at $15 8/11/15

More on the minimum wage
And on Iowa's “Invisible Epidemic” — Wage Theft


capitoldetailFour months we won't get back

IFP Summary: Session ends with little progress on major issues

When the 2016 session began, Iowa faced a host of critical challenges, from polluted water to sluggish funding of schools and uncertainties about health care due to plans to privatize Medicaid. This session has done little to ease any of those concerns, and nothing to meet those challenges for the long term.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement 4/29/16

IFPlogo“Public policy stands tall when it supports long-held, long-promoted values of our state. Education and a clean environment are among those. Neither had victories of note. — Iowa Fiscal Partnership


And when the Legislature comes back in January, these issues will remain ...





ALEC_KansasNo taxes, but millions in checks
Big companies do best from research subsidy
The millions Iowa gives to companies that do not pay state income tax is about the same amount of 1 percent in state school aid.

That's one takeaway from the latest annual report from the state on Iowa’s Research Activities Tax Credit, which is used far less to ease taxes than to shovel subsidies to corporations outside the budget process, whether they pay taxes or not.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder 2/24/16
Iowa Fiscal Partnership news release 2/15/16

Top corporate claimants — View list
Official state reports — Links here
Des Moines Register editorial — View
KVFD interview with IPP’s Mike Owen — Listen


Grading the States — an eye on bogus business rankings
Iowa Policy Project launches ‘Grading the States’ — gradingstates.org
David Osterberg at KVFDThe veil is off state business climate rankings that purport — inaccurately — to identify policies that promote state economic growth. The Iowa Policy Project has launched “Grading the States,” a website that will offer ongoing critiques of several prominent business climate studies. View “Grading the States” at www.gradingstates.org.
News release 1/14/16