Recommitting to public schools
Mistake to divert even more tax dollars to private schools
Iowa taxpayers have a responsibility to support public schools, whether they have children attending them or not. Yet, even while public schools have been underfunded, Iowa taxpayers are asked to support nonpublic schools to the tune of about $66 million each year. Some would even expand this with voucher proposals.
Roadmap for Opportunity — Keep public dollars in public schools
Backgrounder on already generous subsidies to private schools

Confused about the IPERS debate?
Iowa is on the right path already

System works for current, future employees
Messing with Iowa's retirement system for most state and many local public employees — as some have proposed — could eviscerate a well-functioning pension system that benefits the Iowa and local economies.
Roadmap for Opportunity — Pensions 10/25/18
IPP’s Mike Owen on KVFD “Devine Intervention” program 10/25/18

Here are must-see stops for Iowans
on a high road to opportunity for all
An IPP tool for Iowa's challenges of 2018 and beyond

See our “Roadmap for Opportunity” page
with these two-pagers
• Strengthening public education, no new private subsidies

• IPERS works to boost retirees, economy
• Path to a better future starts with public education
• Tuition, college loan debt rise with state cuts
• Promoting economic security for Iowa workers
• Restoring success of Iowa Medicaid
• What real Iowa tax reform would look like
• Water quality and the Nutrient Reduction Strategy
• Child Care Assistance needs a boost in Iowa
• Building on Iowa’s smart energy leadership

Also, check out the Iowa Fiscal Partnership 2018 Tax Policy Kit.

capitolIowa job picture:
Another dip in choppy road

September job drop despite low jobless rate
A large drop in Iowa payroll jobs in September followed an increase in August, while the unemployment rate stayed at an 18-year low of 2.5 percent.
Iowa JobWatch report 10/19/18

capitolTax inequity:
Iowa’s continuing story

Lawmakers stack tax system against middle-
and low-income Iowans — even with new law

Iowa taxes its middle- and low-income families more as a share of income than it does wealthy families, a long-term trend worsened by the 2018 tax overhaul.
Full report from ITEP 10/17/18
Iowa fact sheet
IFP news release

capitolGiving Iowa workers
the cold shoulder

Changes in workers’ compensation
mean big reductions of benefits

A review of shoulder injury cases from 2017 provides a startling glimpse into the impact of changes to Iowa’s workers’ compensation system, indicating that workers who suffer serious shoulder injuries will on average lose out on $72,000 in compensation under the new law.
Full report 9/20/18
Executive summary
News release or PDF (2p)

capitolAn opportunity to boost
family economic security

New Census data on poverty,
income and health insurance
demonstrate need for good policy

Even slight improvements in poverty and health coverage for Iowans heighten the need to reinforce public policies that can help families struggling to get by. One in nine Iowans lack basic economic security, the Census shows.
News release 9/13/18

capitolStrengthening pathways
to the middle class in Iowa

Latest Cost of Living in Iowa analysis
details opportunities in work supports

Nearly 100,000 Iowa working households earn too little for a basic standard of living without public supports beyond health insurance. How can public policy be improved to help them not only get by, but to reach higher?
Part 3: Strengthening Pathways to the Middle Class LATEST
News release 9/12/18

Part 1: Basic Needs Budgets
Part 2: Struggle for Thousands
Map to county-by-county tables
News release

capitolIowa needs a raise
Our latest State of Working Iowa report shows that over nearly four decades, wage growth is essentially flat for all but the highest-wage workers in Iowa.
State of Working Iowa
Wages Update
or 11-page PDF
News release (4-page PDF)

capitolOn our blog: Evaluating UI’s
attack on its own Labor Center
Jewels like the University of Iowa Labor Center demonstrate a commitment to the mission of a flagship public institution.
Post by Colin Gordon, UI professor and IPP senior research consultant

Hit “reset” on center closings.
Post by Elizabeth Heineman, chair of the UI history department

Will the leadership of the University of Iowa ever fight back against powerful and greedy forces that have undermined it?
Post by Mike Owen, executive director of the Iowa Policy Project

capitolUnclear water, clear problems
Report: Blue-green algae threat grows
— as do water pollution warnings

Sometimes the black-and-white data are obscured by blue-green clouds in the water — but the dangers of growing toxins in Iowa water are clear.

Full report (PDF) 6/21/2018
Executive summary (1 pg PDF)
News release

Iowa Public Radio/Radio Iowa story

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

Mike Owen's interview on Insight on Business

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

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

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
Executive summary or PDF (2 pages)1/25/2018
News release 1/25/2018

state quarterThe 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 at the Statehouse.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership backgrounder 1/8/2018 PDF