District 53 Newsletter: March 28, 2024 Edition

State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour)

We have finished week 12 of the session, and we are rapidly entering the budget portion of the session. The budget picture is bright, I will share more in future newsletters.

With the Republican trifecta in the Capitol, we have been focused on lowering the tax burden on Iowans. But we know many of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle would be raising taxes if they were in our position. The decision to raise taxes should not be made lightly. It should be difficult to take additional money out of the paychecks of hardworking Iowans. This week, the House passed a joint resolution, HJR 2006, to send a Constitutional Amendment to the ballot for Iowans to vote on. This Constitutional Amendment would require a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to increase income tax or to create a new tax. Because this bill deals with a Constitutional Amendment, the legislative body would need to pass it again in the next general assembly. Then, it would become a ballot measure for all Iowans to weigh in on. We heard claims on the House floor that this bill would be detrimental to Iowa’s future. However, this policy of a requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes is not unheard of. At least 16 other states have a similar or more restrictive policy, many of which are blue states.

This week, Iowa House Republicans “backed the blue” with the passage of HF 2661. This bill did three major things to support our men and women in law enforcement. The bill makes changes to IPERS for Sheriffs and Deputies. It allows them to retire at up to 80% of their salaries and includes a 1.5% cost of living adjustment. It ensures that a person charged with murder of a peace officer or corrections officer, or felonious assault of an officer is not eligible for bail. And it creates a tax credit of up to $2,000 for public safety officers moving to the state of Iowa. The unanimous passage of this bill sends a message to law enforcement both here in Iowa and across the country that Iowa is a place that respects and supports law enforcement.

Last week, the House passed Senate File 2340, allowing Iowa to Defend Itself from Illegal Immigration. The Biden Administration’s policies have created a crisis at the southern border and the federal government has failed to respond. States can and must act to protect themselves and their citizens. This bill would allow Iowa law enforcement to arrest illegal aliens who are in Iowa after previously being denied entry to the United States. The bill creates a new state level crime of illegal reentry to the state of Iowa. This would apply to any undocumented immigrant that has previously been deported or denied admission to the US. In most cases this crime would be an aggravated misdemeanor, though it would rise to a felony in certain circumstances, and the person must return to the country they came from. We understand that there are many people who are in the country illegally that came here just to find a better life. But there are also gang members, drug dealers, and terrorists who are here endangering our citizens. This bill gives law enforcement additional tools to keep Iowans safe. This bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote and was sent to the Governor’s desk.

As always, I look forward to seeing you at the capitol, or in the district.

Dean Fisher, a Republican from Montour, represents District 53 in the Iowa House of Representatives including the communities of Clutier, Garwin, Gladbrook, and Lincoln.