state capitol cafoBudget: No rose-colored glasses

So, no special session — but uncertainties remain

It should not have taken Iowa leaders to the final days of September to know whether budget estimates were so far off as to require a special session to resolve a shortfall. This level of uncertainty was avoidable, if lawmakers would address lingering problems with the budget process and tax policy.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement

state capitol cafoIowa JobWatch: Four gains in a row

Jobless rate 3.3 percent; jobs grow, but slowly

The 2,300 increase in August is about the average for the first eight months of the year. This is the best monthly average for any year since the Great Recession — but in context, the long-term trends remain slow.
Iowa JobWatch statement

state capitol cafoMore health coverage for Iowans

New census data show sharp 3-year decline in uninsurance

New data from the Census Bureau show more Iowans had access to health insurance, chopping uninsurance by nearly half in just three years.
See our news release

state capitol cafoNew on our blog: The Master Matrix

Rural Iowans raise questions — are state leaders listening?

Proposed large hog operations have to show little to get what they want. “Right now it’s almost not possible to not pass,” says IPP’s David Osterberg.
See our blog post on Iowa Policy Points
Hear David Osterberg's interview with Michael Devine 8/24/2017

No denying the science: Climate change is real, and we see it in Iowa

Iowa Climate Scientists issue annual statement — ‘Not just the heat, but the humidity’

A fresh spotlight on the Iowa impacts of climate change comes with the annual statement from Iowa climate scientists, who show the state has experienced a serious increase in humidity since 1971, over 20 percent on average in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

“We should be able to do something about climate change,” says IPP’s David Osterberg, one of the scientists who signed the statement. “You can face up to reality and then do something.”
David Osterberg's interview with Michael Devine on KVFD-AM 1400

2017 Iowa Climate Statement 8/9/2017

state capitol cafoA better focus for health reform: Fix exchanges

‘Repeal and replace’ obsession distracts from real issue

The problems with the insurance exchange in Iowa are fixable — and not a good excuse to fund tax cuts to the wealthy by forcing tens of thousands of Iowans off health insurance.
Peter Fisher’s post on Iowa Policy Points

Senate and House offer more costs, less coverage — plus a tax break for the rich

The overall effect is now clear for the Senate plan to repeal Obamacare: It would cause millions to lose health insurance but finance tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

Backgrounder 6/28/2017 (or two-page PDF)
Peter Fisher interview with KVFD's Michael Devine

Similar to the Senate plan, the House bill jeopardizes Iowa’s recent health coverage gains and puts the state’s most vulnerable residents at risk.
Peter Fisher report 6/22/2017
News release
Different cost impacts county by county

Could Iowa pick up the tab if the feds cut health care?
Why not call a special session and let Iowa legislators see what they'd be left to decide if federal health policy changes? Blog post 7/11/17

Already strapped in its budget, the state would have to spend almost three times what it does now to cover low-income adults losing health coverage under the House-passed American Health Care Act. IPP news release 6/6/2017

Disproportionate impacts on women and rural Iowans. News release 5/16/2017
Medicaid expansion map 3/25/2017

state capitol cafoLooking ahead: Real tax reform?

First, get past the myths about Iowa taxes on business

Serious discussion of tax reform in Iowa should focus on real issues, not made-up ones. Business tax credits continue to grow much faster than other state spending, and contribute significantly to chronic budget shortfalls.
Iowa Fiscal Partnership policy brief
or 2-pg PDF 4/11/2017
Iowa Fiscal Partnership statement 3/20/2017
Iowa Fiscal Partnership snapshot on EITC 3/20/2017

taxgiveaways tab

state capitol cafo
Blowing away one complaint: Electric
costs down as wind production grows

New data show that as Iowa has built a wind-power industry, the electricity price per kilowatt hour continues to be significantly lower than the U.S. average — and is down in real terms from when the industry started in Iowa.
IPP backgrounder
or 2-pg PDF 3/30/2017
News release

capitoldetailProgress scant on clean water

Nutrient strategy not producing results Iowans want
Despite voluntary conservation efforts, nutrient pollution remains problematic in the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. There remains a widespread lack of understanding and acceptance of the connection between land management practices and the nutrient pollution of Iowa and U.S. waters.
Full report (PDF) 11/17/16
Executive summary (2-page PDF)
News release

Faulty analysis on business taxes
Basic flaws remain in the latest state business tax climate index released by the Tax Foundation.

Iowa Policy Points blog post by Peter Fisher

Also see:
Fisher's examination of Tax Foundation analysis

“What really drives state growth is the rate of new business formation. And what matters most for entrepreneurial vibrancy is the education level of the state’s residents.” — IPP’s Peter Fisher