Under the proposals for veterans, military pensions would be fully exempted from state income tax, compared to the current system where retirees may exempt a portion of that income. That would cost the state a projected $10 million in lost revenue.
“In Iowa, we honor our veterans - not only with words and ceremonies, but with action,” Branstad said.
A bullying law has failed to advance in the Legislature in the past. Branstad’s plan this year would require schools to notify parents if their child is involved in a bullying incident. It also would give schools some discretion to deal with bullying off school grounds, under certain conditions.
“We can untie the hands of schools to allow them to better address cyberbullying,” Branstad said.
The Internet expansion proposal would offer property tax breaks to companies that install broadband infrastructure in underserved areas before the end of 2018. And the apprenticeship plan would triple the funding for such job training programs.
Legislative leaders from the Republican-majority House and Democratic-controlled Senate were largely positive Tuesday about Branstad’s plans.
“I think all the proposals have some pretty broad based support in the general assembly,” said House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, called Branstad’s proposals a “good, solid bipartisan agenda.”
Political posturing is expected on some issues with little hope of success in the divided legislature. That will likely include Republican efforts to push an income tax cut and Democratic moves to increase the state minimum wage.