Chris Cournoyer

The State of Iowa ended Fiscal Year 2021 with a surplus of $1.24 billion, putting the state in a strong financial position and proving what can happen with conservative, responsible budgeting practices and a diverse, robust economy that encountered a global pandemic and a derecho!

For the past several years, we have been working to control spending and pushing for sustainable budgeting, while ensuring we fund our priorities in the most important areas, like education, public safety, mental health, health care, and broadband.

When Republicans took control of the legislature in 2017, one of the first bills passed was a de-appropriation because the state had over-promised the money it could deliver. I was on the Pleasant Valley School Board during that time and I understood exactly how frustrating and damaging it was when the state over-promised and under-delivered funding, putting pressure on school districts and impacting how education was delivered to students across the state of Iowa.

Since then, we have not only managed to pass a responsible budget for essential services in Iowa, but also pass the largest income tax cut in Iowa history. Since then, we have prioritized sustainable budgeting and tax relief for Iowans so hard-working families keep more of what they earned. Soon after, we passed legislation to bring more transparency to property taxes. This year, we passed additional legislation to bring tax relief to Iowa families, farmers, and small businesses, totaling over $1 billion over the next several years.

I am happy to report the state’s record budget surplus and I am also proud of the work done to get to this point. In next year’s legislative session, I look forward to pursuing more permanent tax relief for Iowans to let them keep more money in their pockets and putting that money towards the things that matter most.

This will help not only with relief for our current residents, it will help us retain and attract people to meet the needs of our workforce where we currently have more jobs than people to fill them. A strong, educated and skilled workforce will only continue to strengthen the Iowa economy and those good, family-supporting jobs play a key part in what makes Iowa a great place to live, work, play and raise a family.

Redistricting update

Last week the Iowa Senate did not approve the first redistricting plan developed by the Legislative Services Agency.

Iowa law requires districts to be compact and have population near the ideal number for each district. A number of districts at the Congressional, Senate, and House level do not meet the criteria for compactness. Several Iowa House districts have population at the outer limits of what the law permits.

I believe a better map can be drawn to improve compactness, while at the same time maintaining appropriate population levels in each district.

Iowa has a good redistricting process and rejecting the first map does not change that process in any way. The first map has been rejected in the past under the same process and I look forward to carefully reviewing the second plan which will be delivered on Oct. 21. I look forward to receiving feedback on that map from my constituents and then our next special session is scheduled for Oct. 28 to vote on that map.

As always, please contact me at chris.cournoyer@legis.iowa.gov or 563-289-7335 if you have questions or need information.

Chris Cournoyer, R-LeClaire, represents District 49 in the Iowa Senate.

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