A Letter from Landon

| May 20, 2021 |

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Session Recap

After a long couple of months, the 2021 legislative session has concluded. House Republicans delivered on the promises we made to Iowans and promoted policies that will strengthen our communities and grow our economy.

Below are the key accomplishments from this session: 

Tax Relief for Iowans:

I was pleased to see legislation passed reducing taxes for our Iowa families. Because of our fiscal responsibility in sessions prior, we could cut taxes so Iowans can keep more of their hard-earned money.

  • $300 million income tax cut by removing triggers for hardworking Iowans (SF619)
  • $100 million property tax relief by entirely removing the mental health levy (SF619)
  • Phases out the inheritance tax with complete removal by January 2025 (SF619)

Parental Choice and Investing in Education 

Empowering parental choice in education was an important issue this session. House Republicans passed legislation this session that gives parents more say in their child’s education while also passing legislation that offers innovative learning opportunities.

  • Ensured every child and family in Iowa had the opportunity to attend school 100% in-person during the pandemic beginning in Feb. 2021 (SF160). This was legislation Rep. Gobble, and I worked on very closely and were pleased to see pass early in the session. 
  • Allows parents to make health care decisions for their children by prohibiting schools from requiring masks (HF847)
  • Expands charter schools, giving parents and students greater options and flexibility while also allowing for innovation to occur within the classroom (HF813)
  • Allows parents to make educational decisions for their children by expanding open enrollment opportunities for families (HF847)
  • Protects free speech rights of all students in the classroom (HF744)
  • Bans instruction that teaches that America is inherently racist (HF802)
  • Invests a record $3.418 billion for PreK-12 education, a 2.4% increase (SF269)
  • Increases Transportation Equity to buy down the cost of transportation for 218 Iowa school districts (SF269)
  • Further reduces the per-pupil equity gap to $145 (SF269)

Investing in Broadband 

High-speed internet is a crucial tool that House Republicans looked to expand this session. During this session, we invested a historic amount of dollars in expanding broadband.

  • Invests $100 million in broadband to transform our infrastructure into a robust network, enabling fast, high-quality connectivity across the entire state and resulting in one of the most significant broadband build-outs in the nation (HF867)
  • Leverages millions more in private dollars to establish a three-tiered grant program that incentivizes providers to prioritize broadband deserts where high-speed internet is rarely offered (HF848)

Child Care Legislation 

I was pleased to see House Republicans pass numerous bills addressing child care. Improving access to child care will allow parents to nurture their children while remaining in the workforce.

  • Increases eligibility for the Early Childhood and Dependent Tax Credits from $45,000 to $90,000, so families are not penalized for hard work and upward mobility (SF619)
  • Allows an additional school-aged child in a child care home to increase access for child care across the state and flexibility on days when school is canceled (HF260)
  • Establishes a gradual phase-out for child care assistance so families can pursue higher wages without immediately losing aid (HF302)
  • Prioritizes High-Quality Jobs applicants who propose to provide onsite child care options for employees (SF619)

Supporting the men and women in blue 

This session, we passed legislation to defend and support our brave law enforcement officers.

  • Provides additional due process protections for law enforcement officers and protects officers, prosecutors, and judges from being targeted (SF342)
  • Increases the Emergency Volunteer Tax Credit, serving as financial assistance to those that step up and serve (SF619)
  • Puts in place stricter penalties for those who loot, riot, or block our streets (SF342)

Securing our Elections, Constitutional Rights, and Protecting Life 

In the legislature, I serve to protect all your rights, not just a select few. Iowans believe in life, liberty, and a constitution that protects it.

Election Security 

  • Ensures elections are fair, secure, and free from fraud (SF413)
  • Strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, and a straightforward appeals process for local county auditors
  • Promotes accountability by imposing stricter penalties for election misconduct.

Constitutional Rights 

  • A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to the right of the people to keep and bear arms (SJR 7)
  • Allows Iowans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights without purchasing a permit from the government (HF756)
  • Bans vaccine passports (HF 889)
  • Protects the free speech rights of students living on college campuses (HF 744)

Protecting Life 

  • Protects the rights of the unborn by passing a constitutional amendment that clearly states there is not a fundamental right to abortion

House Republicans also passed numerous bills promoting the Iowa agriculture economy, legislation ensuring quality healthcare, and bills that invest and incentivize Iowa’s manufactures to remain competitive in the global manufacturing supply chain.

 

It was an honor to serve on your behalf in the legislature. I will continue to act as your voice and advocate for District 37. Stay in touch, and God bless. 

 

-John Landon