Really????? …

Yesterday morning I received an email regarding a proposed action of the governor … click here to read the entire press release from Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom. To make things simple, here is a copy/paste of the release.

“This July, when Governor Branstad vetoed the $56 million, one-time funding compromise for Iowa’s local students, he claimed Iowa couldn’t afford it.

“This July, when Governor Branstad vetoed $2.5 million in one-time funding for Iowa’s community colleges, after failing to provide any increase in on-going funding, he claimed Iowa couldn’t afford it.

“This spring, when he failed to continue the Iowa student tuition freeze helping make college more affordable, he claimed Iowa couldn’t afford it.

Today, however, after large corporations lobbied him for a $37 million, on-going tax cut that legislators had rejected, Governor Branstad says Iowa can afford it.  Furthermore, he says he doesn’t need the Legislature’s approval to do it.

“The agenda for the October 13 meeting of the Administrative Rules Review Committee reveals that the Branstad-Reynolds Administration is proposing a rule change to exempt consumable supplies used in manufacturing from the Iowa sales tax.  If the Branstad-Reynolds Administration does not withdraw this rule, it will take effect on January 1, 2016, even though this $37 million annual tax cut has never been approved by the Iowa Legislature.

“This rule would change more than 15 years of existing policy.

“I believe it is illegal for the Branstad Administration to use the rule making process to create a massive corporate tax giveaway without approval by the Legislature.

 “I believe such a substantial change in tax policy must first be approved by the Legislature.  Two years ago, the Branstad-Reynolds Administration agreed with me.  That’s why the Administration drafted SSB 1242 in 2013 for the consideration of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  It failed to advance out of committee. It is outrageous that after acknowledging two years ago that this change required legislative action, the Governor and Lt. Governor are now attempting to get it done by bypassing the 150 members of the House and Senate.

“Governor Branstad is skilled at getting what he wants. Unfortunately, what he wants is to give millions to large corporations and pay for it by vetoing investments in education.”

Okay, Senator Balkcom is a Democrat – and we all know partisan politics is alive and well in our great state … but his points certainly made me think.  Is our governor really concerned with public education?  However, moving at least a bit away from partisanship, yesterday in the Des Moines Register the story was also told … click here for that story.

In an earlier post I stated my belief the governor really is an advocate of privatization of schools – or put another way – the dismantling of public education.  I also find it ironic (or perhaps morose) that in the same week the governor signs an executive order regarding bullying in schools (click here to see the executive order), he seemingly circumvents the legislative process in order to get his way.  Wow is about all I can say.  Also in an earlier post I made the connection of our governor seemingly wanting unbridled power, much like a king or dictator.  Nothing in the last 24-48 hours has made me think differently.

Geez … I’m certainly understanding of wanting to make Iowa attractive to business and industry as we all benefit from a solid, thriving economy.  However progress in this area should NOT be on the backs of our kids in schools – and from my seat that’s exactly what the governor is doing.

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