Dems: Maintaining commitments in tight budget times

May 16, 2016

The 2016 legislative session wrapped up April 29. It was a tight budget year, but as always, we balanced the state budget responsibly. Iowa will end the fiscal year with a $75 million surplus and $700 million in our reserve funds.


Some of our biggest accomplishments include:

  • Safeguarding the interests of Medicaid recipients with oversight of the Governor’s new privatized Medicaid program in Iowa.
  • Improving K-12 student achievement through investments in early reading initiatives and quality teaching.
  • Investing more in apprenticeships and job training so that workers get the skills they need to fill immediate openings at local businesses.
  • Providing more funding for our state universities and community colleges, and for grants to help students attend Iowa’s private colleges.
  • Boosting Iowa agriculture and renewable energy by promoting solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels, as well as turning byproducts from biomass into higher-value products.
  • Spurring Iowa’s tourism economy and quality of life with investments in the environment, recreation, arts, culture and history.
  • Strengthening public safety with more help for victims and enhanced emergency communication systems so that first responders and law enforcement can communicate with each other.
  • Tax cuts and other incentives to help small businesses, farmers, teachers and college students.


Because we have a split Legislature—with Democrats controlling the Senate and Republicans in charge of the House—all bills that made it to the Governor’s desk required bipartisan support. Though we’d hoped to accomplish more, we chose compromise over gridlock.


With your input and help, we’ll make more progress in 2017 on priorities to expand Iowa’s middle class and make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family.


To read more of this session’s highlights, go to

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TCR's Iowa Legislative Updates provides content from the leadership of each party's caucus in both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource.

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