Op Ed: Midterm grade: Iowa Legislature can do more to improve Iowa

This Op Ed first appeared on February 16, 2017 on DesMoinesRegister.com


Now that we are six weeks into the 2017 Iowa legislative session, I felt it appropriate to provide the legislators a midterm grade.

Unfortunately, the first order of business for the Legislature was to find $118 million to cut from the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Everyone admitted it was not going to be easy to find that amount of money more than halfway through the budget year. And, it was likely that no one was going to be happy with the end result.

Now that we are past that hurdle, both houses turned to supplemental school aid, better known as K-12 funding. The Republican-led Legislature proposed and the governor signed a 1.1 percent increase for FY 2018. Legislators also eliminated the rule requiring them to pass education funding two years in advance.

If I use my fellow contributors’ goals as set out in a Jan. 7 piece [How to make Iowa better in 2017] as a rubric, I’d put our overall grade at: C.