A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Monday, March 14, 2016:
TAX COUPLING BILL SLATED FOR DEBATE: Legislation to fully couple federal income tax changes to the state code retroactive to the 2015 tax year is slated to be debated in the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate on Tuesday.
The bipartisan deal to do tax "coupling" for one year and adopt a scaled-back version of state sales tax breaks on consumable manufacturing supplies should make it to Gov. Terry Branstad's desk yet this week.
"I think everybody's ready to go," said House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake.
The governor is on a family vacation in Florida but is expected to return to Iowa later this week. Branstad gave the compromise a favorable view even though he wanted a more-expansive sales tax repeal on the consumables issue.
Leaders of the split-control Legislature say the tax policy resolution could pave the way for settlements on school funding and fiscal 2017 budget issues standing in the way of adjournment.
TAX POLICY TABULATIONS: A compromise agreement on tax policies would cost the state nearly $98 million in the current fiscal year but would generate a net revenue increase starting with the fiscal 2017 budget, which state lawmakers are beginning to discuss.
The projection was reported Monday by the state's non-partisan fiscal estimating agency. The proposal, which state lawmakers are scheduled to debate this week, couples state law with federal tax policy, which results in $98 million less tax revenue to the state's coffers for the current fiscal year but adds revenue in future budget years.
The compromise also scales back proposed changes to state law that would have added roughly $35 million to $40 million in tax relief on manufacturing products. The net product of both provisions is an additional $24 million in state revenue in fiscal 2017 and $30 million in fiscal 2018.
NEW CULTURAL WEBSITE: The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs has launched a new interactive Website (https://iowaculture.gov) that agency officials say is designed to bring together content from five individually managed sites.
The interactive site provides content and tools to users, along with showcasing collections and providing more opportunities to connect with Iowa's arts, history, film and culture. The site includes a fully integrated calendar that includes events, programs and grant opportunities. A weekly showcase of Iowa history, historic preservation and the arts in Iowa and more than 3,500 cultural destinations from the Iowa Culture mobile app are now available online, according to DCA officials.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think we'll keep moving forward and resolve issues on a regular basis, resolving things as we move forward as we're able to. I'm not entirely sure what sequence those will all come in." -- House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, discussing the prospects for resolving major budget and school funding issues facing the Legislature.
-- Compiled by the Des Moines Bureau