The Iowa Legislature has closed its 2018 session and headed home after approving a budget bill.
State Representative Michael Bergan of Decorah says the biggest accomplishment of this year's legislature was the passage of tax reform on the state level. He tells decorahnews.com that previous legislatures have played catch-up with the federal tax system, but this year the legislature made sure it didn't wait to react to the federal changes. It's the first comprehensive change in the state tax code in over 20 years, he says.
Bergan says "we've been very responsible" about budgeting and tax code changes. The legislature spent 98 percent of available revenues a conservative approach that lawmakers hope will mean they will not have to hold a special session to enact cuts mid-year. "There's nothing more disappointing than going back," he says.
Bergan says the legislature tried to be responsive to the needs of school districts in the state and he praises the work to help deliver more funding to school districts with higher-than-average transportation costs.
(In part two of our interview with Michael Bergan, we will report on legislation involving health and social services issues)