it's been heartening to hear Iowa policymakers on both sides of the aisle speaking out about an issue that's long been important to many Iowa families, particularly families with low incomes. The average annual cost of full-time child care in Iowa is about $10,300 for an infant and $8,400 for a 4-year-old — simply out of reach for many families. Working families need support so they can go to work or school.
But current public investments still leave a huge gap between what parents can afford and the actual cost of quality child care. This positions parents — particularly those with low- and moderate- incomes — with limited options for quality, reliable care. It also helps drive the shortage of child care openings around the state by making it nearly impossible for many child care providers to make a living wage.
On this week's podcast the Center's Anne Discher and Sheila Hansen walk through the challenges facing our child care system, what lawmakers propose to do about them and what it'll really take to meet the needs of Iowa families, communities and workforce.
The upward trend in the cost of business tax credits should concern Iowans who care about .... well, pretty much any other part of the state budget.
Spending on business tax credits is on pace to about double between fiscal years 2014 and 2020. Tax credits have the same impact on the state’s bottom line as any other spending, including education, health and public safety — but they exist outside the normal budget process where agencies and constituents make proposals that lawmakers vote up or down, on the record.
Learn more in this blog post from the Iowa Policy Project.
Around the Capitol
CFPC is among the health advocates who opposed a bill that would require the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide additional, confusing and inaccurate information when distributing vaccines. Dr. Nathan Boonstra, a Des Moines pediatrician, was among those testifying against HF 2141 at a Thursday subcommittee. The subcommittee declined to advance this particular bill, but other anti-vaccine bills are still working their way through the legislative process.
Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol and other state administrative officials testified Thursday before the House Human Resources Committee and explained program integrity and eligibility verification measures for public assistance programs.
Find your legislator
Not sure who represents you? With 50 senators and 100 representatives, it can be hard to keep tabs. Visit our Legislator Lookup tool to find out who represents you in the state house and senate, biographical information about each one and a link to their legislative websites, which list contact information and committee membership. All you need to do is enter your home address and zip code.
Want to go deeper? Curious about the status of key bills? The Center maintains a bill tracker to outline the specific legislation we are following this this session.