Local lawmakers weigh in on end-of-session issues

Iowa lawmakers finished their work this year by passing major bills on property taxes, education and health care.

Here’s a summary of how state Sen. Daryl Beall, D-Fort Dodge, and state representatives Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, and Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, voted on those measures.

Property tax reform

Beall said he voted for the property tax bill even though it ”caused me some heartburn because of the loss of revenue for local governments.”

”With the assurance that those funds would be backfilled, I voted yes,” he said. ”Businesses, chambers and economic development people in my Senate district were very supportive, as were the local independent telephone companies. I’ve been fighting to place them on a level playing field with the big boys for several years. There were some less than progressive elements in the bill, but that’s what compromise is all about.”

Shaw also voted for the bill.

”I think it’s a positive move anytime we can help relieve some of the tax burden,” he said.

Miller voted for the bill.

Education reform

Shaw voted for the bill. He said he likes its provisions that enable independent third party accreditation for private schools. He added that he also likes the fact that the measure gives more freedom to parents who are schooling their children at home.

Beall and Miller both voted yes.

Health care program

Shaw said he voted against the bill because it contains money for abortions.

Beall and Miller voted yes.