Legislative Wrap

Written by Theresa Rose on May 10, 2019

The Mount Pleasant area Chamber Alliance invited our legislators to a session wrap-up to address the priorities presented by the chamber at the start of the session.  There was a lot of discussion of property taxes and the affect a bill designed to control property taxes could have on IPERS. Senator Rich Taylor thought the attempt to cap taxes was watered down and harms the ability to pay for IPERS.  He said it was unnecessary because he trusts local officials to not raise taxes unnecessarily and that it should be a local decision.  The Senator believes the bill will be re-visited. While Taylor voted against it, Representative Joe Mitchell was pleased it passed  because it tries to control property taxes. He says other counties and cities aren’t doing the right thing in terms of raising property taxes.

Senator Taylor was disappointed the bill to restore felons voting rights didn’t pass and he thinks the cannabidoil legislation could be better.

Rep. Mitchell was pleased the SAVE was extended to 2049. This the funding stream formerly known as the statewide school infrastructure sales and services tax aka the local option sales and services tax. He was also happy that tax credits for affordable housing and beginning farmers doubled

Chamber Exec Kristy Ray asked about funding for rural housing.  There was about 20 million allocated but that is still waiting for the governor’s signature.

HCHC CEO Robb Gardner commented there was good progress made during the session regarding healthcare.  He said the childhood mental health bill was a great first step and now the legislature needs to appropriate funds.  Taylor is worried the funding responsibility will be passed down to the mental regions. Mitchell said right now there will be 3 million dollars for the Area Education Agencies.

Ray thanked the legislators for the Future Ready money saying the program has opened a lot of doors for the chamber.

When asked for their opinion on the most important legislation that didn’t happen…Taylor again said restoring felons’ voting rights and Mitchell said the contraception bill allowing women to obtain birth control pills at pharmacies without going to a clinic for a prescription first.