DES MOINES, Iowa -- An election coming up in 2018 will likely become very apparent when legislators express their partisan differences.
Both sides do agree Iowa needs jobs that pay more money, but the difference of opinion is how to get those. After Iowa lawmakers left 262 days ago, they're now back for this year's legislative session. Republicans believe Iowans want tax reform, and this is what they aim to deliver.
Iowa's unemployment rate is already the lowest in 17 years, but paychecks have barely edged the rate of inflation. Republicans contend tax cuts will spur businesses to invest here.
Democrats are fewer in numbers in the Statehouse, but will try to show they're ready for a fight. Last year, despite protests from activists, they failed to stop Republicans from limiting bargaining rights for unions, as well as cities from raising the minimum wage. They now plan to try showing Republicans' past decision caused budget problems and will argue the wrong tax cuts could cause more.
Democrats also want more money for education, which they say will help produce higher skilled workers that companies want.
Republicans say the budget is tight. They cut spending to community colleges and the public universities, but added money for public schools.