Two in One: Iowa Senate to Debate Major Tax Cuts and Abortion Ban in One Night

DES MOINES, Iowa–Debate over a massive rewrite of Iowa’s tax laws that could reduce more than $1 billion a year in state revenues would be a major moment in itself. But Wednesday, the Republican-led Iowa Senate wasn’t looking to just discuss that bill. Leaders also set up the night to include debate on a bill that would ban most abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That could be at about six weeks of gestation, before some women may realize they are pregnant.

The tax cut plan would reduce both individual and corporate tax rates. It includes provisions to eliminate federal deductibility and raises taxes on credit unions.

Read the bill here to see how individual and corporate rates would get reduced. 

The tax cut debate comes at a time when lawmakers have had to resort to emergency budget cuts over the past year because the state can’t afford the budget that lawmakers approved.

The proposed revenue reductions under the tax cut plan would eliminate roughly $1 of every $7 coming into the general fund budget.

Read the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s fiscal note on the expected revenue reductions from the tax bill. 

The senate tax cut bill faces much uncertainty in the house. House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Clear Lake Republican, plans to work with Governor Kim Reynolds, who has proposed a smaller tax plan that focuses on individual cuts and doesn’t include corporate tax cuts.

The senate’s fetal heartbeat bill also faces uncertainty in the house. That bill bans most abortions after doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, except in the cases of a medical emergency. Doctors performing abortions after that period could be charged with a felony and face up to five years in prison. The mother would not face criminal prosecution.

Read the bill here. 

Lawmakers acknowledge that the ban, which follows last year’s efforts that banned most abortions after 20 weeks, would likely face a constitutional challenge.