Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adopted in Commitee on December 1, 2014

JCRCC Resolution on Increasing the Gas Tax in Iowa:

Whereas Governor Branstad has just been re-elected to a historic sixth term, carrying all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties;

And whereas Governor Branstad has indicated addressing the need for repairing defective roads and bridges will be a high priority for him in 2015, and that he is open to discussion of all ideas for generating the needed revenues to do so;

And whereas some believe we are not allocating enough funds to address priority needs in a timely fashion and have therefore called for an increase in the gas tax to provide additional funds;

And whereas bureaucrats, including those in the road building and maintenance portions of our local and state government, have incentives to “spend all the money and ask for more” instead of giving back un-needed funds to the general fund or transferring them to other jurisdictions with higher priority needs for road or bridge repair;

And whereas the allocation of road use funds in Iowa has been governed by a formula adopted in 1949 (most recently changed in 1989) which directs 47.5% to primary roads, 24.5% to secondary roads, 8% to farm-to-market roads, and 20% for city streets;

And whereas in 2008 the Iowa General Assembly created the TIME-21 funding stream dedicated to maintenance and construction of primary highways (60%), secondary roads (20%), and municipal streets (20%) by changing vehicle registration fees and schedules, and by increasing trailer and title fees;

And whereas for state fiscal year 2013 receipts into these two funds were $1,300,000,000 comprised of $444,000,000 in fuel taxes, $780,000,000 in registration fees, and $80,000,000 from miscellaneous other sources;

Therefore be it Resolved that the Johnson County Republican Central Committee calls on the Governor to propose a two-year set-aside of the allocation formula and replacing it with a statewide prioritization (by engineers, instead of politicians, based on utilization, safety, and existing conditions) of all the road and bridge repair needs so that we can see if there are actually enough funds to meet the high priority needs if funds are transferred from lower priority “nice, but not necessary” projects such as colored, formed-with-designs highway medium barriers rather than grey pre-fabricated ones on I- 80 through Iowa City, concrete instead of gravel shoulders on both sides of the ring-road around Muscatine, roads from the city to the homes of newly elected county supervisors being paved, etc., etc.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Resolution Passed October 7

The Johnson County Republicans strongly support a no vote for the Courthouse Annex Bond Issue on November 4 and support a vastly scaled-down bond issue referendum in opposition to adding a new courthouse annex and entrance to the Johnson County Courthouse. Several lower-cost options should be considered.

The existent security and access issues may be addressed separately through modification of the existing historic courthouse facility with the addition of one or more modest structures for a fraction of the currently projected expense.

A more cost-effective solution to an increasing need to expand current staff office space may also be achieved through relocation, repurposing, and expansion of proximate, existing county-owned facilities or relocation and long-term leasing of privately or federally owned office spaces adjacent to the existing courthouse.

We call on all voters of Johnson County to support a modified, scaled-back bond issue to address current legitimate courthouse security, access, and space concerns and initiate an open discussion of alternative common-sense solutions to these issues. Only then can a consensus be achieved which will meet the approval of the required super majority of our voters.”

Friday, October 3, 2014

Another problem with ObamaCare

It turns out many people that signed up this year for ObamaCare won't have insurance next year.  The law is a moving target with fluid regulations, and many insurance plans that qualified this year won't qualify next.

John C. Goodman provides the details: