IA House Dems Propose Freezing College Tuition, Cap on Insulin Prices and Building More Affordable Homes

(Radio Iowa) House Democrats are proposing a cap on the price of insulin, a freeze on tuition rates at community colleges and the three state universities and several other policies they say would lower costs for Iowans. Jennifer Konfrst, a Democrat from Windsor Heights, is the House Minority Leader.

“We are heading into budget season here at the legislature,” she says, “and now is the perfect time to talk about ways that we can help Iowans’ budgets at home while we’re working on the state budget.” Republicans hold a majority of seats in the House and Senate and control what gets debated and passed into law Konfrst says Democrats are hoping to work with Republicans on property tax relief, but they also hope to convince the G-O-P to take more steps to promote the construction of affordable housing. House Democrats also propose a new state tax credit for childcare costs.

“While we recognize the state legislature can’t control all the ups and downs of the national economy, we can take action to help lower costs for Iowa families and reduce the living expenses of everyday Iowans,” Konfrst says. Representative Molly Buck of Ankeny says another proposal from House Democrats would let the state labor commissioner investigate businesses accused of withholding wages, even if a formal complaint hasn’t been filed against the business.

“One in every seven workers in Iowa are shorted an average of $300 per week,” Buck says. That figure comes from a report issued last fall by Common Good Iowa, a research and advocacy group. The state’s Workforce Development agency is currently using a federal grant to investigate businesses that may be misclassifying employees as independent contractors in order to avoid payroll taxes and the costs of employee benefits.