Home News Saturday News, February 26th

Saturday News, February 26th


Gehlen Catholic Receives Benefactor Gift From Former Pastor

(Le Mars) — Gehlen Catholic school was recently given a benefactor gift from a past pastor and president of the local catholic school.  Amy Jungers, Gehlen Catholic development director says the school was notified that the estate of Father John McGuirk had remembered Gehlen Catholic.

Jungers talks about the time when Father John McGuirk served the local catholic community.

The Gehlen Catholic Development Director explains how Gehlen will utilize the generous gift.

Father McGuirk had died a little more than a year ago.  Jungers says it was a complete surprise to Gehlen officials that the former pastor had included Gehlen as part of his estate.  Jungers says McGuirk also left money to other area catholic institutions.




Remsen-Union And MMC School Districts To Vote On S.A.V.E. Measure On Tuesday, March 1st

(Remsen) — Residents of the Remsen-Union and the MMC school districts are being asked to go to the polls on Tuesday, March 1st to vote for the continuation of the one-cent sales tax that helps finance local school districts with renovation, restoration, and maintenance upkeep projects.  Known as S.A.V.E. the estimated annual income from the program generates approximately $320,000 per year for the Remsen-Union school district, and an estimated $440,000 for the MMC school district.  School Superintendent Dan Barkel explains the measure.

Barkel says both school districts have authority to utilize the one-cent sales tax until the year 2029.  He says the vote on Tuesday will extend the collection and use of the generated revenue.

Barkel says for the Remsen-Union school district, improvements are need for the plumbing system and the school’s auditorium.

The MMC and RU school superintendent says they are having the vote now in order for the school districts to be able to leverage possible loans against the expected collection of the one-cent sales tax.




Iowa Senators Commit To Fair, Respectful Review Of Supreme Court Nominee

(Washington, DC)  —  Iowa’s two U-S Senators say they are committed to a fair and respectful review of the new nominee for the U-S Supreme Court.  Judge Ketanji (keh-TAWN-jee) Brown Jackson was chosen Thursday by President Biden.  Senator Chuck Grassley is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  He said it is critical that all nominees to the nation’s highest court receive a most thorough and rigorous vetting.  Senator Joni Ernst is also a member of that committee.  She says justices must be impartial and not bend to the political winds of the moment.




Iowa Supreme Court Orders New Trial For Former Massage Therapist

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Iowa Supreme Court rules a former massage therapist who was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse of a client should get a new trial because of improper use of evidence.  The client filed a complaint against Kevin Thoren in 2019 after she says he inappropriately touched her chest and between her legs during a massage session. Thoren denied touching her — and presented evidence that some clients experience phantom touching with the technique he used. The Supreme Court ruled said the testimony of five other clients who claimed Thoren abused them prejudiced the jury. It also says allowing testimony that Thoren gave up his license to the Board of Massage Therapy after the investigation of a complaint could have created prejudice by making the jury believe it was an official, state-sanctioned finding under the law — when in reality it was the result of a settlement.




Police Search For Person Captured On Doorbell Camera Firing Several Shots

(West Des Moines, IA)  —  West Des Moines police say they are still searching for the person captured on a doorbell camera firing several gunshots.  W-H-O Television reports the incident happened Thursday just after 8:00 p-m at the Maple Grove Villas apartment complex.  The video shows the shooter getting out of a vehicle and firing five-to-six shots at an apartment.  West Des Moines police say at least one of the shots did hit an apartment but no one was hurt.  Police are still working to identify the shooter.




NE Iowa Man Arrested After Drug Bust Turns Up Marijuana Cache

(Dubuque, IA)  —  A 22-year-old man has been arrested in northeast Iowa after a drug bust turned up almost a dozen pounds of marijuana.  K-C-R-G Television reports Tanner Millman was taken into custody and charged with drug trafficking.  Authorities report they found 200-thousand dollars in cash, several guns, 11 pounds of marijuana – along with other marijuana plants and products.  Court documents indicate three A-R-15 rifles, several handguns, and at least two shotguns were seized during the drug bust.




Jeneary Discusses “Historic” Passage Of Flat Tax Bill

(Remsen) — A major piece of legislation passed during this week at the Iowa Capitol was the tax cut proposal and the adoption of a flat tax program.  The bill has been passed by both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate, and awaits Governor Reynolds’ signature to make it law.  State House Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars calls the passage of the tax bill as “historic.”

The House Republican explains what the bill contains, and how it should benefit all Iowans looking to retire within the foreseeable future.

Jeneary says the bill passed both chambers on a bi-partisan vote.  He says the state has taxed Iowans too much in the past. Jeneary says the legislature also included some “stop-gap” measures if the state’s revenue should fall short.

The Le Mars Republican state representative further explains the protective “stop-gap” measures associated with the new tax bill.

It is expected that Governor Kim Reynolds will sign the flat tax bill sometime during this next week.




Jeneary Journal

Greetings from the Statehouse,
Last week I wrote to you of the House’s intention to preserve the sanctity of interscholastic women’s sports. Mission accomplished. On Monday, the Iowa House voted to pass a bill to forbid any biological males from participating in women’s sports. We took this step because across the country we have seen invasions of biological men dominating women’s sports, stealing long standing state records, and taking away many young women’s love of their game. I proudly voted to protect the integrity of women’s sports. That bill has moved on to the Senate. I also was privileged to be the floor manager for several great pieces of legislation this week. On Monday, I brought to the House’s attention a piece of legislation that would permit cooperation between the DOT and Iowa law enforcement to provide drivers license and identification card photographs to the missing persons list. This bill will always provide a face to the name for people who have gone missing. Another bill that I floor managed expanded access for drug users to receive treatment for their substance use. It also increases the membership of the Iowa drug policy advisory council from 15 to 17 members. The additional members will be appointed by the governor and include the state public defender and a police chief. This bill will greatly help people who have been involved in drug use to encourage a return to a healthy lifestyle. There are many veterans across this state who have proudly served our state and country. They are justifiably proud of their service and may wish to display their service on their vehicle license plate. It will allow the Veterans Service Officer to grant permission for veterans to receive veterans license plates if they were honorably discharged.This week, Republicans in the Capitol delivered a historic tax plan that lowers taxes for every Iowan and is sustainable into the foreseeable future. Thanks to the Governor’s leadership and House Republicans’ conservative budgeting practices, Iowa’s economy remains strong – so strong that we have the opportunity to deliver the largest tax cut in Iowa history while continuing to fund Iowans’ priorities. House Republicans have been interested in corporate tax credit reform for many years. The inclusion of this piece in the final tax plan is a huge step in the right direction for our state. The agreement passed by both the Iowa House and Senate and headed to the Governor’s desk looks very similar to the tax plan Iowa House Republicans proposed as passed just last week. This tax plan reduces individual income tax for all Iowans to a fair and flat rate of 3.9%. That puts Iowa at the fourth lowest income tax rate in the country. This also exempts retirement income from taxes and includes a new income exemption for retired farmers so we can keep more folks in Iowa after they retire. It makes the corporate tax rate more competitive while reducing refundability on the state’s most expensive Refundable Corporate Tax Credits. Caroline McAlexander was in the capitol this week, and we celebrated her victory as the Iowa Agricultural Queen.  Caroline hails from Ringgold County, and she will be competing in the national competition in June in Orlando. Best of luck Caroline! I was privileged to have Olivia Duffy shadow me on Tuesday while we did work in the Iowa legislature. Olivia is a senior at Woodbury Central High School in Moville, and she is a part of the Iowa Youth Congress. In this organization students bring ideas to the attention of legislators that will benefit the youth, they even engage in a mock Congress. Thanks for joining me Olivia!  As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached by email at tom.jeneary@legis.iowa.gov.
Representative Tom Jeneary





Taylor Times

The Taylor Times by Senator Jeff Taylor  2-25-22

Wednesday I had breakfast with Evan Vermeer of Sioux County, who was at the Capitol for Iowa Cattlemen’s Association legislative day. I later met up with Craig Moss and his family. Like his uncle Evan, Craig is a member of the ICA executive committee.
In August 2021, I added my name as one of 60 state legislators to an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in a Planned Parenthood v. Reynolds appellate case. The brief argues that our state constitution does not include a right to abortion or require public funding of abortion–contrary to the assertion of an incorrect Iowa Supreme Court opinion in 2018.Policy on abortion should be determined by the people of Iowa and their elected representatives, not by a small number of judges. Human life, especially the most innocent and vulnerable, should be protected by government. Our God-given right to life is foundational to all other rights. Wednesday the case was argued before the Iowa Supreme Court. Afterwards, attorneys representing Governor Reynolds and amicus legislators summarized what happened in the courtroom. Chuck Hurley of The Family Leader hosted the meeting. The room was full of pro-life Iowans. In addition to myself, Senators Jake Chapman, Julian Garrett, and Dennis Guth were present.
News from the Capitol After the first legislative deadline last week, we saw more debate on the Senate floor during Week Seven. One of the proposals we passed was Senate File 2266, another bill to help attract more people into the workforce. It raises the earning limitation for IPERS retirees that are under the age of 65. Teachers, substitutes, bus drivers, and other Iowans who have not yet reached retirement age can come back to work, earning up to $50,000 annually, without it affecting their IPERS retirement funds. We also learned this week that Governor Reynolds will be delivering the official Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union Address on March 1. This honor is given to a strong Republican leader whose actions embody some of the best principles of our party. Her conservative ideals and common-sense policies have helped keep Iowa open and thriving. We will be excited to watch Governor Reynolds deliver her speech next week and are glad she is representing Iowa on the national stage.
Transformational Tax Relief One of the main focuses of the legislative session this year has been passing comprehensive tax relief for Iowans. In the months leading up to January, Republicans in the House and Senate, as well as the Governor, were all talking about reducing the income tax burden. I am happy to say this week the Senate has passed historic tax relief that will have a generational impact for Iowans. House File 2317 implements a 3.9% flat tax for all Iowans. On average, taxpayers would receive about $1,300 in tax relief or about a 36% reduction in their tax liability. A flat tax of 3.9% moves Iowa from having one of the highest income tax rates in the country to having the fourth lowest. Additionally, it provides tax relief for retired Iowa farmers by providing a first-time pension exemption and eliminates all taxes on retirement income. These policies are important as we try to make Iowa more competitive so people not only want to stay here but others will want to come and make Iowa their home. In 2018, we passed tax relief for Iowans and their families, implementing the biggest income tax cut in Iowa’s history up to that time. This bill is the next step in our plan to keep reducing the income tax. It is a vision for the future that provides real, permanent tax relief for Iowa families. HF 2317 delivers on the promise that Iowans will keep more of what they earn. During this inflationary time of rising prices—caused by irresponsible federal monetary and fiscal policies—this is more important than ever. It also takes a big step toward simplification of Iowa’s complicated tax code.On Saturday, March 5, I will be holding three public forums in Sioux County:

  • 11:00 am-12:00 noon – Sioux Center Public Library – Room A&B
  • 1:00-2:00 pm – Orange City Public Library – Basement
  • 3:00-4:00 pm – Rock Valley City Hall – City Council Chamber

You are cordially invited! I will be holding more public forums, in other counties, on Friday, March 11. Details to follow.