October 1, 2014
Lawmakers are opening another session of the Legislature with hopes of making changes to Iowa's commercial property tax system, giving the state more control over mental health programs and beginning a long process of overhauling Iowa's public schools.
As the session convenes Monday morning, legislators of both parties say they agree on the need to make changes in those areas, though they differ on some of the specifics.
Republican Gov. Terry Branstad says reductions in Iowa's commercial property tax rates are key to his effort to improve the state's business environment.
The mental health reforms would shift control away from the state's 99 counties and institute a regional system.
Proposed education changes would toughen standards for teachers and increase student testing.