The AARP, the Iowa State Association of Counties, and the American Cancer Society "released a map today showing how much Iowans in each county will pay in property taxes to support the Republican alternative" to Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, according to Radio Iowa. The much-criticized GOP alternative, developed by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad, would cost Iowa taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars more than simply expanding Medicaid, while covering tens of thousands fewer families.
But in order to make the numbers work at all, Radio Iowa notes, "The governor’s plan is financed with $85 million in local property taxes," compared to $0 in property taxes under the Senate Democrats' plan. Property taxes have been an extremely contentious issue in Iowa in recent years, and if enacted, the Republican plan to siphon property tax revenue away from local governments would further complicate efforts to provide relief. AARP provides a helpful map showing how each county's property taxpayers would be affected.
Earlier this afternoon, the Democratic-led Minnesota Senate joined the state House in passing HF 1054, to make Minnesota the 12th state in America to establish civil marriage equality.
KSTP News has the video of the final vote, including the cheers that rose up immediately thereafter (NOTE: video volume drops after the 1:10 mark):
This week, Delaware became the 11th state in America to provide equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. Under the terms of HB-75, which passed with overwhelming Democratic support and was quickly signed into law, "no new civil unions will be performed in Delaware after July 1, and existing civil unions will be converted to marriages over the next year. The legislation also states that same-sex unions established in other states will be treated the same as marriages under Delaware law."
While historic, the bill's many supporters viewed it as the obviously fair decision for the state and its people. State House Majority Leader Val Longhurst, a member of the DLCC Board of Directors and one of the bill's Democratic sponsors, argued weeks before the vote that "I think it’s the nation moving and I think everybody has accepted it and has said why not let’s move forward with it."
Crowds on hand erupted in cheers as the final votes took place, and later as Governor Markell signed HB 75 into law:
Colorado's Democratic legislative majorities passed civil unions legislation earlier this year, and today gay and lesbian couples in the state celebrated as the new law went into effect.