|The second week of the 2022 legislative session was filled with subcommittee meetings and constituent visits.
Sports Wagering Tax Collections
I was assigned to be subcommittee chair on House Study Bill (HSB) 501, which would direct the three-member Revenue Estimating Conference to set an estimate for Sports Wagering Tax collections. When sports wagering was enacted in 2019, the Legislative Services Agency estimated the state would collect between $630,000 and $1.8 million annually. In the first year of sports wagering, Fiscal Year 2020, the state collected $1.8 million in sports wagering tax. In FY 2021, sports wagering tax collections increased to $6.1 million. Through the first six months of FY 2022, sports betting has generated more than $4.9 million in sports wagering tax collections.
The bill that established legalized sports wagering created a fund to hold the tax revenue generated by it, however, this bill didn’t address how the revenue was to be spent or how legislators were to determine how much was available. The House Appropriations Committee, of which I serve as vice chair, is looking to clarify this situation.
During Veterans Day at the Capitol on Jan. 19, I met with Major General (Retired) Gary Wattnem. He serves as Army Reserve Ambassador for Iowa. I also listened to Capt. Quintin James, Commanding Officer, Pre-Commissioning Unit USS IOWA (SSN 797) speak about the fourth ship that will bear the Iowa name. The 377-foot long nuclear-powered submarine PCU SSN 797 is the first submarine built specifically for female sailors. It will be christened in Connecticut this spring, but it likely won’t be commissioned and begin patrol duties until the summer of 2023.
Both the new USS IOWA submarine and the retired battleship hold important places in U.S. history. The retired battleship first served the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1949. She became the staging ground for the largest naval campaign of World War II – and in all of American history. She was officially decommissioned in October 1990, and today both virtual and in-person tours are available of the Battleship USS Iowa Museum. A model of the USS Iowa is on display in the west wing of the Iowa Capitol.