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2017 Legislature: Republicans Took Aim At Workers' Rights, Women's Rights & Schools.

April 28, 2017

Iowa Democrats Support Broad Prosperity and Expanded Opportunity

 

The Republicans gained control of the House and the Senate in the 2016 elections by promising to invest in education, create new jobs, raise family incomes, and clean up Iowa's water.

 

Those things did NOT happen. Instead, Republicans cut funding for our schools, cut water quality funding, and followed special interest legislation that helps out-of-state corporations at the expense of Iowans.  

Rather than creating jobs and raising family incomes as promised, Republicans pursued an anti-worker, anti-women, anti-family, special interest agenda that hurt thousands of Iowans.

 

We need a new direction for Iowa. Democrats will continue to listen to Iowans, hold Republicans accountable, and encourage more Iowans to get involved as citizens. That’s the way to build a safer and healthier future with broad prosperity and more opportunity for all Iowans.

 

Here are key details:

 

Republicans reduced the minimum wage for 65,000 Iowans. They circumvented “Buy American” and “prevailing wage” rules for road projects. They took away rights from our public service workers (teachers, firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, social workers, sanitation workers). 

 

Republicans failed to couple with federal tax changes, hurting farmers, teachers, and small businesses. 

 

Republicans hurt our students, our families, our economy, and our future by cutting funding for our community colleges and our universities. For the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, funding is now at its lowest level since 1998.  Republicans hurt people with disabilities and our economy by cutting vocational rehabilitation funding.

 

Republicans hurt thousands of Iowa families, especially low-income working women, by taking away access to Planned Parenthood for birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive health services.  They hurt Iowa families by cutting funds for our remaining two mental health institutions and by cutting even more funds for DHS field investigators for child abuse and elder abuse.

 

Republicans hurt rural Iowa, by underfunding our public schools, by closing the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, by cutting natural resource and water quality funding, and by cutting hospital reimbursements. 

 

15 Specific Bills – Bad For Iowans, Bad For Our Future

 

SF130 –    Made major mid-year budget cuts for community colleges and universities, courts, corrections, public safety, and human services, and emptied the Cultural Trust Fund

 

SF166 –    Short-changed Iowa’s public school students with 3rd lowest school aid formula investment ever (1.11%)

 

SF438 –    Prohibited local governments from using pre-qualification for project bidders

 

SF509 –    Cut state funding for services to survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault by 26% ($1.7M cut) and made additional cuts to corrections ($7.3M total cut)

 

SF510 –    Closed the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State, eliminated Watershed Improvement Review program, and slashed natural resource funding (REAP) by 25% ($4M cut)

 

SF516 –    Despite budget cuts, gave $150,000 for Lt. Gov. Reynolds to “transition” to new office

 

HF203 –   Circumvented “Buy American” and “prevailing wage” rules for road projects

 

HF291 –   Took away rights from more than 180,000 public service workers

 

HF295 –   Reduced the minimum wage for 65,000 Iowans, took away local regulation of consumer sales

 

HF516 –   Created new government barriers to voting, issued costly new voter cards (cost: $700K+)

 

HF518 –   Created barriers and reduced compensation for future injured workers

 

HF625 –   Took away outreach for our children’s health insurance program (HAWK-I)

 

HF640 –   Cut funds for nursing home inspections ($270K cut) and food safety inspections ($700K cut)

 

HF642 –   Made deeper cuts to university funding (total $24M cut – for University of Iowa and Iowa State University, lowest level since 1998), cut Iowa Flood Center ($300K cut); cut early childhood programs ($1M cut), cut vocational rehabilitation for workers with disabilities ($300K cut), and reduced National Guard tuition assistance ($1M cut)

 

HF653 –   Cut field operations for department of human services (over $10M cut), reducing child abuse and elder abuse investigations; cut local hospital reimbursements (over $27M cut); cut veterans home ownership assistance by 20% ($500K cut); cut two remaining mental health institutions ($1.7M cut); and made Planned Parenthood ineligible for Medicaid reimbursement for birth control, cancer screenings, and other preventive health services starting July 1, taking away access to health care and costing Iowa approximately $3 million in federal funding

2018 is closer than you may believe. We must channel our energies, passions and belief in democracy to #takebackiowa! Session may be over, but the real fight is just beginning. To say this journey will be an uphill battle would be an understatement. But I know, together we WILL mend this state! Join my fight to #takebackiowa!

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