Ten ideas that are bad for Iowa
Despite a lot of talk about creating jobs and increasing family incomes, most of what we’ve seen at the Iowa Statehouse this session is a partisan agenda that ignores the best interests of hard-working Iowans.
Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds promised to create 200,000 jobs in five years. After more than six years, Iowa has gained fewer than 126,000 jobs, which is slower than the rate of job growth in the country as a whole.
Now, Republican legislators are moving forward with initiatives that will lead to job losses, lower incomes and fewer opportunities—ultimately making Iowa a less desirable place to live and work.
The 2017 session has been marked by efforts to:
1. Rush through a collective bargaining law (HF 291) that directly hurts 185,000 family budgets and will undermine the local economy where they live and shop.
2. Cut workers compensation owed to Iowans injured on the job (SSB 1170).
3. Stop local governments from voluntarily entering into agreements with local contractors—agreements that ensure good-paying jobs, quality work and cost-effective projects (SSB 1145).
4. Drive down construction wages in rural areas, bring in out-of-state workers to do Iowa jobs, and open the door to building Iowa roads and bridges with materials imported from China and other countries (SF 184).
5. Bypass coupling with federal tax code changes that would help small businesses, farmers, teachers and college students.
6. Weaken the rights of thousands of Iowans by making it more difficult for them to vote in elections (HSB 93/SSB 1163).
7. Slash to budgets of community colleges and public services in the middle of the year, causing job losses and harm to opportunities and services Iowans count on (SF 130).
8. Lower wages for 85,000 hard-working Iowans and prevent local governments from having strong civil rights enforcement (HF295).
9. Increase in funding for local schools by so little that doesn’t keep up with inflation, let alone make up for years of unmet needs (SF 166). School superintendents say this will cause teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.
10. Continue the Medicaid privatization mess that has dramatically increased costs to taxpayers, forced businesses to close and hurt the health care of thousands of vulnerable Iowans.
– Sen. Rich Taylor of Mt. Pleasant represents Henry and Lee counties and portions of Washington and Jefferson counties.