2016 Session Highlights

During this tight budget year, Senate Democrats fought to maintain economic security for Iowa families by standing up for workers and investing in skills training, job creation and the educational opportunities from preschool through college. We hoped to accomplish more, but chose compromise over gridlock. We balanced the state budget in a fiscally responsible way. Iowa is expected to have a budget surplus of more than $75 million when this fiscal year ends on June 30. We also have more than $700 million in our reserve funds, the largest amount in state history; invested in training to help Iowans fill openings for good jobs at local businesses in need of skilled workers; committed to improving Iowa’s infrastructure, economy and job creation through incentives, tax credits, and programs that work with local businesses on technology commercialization, marketing and entrepreneurship; invested in higher education with more money for our state universities, community colleges and grants to help students attend Iowa’s private colleges; encouraged greater student achievement in our K-12 schools through investments in early reading initiatives and quality teaching; and continued our commitment to Iowa’s quality of life with investments in the environment, arts and culture, and recreational opportunities.

Response to Governor Branstad’s action today on Medicaid oversight

“I’m glad Governor Branstad did not veto the Medicaid oversight compromise reached by the Iowa House and Senate. The mistakes and mismanagement caused by Iowa’s rushed approach to Medicaid privatization continue to create problems for some of Iowa’s most vulnerable residents.

“This summer and fall, we will continue to listen to, and be vigilant advocates for, Iowans fighting for essential health care services.

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Water quality deserves dedicated funding

During the 2016 session, legislators considered several options for improving Iowa’s water quality. The plans floated by the Governor and House Republicans, however, had little or no support in the Senate.   The Branstad-Reynolds Administration proposed taking money from schools to pay for water quality improvements. Our schools have faced several lean years and have […]

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Help for vulnerable Iowans

The state’s Health & Human Services Budget (HF 2460) was one of the last bills to pass the Legislature this year. It included increased oversight to address Iowans’ problems with the Governor’s privatized Medicaid system.   No other state has privatized Medicaid so quickly, which has caused chaos and confusion for Iowa’s Medicaid recipients, health […]

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Missed opportunities disappoint Iowans

While the 2016 session made progress on a number of fronts, there were disappointments for working families, crime victims, and sick and disabled Iowans. Some initiatives never got off the ground. Others passed the Senate—often with bipartisan support—but were dismissed by House leaders.   A few of these missed opportunities include: Failing to boost school […]

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Maintaining commitments in tight budget times

The 2016 legislative session wrapped up April 29. It was a tight budget year, but as always, we balanced the state budget responsibly. Iowa will end the fiscal year with a $75 million surplus and $700 million in our reserve funds.   Some of our biggest accomplishments include: Safeguarding the interests of Medicaid recipients with […]

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Sen. Gronstal on “This Week in Iowa” on Sunday

Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal will be featured on WOI-TV’s “This Week in Iowa” from 9 to 10 am Sunday, May 8, talking about the highlights and disappointments of the 2016 legislative session. Get complete details or watch online at www.weareiowa.com/news/this-week-in-iowa.

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Older Posts:

  • Sen. Gronstal on Iowa Press this weekend
  • Jochum 2016 End of Session Remarks
  • 2016 Session Highlights
  • Iowa Arts Council invites nominations for arts awards
  • Notify Iowa One Call prior to digging
  • Bird flu prompts stronger biosecurity in Iowa
  • Good bills signed into law
  • Improved historic tax credits will revitalize more communities
  • Keeping vulnerable kids a priority