Legislative Leaders: It’s time to ‘slow down’ on major overhaul of workers’ rights and start listening to Iowans

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, February 13, 2017
CONTACT: Dean Fiihr, 515-281-0817


DES MOINES – Responding to record turnout at legislative forums over the weekends and an outpouring of opposition to legislation that would significantly reduce workers’ rights across Iowa, Democratic leaders today called on Republican legislative leaders to “slow down” and to listen to the concerns of Iowans.

“Iowans are angry. Iowans are confused. Iowans are concerned,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown. “We are calling today on Republican legislative leaders to slow down their efforts to shove this legislation down the throats of Iowa workers. Firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses, and other dedicated public servants deserve to be heard.”

Smith pointed to forums over the weekend that attracted large and even overflow crowds across the state, including Ankeny, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Waukee, Cedar Falls, Elkader, Postville, Mason City and Independence. In addition, thousands of Iowans attended a pro-teacher rally on the grounds of the Iowa Capitol on Sunday.

“When the state’s collective bargaining law was passed in the early 1970s, it took two years of discussion by legislators and their constituents, as well as days of debate before the legislation was adopted in a bipartisan manner,” said Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids. “Iowans deserve more time to ask questions, to get straight answers and to better understand a major policy change that affects almost 200,000 hard-working Iowans. It’s time for all legislators – Republican and Democratic – to listen to the concerns of Iowans and to respond to those concerns.”