Iowa Republicans Attack Workers, Break Promise To Create Jobs and Raise Family Incomes
Iowa Democrats Support Broad Prosperity and Expanded Opportunity
Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids
Republicans gained complete control of Iowa’s state government in the 2016 elections by promising to invest in education, create new jobs, raise family incomes, and clean up Iowa’s water.
That’s not what they did. Instead, Republicans short-changed our schools, cut water quality funding, and pursued 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 agenda that hurt Iowans and our economy.
Iowa needs a new direction. 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, social workers, sanitation workers). They created barriers and reduced workers compensation for all future injured 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 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 funds for field investigations of child abuse and elder abuse.
Republicans hurt rural Iowa, by short-changing our 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. They did nothing – nothing – to address the fact that over 70 counties in Iowa have lost population since 2010.
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
Iowans who would like more information should read “2017 Legislative Session in Review” at www.senate.iowa.gov/democrats, visit www.legis.iowa.gov, or contact Senator Hogg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call his office at (515) 281-3901.