Radicalized Republican agenda elicits increased police protection

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This week the Mason City Globe Gazette opined, “Iowa Legislature should cut its losses:” “You finished your most important task in an impressive timeframe: The state’s checkbook is balanced. Now, pack your bags and go home.” Their advice came after listing a litany of bat shirt whacky bills and downright destructive, ill-conceived legislation that is currently under consideration by legislative Republicans. I could not agree more.

This week Republicans are pushing through legislation that will bust all of Iowa’s public unions. It will accelerate Iowa’s slide into a mediocre, low wage economy and send more of our young people looking for opportunities elsewhere.  Under the dishonest guise of local control their efforts will decimate the voices of teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, jailers, snow plow drivers, mental health professional and dozens of others.

SF 213 makes it ILLEGAL for a school superintendent and a teacher to even discuss health care benefits, evaluations, grievances, seniority, and many other topics that help schools and workplaces operate smoothly. That’s right, ILLEGAL. It prohibits public employers from continuing to allow workers to voluntarily have some their paycheck deducted for their union dues or for political purposes. Not allowing public union members to easily and voluntarily donate that own money for political purposes the top reason for this legislation. Republicans are trying to silence Iowans and thwart Democrats electorally who rely on union support.

SF 213 guts Chapter 20 the collective bargaining law. A law that has worked to foster good worker-management relations across Iowa for the past forty years. The bill in the end will drive down wages and benefits for both union and non-union public employees. Sad.

Over the past several weeks, the heavy presence of state patrolman at the Capitol attending subcommittee and committee meetings has been quite noticeable. They are public employees represented by their union doing a great job making sure everyone is safe.  There have been a record number of people at the Capitol on the Planned Parenthood defunding bill and now the union busting public service worker bill to name a couple of the big ones. It is interesting how the dark and negative Republican agenda has elicited the need for a significant increase in police presence to ensure safety. Opponents of this punitive agenda have exercised their rights to peacefully protest.  As the state patrol protects Republicans legislators they are witness to these same legislator’s efforts to gut their wages, benefits and working conditions. Nice irony.

I am posting daily legislative updates to my Senate Facebook page. To see the bills I have introduced so far this session, go the the Iowa Legislature website.

Next week will be ugly. We are debating SF 215 the all-out attack on public workers and teachers. You can watch live House and Senate action live at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/.




Tom Shaff, Teacher Advocate, University of Iowa
Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
Mike Cervantes, Inside Out Re-Entry Program
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Read the rest of my week 5 newsletter.