I woke up this morning feeling a sense of shock after losing a sleepless, nasty fight this week that will lower the economic prospects and health care security for almost 200,000 Iowa families. This was a week that will go down in history as a turning point. It will determine if Iowa will accelerate its economic and social decline for decades to come or if action by elected Republicans will shake fair-minded Iowans to action.
Make no mistake; this decision impacts you and your family. None of us can live the lives we do without the quality, dedicated hard work of teachers, drinking water plant operators, police and fire protection, jailers and the engineers that make sure the traffic lights work so that you get to and from work safely. Flush the toilet? Public servants make the work.
Iowa public servants had their knee caps broken this week by radicalized Iowa Republicans that were supported last November by millions in out-of-state campaign contributions and the Scott Walker/Koch Brothers dark money operation. This is not a clique. Or hyperbole. This happened. And now what’s happening is the payback.
The legislation and legislative process in both the Iowa House and Senate the last 10 days was disgraceful. Iowans were silenced. Debate was cut off at every point in the process. Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix forced us to stay up all night to debate this complicated and life-altering bill. More than 1,000 people flooded the Capitol on Monday night. Thousands of phone calls and emails were made in opposition to the Republican legislation.
Republicans did not campaign to do this. Now our lame-duck Governor will sign the bill. It goes into effect immediately. I could say much more. But let me say this: The light bulb came on this week for many Iowans about who is on their side. Rebuilding begins right now!
If you have time to waste, here is a link to the video of the senate debate over the last few days: www.legis.iowa.gov/chambers/video/archive?chamber=S. Thousands of Iowan watched the debates.
WHY IS THE STATE BROKE? BECAUSE CORPORATE WELFARE IS ALIVE & WELL!
It’s easy to blame state workers for rising health care costs. Time to see where the real money is if you are a fiscal conservative. The 2016 annual report on the Research Activities Tax Credit came out on Wednesday. It is like Christmas in February for Iowa’s largest, most profitable Fortune 500 companies. The corporate share of the subsidy cost Iowa taxpayers a total of $49.1 million — with 82 percent, or $40.4 million, in 207 refund checks to companies that paid no state income tax. See the report at the Iowa Policy Project webpage: www.iowafiscal.org/millions-more-of-the-same.
THIS WEEK’S VISITORS
Stephen Murley, Superintendent of Schools, Iowa City Community School District
Brian Kirschling, Member, Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors
Jesse Case, Iowa Teamsters
Tim Ruth, President, McCreedy Ruth Construction
Lauren Hughes, Psychiatric Nurse, University of Iowa Health Care: Adult Inpatient Psychiatric Unit
Janelle Rettig, Chair, Johnson County Board of Supervisors
David Leshtz, District Representative, Congressman Dave Loebsack
Lonnie Pulkrabek, Sheriff, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
Karyl Bohnsack, Executive Officer, Greater Iowa City Area Home Builders Association
Kelly Gallagher Terrill
Parents visiting with the Iowa City Community Schools
Sorry if I missed you