Seven weeks into legislative session, Republicans still breaking promises to create jobs, grow incomes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2017
Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg: (515)  281-4610
House Democratic Leader Mark Smith: (515) 281-0817


(Des Moines) Today House and Senate Democratic Leaders pointed out that the Republicans in charge of state government continue to break promises to create jobs and increase family incomes.

“In 2009, Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds promised to create 200,000 jobs in five years,” said Senate Democratic Leader Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids.  “After more than six years, Iowa has gained fewer than 126,000 jobs, which is slower than the rate of job growth in the country as a whole.  Instead of working on legislation to create jobs, Republicans are pursuing a partisan agenda that ignores the best interests of hard-working Iowans.”

“Instead of increasing wages and incomes for Iowa families like they promised, Republicans are planning to pass a bill that actually lowers wages for 65,000 Iowans. Far from increasing Iowa incomes, Republicans are casting vote after vote that will lead to job losses and lower incomes for Iowa families,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Smith.  “Democrats believe we should work together to raise wages and increase incomes for Iowa families, not lower them.”

Republicans have:

  • Refused to help small businesses and farmers who would benefit from coupling with federal tax code changes.
  • Rushed through a collective bargaining bill (SF 213) that directly hurts 185,000 family budgets and will undermine the economies of the communities where they live and shop.
  • Approved a miserly 1.11% increase in aid to local schools (SF 166), even though 61% of superintendents warn this will cause teacher layoffs.
  • Approved deep mid-year budget cuts to community colleges and public services (SF 130) that has resulted in job losses, higher tuition at community colleges, and the loss of 2,440 scholarships for Iowa students.
  • Continue to support the Medicaid privatization mess that has already forced businesses to close and will drive others out of business due to late and non-existent payments by the MCOs.
  • Instead of increasing the minimum wage, Republican lawmakers are working on legislation that will directly cut the wages of 65,000 Iowans.
  • Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation (SF 184) that will drive down construction wages in rural areas, bring in out-of-state workers to do Iowa jobs, and open the door to building Iowa roads and bridges with materials imported from China and other countries.
  • Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation (SSB 1145) that will stop local governments from voluntarily entering into agreements with local contractors—agreements that ensure good-paying jobs, quality work, and cost-effective projects.