Friday marks the “first funnel” under legislative rules, which is a first procedural hurdle that will stop some legislative proposals for the year. If we can stop bad bills this week, it will reduce the damage that could be done later.
The new Republican majority has already done a lot of damage to Iowans, including:
- Major mid-year budget cuts (SF130) that closed correctional facilities and laid off correctional workers, forced court closures, and led the University of Iowa to renege on promised scholarships.
- The third lowest school funding level (1.11 percent) (SF166) in the history of the school finance formula, after the worst six-year funding stretch in our state’s history.
- Attack on our teachers’ and public workers’ rights to organize and negotiate for fair wages, benefits and other working conditions (HF291).
Now, there is even more harm coming to Iowans under Republican proposals pending in committee. With your help, we can stop at least some of these proposals in committee this week, and take them off the table for the rest of 2017.
Please speak up with Republican legislators this week on one or more of the following issues by e-mailing them or calling them at their preferred contact number (available at www.legis.iowa.gov). You can also call and leave messages at the House switchboard (515-281-3221) or the Senate switchboard (515-281-3371).
“The Dirty Dozen” – Help Us Stop These Bad Bills in Committee
- Prohibit Local “Pre-Qualification” for Bidding (SSB1145) – This bill would prohibit local governments from using “project labor agreements” or other “pre-qualification” for bidders on building projects, taking away the ability of local government to ensure timely, quality construction. Speak up for qualified workers and local control. Contact the Republican members on the Senate Labor Committee: Jason Schultz (chair), Brad Zaun, Mike Breitbach, Waylon Brown, Jake Chapman, Mark Costello, and Dennis Guth.
- End Licensing for Occupations (HSB138) – This bill would end licensing for many professional occupations, including social workers, mental health counselors, massage therapists, dieticians, funeral home directors, respiratory therapists and athletic trainers. Speak up for these professionals and the protection of consumers, public health and public safety. Contact the Republican members of the House State Government Committee: Ken Rizer (chair), Kevin Koester, Rob Bacon, Chip Baltimore, Michael Bergan, Peter Cownie, Lee Hein, Jake Highfill, Bobby Kaufmann, Tom Moore, Dawn Pettengill, Mike Sexton, Ralph Watts and Louie Zumbach.
- Government Barriers to Voting (HSB93/SSB1163) – This bill would create new government barriers to voting, including photo identification requirements where only a few forms of identification would qualify. Speak up for Iowans who do not have the specified forms of identification and should not have to face more government barriers to voting. Contact Republican members of the House State Government Committee (see HSB138 above) and Republican members of the Senate State Government Committee: Roby Smith (chair), Jake Chapman, Bill Anderson, Waylon Brown, Dan Dawson, Randy Feenstra, Charles Schneider, Jason Schultz and Brad Zaun.
- So-Called “Personhood” Bill (SF253) – This bill would ban all abortions and many common forms of birth control. Speak up for individual rights to make personal health decisions and access to birth control to prevent abortion. Contact the Republican members on the Senate Judiciary Committee: Brad Zaun (chair), Dan Dawson, Jeff Edler, Julian Garrett, Charles Schneider, Jason Schultz, Tom Shipley and Amy Sinclair.
- Partisan Take-Over of Judicial Nominations (SF327) – This bill would remove attorneys from the judicial nomination process and replace them with all gubernatorial appointments, politicizing the judicial-selection process. Contact Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
- Reinstate the Death Penalty (SF335/SF336) – These bills would reinstate the death penalty in Iowa for the first time since 1965. Iowa doesn’t need the death penalty. We have life in prison without the possibility of parole. Instead, encourage legislators to do more to resolve unsolved murders (“cold cases”). Contact Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
- Eliminate Permits to Acquire Firearms (HSB133) – This bill, which has 40 sections in more than 25 pages, would eliminate the annual permit to acquire a pistol or revolver among many other provisions. Speak up for annual permits, criminal background checks and public safety. Contact the Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee: Chip Baltimore (chair), Jim Carlin, Stan Gustafson, Greg Heartsill, Lee Hein, Ashley Hinson, Megan Jones, Kevin Koester, Andy McKean, Zach Nunn, Ross Paustian, Ken Rizer and Matt Windschitl.
- Allowing Firearms on Campus (SF256) – This bill would prohibit our community colleges and universities from limiting the carrying of firearms. Speak up to keep firearms off campus. Contact Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see SF253 above).
- Required Video Cameras in Classrooms (SF294) – This bill would require schools to install video cameras in every classroom, cafeteria, library and other “student use area” of a school. Speak up against wasteful spending and excessive surveillance. Contact Republican members on the Senate Education Committee: Amy Sinclair (chair), Jeff Edler, Jerry Behn, Mark Chelgren, Tom Greene, Craig Johnson, Tim Kraayenbrink, Mark Lofgren and Ken Rozenboom.
- Political Test for University Faculty (SF288) – This bill would subject current and future university faculty to a political test for employment to achieve “political balance.” Speak up against this infringement on personal liberty, and in favor of merit-based hiring. Contact Republican members on the Senate Education Committee (see SF294 above).
- Take Away Local Control of Water Supply (SSB1146) – This bill would take away local control over water supply and impose regional and state control. Speak up for local control and against political retribution for clean-water advocacy. Contact Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee: Dan Zumbach (chair), Waylon Brown, Mark Costello, Jeff Edler, Tim Kapucian, Ken Rozenboom, Mark Segebart and Tom Shipley.
- Restrict Property Right to Bring Nuisance Lawsuit (SSB1144) – This bill would restrict a property owner’s right to bring a nuisance lawsuit against livestock producers. Speak up for property rights, including the right to be free of nuisances. Contact Republican members of the Senate Agriculture Committee (see SSB1146 above).