Republican Senators reject proposal to ensure students don’t pay price for harassment judgment

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  February 8, 2018

DES MOINES – All 29 Republican State Senators today rejected a proposal to ensure that community college students aren’t on the hook for a sexual harassment judgment against Republican Senators and staff.

Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames offered an amendment today to a budget bill (Senate File 2117) that would have reduced the size of mid-year budget cuts proposed by Senate Republicans and restored $1.75 million to the state’s community colleges.

The $1.75 million mirrors the amount of a settlement reached last year between Iowa Senate Republican leaders and Kirsten Anderson, a former Senate Republican staffer who was sexually harassed over a period of years at the Capitol. Instead of taking her seriously, Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix of Shell Rock fired Anderson seven hours after she filed a harassment complaint with Republican leaders.

“We’ve heard from many Iowans who are not happy about paying the $1.75 million settlement,” Quirmbach said. “Today, I gave Republican Senators a choice. If they believed that that Iowa community college students should NOT pay for the bad behavior of the Senate Republican caucus, they could have voted YES! Instead, all 29 Republican Senators voted to keep community college students on the hook for the $1.75 million settlement against Senate Republicans.

“Community college students and other taxpayers expect more from their leaders.”

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