Top Democrats on the Iowa Legislature’s House and Senate Oversight Committees are requesting meetings to review the Reynolds Administration’s handling of Federal COVID relief funds.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, neighbors and co-workers. In addition to ensuring that justice is served, we must also ensure that state leaders address chronic understaffing and other systemic problems at our prisons before we have more deaths.”
–Sen. Todd Taylor, Ranking Member, Justice System Budget
Governor Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Legislature have taken a hands-off approach to boosting economic opportunities to Iowans during the pandemic. Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan will bring much needed relief to Iowa businesses, workers, schools, local governments and other sectors of the economy.
Iowans have been through a lot over the last year, particularly with the pandemic. It’s not over yet, but it is time for the Legislature to do all it can to help Iowa build back better, bigger and stronger than ever. Our focus this session is on a COVID Recovery Plan to help Iowa rebound from the ravages of the last year.
Monday, two harmful bills are being rushed through the Senate Education Committee before Iowans have time to respond. SSB 1065 would divert taxes for public schools to private schools and SSB 1064 would make Iowa schools unsafe during the pandemic.
We propose using the state’s ending balance or the state’s “rainy day funds” to provide $30 million or more in immediate supplemental food assistance for Iowans directly and through food banks, food pantries, and other feeding entities in Iowa.
Senator Claire Celsi is formally requesting that Republican leaders in the Iowa Senate convene a Senate Government Oversight meeting. The Legislature must ensure that all CARES dollars are used properly. If the State fails to do so, Iowa could be required to return misspent money.
Instead of directing more money to testing and contact tracing, paid sick leave for essential workers, food assistance, childcare subsidies, additional money for rent assistance, unemployment insurance, utility assistance, providing PPE to healthcare workers and educators, and to help schools prepare for the winter season — and myriad of other uses — Governor Reynolds is using the CARES Act money as a means to fund pet projects and make Iowa’s budget appear flush with excess funds.
Key Democratic legislators are calling for investigations into reports that Governor Reynolds diverted nearly $450,000 to pay her staff instead of using the funds for COVID-19 relief efforts.
A quick list of the good, the bad and the ugly bills of the 2020 legislative session.