Author: Iowa Senate Democrats

Senate Republicans vote to shut out Iowans

Jan. 15, 2019

A Statement by Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen 

“For years, many Iowans wondered if legislative Republicans had stopped listening to their concerns.

“The action today by Senate Republicans demonstrates that they don’t want to listen to Iowans anymore.

“Every Republican Senator on the Human Resources Committee voted today to:

  • Eliminate the requirement that all subcommittees be open to the public.
  • Eliminate the requirement that the time and place of subcommittee meetings be posted 24 hours in advance.

“Democratic members of the Committee voted against the changes.

“Republican leaders have signaled that similar changes are planned for most other Senate committees.

“These changes are a shameful, deliberate attempt by Senate Republicans to cut more back-room deals and to keep taxpayers in the dark about what they are doing.”

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Senate Dem Leader on Governor’s Condition of the State address

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen shares her reaction to the Governor’s Condition of the State address with Sabrina Ahmed of WOI-TV News 5.

Iowa Senate News Release
For immediate release: January 15, 2019

 

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on Condition of the State address

“We are concerned that for the past two years, the Governor and legislative Republicans have pushed everyday Iowans – students, seniors, workers and women – to the back of the line. At the same time, Republicans allowed millionaires, big corporations and out-of-state MCOs to cut to the front of the line.

“We agree with the Governor when she says it’s time for her and others to deliver on their promises to fully fund mental health, rural revitalization and job training initiatives.

“When we can work with Republicans, we will. Our goal this session is to keep focused on improving the lives of everyday Iowans.  Our message to Iowans is this: ‘We work for you!’”

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UPDATED: 2019 Iowa Senate Democratic Committee Assignments

January 13, 2019

Senate Democrats release updated committee assignments for 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES — Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen released updated committee assignments today for Democratic State Senators for the 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature.

A statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on the updated assignments:

“In early December, I deferred making committee assignments for Senator Boulton until the Senate Ethics Committee completed its investigation into the complaint filed against him.

“Senator Boulton’s position in the Iowa Senate was preserved by the Senate Ethics Committee ruling.  He is expected to uphold the duties of his office while he remains in the Iowa Senate, including working on new committee assignments.”

The 88th General Assembly will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, January 14, 2019.

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Standing Committees

Agriculture

13 members

  1. Kinney –RM
  2. Mathis
  3. Ragan
  4. R. Taylor
  5. Wahls

 

Appropriations

21 members

  1. Bolkcom –RM
  2. Celsi
  3. Dotzler
  4. Lykam
  5. Mathis
  6. Ragan
  7. T. Taylor
  8. Wahls

 

Commerce

17 members

  1. Lykam – RM
  2. Bisignano
  3. Bolkcom
  4. Mathis
  5. Petersen
  6. Quirmbach

 

Education

15 members

  1. Quirmbach –RM
  2. Celsi
  3. Danielson
  4. Smith
  5. Wahls

 

Ethics

Statutory, 6 members; 3 each

  1. Jochum -RM
  2. Kinney
  3. Mathis

 

Government Oversight

5 members

  1. Bisignano –RM
  2. Celsi

 

Human Resources

13 members

  1. Mathis –RM
  2. Bolkcom
  3. Jochum
  4. Quirmbach
  5. Ragan

 

Judiciary

15 members

  1. Kinney –RM
  2. Bisignano
  3. Hogg
  4. Petersen
  5. R. Taylor

 

Labor & Business Relations

11 members

  1. T. Taylor –RM
  2. Bisignano
  3. Dotzler
  4. R. Taylor

 

Local Government

11 members

  1. J. Smith –RM
  2. Boulton
  3. Hogg
  4. Quirmbach

 

Natural Resources & Env.

13 members

  1. Hogg –RM
  2. Boulton
  3. Celsi
  4. Lykam
  5. J. Smith

 

Rules & Administration

11 members

  1. Petersen –RM
  2. Bolkcom
  3. Jochum
  4. Ragan

 

State Government

15 members

  1. Bisignano –RM
  2. Celsi
  3. Danielson
  4. Jochum
  5. T. Taylor

 

Transportation

13 members

  1. Danielson – RM
  2. Kinney
  3. Lykam
  4. J. Smith
  5. T. Taylor

 

Veterans Affairs

11 members

  1. R. Taylor – RM
  2. Danielson
  3. Dotzler
  4. Ragan

 

Ways & Means

17 members

  1. Jochum –RM
  2. Bolkcom
  3. Danielson
  4. Dotzler
  5. Quirmbach
  6. Wahls

 

Appropriations Subcommittees

Administration & Regulation

  1. Celsi –RM
  2. R. Taylor

 

Agriculture & Natural Resources

  1. Mathis –RM
  2. Kinney

 

Economic Development

  1. Dotzler- RM
  2. J. Smith

 

Education

  1. Wahls –RM
  2. Quirmbach

 

Health & Human Services

  1. Ragan –RM
  2. Bolkcom

 

Justice Systems

  1. Hogg- RM
  2. T. Taylor

 

Transportation, Capitals

  1. Lykam –RM
  2. Boulton

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ARRC

  1. Jochum –RM
  2. Hogg

Lackluster state revenue projections are bad news for Iowans

December 13, 2018

A Statement from Sen. Joe Bolkcom, Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, on latest revenue estimates

“These lackluster figures are more evidence that the Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans are putting the interests of Wall Street corporations, special
interests and millionaires ahead of what’s best for working Iowans.
“The result is that the Governor and the Republican-controlled Legislature will continue to make job training and higher education unaffordable for thousands of Iowans, to reduce protections for seniors and other vulnerable Iowans, and to make health care less accessible
for thousands of Iowans for the next two years.”

Senator-Elect Smith meets 2019 Intern Shelby Young

On Monday and Tuesday of this week, Senator-Elect Jackie Smith of Sioux City attended an orientation for new members of the Iowa House and Senate at Iowa Statehouse. Newly elected Democratic and Republican legislators met with veteran legislators, Governor Reynolds, and with nonpartisan staff members who help draft legislation and provide non-partisan reports on the budget and state issues.

In the Statehouse Rotunda, Smith met with legislative intern Shelby Young of Exira. Young is earning community college credit while helping lawmakers communicate with Iowans about statehouse issues.

2019 Iowa Senate Democratic Committee Assignments

DES MOINES– Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen released committee assignments today for Democratic State Senators for the 2019 session of the Iowa Legislature.

“Democratic Senators are committed to working with the Governor and Republican legislators on issues where we can find common ground over the next two years, especially ensuring Iowans have access to affordable health care and better-paying job opportunities,” Petersen said.
“However, if Republicans continue pushing an agenda that hurts the health care, education and pocketbooks of working Iowans, we will be fierce in our opposition.”

The 88th General Assembly will begin on Monday, January 14, 2019.

Standing Committees

Agriculture
13 total members
1. Kinney –RM
2. Mathis
3. Ragan
4. R. Taylor
5. Wahls

Appropriations
21 members
1. Bolkcom –RM
2. Celsi
3. Dotzler
4. Lykam
5. Mathis
6. Ragan
7. T. Taylor
8. Wahls

Commerce
15 members
1. Lykam – RM
2. Bisignano
3. Bolkcom
4. Mathis
5. Petersen
6. Quirmbach

Education
15 members
1. Quirmbach –RM
2. Celsi
3. Danielson
4. Smith
5. Wahls

Ethics
Statutory, 6 members; 3 each
1. Jochum -RM
2. Kinney
3. Mathis

Government Oversight
5 members
1. Bisignano –RM
2. Celsi

Human Resources
13 members
1. Mathis –RM
2. Bolkcom
3. Jochum
4. Quirmbach
5. Ragan

Judiciary
15 members
1. Kinney –RM
2. Bisignano
3. Hogg
4. Petersen
5. R. Taylor

Labor & Business Relations
11 members
1. T. Taylor –RM
2. Bisignano
3. Dotzler
4. R. Taylor

Local Government
11 members
1. J. Smith –RM
2. Hogg
3. Mathis
4. Quirmbach

Natural Resources & Env.
13 members
1. Hogg –RM
2. Bolkcom
3. Celsi
4. Lykam
5. J. Smith

Rules & Administration
11 members
1. Petersen –RM
2. Bolkcom
3. Jochum
4. Ragan

State Government
15 members
1. Bisignano –RM
2. Celsi
3. Danielson
4. Jochum
5. T. Taylor

Transportation
13 members
1. Danielson – RM
2. Kinney
3. Lykam
4. J. Smith
5. T. Taylor

Veterans Affairs
11 members
1. R. Taylor – RM
2. Danielson
3. Dotzler
4. Ragan

Ways & Means
17 members
1. Jochum –RM
2. Bolkcom
3. Danielson
4. Dotzler
5. Quirmbach
6. Wahls

Appropriations Subcommittees

Administration & Regulation
1. Celsi –RM
2. R. Taylor

Agriculture & Natural Resources
1. Mathis –RM
2. Kinney

Economic Development
1. Dotzler- RM
2. J. Smith

Education
1. Wahls –RM
2. Quirmbach

Health & Human Services
1. Ragan –RM
2. Bolkcom

Justice Systems
1. Hogg- RM
2. T. Taylor

Transportation, Capitals
1. Lykam –RM
2. Petersen

—————————————————–
ARRC
1. Jochum –RM
2. Hogg

Partial review of privatized Medicaid disaster doesn’t answer concerns

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  November 26, 2018

 

Statement from Senator Pam Jochum on partial review of Medicaid privatization disaster

“The partial review of the Medicaid privatization disaster by the departing State Auditor is a big pile of excuses with no good answers for Iowa taxpayers who are being ripped off.

“State Auditor Mary Mosiman joins a long line of Republican politicians – led by Governor Reynolds and Republican legislative leaders – who still cannot answer these simple questions:

  • What data is there to show that privatized Medicaid is making Iowans healthier?
  • What data is there to show how much the out-of-state corporations still owe Iowa hospitals, doctors and other health care providers for services provided to Medicaid members?

“We remain concerned that the unexpected $100 million increase in payments to the out-of-state corporations running Medicaid will result in further cuts and delayed payments to Iowa health care providers that provide critical services to hundreds of thousands of Iowans, as well as additional cuts to education, health care and public safety to cover the additional payments to the corporations.

“We hope that the Governor and legislative leaders of both parties will work with the newly elected State Auditor, Rob Sand, to open up the books and give Iowans an honest assessment of the impact of privatized Medicaid on Iowa taxpayers, Medicaid members and health care providers.

“Finally, we renew our call for Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans to finally reverse course and join legislative Democrats in supporting a return to a more efficient, publicly managed system.”

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Senate Dems select leadership team

Iowa Senate News Release
For immediate release: November 11, 2018  

 

Democratic members of the Iowa Senate re-elected Sen. Janet Petersen today to serve as the Democratic Leader of the Iowa Senate.

Senator Petersen released this statement:

“I am honored to have the continued support of my fellow Democratic Senators.”

“For the past two years, the Republican-led Senate pushed through damaging policies that helped out-of-state companies and special interests instead of hard-working Iowa families.

“Senate Democrats will continue standing up for Iowans. We believe every Iowan – regardless of whether they live in rural areas, small towns, urban or suburban parts of our state – deserves access to affordable health care, strong public schools, and the chance to get ahead in life.

“We will work with the Governor and Republican legislators on issues where we can find common ground over the next two years. But, if we continue to see Republicans push an agenda that hurts the health care, education, and financial security of working Iowans, we will be fierce in our opposition.”

The new Democratic leadership team consists of these Senators:

  • Democratic Leader, Senator Janet Petersen, Des Moines
  • Democratic Whip, Senator Amanda Ragan, Mason City
  • Assistant Leaders:
    • Senator Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City
    • Senator Bill Dotzler, Waterloo
    • Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque
    • Senator Liz Mathis, Hiawatha
    • Senator Herman Quirmbach, Ames
    • Senator Rich Taylor, Mount Pleasant

Petersen is in her second term in the Iowa Senate after serving six terms in the Iowa House. She represents Senate District 18 in northwest Des Moines.

In 2008, Petersen founded a nonprofit organization with four other central Iowa women called Healthy Birth Day. The organization, best known for its Count the Kicks campaign, is devoted to preventing stillbirths and improving birth outcomes.

Petersen and her husband Brian Pattinson have three children.

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Is rationing health care the Iowa GOP’s secret plan to “fix” Medicaid mess?

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

In the final days of the 2018 campaign, a Northwest Iowa State Senator may have mistakenly released the Republican Party of Iowa’s secret plan to “fix” the Medicaid privatization mess.

During a forum last week sponsored by the Sioux City Rotary Club, State Senator Jim Carlin of Sioux City proposed rationing health care for Medicaid recipients.

Carlin specifically said lawmakers should “look into limiting the number of doctor visits” by people on Medicaid.

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen called Carlin’s proposal “mean-spirited and dangerous.”

“This is another example of a politician playing doctor,” Petersen said. “The last thing that Iowa parents need is to be worried about politicians placing arbitrary caps on the number of times their children can visit the family doctor for an ear infection, a broken arm or diabetes. And how could the Legislature and Governor limit the number of doctor visits for disabled Iowans or those with chronic illnesses? That’s mean-spirited and dangerous.”

Throughout 2017 and 2018, Governor Reynolds and other Republican leaders acknowledged “mistakes were made” with Medicaid privatization, but they have offered no solutions for reversing course on a change that has turned over health care management for hundreds of thousands of Iowans to out-of-state corporations.

As a result, the Reynolds Administration, Senator Carlin and others in the Republican-controlled Legislature have led an effort that has:

  1. Cut and delayed payments to Iowa health care providers that provide critical services to hundreds of thousands of Iowans.
  2. Made health care services even less accessible to Medicaid members.
  3. Shifted more than $100 million away from education, health care and public safety to cover the additional payments to out-of-state corporations.

“Make no mistake about it, Senator Carlin’s plan would cost Iowa taxpayers more money in the long run and would further endanger the health and safety of Iowans,” Petersen said.

Read the full Sioux City Journal article: https://tinyurl.com/yd4oouq2

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