Author: Iowa Senate Democrats

Statement from Sen. Pam Jochum on passing of Sarah Jochum, her daughter

August 31, 2018

Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque and her daughter, Sarah, in the Iowa Senate Chamber on March 20, 2018.

“As we mourn Sarah’s passing, our family is also celebrating the impact that Sarah had for 41 years on our lives and the lives of so many Iowans.

“Sarah taught all of us about unconditional love.

“Sarah loved everyone and touched so many hearts.

“People who met Sarah were moved to help their fellow Iowans through such careers as nursing, social work and special education.

“Because Sarah had a parent in the Legislature her entire life, she made an impact on Iowans in other ways. She helped us bring an advocacy and a passion to the Capitol that continues today.

“Even in death, Sarah is creating new, life-changing stories because her organs will be donated to recipients across the country.

“Our entire family sends out a big ‘thank you’ to Iowans and others for their outpouring of support during this difficult time.

“We will miss Sarah….but we know that she lives on in each of us.”

What happens when you privatize Medicaid?

In a video released Sunday, AJ+ looks at “what happens when a state puts a crucial social safety net in the hands of for-profit companies.”

It’s a devastating report on Iowa’s Medicaid privatization that features Senator Pam Jochum of Dubuque, as well as Iowans who are suffering under the #MedicaidMess.

It’s got people all over the country scratching their heads and asking, “What is wrong with Iowa?”


Petersen: Medicaid increase is GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on GOP’s ‘gut punch’ to Iowa taxpayers 

“Iowa families, health care providers and taxpayers received a gut punch today because of the mismanagement of privatized Medicaid by Governor Reynolds, Senate Republicans and House Republicans.

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

“Taxpayers are being hurt because they must now pay an additional $342.2 million to out-of-state corporations that are running Medicaid and Iowa’s heath care system into the ground.

“In order to balance the state budget, Governor Reynolds and Republican legislators are unfortunately likely to

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

“The best option would be 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.

“We all know for-profit Medicaid has been a disaster for Iowa families and health care providers. Now we know that it is a bigger disaster for the state budget and Iowa taxpayers.”

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Senate Dem Leader on passing of Congressman Boswell

August 17, 2018

Statement from Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen on the passing of Congressman Leonard Boswell 

“Leonard Boswell served the state of Iowa and our nation with distinction. As a State Senator, as Iowa Senate President and a member of the U.S. House, Leonard fought hard for his constituents and for the best interest of the state that he loved.

“In Congress, he supported expanding access to affordable health care, providing better service to our veterans, and making higher education affordable for working Iowan families.

“The thoughts and prayers of the Iowa Senate family go out to Dody and the entire Boswell family.”

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Leonard Boswell Visitation and Funeral Service Details

The Boswell family would like to inform the public of the following services celebrating the life of Congressman Leonard Boswell.

A visitation and viewing will occur on Friday, August 24, 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Community of Christ Church at 531 West Main Street, Lamoni, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2018 beginning at 10:30 AM at the Shaw Center on the campus of Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. The Shaw Center is located at 1 University Place, Lamoni, Iowa at the center of campus. There is ample parking nearby.

Immediately following the funeral, there will be a procession to Rose Hill Cemetery in Lamoni where the Congressman will be laid to rest with full military honors and graveside religious services. Rose Hill Cemetery is located on the west side of Lamoni on West Main Street.

Following the burial, the Boswell family will be hosting a party at the family farm to celebrate Congressman Boswell’s life, complete with food, drinks, and fireworks. The address of the farm is 28308 177th Avenue, Davis City, Iowa 50065.

Members of the press are welcome to attend all events.

Slade Funeral Home of Leon, Iowa is handling the arrangements. The funeral home may be contacted at 103 NE Mill Street, Leon, Iowa 50144. The phone number for the funeral home is 641-446-6211.

In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing a scholarship at Graceland University in honor of Congressman Boswell that will benefit young people interested in studying agriculture.

Donations to the scholarship fund may be sent to directly to Slade Funeral Home.

Press or dignitary inquiries may be directed to Grant Woodard at 515-557-0633 or at [email protected].

Two new laws will help protect your credit

1. Credit reporting agencies cannot charge fees when you freeze checks on your credit reports 

In the Equifax security breach last year, hackers stole Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and other personal information from 1.1 million Iowans.

Wary of identity theft, many consumers requested a freeze on their credit reports. They then learned that they had to pay a fee to get the freeze and pay again if they wanted to lift the freeze. Iowans have been paying some of the highest freeze-related fees in the nation, according to the state Attorney General.

This year, we banned Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and other credit reporting agencies from charging fees when Iowans freeze checks on their credit reports (SF 2177). Freezing prevents anyone, including an identity thief, from opening a new line of credit in your name. If you need to apply for a credit card, loan or job that requires a background check, you can have the freeze lifted, even temporarily.


2. Tougher penalties for criminals who use technology to steal your credit card

We’re also cracking down on illegally using technology to steal payment card information (HF 2199).

Criminals can access your credit and debit cards remotely through your clothes, wallet or purse, or place nearly undetectable “skimming devices” on gas pumps and other card readers that steal your information. Your card information can even be transferred to another card for the thieves to use later.

It is now a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison to use a scanning device to take payment card information without authorization, or to use an encoding machine to transfer information from one card to another. In addition, it will be an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison to possess a scanning device intended to obtain payment card information without authorization.


Find helpful tips to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft on the Iowa Attorney General’s website. 

Proposal to close UI Labor Center is “latest gut punch” to Iowa workers

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  July 10, 2018  


Senator Joe Bolkcom statement on University of Iowa’s announcement of center closures and furloughs

“I am disappointed in the news about the center closures and furloughs.

“I am deeply disappointed at the proposed closure the UI Labor Center. This proposal is the latest gut punch to Iowa workers and their families. This is a terrible time to even consider closing the UI Labor Center.

“Since 1950, the Labor Center has helped make Iowa a better place to live and do business. It has helped workers and Iowa employers meet the changing workforce needs of the state. As an interdisciplinary educational and research center, it has helped educate students and advance the public’s understanding of work during a time of rapid change.

“It has also has leveraged its state appropriation in securing competitive federal grants for the university.

“While there is no doubt that the University of Iowa is under financial pressure because of the bad budget priorities of Governor Reynolds and the Republican Legislature, I hope that President Harreld will change his mind and reconsider this ill-advised decision that would only worsen Iowa’s efforts to build a strong, modern economy that rewards hard work.”




Dem Leaders: Labor Center will close because of misplaced GOP priorities

Iowa Legislative News Release
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2018   

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen and House Democratic Leader Mark Smith
on plans to close Labor Center and other centers at University of Iowa because of GOP budget cuts and priorities

“This afternoon, we sent separate letters to (a) Governor Reynolds, Leader Whitver and Speaker Upmeyer and (b) University of Iowa President Harreld and Board of Regent President Richards to object to plans to close the Labor Center and other centers at the University of Iowa.

“We encouraged Republican leaders to contact University officials and the Board of Regents to encourage them to reverse course.

“Our letter stated: ‘This is not the first negative consequence of your fiscal mismanagement and Iowans know it won’t be the last. The budgets you have approved for our three universities have already raised tuition on working families and this decision to close the Labor Center is another attack on Iowa workers.’

“We added: ‘At a time when Iowa’s income growth and job creation efforts have failed to meet expectations, the Labor Center has the potential to provide policymakers with timely information about today’s rapidly changing economic and legal environment, about how best to create and preserve quality jobs, and about how to strengthen workers’ rights.’


Senate Dem Leader on passing of former Governor Bob Ray

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: July 9, 2018   


Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen
on the passing of former Governor Bob Ray 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of former Governor Bob Ray.

“Governor Ray was a model leader who served with style, courage and humility to make our state a better place.

“By listening and working with Democrats and Republicans in the Capitol, Governor Ray was able to accomplish amazing things, including strengthening the rights of workers, making Iowa a welcoming state for immigrants and refugees, expanding the rights of voters, cleaning up the environment, and increasing opportunities for working Iowa families to improve their lives.

“Rest in peace, Governor Ray.”


More Medicaid mess: Iowans lose access to dental care

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  June 29, 2018  

Statement from Sen. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City
on latest evidence that Medicaid privatization is a disaster 

“The Medicaid privatization disaster just got much, much worse with the decision by the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry to stop taking new adult Medicaid patients starting July 1.

“Oral health is the number one unmet need in Iowa adults. The College of Dentistry has stepped up to meet this need by being the provider of dental care to more than 8,000 adult Medicaid patients.

“The decision by Governor Reynolds and her profit-making, out-of-state MCOs to lower reimbursements, delay payments and create mounds of red tape has made it extremely difficult for dentists and the College of Dentistry to continue to serve patients in need of dental care.

“Governor Reynolds, Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver and House Speaker Linda Upmeyer need to show leadership by pulling the plug on a privatization effort that has failed Medicaid members, health care providers and taxpayers.”

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