Tag: Issues

Senate Dem Leader on passage of GOP tax scheme

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  May 5, 2018 


“Republicans passed a tax giveaway bill today that gives most of the benefits to out-of-state companies and millionaires.  It’s a bad deal for most Iowans. It will raise property taxes on families, seniors and small businesses, and it will result in cuts to health care, job creation, education and other critical services.

“Senate Democrats came into the 2018 session promising to support tax reform that would:

  1. Make the tax system fairer for working families and small businesses
  2. Make Iowa businesses more competitive
  3. Take into account our current budget crisis
  4. Tackle corporate tax giveaways, the fastest growing part of the state budget

“By every measure, the tax plan unveiled in the 11th hour of the 2018 session and passed by the Senate today fails every one of those tests. That’s because the bill is filled with giveaways to millionaires, wealthy corporations and people who don’t even live in Iowa.”

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2018 End-of-Session Report

The Democratic plan for 2018 calls for Putting Iowans First

  • Investing in public schools & preventing more school closures
  • Keeping job training & college affordable for all Iowans
  • Making child care more affordable for working parents & those training for better jobs
  • Raising wages for Iowans
  • Increasing use of renewable energy & fuels
  • Revitalizing rural Iowa with good jobs & a great quality of life
  • Examining tax breaks for big, out-of-state corporations that put the state budget in the red & don’t create Iowa jobs
  • Requiring the Senate GOP to pay for their $1.75 million sexual harassment suit instead of taxpayers
  • Ending privatized Medicaid, especially for our most vulnerable Iowans
  • Keeping health care affordable & accessible for all Iowans
  • Fixing & investing in Iowa’s mental health system
  • Cleaning up the corruption & cronyism in state government

 Gov. Reynolds & Republican lawmakers: Misplaced priorities & mismanagement

  • Instituting the most restrictive abortion ban in the country (SF 359)
  • Slashing investment in skilled worker initiatives (SF 2117, HF 2493)
  • Making record-low investments in public schools (HF 2230)
  • Sending more money to out‐of‐state, for‐profit online schools (SF 475)
  • Raising tuition & reducing opportunities with millions in mid‐year cuts to community colleges & state universities (SF 2117)
  • Allowing unregulated health care plans that can deny people based on pre‐existing conditions (SF 2349)
  • Reducing services at county courthouses with mid‐year cuts (SF 2117)
  • Cutting $4.3 million from an already strapped Department of Human Services (SF 2117)
  • Eliminating protections in current gun ownership laws (HJR 2009)
  • Banning sanctuary cities even though Iowa doesn’t have any (SF 481)
  • Putting Iowans’ safety at risk with lower inspection standards (HF 2297)
  • Cutting energy efficiency programs & discriminating against renewable energy options (SF 2311)
  • Passing a huge tax giveaway that overwhelmingly benefits corporations & the wealthy (SF 2417)
  • Failing to extend funding for school infrastructure & providing more than $100 million in property tax relief with SAVE (HF 2481)
  • Failing to take advantage of industrial help as a promising agricultural commodity (SF 2398)
  • Allowing doctors to give incomplete information to pregnant women (SF 2418)


Several bipartisan bills were approved

  • Requiring ignition interlocks & no temporary license restrictions for OWIs (HF 2338)
  • Ensuring health care coverage for telemedicine services (HF 2305)
  • Expanding mental health services for complex needs (HF 2456)
  • Expanding Move Over law to make the roads safer (HF 2304)
  • Expanding consumer security freezes to protect credit (SF 2177)
  • Expanding Safe Haven laws (SF 360)
  • Helping more veterans by expanding the Veterans Trust Fund (SF 2366)
  • Creating security plans for all Iowa schools (SF 2364)
  • Prohibiting shaming of students who can’t pay for their lunch (HF 2467)
  • Protecting student athletes with new concussion protocols (HF 2442)
  • Requiring suicide prevention training for school employees (SF 2113)
  • Cracking down on electronic forms of identity theft (HF 2199)
  • Licensing for genetic counselors (SF 2228) & autism counselors (SF 192)
  • Enhancing funding for EMS transportation (HF 2285) & 911 HF 2254)
  • Establishing Future Ready plan to train more skilled workers (HF 2458)
  • Expanding work background checks for those with access to personal info (HF 2321, HF 637)
  • Cracking down on electronic eavesdropping (HF 2392)
  • Expanding help through Crime Victims Compensation Fund (SF 2165)
  • Giving schools (HF 2441) & communities (SF 2258) flexibility with certain funding to meet local needs
  • Improving teaching for those with dyslexia (SF 2360)
  • Approving a plan to start combatting Iowa’s opioid crisis (HF 2377)
  • Providing sharing incentives for schools to improve efficiency & save money (HF 633)
  • Protecting the privacy of student data (HF 2354)
  • Taking a first step toward fairer funding for rural schools with high transportation costs (SF 455)


Good news: These GOP bills failed

  • Raising property taxes & reducing local services by ending the state’s property tax backfill for local governments & school districts (SF 2420)
  • Shifting $200 million from public schools to private & home schools through vouchers (SF 2091)
  • Eliminating the Iowa Department of Public Health (HF 2017)
  • Reinstating the death penalty (SF 335)
  • Instituting political discrimination for university faculty (SF 288)
  • Intimidating abortion providers to limit health care choices for women (SF 26)
  • Ending retirement security for public employees, including teachers, fire fighter, & police officers (IPERS, PORS & 411) (SF 45)
  • Defining abortion as murder, even in cases of rape or incest (SF 54)
  • Putting Bible literacy classes in public schools (HF 2031)
  • Removing gender identity protections from Iowa Civil Rights Code (HF 2164)
  • Making Iowa Supreme Court Justices part‐time & paying them like lawmakers (HF 2036)
  • Giving Iowans a “license to discriminate” against fellow citizens who are different from them (SF 2338)
  • Creating new requirements & drug testing for recipients of Medicaid, FIP & SNAP, while limiting food items (SF 2370)
  • Requiring a super‐majority vote for Iowa Supreme Court decisions (SF 2282)
  • Ending state accreditation for community colleges (SF 2272)
  • Extending school bus riding times for K-12 students (SF 2137)

Senate Dem Leader on Reynolds signing extreme abortion restrictions

May 4, 2018

“This new law is another dangerous example of politicians dictating health care decisions for Iowa women.

“In the past two years, Governor Reynolds and other the Republican-controlled Legislature have made our state more dangerous for Iowa women. Instead of improving health care access for women, Governor Reynolds and the Republican-controlled Legislature have pushed through policies that put more women at risk, including:

  • Making it harder for women to prevent pregnancies by gutting Iowa’s highly successful family planning program.
  • Supporting a privatized Medicaid system — which serves nearly half of all pregnant moms — that isn’t paying bills for providers across our state.
  • Prohibiting many of the state’s most highly qualified providers from participating in their GOP Family Planning program while the families of Republican legislators could see whomever they chose under their taxpayer funded health insurance program.
  • Cutting home visits for at-risk newborn babies and their mothers.

“This new law is extreme because it restricts the  freedom of Iowa women and girls to care for their bodies, and it forces motherhood on Iowa women.

“This new law is dangerous.

“This new law is unconstitutional.”


Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen spoke against SF 359, the nation’s most extreme anti-woman law during debate on May 2, 2018.