Posts Tagged ‘Iowa legislative session 2017’
Reprinted with permission from the Spring 2017 issue of The Prairie Progressive, Iowa’s oldest progressive newsletter.
by Prairie Dog
Bobby Kaufmann, Iowa House District 73, consistently presents himself as a moderate Republican.
“Just the fact that I have a great relationship with all the Democrats in the Johnson County delegation, I think that has been by far my biggest accomplishment.” (Iowa City Press Citizen, 5/12/16).
Here are four bills Rep. Kaufmann recently voted for in the current legislative session:
HHF 517, adding ‘stand your ground’ to Iowa’s gun laws
HF 291, gutting Iowa workers’ collective bargaining rights
HF 516, protecting Iowa from non-existent voter fraud
SF 166, allocating inadequate state aid to public schools
Two Democrats voted for the first one; no Democrats voted for the other three.
The Prairie Progressive is funded entirely by reader subscription, available only in hard copy for $12/yr. Send check to PP, Box 1945, Iowa City 52244.
Please keep speaking up for Iowans over the next week. Bad legislative proposals are still alive, and the Republican majority is rolling out their budget that contains cut after cut after cut.
You can find the e-mail addresses of legislators at www.legis.iowa.gov, call the Iowa Senate switchboard at 515-281-3371 or the Iowa House switchboard 515-281-3221 to leave messages for specific legislators, and call Governor Branstad’s office at 515-281-5211. See below for more details.
League of Women Voters’ Forum – Join me for our final legislative forum of the year this Saturday, April 15, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Mercy Hospital. This forum is sponsored by the League of Women Voters. It is an opportunity to submit questions and hear the responses of Linn County legislators.
Civic Literacy Workshop – I am planning to attend the “civic literacy workshop” at the Cedar Rapids Public Library this Saturday afternoon, April 15. The workshop is scheduled to run from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more details, visit this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/121808871693131/
Earth Day (April 22) and Climate March (April 29) – Make your plans now for Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, including Eco-Fest in the New Bo neighborhood of Cedar Rapids from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Peoples Climate March on Saturday, April 29, in multiple locations around Iowa. These are good opportunities to get more informed and more involved in support of clean energy, clean water, and a sustainable future. Let me know if you need help finding information about these events.
Take Action at the Iowa Legislature
Please keep speaking up with Iowa legislators and the public to stop bad policy proposals and to support state government that works for Iowans. You can attend a forum, e-mail, call, visit the Capitol, and speak up in public. Here are some of the key remaining issues in the 2017 legislative session:
Republican Budget Mess – After more than six years of Governor Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds, the state budget is a mess. In SF130, Republicans made major mid-year budget cuts, then directed the Governor to make more mid-year budget cuts. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds then proposed more cuts, and now legislative Republicans are cutting an additional $37.9 million.
These cuts are not because of a national or global recession; they are being caused because of bad budgeting decisions by Branstad and Reynolds and their failure to grow Iowa’s economy as they promised. These cuts will hurt Iowans and make our economy worse. Here are ten pending additional budget cuts on top of major mid-year cuts that will hurt Iowans:
1. Additional cuts to human services (another $26.9 million cut, now $137 million less than FY16)
2. Cut Assistance for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Survivors ($1.7 million cut)
3. Additional cuts to corrections ($1 million cut, now more than $7.3 million less than original FY17)
4. Additional cuts to University of Iowa (another $6.3 million cut, total funding now below 1998 level), UNI, and ISU
5. Cuts to the Iowa Flood Center ($300,000 cut)
6. Eliminate the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and its funding ($397,000 cut)
7. On top of major mid-year cuts to community colleges, eliminate line item for community college faculty salary support ($500,000 cut)
8. Cut REAP (Resource Enhancement and Protection) by 25% ($4 million cut)
9. Cut CRP/State Buffer Initiative by 10% ($100,000 cut), eliminate and scoop remaining funds from Watershed Improvement Review Program
10. Eliminate funding for dam safety mitigation & water trails ($1 million cut)
Keep Children’s Health Care (HAWK-I) Outreach – Call Governor Branstad’s office (515-281-5211) to ask him to veto House File 625 to show your support for health care coverage for children. That bill, which passed the Senate this week with only Republican votes, 29-19, would eliminate the line on the Iowa tax form that asks parents to indicate whether their children have health insurance coverage and allows them to apply for Medicaid or the HAWK-I program for their children. This has been a cost-effective approach to outreach to parents about public health care programs for children. The bill is opposed by the Child and Family Policy Center and the Iowa Chapter of Pediatricians and supported by no registered lobby groups. Speak up for access to children’s health insurance today.
No Exemption for Private Religious Boarding Schools – Please speak up with Senators to oppose SF443/HF602, which would exempt private religious boarding schools from meeting educational standards. Thanks to Senator Herman Quirmbach of Story County for highlighting the problems with this bill, and the Des Moines Register for reporting about them this week. It’s a bad idea, but especially bad when one of the schools has a history of abuse allegations.
Update on the “Dirty Dozen” – Here is a quick update on the “dirty dozen” – six have been signed into law, but you can still help make a difference on the other eight:
1. Gut Workers Compensation for Injured and Disabled Workers (HF518) – passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate, signed into law by Gov. Branstad
2. Take Away Local Minimum Wages and Reduce the Minimum Wage for Thousands of Iowans (HF295) – passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate, signed into law by Gov. Branstad
3. Prohibit Local “Pre-Qualification” for Bidding (SF438) – passed both Iowa Senate and Iowa House, signed today into law by Gov. Branstad
4. Circumvent “Buy American” on Local Road Projects (HF203) – passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate, signed into law by Gov. Branstad
5. New Government Barriers to Voting (HF516) – passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate, now eligible for signature by Governor – call Governor’s office at 515-281-5211
6. Make Planned Parenthood Ineligible for Medicaid Reimbursement (SF2) – passed Iowa Senate, still pending in Iowa House – may be part of Republican budget bill, so contact both House and Senate
7. Create Religious Exemptions for Boarding School Regulations (SF443/HF602) – passed the Iowa House, companion bill is pending in Iowa Senate – contact Iowa Senate
8. Expand Use of Firearms for Deadly Force (HF517) – passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate, signed into law today by Gov. Branstad
9. Unfunded Mandate on Local Officials to Enforce Immigration Laws (SF481) – passed Iowa Senate, now pending in Iowa House
10. Dismantle Des Moines Water Works (HF484/SF456) – still pending in both Iowa House and Iowa Senate – contact both House and Senate
11. End Bottle and Can Deposit Law (HF575/SSB1186) – pending in the Ways & Means Committee in both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate – contact committee members in both House and Senate
12. Restrict Right to Bring Nuisance Lawsuit (SF447) – passed Iowa Senate and Iowa House, signed into law by Governor Branstad
WEEKEND ADVOCACY ALERT
Here are ten issues you can raise this weekend with state legislators or Governor Branstad by call, email, or in person. Below is the Iowa Federation of Labor’s list of forums:
1. Budget proposals coming up that would cut overall budget $37.9 million below revised recommendations from Branstad and Reynolds which already contained deep cuts – speak up to stop cuts to education, health and human services, and public safety including corrections and survivors programs
2. New Government Barriers to Voting (HF516) – passed Iowa House, amended by Iowa Senate to shorten the window for absentee voting from 40 to 29 days, on calendar in Iowa House
3. Planned Parenthood Ineligible for Medicaid Reimbursement (SF2) – passed Iowa Senate, still pending in Iowa House – may be part of Republican budget bill in both House & Senate
4. Abortion Restrictions (SF471) – Passed Iowa Senate with fetal anomoly exception, passed Iowa House with amendment to strike fetal anomaly and impose minimum 72-hour waiting period before all abortions, now pending again in Iowa Senate
5. Create Religious Exemptions for Boarding School Regulations (SF443/HF602) – passed the Iowa House, companion bill is pending in Iowa Senate
6. Unfunded Mandate on Local Officials to Enforce Immigration Laws (SF481) – still pending in Iowa Senate, Iowa House version was sent back to committee
7. Dismantle Des Moines Water Works (HF484/SF456) – still pending in both Iowa House and Iowa Senate
8. Caps on Damages for Medical Malpractice Injuries (SF465) – Passed Iowa Senate, still pending in Iowa House
9. End Bottle and Can Deposit Law (HF575/SSB1186) – pending in the Ways & Means Committee in both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate
10. Firearms Bill (HF517) – Passed both Iowa House and Iowa Senate – contact Governor Branstad (515-281-5211) to urge him to veto law, like the South Dakota Governor, because of Capitol carry and other provisions to allow more use of deadly force.
WEEKEND FORUMS (SATURDAY, APRIL 8)
AMES – 8:30 am, Ames City Council Chambers, 515 Clark Ave, 2nd Floor.
ALTOONA – 10:00 am, Altoona Hy Vee Upper Level Meeting Room, 108 8th St SW
ANKENY – 9:00 am, Nevelin Building, Lunch Room, 406 SW School St.
BURLINGTON – 9:00 am, West Burlington City Hall, 122 Broadway
CARROLL – 10:00 am, Legislative Forum with Senator Mark Segebart & Representative Brian Best, Carroll Dental Associates, 1406 N Hwy 71, Carroll
COUNCIL BLUFFS – 9:00 am, Legislative Coffee with Council Bluffs Area Legislators at Wilson Middle School, in the Auditorium, 715 N 21st Street.
DENISON – 10:00 am, Cronks Cafe 812 4th Ave South
DES MOINES – 10:00 am, Northwest Community Center, 5110 Franklin Avenue.
ESSEX – 11:00 am, Essex City Hall Community Room, 412 Iowa Avenue.
INDIANOLA – 8:00 am, Indianola High School, West Cafe 1304 E 1st Avenue.
MASON CITY – 10:00 am, Mason City Public Library 225 2nd St. SE
NORWALK – 9:00 am, Norwalk CIty Hall, 705 North Avenue.
PRESCOTT – 3:00 pm, Prescott Public Library, 607 2nd Street
SPENCER – 10:30 am, Eggs & Issues at Spencer City Hall in the Council Chamber, 418 2nd Ave West.
WAUKEE – 9:30 am, Waukee City Hall, 230 West Hickman
Environmental Lobby Day & REAP Day at the Capitol 2017
Clean water, soil health, expanding access to clean energy, parks and trails, preserving wildlife habitat, growing wind, solar and energy efficiency in the state – these are some of the issues that will be front and center at Environmental Lobby Day and REAP Day at the Capitol 2017 Wednesday, March 29. Register today to join us:
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 8:30 AM – 1 PM
Iowa State Capitol
Leave a strong impression on policymakers as they head into the last few weeks of Session. Speak face-to-face with your legislators and share your personal story. Remind them that there is a broad base of support for sustainable funding, programs and policies that promote a healthy environment and continued clean energy leadership
Arrive first thing for a quick lobby training session at 8:30 in Room 116 for some tips for speaking with your legislator. For more information, including a schedule of events for the day, visit our event website.
Questions? Contact Development Director Judy Downs at email@example.com or at 515-244-1194 x202.
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Listen to the craziness from this gun lobbyist who is hard at work in the Iowa legislature. He is attacking Matt Windschitl, Republican and gun store owner for alleged “watering down” of ALEC gun laws they are attempting to force on Iowa. The gun lobby is creating fake fear and anger to incite Iowans to be for ALEC gun proliferation bills. We need to contact our legislators to fight the insanity attempting to be imposed on Iowa by ALEC, the NRA, and the gun lobby.