Republicans Waging Quiet War On Iowa’s Universities This Session

Guest post from Eric Saylor Statehouse Republicans have mounted several high-profile legislative attacks on their political opponents this session, Planned Parenthood and public sector unions chief among them. However, Republicans are also pursuing their goals through much quieter channels, though no less devastating ones. In some cases, poisonous measures are nestled within the text of a ...
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Republicans Have Brought Authoritarian Rule To Iowa Statehouse

Guest post from former Senator Dennis Black I served 12 years in the Iowa House and 20 in the Iowa Senate, basically parts of Jasper and Polk Counties.  I retired in 2015, with Senator Chaz Allen seeking and winning the seat. I thought I'd observed and experienced just about everything until watching the deliberations and actions of legislators on Senate File 213 and House File 291, bills that...
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The Special Interest Fix Was In For Iowa Workers

Guest post from House Leader Mark Smith The last two weeks have been the most contentious in my 17 years in the Legislature. In just 10 days, Republican lawmakers and Governor Branstad unraveled Iowa’s successful, bipartisan collective bargaining law. After watching the events unfold the last week and a half, what we’ve learned is that the fix was in long before Iowans ever saw the bill....
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Running For Iowa School Boards More Important Than Ever Now

Guest post from Josh Hughes, Iowa's youngest school board member It has been a rough, rough few weeks for public education both in Iowa and nationwide. Last Monday, Iowa House and Senate Republicans underfunded Iowa schools with a meager 1.1% increase in public education allocations, the third-lowest amount since 1973. Then on Tuesday the United States Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos, a wom...
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The List Of Corporate Donors That Bought Collective Bargaining Vote

If you turned on your TV in Iowa recently, you'd think we're back in campaign season. Priorities for Iowa is running many TV ads in support of Republicans' union-busting, anti-collective bargaining bill. The group's other operations have been funded by giant corporate sponsors from outside the state. Why have giant corporate hedge funds, coal companies, real estate moguls, bankers, pharmaceut...
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Democrats Fight To “The Bitter End” On Collective Bargaining

Democrats stalled the vote on Republicans' fast-tracked bill to gut Iowa's collective bargaining bill for as long as they could, but the legislation eventually prevailed this afternoon. Senate File 213 passed on a 29-21 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor. All Democrats were opposed, as well as Republican-turned-Independent David Johnson. Six Republicans broke rank in the Iowa House o...
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Minnesota Schools Say They’ll Start Poaching Iowa Teachers

In the waning hours of Iowa's collective bargaining debate, neighboring states are warning (or perhaps trolling) the inevitable outcome for Iowa workers. A Minnesota superintendent whose district is near the Iowa border sent around a letter to media to inform people of his plan to start luring Iowa teachers north. Joseph Brown, Sr., who served as an Iowa state senator in the 1980s, explained h...
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Republicans Vote To Kill Debate On Collective Bargaining In House

The debate over the collective bargaining bill will end at noon today in the Iowa House and 2:00 PM in the Iowa Senate, after Republicans passed on a party line vote a "time certain" measure to finish then. House Democrats offered amendments to extend debate until next week, which failed, and then to extend it simply to tomorrow, which also failed. Ending debate in such a manner is rarely use...
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What Republicans USED To Say About Iowa’s Collective Bargaining Law

The Iowa House and Senate are set tonight to ram through the Republican bill that thoroughly dismantles Iowa's collective bargaining law. Speaker Linda Upmeyer and Senate Leader Bill Dix have been steadfast in their support for the legislation, saying it modernizes public worker employment laws and benefits taxpayers. Governor Terry Branstad dismissed concerns of those public workers by simply say...
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Police Officers: “We Didn’t Vote Republican To Get Stabbed In The Back”

In the highly contentious battle to extinguish public worker rights, Iowa Republicans have attempted a divide-and-conquer approach to pit unions against each other. Their legislation splits public workers into two groups, one that's "public safety workers," and one that isn't. The idea was to strip away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public employees, but keep most of it for ...
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