New Poll: Central Iowa Overwhelmingly Backs Water Works

In the midst of a bitter legislative fight over who should control the Des Moines metro’s water supply, local residents strongly back the Des Moines Water Works’ ability to stay independent, a new poll finds. Harper Polling, in a survey sponsored by Water Works, found that only 15% of Des Moines metro voters support the Republican proposal to dismantle the water utility’s board. During this session rural Republican legislators have pushed to dissolve the Des Moines Water Works board and create a regional water association that includes West Des Moines and Urbandale. This has largely been seen as a retaliation […]

Iowa Republicans’ Workers Comp Bill May Be Cruelest Yet

Throughout this year’s Iowa legislative session, Republicans have introduced and passed a myriad of bills restricting workers’ rights and protections, as well as finding new ways to cut Iowans’ wages. This week the focus is on Republicans’ workers compensation proposal, which would gut most of the ways Iowans can get reimbursed for legitimate injuries sustained at the workplace. But this time the Republicans may have gone too far, and rumors of division in their ranks have percolated up at the Statehouse. The workers compensation bill was expected to be brought up in the House as early as late last week, but the […]

Stake For Working People High In SCOTUS Nomination Of Gorsuch

Guest post from Ken Sagar, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor Decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have a direct impact on the livelihoods of working people – the right to a discrimination-free workplace, to safe working conditions, to be paid for the hours worked, to join with co-workers to form a union, and so much more. The stakes for working people are high in who fills this vacancy on the Supreme Court. In recent years, the Supreme Court has decided significant cases, often by the narrowest of margins, with a dramatic impact on working people. The Court […]

Waterloo Legislator Ras Smith Demonstrates Danger Of Stand Your Ground

The Iowa House passed the Republican omnibus gun bill yesterday, but not before many Democratic legislators made impassioned pleas to vote it down. The most striking moment came when first-term Representative Ras Smith showed his colleagues how he could easily be seen as a “threat” under the new law, donning a grey hoodie and headphones. The 29-year-old Smith hails from Waterloo, where racial tensions continue to be a problem. “While I agree that we are created equal, I do not agree that all Iowans are treated equal, or protected equally,” Smith said Tuesday afternoon. “While as a young man playing […]

As Voter ID Bill Advances, Iowans Slam Paul Pate For 5,842 Uncounted Votes

Secretary of State Paul Pate’s “election integrity” bill is scheduled to come to a vote in the Iowa House tonight, though a long-running discussion on the gun omnibus bill may push it into tomorrow. Either way, passage is coming soon for the wide-ranging election legislation that adds voter ID requirements, signature verification, shortens the timeframe for absentee ballot requests, and adds electronic poll books and a new election auditing system. At a public hearing last night, many Iowans pointed out the disconnect between Paul Pate’s focus on nearly nonexistent fraud when 5,842 votes went uncounted in Dallas County in 2016. Matt […]

Residents Warn Water Works Bill Will Lead To Flint, Michigan Conditions

Hundreds of worried Central Iowa residents flooded the Iowa Statehouse Monday morning for a public hearing on the Republican bill to dismantle Des Moines Water Works. Opponents to House File 848 outnumbered supporters 177 to 8 on the speakers list beforehand. Dozens of Des Moines-area residents, local elected officials and water board members – both from Central Iowa and around the state – blasted the legislation as dangerous and as a retaliation for the Des Moines Water Work’s federal lawsuit against polluting Northwest Iowa counties. “Iowa has serious water pollution problems and there is widespread consensus that agricultural pollution is a significant […]

Coming Up Next At The Iowa Statehouse: School Vouchers

Guest post from House Leader Mark Smith According to the special interests running the show for Republicans at the State Capitol these days, the next priority of the Iowa Legislature will be vouchers that siphon funding from public schools and give it to home schools and private schools. They convinced a Republican State Senator to introduce their bill and it may get a hearing yet this week.  Their plan will take away over $200 million from public schools and shift it to home schools and private schools instead.  If it’s approved, the end result will be a disaster — school […]

College Students Concerned New Voter ID Law Will Disenfranchise Them

Secretary of State Paul Pate’s voter suppression bill is making its way through the Statehouse this week. It passed through a House committee late last night after Democrats attempted to overwhelm Republicans with amendments, dragging the vote to just before midnight. Iowa’s college students have been particularly concerned about how it will impact their right to vote in the state. A group of Simpson College students sent the following letter to legislators this week:   Dear Chair Rizer and Ranking Member Mascher: As Vote Everywhere Ambassadors with the Andrew Goodman Foundation at Simpson College, we would like to express our […]

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 woman whose only notable contribution to the world of education has primarily been monetary gifts to the Republican Party. Finally, this week Republicans at the Iowa Capitol, after ignoring thousands of calls and emails in opposition to the […]

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, pharmaceutical companies, agricultural conglomerates and the World Wrestling Association spent over $1 million to influence Iowans? Many of these donors are multi-billionaires that give to Republican candidates and support the ALEC agenda. What do these corporate giants expect to get for their investment? […]