Republican legislators are moving swiftly on their just-released bill that would make vast changes to Iowa’s collective bargaining law. The House will fast-track the bill through both a labor subcommittee and the full committee today. The Senate brings it up in subcommittee today and will hold their full committee vote on Thursday.
Legislators on both sides expect the final vote in the House and Senate to come early next week.
The identical pieces of legislation – House Study Bill 84 and Senate File 213 – are 68 pages long each. Republicans crafted the sweeping alterations behind closed doors, with no input from or consultation with Democrats on the labor committees, nor with any union members.
Union leaders and Democratic legislators spent much of the day on Tuesday simply trying to figure out what all the changes meant. With the quick timetable that Republicans plan on ramming the bill through the Statehouse with their one-party rule, it will be practically impossible for much meaningful public discussion.
Republican candidates also did not highlight collective bargaining changes in their campaigns before Iowa voters in 2016, despite the massive impact to Iowa workers the legislation will have. Had they done so, voters might have been able to make a more informed decision on whether this is where they want their state to go. Instead, Republicans talked a lot in their campaigns about supporting education. The Legislature passed the third-lowest increase in public education funding since 1973 last week.
Union members filled the Statehouse on Tuesday and are being encouraged to rally once again for the various committee hearings. Here’s the details:
House Subcommittee Vote On HSB 84
8:45 AM Wednesday
House Committee Vote On HSB 84
3:00 PM Wednesday
Senate Subcommittee Vote On SF 213
11:30 AM Wednesday
Senate Committee Vote On SF 213
1:30 PM Thursday
by Pat Rynard