Iowa Republicans Take Aim At Loosening Even More Gun Laws

This week’s Moral Monday at the Capitol focused on several proposed Republican gun bills as well as the consequences of the ones they passed in 2017. The discussion was led by Representative Tim Kacena (D-Sioux City) and Scott Peterson, Chair of Iowans for Gun Safety. Over a dozen Democratic legislators attended and participated in the noon meeting. Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate are continuing their goal of increasing the availability of guns and weakening gun control measures. They have again introduced a constitutional amendment that poses a serious danger to the public. It goes beyond the Second Amendment […]

This Must Be The Health Care Congress

A guest post from State Representative Liz Bennett of Cedar Rapids. Just days after the new 116th Congress began, Republicans’ efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been on full view for all once again. House Democrats introduced a resolution authorizing the House Counsel to intervene in a Texas lawsuit filed by Republican state officials and backed by the Trump Administration. The suit, which won in December and will likely face a number of appeals, would dissolve the ACA in its entirety, which would be worse than any repeal bill that has come before Congress. Every Democrat voted […]

Grinnell College Risks Its Reputation With Labor Dispute

What is Grinnell College thinking in its fight with its own students over a labor rights dispute? The liberal arts school located in the middle of Iowa has refused to bargain with the student workers union on campus and is trying to quash its effort to cover more students. The fallout from a National Labor Relations Board decision that Grinnell is seeking could have serious consequences for students’ union rights all across the country. If you haven’t followed the recent developments, the Des Moines Register has covered the conflict here. The gist of the story is this: student workers voted […]

68% Of Trump’s Farm Bailout Goes To Richest 10%

President Trump is forcing the nation’s taxpayers to subsidize his reckless tariffs with a $12 billion giveaway to farmers. Even though Trump’s punishing tariffs are a huge mistake, one could argue that farmers alone shouldn’t bare the resulting economic pain Trump inflicted upon them. Protecting and preserving small family farms has always been an important goal of Democrats. That’s why revelations that the bulk of the Trump bailout is benefiting rich individuals, wealthy investors, large corporations, and farm-estate heirs rather than small farmers is simply unacceptable. According to the Environmental Working Group, in the first round of bailout payments made […]

Time To Reverse Iowa’s Extreme Stance On Voting Rights Restoration

We Iowans like to think of ourselves as the true occupants of middle America, the geographic and societal equivalent of Baby Bear’s porridge. We are not as conservative as some sections of our country, nor as liberal as other sections. We don’t have the wealth that some regions do. We don’t have the poverty that is found elsewhere. But clearly, Iowa is out of step with other states when it comes to a basic right — the right to vote in our elections. This was brought home in dramatic fashion on Election Day when voters in Florida, by a staggering […]

Trump’s “Make America Rake Again” Ignites Climate Change Debate

The devastating California wildfires should completely erase any skepticism about the crisis of climate change. However, President Trumps suggested that the fires resulted because America isn’t raking its forests and dismissed climate change as a major cause. It seems incomprehensible America could have a Commander-in-Chief so ignorant of science or the basic facts about forest management and climate change. While visiting fire devastated areas in California last week, Trump suggested he got the raking idea after talking to the President of Finland. “I was with the President of Finland and he said we have — much different — we are […]

Planning A Run For President? First Protect New Medicare Part D Plan

A guest post from Ro Foege, former state representative and AARP executive council member. The Iowa Caucuses are just around the corner, and presidential candidates will be flocking to the Hawkeye State in droves over the coming months, touting their voting record and stances on the issues, including healthcare. When it comes to prescription drug costs, opinions are abundantly clear across the U.S. – everyday Americans are being charged outrageous prices. Nobody should have to choose between buying food for their loved ones and paying for prescription drugs they need to keep themselves well. However, it is the reality that […]

Iowa Needs More Than Just The Big Regents Schools

Iowa is speeding toward a dangerous crossroads this week, and there has been too little discussion about what might occur and zero discussion about what the state should do. Trustees of Iowa Wesleyan University, the second-oldest college in Iowa, meet on Thursday to decide whether the institution will close next spring. The Mount Pleasant school has been educating young men and women since 1842. It was established four years before Iowa became a state and five years before the University of Iowa opened its doors. Only Loras College in Dubuque is older, having been founded in 1839. But Iowa Wesleyan’s […]

GOP Tax Plan Hurt Farmers, Small Businesses

One year ago today the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was introduced. Far from buoying small businesses, the new tax law Republicans passed late in 2017 is already proving to be more problematic than positive for Main Street. In fact, Republicans thought their massive tax overhaul would be the centerpiece of their midterm strategy. But it turns out they were wrong. Representatives Blum, Young and King have praised the passage of this tax plan. But a year later, the promises they made ring hollow. In fact, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is such a bust, that the President is […]

Let’s Talk Iowa Rankings, Governor. Our Universities Are In Free-Fall

Guest post by Allison Engel, an Iowa State University graduate, has worked in higher education for the past 12 years. Yes, Gov. Reynolds, let’s talk about U.S. News & World Report rankings. But not the livability rankings, which do not include data from all 50 states in all categories. In this blinkered competition, Iowa snagged the No. 1 spot, including the top ranking for infrastructure. This must have come as a surprise to those who read the recent Federal Highway Administration report that Iowa has the most structurally deficient bridges in the nation, as well as one of the country’s largest […]