*** GOP Gridlock Pushes Session to Overtime ***
The 2018 Legislature was scheduled to adjourn this week, but we’re now in overtime thanks to Republican gridlock. It’s bad news for Iowans and ridiculous that Republicans who are in complete control of state government right now can’t get their work done on time.
With no agreement, Republican leaders sent lawmakers home early this week while they try to hammer out a deal behind closed doors. It’s a troubling sign when duly elected lawmakers from both parties are sent home while a handful of leaders work in secret to make all the decisions on the budget and taxes. It’s even more troubling when there are more corporate lobbyists and special interest groups trying to influence the secret negotiations without lawmakers around.
It’s unclear as of today when we will be called back to the State Capitol to complete our work. It could be next week or it could take months. The only certainty is the longer the GOP gridlock continues, the worse it will be for everyday Iowans. Once Republican leaders finally make a decisions, things will move quickly so Iowas should be ready. Here’s what to watch for in the days and weeks ahead while the session is in overtime:
The GOP’s voucher bills are still alive and could be rushed through at the last minute. We need more Iowans to weigh in and stop this terrible plan. Please click the image below and stand up for our public schools.
The Senate bill is still alive and would ban abortion after 6 weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant. The future of the bill is uncertain as GOP leaders negotiate behind closed doors. You can take action by clicking on the link below to lend your voice and stop this bill before adjourn for the year.
Ending the Backfill & Raising Property Taxes
GOP lawmakers are poised to break a promise this year that will lead to higher property taxes for homeowners and farmers. Created when the Legislature passed a huge property tax cut for businesses, the state promised to replace or “backfill” state money to schools, counties, and cities to make sure the property tax burden wasn’t shifted from corporations to Iowans who own a home or farm. Since the state budget has been in deficit the last two years, Republicans plan to end those backfill payments in order to balance the state budget and free up additional state money for more tax breaks.
New Tax Giveaways to the Wealthy & Special Interests
GOP leaders have offered up four different tax plans so far this year but little progress has actually been made on the final bill because they are stuck in a game of tug of war. The House GOP wants $1 billion in income tax breaks that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy while the Senate GOP plan costs billions more and includes hundreds of millions in new tax giveaways to the special interests and corporations. Neither plan will balance the state budget and both will make the state’s budget crisis even worse. Most Iowans agree the state should take care of critical needs like public schools and lowering health care costs before another round of tax breaks are approved.
Budget & Debt
In the last two years, the state budget has been in deficit four times and Republican lawmakers have put over $144 million on the state’s credit card because they spent more than the state took in. To balance the budget next year, Governor Reynolds has recommended those credit card payments be delayed next year and paid back another time. If Republicans can’t pay back the debt they borrowed last year, they have no business passing another tax break for the wealthy or special interest.
Democrats believe it’s time to work together to balance the state budget, restore fiscal discipline, and end the 2018 session. The sooner this overtime session ends, the better news it will be for Iowans.
Learn More about Legislation
|Bill #||Bill Description||Current Status||Take Action|
|SSB 3206||Voucher program to divert millions from public schools to private schools||Senate Appropriations Committee||Email or Call your Senator|
|SF 359||Bans abortion at 6 weeks; even in cases of rape or incest (fetal heartbeat)||Passed Senate; House Floor||Email or Call your Senator & Representative|
|SF 2383||Senate GOP $1 Billion/year corporate tax giveaway & tax break plan||Passed Senate; House Ways & Means Committee||Contact: Rep. Guy Vander Linden (R), Chair of House Ways & Means Committee; 515-281-3221|
|SF 2081||Ends state property tax backfill for local governments, reduces police/fire services & shifts tax burden to property taxes||Senate Appropriations Committee||Email or Call your Senator|
|HF 2489||House GOP $1 billion tax giveaway to the wealthy||House Ways & Means Committee||Email or Call your Representative|
|SF 2311||Deregulates electricity companies; discriminates against Iowans using solar energy or other renewable energy options||Passed Senate, House Floor||Email or Call your Representative|
|HF 575||Repeals the bottle bill and creates new programs for recycling paid for by a tax on beverage containers||House Ways & Means Committee|
|SF 2043||Eliminate inheritance tax||Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|SSB 3078||Eliminate energy efficiency programs at Iowa utilities||Senate Ways and Means Committee|
|Signed in to Law|
|SF 2117||GOP deappropriations includes cuts to higher education, human services, skilled worker training fund||To Governor||Call Gov. Reynolds at 515-281-5211 and tell her to veto the bill|
|HF 2230||GOP school funding at 1% (State Supplemental Aid or SSA)||Signed by Governor|
|HJR 2009||Expand 2nd Amendment gun protections in Iowa Constitution; could eliminate all gun laws||Passed House and Senate||Resolutions aren’t signed by Governor; HJR 2009 must be passed again by the next General Assembly before it would be voted on by Iowans|
|SF 2349||Allows unregulated health care plans that can deny people based on pre-existing conditions||Signed by Governor|
|SF 475||Directs more state money to out-of-state, for-profit online k-12 schools||Signed by Governor|
|SF 481||Anti-Immigrant Ban Sanctuary Cities||Signed by Governor|
No Longer Eligible After 1st Funnel
|SF 108||End ban on machine guns||Senate Judiciary Committee|
|SF 41||Eliminates tenure system at Iowa’s state universities and community colleges||Senate Education Committee|
|SF 54||Defines abortion as murder, even in cases of rape or incest||Senate Judiciary Committee|
|SF 45||Ends retirement security for public employees, including teachers, fire fighters, and police officers (IPERS, POR & 411)||Senate State Government Committee|
|HSB 569||Brings back death penalty to Iowa||Public Safety Committee — Did not have enough votes to make it out of subcommittee|
|SF 335||Reinstate the death penalty||Senate Judiciary Committee|
|HSB 138||End licensing for occupations like social work, mental health counselors, respiratory therapists||House State Government Committee|
|HF 2017||Eliminate the Iowa Dept. of Public Health||House State Government Committee|
|SF 2107||Requires Senate GOP to pay for $1.75 million sexual harassment suit instead of taxpayers||Senate Labor & Business Relations Comittee|
|HF 2036||Make Iowa Supreme Court Justices part-time and pay them the same as lawmakers||House Judiciary Committee|
|SF 2058/HF 2104||End Medicaid privatization||Senate Human Resources; House Human Resources||Sign the petition to End Privatization|
|HF 2031||Adds Bible literacy class to Iowa public schools||House Education Committee||Contact Subcommittee Members (515-281-3221) orSkyler.Wheeler@legis.iowa.gov(R); email@example.com(R);firstname.lastname@example.org (D)|
|HF 2164||Removes gender identity protections from Iowa Civil Rights Code||House Judiciary Committee|
|SF 288||Political discrimination for university faculty||Senate Education Committee|
|SF 26||Intimidate abortion providers in an effort to limit health care choices for women||Senate Judiciary Committee|
|HF 2310||Allows guns in county courthouses||House Calendar|
|SF 2370||New requirements & drug testing for recipients of Medicaid, SNAP, and FIP + limits on SNAP eligible food items||Senate Calendar|
|SF 2338||Religious exemptions, license to discriminate (similar to North Carolina)||Senate Calendar|