The Iowa Legislature is less than a month away from the first deadline limiting bills that can be passed this session.

Republicans, armed with firm control of the House, Senate and governor’s office, came to the Statehouse in January with several proposals Democrats could block when they controlled the Senate in the last legislative session:

  • A new collective bargaining bill that removes virtually all of the mandatory items public employees can negotiate except for wages. (Companion House bill at this link)
  • Defunding Planned Parenthood.
  • Increasing state spending for K-12 education 1.1 percent while talking about education reform.
The Iowa Statehouse on Jan. 10, 2017.
The Iowa Statehouse on Jan. 10, 2017. Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch

Meanwhile, the Legislature quickly cut $118 million in previously approved spending for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The effect each of these decisions has can be dramatic; courts in Iowa, for example, will be closed May 26 because of the budget cuts. How voters react in the next election cycle in 2018 remains to be seen. For now, though, Republicans are operating on the message they heard in the 2016 election.

Appearing in this podcast of the IowaWatch Connection radio report are:

  • Rep. Bruce Bearinger (D-Oelwein)
  • Rep. Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield)
  • Rep. Charles Isenhart (D-Dubuque)
  • Sen. Daniel Zumbach (R-Ryan)
  • Sen. Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls)
  • Tammy Wawro, president, Iowa State Education Association/Cedar Rapids
  • Joe Gorton, president, United Faculty/Cedar Falls
  • Ed Tibbetts, Quad-City Times/Davenport

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