Senator Joe Bolkcom

Those of us who are proud to live in Iowa’s bluest senate district will greatly miss our senator, Joe Bolkcom, who announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection in 2022.

“I’m proud to have been part of the progressive legislative Democratic majority from 2007 to 2010 and the one-vote Iowa Senate Democratic majority from 2011 to 2016,” Bolkcom said Thursday.

“For six years, we blocked today’s ferocious, ongoing Republican attacks on Iowa workers, reproductive rights, health care, environment, and public education.”

Among the highlights of his legislative efforts, Bolkcom said, was working on the largest expansion of Iowa’s Earned Income Tax Credit to help lift families out of poverty; extending civil rights protections to LGBTQ Iowans; saving Iowans’ lives by raising the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1 and ending smoking in workplaces such as restaurants and bar; expanding Medicaid; creating the Iowa Health and Wellness Program; and establishing a regional mental health system.

Bolkcom authored legislation establishing the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council.

He also authored the state’s solar tax credit incentives that have generated more than $400 million in private investment, 1,000 permanent jobs and built thousands of new solar power systems on Iowa homes, farms and businesses. – Gazette

He also gives great speeches.

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