Once again we bring you Friday’s version of ProgessIowa’s High Five Newsletter. This is a good newsletter to use to follow Iowa’s Republican dominated legislature while they are in session:
Did anyone else have Iowa in their final four? According to the ESPN TC app, over 10% of March Madness Brackets had the Hawkeye men going all the way to the finals! Congratulations to the Iowa men’s basketball team for a tremendous season, and we’ll continue rooting for the Iowa women’s and Iowa State teams this coming week!
Progress Iowa is having our own March bracket, with the #Extreme16 to call out the extreme elected officials in Iowa, including Governor Reynolds, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Rep. Ashley Hinson, and many in the legislature. You can nominate an elected official for our Extreme Sixteen here: Extreme Sixteen bracket
This week was the second and final funnel week for the Iowa Legislature, and unlike the first funnel week, bills had to have been passed by a floor vote in either the House or Senate chamber, and have made it through the committee process in the opposite chamber to survive for full consideration the rest of session. There are some exceptions to this, but fortunately funnel week helped stop some terrible bills from moving forward.
Let’s take a look at the bills that didn’t survive the funnel:
1. BAD BILLS BLOCKED: Fortunately, the second funnel week here in Iowa helped stall a number of bad bills introduced by Iowa’s Republican lawmakers. Here’s a few of the worst bills that didn’t make it through the second funnel:
SF2364 – Better known as the bill that would put teachers in jail, this bill didn’t make it through the House and is no longer eligible this session.
SF2205 – This bill would have required schools to post curriculums online months in advance, putting undue strain and burden on educators and potentially would have cost schools millions of dollars.
SF2312 – This highly controversial bill would have limited Iowans’ ability to sell their property for land conservation, and we are glad to see it didn’t survive funnel week.
There are many bad bills left in play this session, however, and we all need to stand together to hold Iowa’s Republican lawmakers accountable.
Click to tweet: I want our legislators focusing on issues Iowans care about, not their wealthy & corporate buddies. That’s why I’m urging Iowa Republicans to focus on their constituents rather than an extreme agenda this last part of session. #Iowa
After you share that message, check out some of the bills that survived funnel week and the other top stories we’re watching today:
2. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY: And while some terrible bills were defeated this funnel week, some of Corporate Kim Reynolds’ top priorities are still in play thanks to Republicans taking advantage of their supermajority. Speaker Grassley has moved some Republican bills out of their original committees and over to Ways and Means and the Appropriations committee so they will be eligible after the funnel. Reynolds’ terrible unemployment benefit slashing bill was one of these bills, because some Republicans prioritize corporations over anything else.
3. WHERE IS HER EMPATHY?: And while these terrible bills are making headlines today, State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, a former Iowa Teacher of the Year and a 40-year veteran of East High School in Des Moines, called out Governor Reynolds for her terrible comments about the shooting at East High last week. In her first public comments about the tragedy, Reynolds passed the buck onto Iowa’s school system that she has spent over a decade underfunding.
4. IOWA ELECTIONS ARE SAFE AND SECURE: New data from MIT shows that Iowa ranked third in the nation for administering the 2020 election, meaning our elections were safe and accessible. Even so,Iowa Republicans worked to dismantle voting rights in the state of Iowa, touting false claims about election integrity. This effort is still being seen at the national level as Republican controlled state houses continue to pass voter suppression laws after the record turn out in 2020.
5. IOWA SOIL AND WATER QUALITY IN JEOPARDY: Dr. Francis Thicke is a soil scientist and organic dairy farmer. He has served as the National Program Leader for Soil Science for the USDA-Extension Service and was the 2010 Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. In his first article for our online news blog, Potluck, he shares his expertise about the water and soil quality issues facing Iowa.
Thanks for reading, and we’ll get back with you Monday for another Hive Five!
– The Progress Iowa Team
Progress Iowa | P.O. Box 548 | Des Moines, IA 50302