A Put People First 2013 Legislative Agenda

The momentum is on our side to move our “put people first” policies during the 2013 legislative agenda.

 

2013 legislative agenda prioritizes combined corporate reporting, local control of factory farms, interest rate caps on payday loans, cracking down on wage theft, universal voter registration, and Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections

 

Today we released a broad-based and wide-ranging legislative agenda to the public.

The cornerstone of our 2013-14 legislative approach is an increased emphasis on the state budget and tax policy and the need to close corporate tax loopholes, raise new revenue, and use it – along with part of the budget surplus – to fully fund and reinvest in vital public services like education, the environment, health-care, infrastructure upgrades, and a fair contract for public employees.

“The state of Iowa is sitting on a nearly $1 billion surplus because of years of deep spending cuts to vital public services,” said Barb Kalbach, a 4th-generation family farmer from Dexter and the Iowa CCI Action Fund board president. “We need to reinvest in programs and state agencies that have faced cuts, not use the surplus created by those cuts to hand out even more giant subsidies to big corporations.”

Local Iowa CCI organizing campaigns across the state in 2012 has given us unprecedented momentum to move long-time priorities like local control of factory farms, interest rate caps on payday loans, stronger wage theft protections, and Voter-Owned Clean Elections at the statehouse.

Hundreds of Iowa CCI members fought new factory farm construction in more than 30 counties since March 2012, stopping a dozen from being built, and elevating environmental issues and how factory farm pollution impacts air and water quality to new levels.

  • “More people understand that we need stronger laws and rules to protect Iowans and our environment from factory farm pollution than ever before and that’s going to translate into tangible action at the statehouse this year,” Kalbach said.

In 2012, Ames and Iowa City joined three other Iowa cities – Des Moines, West Des Moines, and Clive – in passing local zoning ordinances that restrict where payday lenders can locate.  Cedar Rapids is poised to become the sixth Iowa city to pass payday loan restrictions through local zoning ordinances.  $36 million a year flees the state every year because of predatory payday lending.

  • “When five Iowa cities go on record saying predatory lending is negatively impacting their communities, it puts a tremendous amount of political pressure on state legislators to quit stalling and cap payday loan interest rates from 400 percent to 36 percent,” Kalbach said.

Last summer, CCI members released a report with the Iowa Policy Project and the University of Iowa Labor Center that showed Iowa workers lose more than $600 million every year due to wage theft.  CCI members have organized workers to successfully recover more than $150,000 in stolen wages in the last two years.

  • “Our wage theft bill passed the Iowa Senate last year but stalled in the House,” Kalbach said.  “That was before our report was released proving just how much of a drain on the economy wage theft is.  House Republicans are going to have a harder time blocking stronger wage theft laws this year.”

CCI Action Fund members will also push universal voter registration, a Transparency in Tax Reporting Act, the Antibiotic Transparency in Livestock Feed Act, and Voter-Owned Iowa Clean Elections.

“We are ready to mobilize everyday people and hardworking families across Iowa to fight Governor Branstad’s corporate agenda and to advance our worldview of what a more just and democratic Iowa looks like,” Kalbach said.

“Governor Branstad and his corporate allies in the Farm Bureau and the Iowa Association of Business and Industry will continue to try and put corporate greed ahead of the common good, but they are not ready for the populist fightback we are going to bring them this year.”

 

 

Click LIKE and TWEET if you’re ready to push for “People First” policies this session.

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