Our 2012 Legislative Agenda


Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund’s 2012 legislative agenda.

Our agenda is reflective of the key issues and concerns that are facing our members and every day Iowans throughout the state. This is an agenda that puts people before profits, people before politics and people before polluters and that puts our communities before corporations.

For a printable version, click here.


Factory Farms & The Environment


Give Local Control to Counties: Establish real local control over the siting of factory farms. Counties should have the final say on if, and where, factory farms are built in order to:

1.) preserve and protect natural resources from factory farm pollution, including water sources, fragile environmental locations and air quality

2.) lessen congestion and overcrowding of factory farms

3.) and to protect the health and welfare of the public

Strengthen Standards on the Permitting Process: With the ever increasing expansion of factory farms across the state, there have been no improvements to the permitting process since 2002. Therefore, the Iowa legislature should pass legislation to strengthen environmental and citizen protections pertaining to several aspects of the corporate factory farm industry. We need legislation that would lower the construction permit threshold; curb concentration of animals in a geographic area or watershed; increase separation distances from residences, waterways, and public use areas; provide a more thorough evaluation of the siting of factory farms; and improve manure management practices.

No Taxpayer $ for Factory Farm Odor Studies: Tax-payer money should not be used for factory farm odor studies or voluntary incentive programs to reduce odor from factory farms. Iowa tax-payers should not have to foot the bill for the factory farm industry’s mess. The state should move forward with establishing mandatory, enforceable air emission standards for Hydrogen Sulfide and Ammonia.


Predatory Lending and Financial Safety


Ease the Cycle of Debt from Payday Loans: Iowa CCI Action supports legislation that would cap the APR on payday loans at 36% and extend payback periods. Currently, payday lenders can charge more than 400% APR on loans and require the loan repaid in two weeks trapping individuals and their families in a cycle of debt. 36% is the maximum limit allowed for other consumer loans in Iowa and it should be the same for payday loans.

Stopping Foreclosures: Iowa CCI Action supports legislation that would help future homeowners avoid predatory lending practices, as well as keep victims of predatory practices in their homes.


Immigrant Issues


IOWA Act: Many of Iowa’s undocumented immigrants come as children, grow up in Iowa communities, and attend Iowa’s schools. Unfortunately, their opportunity is limited to just that. The Iowa Workforce Opportunities Act would allow immigrant youth who have lived in Iowa for a number of years and graduated from an Iowa high school to attend Iowa’s Universities by paying in-state tuition rates.

Workers Rights: Iowa’s workforce continues to diversify as immigrants from all over the world are pushed off of their land by economic forces and policies such as NAFTA. Willing workers are forced to look for other places and opportunities to support their families. The Iowa legislature needs to make sure that all Iowans are treated equally and fairly in the workplace, regardless of race, creed, ethnic background, foreign born or born in America. The legislature can do this by passing legislation that recognizes Iowa’s need for workers, protects all workers, provides everyone with a livable wage and by urging Congress to pass a national immigration policy that is fair to all.

Wage Theft: Every year, shady employers cheat their employees out of billions of dollars of pay that is owed to them. In Iowa, wage theft impacts thousands of workers. However, there are little to no repercussions. We need changes to Iowa’s policies to have stronger enforcement and penalties for employers who engage in wage theft, close loopholes to overtime laws to ensure all workers get paid their fair share, and create policies that protect workers from retaliation if they try to recoup their wages.


Removing Big Money & Special Interest Influence


VOICE: Establish a Voter-Owned Clean Elections Law that would allow a limited amount of public funding for political candidates who agree to voluntary spending limits. By ending politicians’ reliance on special interest money and offering in its place a limited competitive amount of money from a Voter-Owned Elections fund, Clean Money campaign reform provides a way for candidates to finance their campaigns without worrying about the strings that might be attached and opens the door to everyday Iowans who otherwise may not have run for office.

Campaign Contribution Limits: Iowa is one of only 13 states that does not limit the amount of money an individual or Political Action Committee (PAC) can give to a candidate for public office. A necessary piece of the VOICE legislation, CCI Action will push the legislature to enact reasonable campaign contribution limits to help limit perceived or actual influence from wealthy donors and special interests.


Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes & Our State’s Budget


Combined Corporate Reporting: As Iowa faces budget shortfalls and is forced to continually make cuts to vital services and cut jobs, little is being done to seek new sources of revenues. While everyday Iowans are forced to bear the burden of balancing the state’s budget on their own backs, out of state corporations continue to send millions in un-taxed profits made in Iowa out of state. The Iowa Legislature should pass combined corporate reporting to require out of state corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and help solve the state’s budget crisis, as well as level the playing field encouraging small business growth.

Put People First in our State’s Budget: adopt our people first principles when crafting the budget. We cannot continue to balance the state’s budget on the backs of everyday Iowans. We can afford to provide vital public services. We must invest in our state’s future. And we must look for new revenues to bolster our state’s budget.


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