CCI members are busy at Statehouse

One day, five issues, a dozen CCI citizen lobbyists in full effect

 

It was a busy day at the Iowa State Capitol January 23, as sub-committees begin to review legislation, committees heard presentations…and a dozen CCI members show up to take action!

Together we weighed in on several bad bills by giving personal testimony to legislators. We made news, talking with reporters on our different issues. And most importantly, we had a big impact on issues impacting everyday folks across the state.

Here’s a quick rundown of the impact you had:

  • Megan Tooker’s “We can’t let this Rastetter stuff happen again” bill – First up and early in the morning, members weighed in against a bill (Senate Study Bill 1013) proposed by the head of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to put the power of reviewing ethics complaints into the hands of one person – not the entire Ethics Board. The Senate State Government sub-committee recognized our concerns and took no action advancing the bill. Reporters covered the hearing and included several great comments by CCI members, which you can find here and here.

 

  • Stood in solidarity with labor to stop enshrining “right-to-work” in our State Constitution – Next up, members stood with labor to pack the House Labor sub-committee hearing on placing “right-to-work” language (which is already law in Iowa) in the State Constitution. This anti-labor bill is a big waste of time, as it will be D.O.A once it hits the Senate. Dozens gave rousing personal testimony to tell legislators they would be better served spending their time passing a jobs bill, and focusing on improving Iowa’s economy rather than promoting ALEC backed legislation that has no hopes of passing. The sub-committee took no action on the bill.

 

  • Members testify that DNR’s attempt to kill public notice would be detrimental – After lunch, it was time to take on the factory farm industry. Senate Study Bill 1005 is a bad bill requested by the DNR. The Senate Natural Resources sub-committee heard our concerns, and also took no action to advance the bill. Reporters covered our concerns of opening up a loophole for factory farms at this hearing too.

 

  • There to witness Branstad and his Dept. of Transportation Director reverse their decision to deny drivers licenses for DREAMers – Near the end of the day Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds and D.O.T Director Paul Trambino  issued a press release and testified at the Senate Transportation committee to announce that immigrants who were brought here as children would be able to obtain drivers licenses – in line with the Deferred Action executive order issued by President Obama. CCI members were there to weigh in on a story that has gone national! Here is our press statement on the issue:  Drivers licenses a good first step, now in-state tuition (IOWA Act).

 

  • Gained good info and intel on the Governor’s proposed budget – Throughout the day, members also listened in on House & Senate Appropriations and Ways & Means Committees (that handle budgeting, revenue, taxes, etc) to hear breakdowns on the Governor’s proposed budget.  Most encouraging  was hearing questions from likeminded Representatives and Senators like “What would raising the cap on corporate tax credits mean in terms of revenue loss?” and “ If our expenditure limit is $7.3 million, but the governor’s proposed budget is only $6.5 million, then we have room to refund vital public services, even though the Governor doesn’t include that in his budget, correct?”  Our message of making corporations pay their fair share and restoring funding to DNR, IWD, and other public services is sinking in at the statehouse, and we will continue to fight for budget choices that put people first.

 

Take Action

One day, five issues, and a dozen CCI members… it is a recipe we plan on adding to this legislative session. CCI staff are your eyes and ears up at the State Capitol on a daily basis, but we want you to join us every Wednesday when we will attend sub-committee and committee meetings, lobby legislators, and fight for the Iowa we want to see.

And, if you can’t make it, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and sign up for email for the most timely updates and action alerts.

 

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