Legislative Update for February 22, 2019

Things are picking up at the Iowa Statehouse.

Bills are being introduced (over 100 on Thursday alone), sub-committees and committees are starting to meet, discuss, and debate, and groups are holding their lobby days (see our “Attend an Event” section below).

Our bill establishing a single-payer healthcare system for Iowa was introduced (House File 96)!

Here are a few more GOOD bills that caught our eye this week:

  • Establishing a “Crude-Oil Fee” on pipelines (like DAPL) to help cover the costs of future spills (House File 44);
  • Establishing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) for food (House File 58);
  • Getting rid of Iowa’s (Steve King’s) “English Only” law (House File 70) and introducing an Iowa Dream Act (House File 101);
  • Several bills expanding voting (electronic registration, automatic registration, vote-by-mail, and restoring voting rights);
  • Repealing Iowa’s pre-emption of local wage and worker ordinances (Senate File 95) and a host of other people-first worker protection bills.

Unfortunately, these People & Planet First policies face an uphill battle. 

Why? Because Statehouse rules often allow a single legislator in charge of a committee or committee assignments to stall these bills from the get go. That means they never receive a public hearing or even a committee debate.

And that’s our big challenge moving forward: to build the power we need to not only win elections and change who is in office, but to build our grassroots, engaged base to wield governing power for the people in partnership with elected officials. This is our vision for movement politics. 

That said, you and I both know we can have a big impact right now by focusing pressure where it needs to be put.

So, check out these things you can do to help us move our bold issue agenda in the coming week, get out to a weekend legislative coffee or forum near you, and stay warm!

Legislative Updates

Statehouse Surprise of the Week

A bill to prevent racial profiling by law enforcement (Senate Study Bill 1038) was introduced by Sen. Brad Zaun (R -Urbandale). CCI Action members lobbied Zaun several times last session, so it’s nice to see him introduce this bill.

At first glance, the bill is in line with what our Racial Justice team has been working on with the Des Moines City Council. Stay tuned as they review the bill and lead us in action.

Statehouse Sell-Out of the Week

Sen. Jake Chapman (R – Adel) is at it again. Last year, Chapman championed Senate File 2311, which gutted our energy efficiency programs. The bill was a powergrab by Iowa’s biggest investor-owned utilities, MidAmerican and Alliant Energy.

This year, Sen. Chapman is behind another utility profit powergrab. Senate Study Bill 1036 would undermine the independence and expertise of the Iowa Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA works to represent us – Iowa utility customers – on utility costs and provide oversight on Iowa’s monopoly utilities.

Read more from Bleeding Heartland here

Take Action

Profits out of Healthcare

We’ve had to defend our healthcare left and right, and now we’re playing offense.

We have a huge opportunity to pass Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal’s Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act to ensure high quality care for all people, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual identity, age, disability, or location.

We’re demanding guaranteed healthcare for all. We know we can win, but only by ramping up enormous public support in every district.

Sign this petition to add your name to the fire. We can only win by building collective power together.

We need your help!

Our Farm and Environment Team is on a “fact-finding” mission and we need your help!

We want to connect with people who use and interact with the Raccoon River on a recreational level.

Do you or anyone you know use the Raccoon River as a source for recreation? If so, what types of recreation do you use the river for?

Has your ability to recreate on or in the Raccoon River been impacted due to increasing concerns of water pollution?

Any information is greatly appreciated, so please email abigail@iowacci.org or give us a call at the office at 515-282-0484!


“Hello from the border!”

Art by Cat Rocketship, Iowa CCI Digital Organizer.

CCI member Jan Wann from Clear Lake, IA, sent us an email from Texas, where she is at a base camp working with folks preparing to resist border wall construction. Read her note here

This brings home to me that we’re in the fifth week – and second missed paycheck – of the government shutdown. And, refugees fleeing unsafe living conditions continue to be dehumanized, separated from families and blocked at our southern border.

These are not “political distractions” as I’ve seen some pundits say. These are aggressive forms of evil by the corporate elites and white supremacists that have captured control of our government. They’re trying to divide us and destroy the idea that we care for each other and the ways we live interconnected in our communities. We’ve got to resist and work together to take back control. 

Attend an event

A (*) denotes CCI-sponsored events

  • Upcoming Legislative Forums – multiple cities – Find a meeting
  • *Story County Public Hearing – January 29 – RSVP and details
  • Poor People’s Campaign Lobby Day – January 31 – RSVP and details
  • Immigrant advocacy lobby day with allies like AFSC – February 4 – RSVP and details
  • Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa Hill Day. Join allies to push for policies that support caregivers and those they serve. February 6 at 9:30am – RSVP and details.
  • OpportUNITY day on the Hill – Join our allies at United Way and others to push for an end to the childcare cliff effect. February 12, starting at 7:30am – RSVP and details
  • *Story County appealing a factory farm permit to the Iowa Environmental Protection Commisison – February 19 – RSVP and details coming soon
  • *Moratorium Now! Lobby Day at the Statehouse – Thursday, February 21 – RSVP and details  

Call for Volunteers

We’ve got a two big mailings that needs to get out by the end of the month. Can you help?

Come on down to CCI HQ and stuff envelopes, stick stamps, and you’ll also enjoy snacks and the company of like-minded folks in true CCI Action style. 

Mail parties run on the following days:
Tuesday, January 29: 10 am to noon, or noon – 2 pm
Wednesday, January 30: 10 am to noon, or noon – 2 pm

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, email Katie at katie@iowacci.org.

What we’re reading

Two good reads on the unique opportunity – if not duty – we as Iowans have to help shape the national debate around our bold issue solutions: 

  • CCI Statewide Convention – Saturday, July 27
  • CCI Presidential Forum – Saturday, September 21

Lastly, some news to warm your heart on this sub-zero day.

We’re happy to welcome a new baby to our CCI family!

Liz Blind, our Database and Membership Coordinator, gave birth to Maura Blind-Ngoy on January 22. Mama, papa, and baby are all doing fine. 

Thanks for all you do for a people and planet first Iowa!

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