Monthly Archives: January 2016

Democrats call on President Obama and CMS to reject Branstad’s Medicaid privatization plan

Every Democratic member of the Iowa Senate signed a letter today asking President Obama and other key federal officials to end Governor Branstad’s disorganized push to privatize Medicaid services in Iowa.   “Unfortunately,  everything that we have seen and heard … Continue reading

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TODAY: Family Friendly Iowa to host small business roundtable to discuss policies and legislation that matter to working families

State Representatives Chris Hall & Kirsten Running-Marquardt to join small business owners at the event WEST DES MOINES – Today, January 27, 2016, Family Friendly Iowa will hold a roundtable focusing on small business owners and families who are eager … Continue reading

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IA SEN LIVESTREAM: Ombudsman discusses Medicaid report with Human Resources Committee (Wed, Jan 27 at 3 PM)

When: Wed, Jan 27 at 3 PM Where: Senate Human Resources Committee Meeting, Room 22 WHO: Deanna Clingan-Fischer, the State Long Term Care Ombudsman, answers questions about the Ombudsman Alliance Report. WHAT: Ombudsman Clingan-Fisher will discuss the “Final Report” by … Continue reading

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Something’s seriously the matter with the way Iowa’s government takes in money

The state’s balance sheet is almost unrecognizable from the excellent condition in which it was left to Governor Branstad and Republican legislators only five years ago, with reserves full and spending flat. Long gone are Branstad campaign promises of streamlining … Continue reading

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Iowa JobWatch: Slow month, slow year for Iowa jobs

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Jobless rate steady at 3.4 percent; December job growth at a trickle IOWA CITY, Iowa (Jan. 26, 2016) — Slow job growth in December made up for a downward revision from November as Iowa payrolls and the 3.4 percent unemployment … Continue reading

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Join us for our Annual Lobby Day! – Iowa ARA

The caucus season will be over, but there is still work to be done! Join us for our Annual Lobby Day! Tuesday, February 9th – 8:30 am Prairie Meadows Conference Center 1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona Iowa We will meet … Continue reading

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Senate budget priorities focus on expanding Iowa’s middle class

Senate’s total investment less than Governor’s  DES MOINES – Leaders of the Iowa Senate today released a state budget outline that would expand Iowa’s middle class while maintaining fiscal responsibility. The Senate Democratic plan calls for $7.398 billion in general … Continue reading

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First-time home buyer tax credit now available

Iowans buying a home may be able to take advantage of a tax credit that can significantly reduce their federal income taxes. Eligible first-time home buyers can get a tax credit on 50 percent of the annual interest paid on … Continue reading

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Lawmakers seek Medicaid oversight despite veto threat

Iowa legislators say they are building a plan to adopt at least part of a $17 million Medicaid oversight recommendation that Gov. Terry Branstad has dismissed as “overkill.” Those developing the plan said Monday they know a veto could be … Continue reading

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State officials present Medicaid update to legislators

DES MOINES — State officials insist they are taking necessary steps to improve the transition to private management of Iowa’s $5 billion Medicaid program. But many state lawmakers remain unconvinced. Top state officials updated a panel of state legislators Monday … Continue reading

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Republicans in Iowa House vote for two percent money boost for schools

House Republicans have voted to increase the general level of state taxpayer support for Iowa’s public schools by two percent, starting July 1. Representative Ron Jorgensen, a Republican from Sioux City, is chairman of the House Education Committee and he … Continue reading

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Editorial: In Iowa, governor can ignore lawmakers

Separation of powers in government is one of the most basic concepts in our democracy. Iowans frustrated with Gov. Terry Branstad’s plan to privatize administration of Medicaid understandably turn to the Iowa Legislature for help. Lawmakers, however, seem to be … Continue reading

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REPULICANS IGNORE WARNING FROM SCHOOL LEADERS, CUT NEW INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN HALF

Des Moines, Iowa – After being a year late, Republicans in the Iowa House today ignored warnings from Iowa school leaders who said another year of stagnant state funding would lead to higher class sizes and outdated textbooks next year. … Continue reading

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2016 Iowa School Administrator Survey Results

257 Responses from Iowa School Administrators   What impact did the Governor’s $56 million school funding veto last summer have in your school? (Please check all that apply) Percent Responses Increased class size 61% 157 Left positions unfilled 42% 109 … Continue reading

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Labor History

January 27 New York City maids organize to improve working conditions – 1734 Mine explosion in Mount Pleasant, Pa., leaves more than 100 dead – 1891 First meeting of the Int’l Labor Organization (ILO) – 1920 Kansas miners strike against … Continue reading

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Don’t miss The Mine Wars on PBS

Don’t miss The Mine Wars on PBS January 26 9PM EST-Check your local listing. Featuring Mother Jones and a hidden labor history. Spread the word. The Mine Wars is a two hour documentary premiers nationally on the acclaimed history series, … Continue reading

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Opening Remarks from Rep. Patti Ruff (D-McGregor), Ranking Member of the House Education Committee

STATE SUPPLEMENTAL AID (SF 174) Opening Remarks from Rep. Patti Ruff (D-McGregor), Ranking Member of the House Education Committee “Thank you, Madam Speaker. Fellow members of the House, I will be voting no on SF 174 as amended to 2%. … Continue reading

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Class sizes will increase if school funding falls short

Another year of inadequate state funding for K-12 schools will result in larger class sizes. That’s what school administrators tell us in a new survey. Superintendents, principals and other school officials completed the survey in recent weeks to help us … Continue reading

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Iowans nervous about Medicaid privatization

Medicaid is the health care safety net for 560,000 Iowans. One in five Iowans depends on Medicaid for vital health care services, including the elderly, people with disabilities and mental health concerns, children and moms. Because of an ill-conceived and … Continue reading

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Iowa veterans deserve our support

Veterans from across Iowa visited the State Capitol on January 20 for the annual Veterans Day on the Hill. We welcomed them to the Senate and listened to their concerns and ideas. They had a full schedule of activities, including … Continue reading

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