Talking Points on Iowa Republican Budget Cuts

  • There is not a budget crisis in Iowa.
  • There is plenty of money in the state budget to adequately fund the priorities of Iowans.
  • I will not support unnecessary cuts that threaten public safety, the quality of higher education and job training, and the safety net provided by social services.
  • The Republican cuts could have been avoided if Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds had delivered on their promises to increase family income by 25% and create more than 200,000 new jobs in Iowa.
  • The Republican cuts could have been avoided if Republican legislators hadn’t focused all their energy on giving huge tax breaks to corporations, instead of adequately funding schools, job training and other priorities (see attached chart).
  • There are still a million questions—and no good answers—about the impact of Republican cuts on students, workers, families, seniors and other Iowans.

Threatening Education Quality

  • The Republican budget cuts would severely damage educational opportunities and job training at our community colleges.
  • The Republican budget cuts would decrease educational opportunities at our public universities.
  • These deep, midyear budget cuts undermine the goal of creating an economy that helps all Iowans.
  • The education funding cuts are the worst thing we could do to deal with the number one problem facing Iowa’s businesses: the critical shortage of skilled and qualified workers.
  • These budget cuts could force tuition increases at our community colleges and state universities next fall, which will make higher education less affordable to students from working families.
  • The long-term impact of Republican’s underfunding public schools will be more forced consolidation of school districts, especially in small towns and rural areas.

Reducing Services for the Most Vulnerable Iowans

  • The safety net for some of our most vulnerable Iowans is already in trouble.
  • The Republican budget cuts will further reduce access to quality health care, mental health care and other critical services.
  • The reckless budget priorities of legislative Republican and the Branstad/Reynolds Administration has led to:
    • The death of vulnerable Iowans.
    • The closing of two Mental Health Institutes, which has reduced access to mental health services across the state.
    • The privatization of Medicaid services, which has
      • Reduced access to a wide variety of health care services for hundreds of thousands of Iowans
      • Threatened the financial wellbeing of health care providers, even forcing some to go out of business.

Hurting Public Safety

 The Republican cuts will make our neighborhoods and communities less safe.

 The Republican cuts will:

    • Cut services for victims of domestic violence and other violent crimes.
    • Reduce access to Iowa’s court system.
    • Cut crime investigators and state troopers.
    • Delay prosecution of criminal cases.
    • Make our state prisons more dangerous.
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