The 2017 session in review

Guest Column
By: 
Tod Bowman
Iowa State Senator, 29th Dist.

     The 2017 session is now over. It was a difficult session because the Legislature did not take the steps necessary to create more jobs and improve Iowans’ quality of life. 

     Over my years in the Legislature, I’ve tried to build consensus with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, regardless of which party is in charge. This year, the Republicans have the majority and have chosen to go a different route. They have ignored the minority and pushed through extreme laws developed behind closed doors—without proper consideration of the enormous, long-lasting impact on Iowans.

     These laws include gutting collective bargaining for public employees, rigging the workers’ compensation system in favor of companies, slashing funding to state universities (which is at a 10-year low), cutting K-12 school programs, and preventing counties from raising their minimum wages.

     Good policy comes from building consensus. Many of the bills passed this year are based on a radical ideology—without the support of moderates—creating an antagonistic and unstable political and economic environment. Iowans expect more from their state legislators.

     I will continue to reach across the aisle to share the views of my constituents in rural Dubuque, Jackson and Jones counties. I can only hope my Republican colleagues are more willing to work together next year.

     Be sure to contact me throughout this interim if you have concerns or ideas to share. The Legislature will reconvene in January 2018, but I work for you all year long. I will send out periodic newsletters, so watch your inbox, and follow me on Facebook @StateSenatorTodBowman for my latest updates.             

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