This week’s High Five
Let’s start today’s newsletter with some exciting news: Iowan Timothy LeDuc, the first non-binary Winter Olympian, is scheduled to perform tomorrow at 4:30 a.m. CT. It will be early morning to support one of our state’s top athletes!
In less fun news, it’s been a BUSY week in the Iowa Legislative Assembly as House and Senate committees meet in flurries to keep bills alive. funnel week.
There have been a number of bad bills pushed through committee by Republican lawmakers, and we all need to work together to defeat them.
Check out today’s headline and a piece of legislation that our team is deeply concerned about:
1. KEEP THE POLITICIANS OUT OF THE CLASS: Iowa Pro Tempore Senate President Sen. Brad Zaun, who has never taught before, decided he knew what was best for our students and was to be trusted more than the thousands education professionals across the state. In another attack on education professionals in Iowa, Zaun said “some teachers have taken it upon themselves, without parental consent, to teach what I believe to be disgusting pornographic material.”
Apparently banning books and defunding public schools in favor of private ones aren’t enough for Iowa Republicans. Now, Sen. Zaun and Republican members of the Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee have approved a bill that would put teachers in jail if Republican lawmakers determine their curriculum is “obscene.”
Besides the fact that imprisoning teachers and censoring books is simply unacceptable, books like “The Bible” don’t even pass the obscenity test by Republican standards.
We need Republican lawmakers in Iowa to stop attacking education professionals and allow our public schools to provide the best education for Iowa students. Join us in calling on our lawmakers to defeat this terrible bill and invest in public education in Iowa.
Click to tweet: Educators should NOT be put in jail for doing their job! This is why we need Iowa senators to vote NO on SF2198! Join me and contact your legislator today: legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
After sharing this post, check out these other highlights below:
2. SCHOOL VOUCHERS HURT STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS: In Iowa, students eligible for special assistance education programs but attending private schools receive their special education through the nearest public school district. The same rule applies to transportation needs to private schools.
However, public schools will not receive any additional funding to provide the best assistance to students with special needs if the Republican plan to invest taxpayer dollars in religious private schools is passed. It will further burden our state’s underfunded public school system if students enroll in private schools. We need to invest in Iowa’s children by investing in a strong public education system, not by sending more taxpayer dollars to private schools.
3. TOTO, WE MAY BE IN KANSAS AFTER ALL: Unfortunately for Iowa’s middle and underpaid class, the Republican flat-rate tax plan is about to become law after the Iowa House passed the reform bill last night. State Representative Chris Hall has warned the Iowa House that Iowa will become the next Kansas.
What does it mean? Well, ten years ago, the Republican-controlled legislature and governor’s office in Kansas passed sweeping tax reform legislation, similar to what Republicans in Iowa proposed this year. However, in just a few years, massive tax breaks for the wealthiest individuals and corporations have led to budget cuts, underfunding of vital programs, and state infrastructure has been hit hard.
We can’t let Iowa become the next Kansas. Contact your senator today and tell him to vote no on the house tax bill!
4. REPUBLICANS WANT TO CONTROL YOUR PITCH: Iowa Senate Republicans introduced a bill in committee that would reduce the amount of money Iowans could receive if they sold their land for conservation purposes to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or the county conservation councils.
Iowans deserve a fair price for their land and the right to choose what to do with their property. Unfortunately, corporate Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Republicans continue to sell out Iowans for the benefit of their corporate donors.
5. ACCESS TO VOTE IS ACCESS TO FREEDOM: After record turnout in the 2020 election and a failed attack on our Capitol, the Republican Party has defended this attack and is determined to obstruct state voting processes everywhere. Even lawmakers here in Iowa are makes it harder for us to vote. Now, Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate are rapidly advancing a bill that would place more restrictions on Iowan’s access to ballot boxes and mail-in ballots.
This bill would require Iowans to put their sensitive information on the outside of mail-in ballot envelopes, despite the fact that this information is also provided on the inside form. It would also limit funding to counties that receive grants and donations to support their election budgets. County auditors are already warning leaders that this bill will make the ballot counting process longer and more difficult, despite the fact that there is no widespread voter fraud in the state or country. .
Want to know more about our team? You can visit our online news blog, potluck, to hear from Iowans and state leaders. You can also learn more about our team on our podcast, “What a week,where we break down each week’s top stories and talk to Iowa leaders about the issues you care about.
Want to help progressive messages and policies in the state of Iowa? Sign up at ProgressIowa.org to volunteer, donate, and learn more about our team!
Thanks for reading, and we’ll be back with you tomorrow for another Hive Five!
– The Progress Iowa Team
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