Iowa lawmakers have approved a controversial measure that will severely limit collective bargaining for public workers. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.
House File 291 passed on a party line vote of 53-to-47. Once the bill had passed, several watching the proceedings shouted with anger after a failed attempt stop the chamber from going into recess.
(sound from the House)
Iowa lawmakers were up all night Wednesday debating a long list of amendments filed by Democrats to try and slow down the fast track of the collective bargaining measure. Most defeated or deferred. The bill will curtail most collective bargaining activities and change health care coverage for the majority of public workers. House Republicans approved a move to end the debate at noon, over Democratic opposition.
Republican Representative Steven Holt of Crawford County said the bill was what Iowans asked for in terms of local control and education reform.
“This bill, I believe heart and soul is a win win for Iowans, and a delivery of a promise to all Iowans from Republicans that they would reform government to make it more efficient for the people of ioaw. Smaller, smarter, innovative government. Madame speaker, I move the bill.”
Sioux City Democratic Representative Chris Hall says that the collective bargaining bill was kept secret until last week and it was debated for less than a week. He says the results of the bill could be disastrous for many Iowans.
“This is a trainwreck moving forward and something that will affect Iowans in the worst way possible.”
Hall says some school districts and other union groups are trying to solidify contracts before the bill is signed by Governor Terry Branstad.
“So now you see many counties, cities and school boards working to solidify contracts with their unions because they truly want to support their workers and give them some support over the next year or two.”
The state senate also passed the bill this afternoon, 29-to-21. Now it moves to the governor’s desk.
For Siouxland Public Media, I’m M