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2012 First Funnel Survivors

The 2012 legislative session has made its way through the first funnel. Click below to see a list of bills that made it through.

2012 First Funnel Survivors

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Taxpayer Costs for State Employees’ Health Insurance Rises

The Iowa Executive Council met on October 3 with a number of items on the agenda. One such piece was a vote to renew the state’s group insurance contract with Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The renewal was accompanied by premium increases for two of the four covered areas. Health premiums are going to increase by 0.8% and dental rates will increase at a rate of 4.4%. The rates for term life insurance and long term disability will remain constant.

“…87% of state employees pay nothing toward their health insurance premiums”

These rate increases translate into an additional $12 million in spending the state has to pay in order to cover its employees. For purposes of health insurance, the state pays 100% of single and double spouse contracts and 85% of an employee’s family premium. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, 87% of state employees pay nothing toward their health insurance premiums.

Read on…

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Omnibus Bill- Staff Analyses

Posted below is the analysis of the omnibus budget bill proposed by House Republicans. The current schedule for the bill is to have it go through committee on Monday June 6 and then be debated on the floor on Tuesday June 7.

Omnibus Bill for FY 2012–

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525 Passes


After three days of debate, the House passed House File 525 on Friday. I’ve briefly mentioned this bill in previous newsletters. House File 525 makes changes designed to save taxpayer’s dollars. The bill does not eliminate Iowa’s collective bargaining law, rather it addresses two things: what is within the scope of negotiations between management and labor along with arbitration procedures. We’re simply leveling the playing field for taxpayers.

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House Passes Collective Bargaining Reform

After three days of debate, the House passed House File 525 on Friday. House File 525 makes changes designed to save taxpayer’s dollars. The bill does not eliminate Iowa’s collective bargaining law, rather it addresses two things: what is within the scope of negotiations between management and labor along with arbitration procedures.

“We’re leveling the playing field for taxpayers,” said Rep. Ron Jorgensen (R-Sioux City), the bill’s floor manager.

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Remember When: 2008 Expansion of Collective Bargaining Debate in the Iowa House

In March of 2008 Democrats in the Iowa House attempted a dramatic expansion of Iowa’s collective bargaining law. Here is the original website update posted by House Republicans in the wake of that debate. In contrast to the way that debate three years ago was handled, Republicans in 2011 are using a more transparent approach to HF 525 which reforms Iowa’s collective bargaining law. Click on the link to see the full post.

floor debate 3-19-08

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Labor Committee Passes Collective Bargaining Reform in Marathon Committee Meeting

Last Friday morning at 6:04 a.m. the House Labor committee passed HSB 117. Debate began the previous day at 5:00 p.m. after already having met for two hours earlier in the day. Democrats offered over fifty amendments, which resulted in the debate on the bill taking over fourteen hours.

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Collective Bargaining

The issue of collective bargaining is a hot topic around the nation. Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and most recently Iowa, have been focal points for a debate about each state’s own process for collective bargaining.

In Wisconsin, Democrat Senators fled the state in order to prevent a vote that forces public employees to pay for a portion of their health insurance and pension plans and the bill also eliminates collective bargaining rights except in relation to wages. Republicans in Wisconsin control both the Senate and the House as well as the Governor’s office. Gov. Walker has vowed a vote on the bill and is not interested in a compromise.

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Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.3 Percent

New numbers released this week from the Iowa Workforce Development show that the unemployment rate fell to 6.3% in December (the latest month for which there are records). November’s unemployment rate had been at 6.6%. The raw number of unemployed in December was 106,500. Read more »

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2011 House Republican Committee Assignments

House Republican committee assignments are now assembled for 2011. Click the links below to view lists in PDF.

  • Assignments by Member
  • Assignments by Committee
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    Dansette