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Even after Governor Kim Reynolds illegally transferred millions of dollars in an attempt to cover up the Reynolds Budget Crisis, lawmakers are still trying to balance this year’s budget. Today, the Republicans in the Iowa House passed a plan that targets cuts at working families, but leaves the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax giveaways that caused the Reynolds Budget Crisis intact.

The largest cuts include:

“Once again, the Iowa GOP and Kim Reynolds have put tax giveaways to the wealthy and special interests ahead of the working people of Iowa,”said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. “They can try to spin this all they want, but the facts are their tax free-for-alls disproportionately benefit the top 1%, they don’t generate the promised economic growth, and the GOP will always make the middle-class families foot the bill.”

This past weekend, the Des Moines Register’s editorial board took Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans to task for abandoning Iowa seniors in favor of tax giveaways to special interests. They then called on Iowans to “remove these elected officials from office.”

Read the full article below:

DES MOINES REGISTER: Iowa’s elected officials ignore the needs of seniors

Iowa’s Republican politicians do not care about seniors. There is no other explanation for their refusal to fund the most basic services needed by older residents. Voters should remember this when they cast ballots in November.
The GOP’s dedication to tax cuts and starving government has resulted in huge cuts to agencies designed to help vulnerable people. Unfortunately these agencies are headed by political appointees who do not consider seniors a priority either.

The Iowa Department on Aging now has 17 employees. Nine years ago it had 40 workers. Yet Director Linda Miller said she has not asked Gov. Kim Reynolds for additional funding, partly because the governor and her staff are already aware of the effect that the budget cuts are having.

“Those people are not stupid over there and they know what’s going on here,” she said. “But we’re making it work.”

Really? Who exactly is it working for?

Perhaps for Miller, who earns more than $100,000 annually. But it’s not working for anyone else.

The most recent proposed budget cuts to her agency are expected to result in 50,000 fewer meals delivered to the homes of these Iowans. Hundreds of older residents will see cuts in help obtaining everything from eyeglasses to utility assistance.

Down the hall from the aging department is another state entity intended to assist seniors. The Iowa Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Office investigates complaints against nursing homes and assisted-living centers.

Except Iowans who call the office to report abuse or neglect are often routed to an automated messaging system telling them no one is available to take the call. Over the past 14 months, the office has shrunk from 17 employees to 12. Three vacant positions will not be filled.

Last summer budget cuts forced the ombudsman’s office to eliminate virtually all spending on travel.

Instead of visiting nursing homes in response to complaints about care, workers do investigations over the phone. This appears to directly violate state law, which requires the agency to “visit” long-term care facilities.

One would expect Ombudsman Cynthia Pederson to be screaming from the rooftops. After all, she is supposed to be advocating for about 550,000 seniors in this state.

Instead she submitted to the governor a zero-growth budget that does not restore funding for on-site visits. She has failed to register support for legislation that could provide money to her agency.

Iowans should be furious that scarce public dollars are being used to pay the salaries of these two officials. They are not advocates for seniors.

Neither is the GOP-controlled Legislature, which refuses to fund programs to help older Iowans.

Neither is a governor who continues to push an income tax bill that will further reduce state revenue and further starve the government services Iowans need.

Do these public officials not understand government has a responsibility to do what it can to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves?

A state entity is supposed to respond when there are complaints about mistreatment in a nursing home. Our older neighbors who cannot leave their homes should be able to have a meal delivered. The reason long-term care ombudsmen exist is that everyone has long recognized seniors need someone on their side.

But these are not priorities for this state’s current leaders. They bend over backward to reduce state revenue and then they say the state cannot afford to provide basic services. They starve government to the point of breaking, then justify starving it some more because it’s broken.

This shrinking of services for older Iowans comes as their ranks are mushrooming. Those 65 and older account for 16 percent of Iowa’s population, the 14th-highest share in the nation as of 2015. The percentage is expected to reach 20 percent by 2050.

In the 2010 Census, Iowa ranked third in the “oldest-old” age group, those 85 and older.

Any Iowan who is a senior or plans to become one someday should vote in November to remove these elected officials from office. They are not working on behalf of Iowans. They are not helping protect the state’s most vulnerable people. They do not listen to senior advocates who plead for help.
Iowa’s only hope for getting on track is to send them packing.

Trump, Reynolds’ rhetoric failed to match reality at Waukee visit.

Today, as Governor Reynolds and Ivanka Trump were trying to white wash their records on workforce development and education, Iowa Democrats were speaking up for the working families left behind by the Reynolds and Trump Administrations.

WATCH VIDEO: Kim Reynolds, Ivanka Trump held accountable in Iowa

As expected, it is clear that Kim Reynolds and Ivanka Trump’s rhetoric did not match the reality of their records during their visit today. Ivanka Trump claims to support American workforce development, but her own business practices undermine domestic workers and exploit workers overseas. Kim Reynolds, on the other hand, is content with giving away millions of dollars to companies like Rockwell Collins that outsource Iowa jobs and brags about stripping Iowa workers’ of their rights.

“The irony of Governor Reynolds and Ivanka Trump parading around, claiming to care about our workforce cannot be overstated,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price.

“Ivanka Trump is part of the most corrupt Presidential administration in history that sells the American people to the highest bidder, while her shoe line has outsourced production to factories in China notorious for labor violations. Governor Reynolds, on the other hand, brags about her role in stripping Iowa workers of their collective bargaining rights and access to workers’ compensation.”


Two Days After Ivanka Trump Attended A White House Meeting With Trump On “Tough Polices” To Bring “Our Jobs Back”, More Than 5,000 Ivanka Trump Branded Blouses Arrived In Newark From Overseas. “Late last month, Ivanka sat in on a White House meeting where her father discussed ‘tough policies’ to bring ‘our jobs back’. ‘Everything is going to be based on bringing our jobs back,’ the president said, as he addressed a group of manufacturing moguls from a dozen American firms. Following the meeting, a spokesperson for the Ivanka Trump brand told AFP the company has ‘consistently expressed that we share industry leaders’ interest in bringing more manufacturing opportunities to the US and are looking forward to being a part of the conversation’. Just not yet: two days later, more than 5,000 Ivanka Trump polyester blouses arrived in Newark, New Jersey.” [Agence France Presse, 3/12/17]

An Indonesian Sewing Operator, Who Said She Had Made Ivanka Trump-Branded Dresses, Said That “My Monthly Salary Is Not Enough For Everyday Expenses, Also Not For The Future.” “The Post used data drawn from U.S. customs logs and international shipping records to trace Trump-branded products from far-flung factories to ports around the United States. The Post also interviewed workers at three garment factories that have made Trump products who said their jobs often come with exhausting hours, subsistence pay and insults from supervisors if they don’t work fast enough.  ‘My monthly salary is not enough for everyday expenses, also not for the future,’ said a 26-year-old sewing operator in Subang, Indonesia, who said she has helped make Trump dresses.” [Washington Post, 7/14/17]

China Labor Watch: At One Chinese Factory Manufacturing Ivanka Trump Goods, Workers Are Paid By The Number Of Pieces Made, With Staff Required To Work Overtime If Quotas Aren’t Met. “At one Chinese factory that produces Ivanka Trump-branded goods, workers are paid according to the number of pieces they make, said Li Qiang, founder of New York-based China Labor Watch. The staff must work overtime to reach the target with no extra pay if the quota isn’t met, according to Li, whose group probed the two facilities between May 2016 and April 2017. Some workers get the equivalent of less than $1 per hour, he said.” [Bloomberg, 5/17/17]

In February 2017, Reynolds Said She was “Excited” About the New Collective Bargaining Law. According to the Des Moines Register, “Also expressing support for the measure Friday was Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who will succeed Branstad as governor. ‘I’m excited about the long overdue reforms that have been put in place today,’ Reynolds said. ‘My experience as county treasurer for 13 years gave me a firsthand look at how out of balance the system had become. Finally, Iowa taxpayers have a seat at the table and local governments are empowered to make decisions in the best interests of their communities and schools. These changes will improve our educational system by giving local districts the ability to recruit and retain the best teachers in every classroom across the state.’” [Des Moines Register, 2/18/17]

CEDAR RAPIDS GAZETTE: Rockwell Collins claimed one-fifth of Iowa’s R&D tax credits last year
“Rockwell Collins claimed more than $13.9 million in the Research Activities Credit last year, making it the largest claimant of a state incentive that awards companies for conducting research in Iowa.

There were about $66.1 million worth of claims for the credit in 2017, meaning Rockwell claimed 21 percent of all of the R&D tax credits last year.”

BUSINESS RECORD: Outsourcing to eliminate 105 jobs at Rockwell Collins
“Rockwell Collins plans to outsource manufacturing of mechanical assemblies for its products now performed in Cedar Rapids, a move that will eliminate 105 mostly union jobs.”

Monday, as Governor Kim Reynolds and First Daughter Ivanka Trump come to Waukee, local Iowans gathered to speak out against their agenda that puts special interests ahead of Iowa’s workers.

The Trump Administration has worked around the clock to undermine workers’ pay and workplace safety. Ivanka Trump’s eponymous clothing line takes advantage of poorly paid Chinese workers and undercuts American manufacturing by producing its goods overseas in factories, some of which are known to abuse their workers. Governor, Kim Reynolds has prioritized giving tax dollars to companies like Ivanka’s that outsource jobs and has undermined important protections that Iowa’s workers need.

Speakers at Monday’s event included Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price speaking about the misguided priorities of the Reynolds and Trump Administrations:

“The irony of Governor Reynolds and Ivanka Trump parading around, claiming to care about our workforce cannot be overstated. 

Ivanka Trump is part of the most corrupt Presidential administration in history that sells the American people to the highest bidder, while her shoe line has outsourced production to factories in China notorious for labor violations. Governor Reynolds, on the other hand, brags about her role in stripping Iowa workers of their collective bargaining rights and access to workers’ compensation.”

Danny Homan from AFSCME, who spoke about the Reynolds/Trump attacks on working Iowans:

“At every turn, Trump and Reynolds are in lockstep stripping workers’ rights and doing everything in their power to silence anyone who dares to demand the dignity and respect they deserve. 

We’re here today to tell them that their hypocrisy has no place here. Their silencing of working people has no place here, or anywhere else in this country.”