Governor Reynolds has stripped Iowa’s higher education budget to the bone to pay for her extreme partisan agenda and wasteful corporate giveaways, and so once again, working Iowans are the ones suffering the consequences.
This week, the Des Moines Register reported that the University of Iowa is closing down seven centers that help with workplace-related training, dentist recruitment, farm safety, and assisting veterans in their transition to college as a direct result of Reynolds’ budget cuts.
Consistent with Reynolds’ other attacks on Iowa’s Labor community, the cuts include the Labor Center which provides invaluable research, resources, and protections for Iowans in the workplace.
“Governor Reynolds is once again closing the door on progress and opportunity for working families. Our families, farmers, veterans and so many more are losing out because the governor would rather pay off corporations than help our veterans transition to the college education they earned,” said Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price. “Democrats believe that the people of Iowa are our greatest resource, and we’ll invest in that resource when we take back the statehouse and the governor’s mansion this November.”
The University of Iowa will no longer help Iowans with workplace-related training, dentist recruitment, farm safety, or assist veterans in their transition to college, officials announced Tuesday.
University officials plan to close seven centers and reduce funding for five others within the next year. Among the centers that will close is the Iowa Center for Higher Education, housed at the former AIB College of Business campus in Des Moines.
The closures and reductions will result in job losses for 33 people, the university announced Tuesday. University officials estimate they will save nearly $3.6 million once the cuts are complete.
“We’re disappointed to be in this position because these centers and employees provide valuable outreach and service to Iowans,” Bruce Harreld, university president, said in a prepared statement. “But we can no longer ask our students to support activities previously supported by the state just a generation ago.”
In the past decade, the state’s three public universities — the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa — have relied more heavily on revenue generated from tuition because of cuts in state appropriations.
In 2008, 49 percent of the universities’ revenue came from state aid and 45 percent from tuition. Last year, tuition generated 63 percent of revenue, compared with 32 percent for state aid.
In addition, the universities have undergone mid-year budget cuts the past two years. In March, both UI and ISU were told to find $11 million to cut from their budgets with just three months left in the fiscal year that ended June 30.
Governor Reynolds’s policies have put Iowa next to last in the country for mental health services, but in her new ad, Reynolds wants to take credit for a bipartisan mental health bill she can’t even fully fund because of her fiscal mismanagement.
Here’s Reynolds’ real record on mental health:
CLOSING MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES
Reynolds was a “full partner” in the administration that closed mental health facilities in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda, cutting off access to mental health care for thousands of rural Iowa families.
Three patients from the Clarinda hospital died shortly after being transferred because the facility closed.
Another innovative mental health clinic was forced to close because of Reynolds’ Medicaid disaster crippled them financially.
CUTTING MILLIONS FROM MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Iowa’s Department of Human Services manages mental health services for all Iowans, but Kim Reynolds cut $4.3 million from the last three months of their 2018 budget alone.
ENABLING INADEQUATE CARE
Bowing to Republican special interests, Reynolds signed legislation that allowed woefully inadequate health plans to undermine Iowans’ right to basic health care services, including mental health treatment.
By allowing sham insurance plans to avoid covering mental health care, Reynolds has created more barriers to care and endangered the livelihoods of mental health providers.
IOWA DEAD LAST IN COUNTRY FOR MENTAL HEALTH BEDS
According to a report from the Treatment Advocacy Center, Iowa only has 64 mental health bed for adults, putting us dead last in the nation for that emergency service.
“Unfortunately for Governor Reynolds and the rest of Iowa, one misleading political ad won’t change the fact that thousands of families lack access to critical mental health care. Even when good solutions are proposed, we can’t fund them because Reynolds tanked the budget. That’s wrong, but Democrats will make it right this November,” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger.
Instead of standing up for the thousands of rural Iowa families being sabotaged by this GOP Trade War, Governor Reynolds and Congressman Blum are welcoming Vice President Pence with open arms.
While they are busy letting the Administration off the hook, Iowa farmers are sitting around their kitchen tables trying to figure out how they are going to survive…
FARM INCOMES SHRINKING
Over the last five years and prior to these retaliatory tariffs, Iowa farm incomeshave already shrunk nearly 75%. No family can survive a 75% pay cut, but with the GOP Trade War gaining steam, many Iowans may have to deal with worse.
As a result of the existing retaliatory tariffs from China and Mexico, Pork losses for Iowa alone are projected to reach $560 million.
Soybean losses in Iowa could reach $624 million and many farmers are scared that Iowa could permanently lose trading partners, like they did in the 1970s when Nixon closed the soy trade with Japan.
STATEWIDE JOB LOSSES
The GOP Trade War will directly impact 456,300 jobs in Iowa with countless more businesses and jobs threatened by what could be devastating ripple effects.
“Governor Reynolds and Congressman Blum need to remember they were elected to serve the people of Iowa, not a Republican, D.C. Administration that tosses Iowans overboard without a second thought. Reynolds and Blum are wasting time with partisan posturing while Iowa families are on the verge of losing everything,” said Iowa Democratic Party spokesperson Tess Seger.
Governor Reynolds has a tough decision to make this Wednesday when Vice President Pence visits the state: will she stand with Iowa farmers and hold Vice President Pence accountable by refusing to help him campaign until there is a plan to end the Trade War, or will she bow to her partisan political ambitions, and the $10,000 she has received from Pence, and welcome him with open arms?
Governor Reynolds and Iowa Republicans have failed for months to produce any solutions to help Iowa farmers weather the Administration’s ill-planned Trade War. The Vice President’s visit would be a strong opportunity for Governor Reynolds to show that our “politically pivotal” state is not a pawn to be sacrificed by this Republican administration.
“Every day Governor Reynolds fails to stand up for Iowa in this Trade War, Iowa farmers and rural families lose hope. It’s time for Governor Reynolds to stop putting her partisan political ambitions ahead of the people she was elected to serve and take action – literally any action – to help Iowans survive the Trade War,” said Iowa Democratic Party Spokesperson Tess Seger.