mattchapman

Will Governor Branstad's legacy be yours as well?

Matt Chapman shares comments he delivered at today’s Iowa House public hearing on Republican budget proposals. -promoted by desmoinesdem

So here we are again in public comments for the seventh time this year, discussing laws that are disproportionately pro-wealthy and anti-worker. These laws are also mostly split along party lines. And I have to hand it to your strategist, as the most damaging laws against workers, many who voted Republican in 2016, were gotten out of the way earlier in the session. And at the end of the session, we have the most divisive legislation brought to the fore in an attempt to appease the very voters you enraged with the destruction of Chapter 20, the union-busting bill.

This will be the governor’s legacy. Will it be yours as well? Let’s compare him to Governor Robert Ray.

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Republican strategy and divisive bills in the Iowa legislature

Matt Chapman wades into what is sure to be an intense debate over how Democrats should communicate with Iowans about this disastrous legislative session. -promoted by desmoinesdem

It’s no surprise that bills to regulate women’s rights and the gun omnibus were passed in the first week of April, right before the budget and when the end of session is looming.

These are very divisive laws, supported by the majority of the Republican base. The same folks who many of whom were hurt by laws stripping workers of bargaining rights, mandatory wage raises and even watering down workers’ compensation.

It will be interesting to see if this strategy works. My advice to anyone outraged by this session (and I acknowledge that it is too soon to do this now) would be to try to avoid the divisive issues. We have common ground with all workers in Iowa, and if we spend a lot of energy on guns or women’s rights, we will have a hard time trying to get change in our state.

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Iowa sets precedent with "First in the Nation" law lowering the minimum wage

Matt Chapman comments on an important bill finalized this week. For what it’s worth, I do not believe Jake Highfill’s claim that Governor Terry Branstad supports a $10 an hour minimum wage. Branstad has expressed support for “a modest increase over a period of time.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

An unfortunate precedent was set when Governor Terry Branstad signed House File 295 on Thursday.

Although 23 Republican-controlled states “now preempt local efforts to increase the minimum wage,” this week Iowa became the “first state government in the U.S. to take away raises from low-wage workers who already received them,” according to the National Employment Law Project.

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A closeted marijuana smoker's view of prejudice in the Iowa Code

As Iowa lawmakers consider proposals to allow the use of cannabis derivatives for some medical conditions, Matt Chapman makes the case for going further to legalize smokeable marijuana. -promoted by desmoinesdem

I illegally used marijuana for pain for years and it would be disingenuous to say I didn’t enjoy the side effects. It would also be disingenuous to say I don’t like the effect of hydrocodone or don’t like the effect of a large dose of ethanol as well. But to use ethanol every evening to take the edge off of pain and to get some good sleep would be a disaster.

And while it is under prohibition and illegal to use, it gave me a lot of relief and helped stave off the point where I could not take the pain any longer. I would use it in the evening. And before I went to bed I would use some along with amitriptyline and would sleep well. And I have no problem publicly discussing this as I had to choose which medication I would use and hydrocodone was the winner.

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Absurd reasoning in action as Iowa Senate approves voter ID bill

Matt Chapman covers yesterday’s Iowa Senate debate on the voter suppression bill. John Deeth explained the key points of a Republican amendment changing that bill in several important ways. -promoted by desmoinesdem

On Thursday the Senate passed along party lines the controversial voter ID bill, House File 516, and sent it to the House for approval.

Forget about Democratic amendments to accept other forms of ID such as Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare cards. Republicans voted that down.

Forget about the amendment that would restore the early voting window to the current 40 days instead of 29 days. Republicans voted that down.

Forget about the amendment that would remove the need for signatures to be examined by poll workers, which will reduce access to the polls by creating long lines and the potential for biased decision making by poll workers.

And forget about the provision that would allow two persons in the booth, since we only print ballots in English, and non-native speakers may need help understanding the ballot.

And forget about the claim that provisional ballots will be provided if you have no ID. You will have 48 hours to show up at your auditor’s office with a photo ID anyway.

And forget about the fact that the education and contacting of eligible voters is woefully underfunded.

But don’t forget about Senator Nate Boulton’s comments during closing arguments, or those of other senators disgusted by social injustice. (You should go to the archived footage and watch.)

All you need to know about the validity of the reasoning behind this bill is to listen, read or watch the closing arguments by the bill’s (I won’t say author because I think we all know who wrote this) floor manager, Senator Roby Smith.

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Jake Chapman's procedural adventure

Matt Chapman recounts an interesting detour during the Iowa Senate’s floor debate on March 14. Republican Senator Jake Chapman (no relation) tried to add “personhood” language–which never made it out of committee–to a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. -promoted by desmoinesdem

CALLING ALL WONKS

An interesting thing happened when Senator Jake Chapman overreached last night. Go to this link below and you can view the whole afternoon/evening session. I will give you time stamps so you can go right to where the events written occur.

Senators were debating Senate File 471, a 20-week abortion ban.

Chapman finishes up his comments (that you really don’t want to hear) about a story from the past. I will never get those minutes back in my life so please don’t waste yours.

He basically was trying to tack his personhood bill to Senate File 471 through amendment 3142.

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