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.

The governor who accepted people from other countries and understood the words on the statue of liberty. Will your legacy be his, or the governor who has no problem with politicizing and demonizing them. The governor who respected the dignity of all workers by signing the bipartisan Chapter 20 law into effect. Or will your legacy be the same as the governor who enjoyed taking those hard fought rights away. Governor Ray who demonstrated that the law should be equally applied to all Iowans, or Governor Branstad who selectively chose the wealthy, powerful and even family members above the rights of workaday Iowans who he was voted in to protect.

So, the budget. 700,000 dollars for implementing the voter disenfranchisement bill. That along with corporate welfare is the priority. Tax credits for the wealthy and corporate interests that finance as well as wine and dine our lawmakers.

And getting cut?

The AG’s [Attorney General’s] office, a guardian of Iowa’s most vulnerable citizens, gets 80 percent of the damage these cuts will cause. 80 percent. Senator [Nate] Boulton reminded us that the AG brought in twelve million dollars last year.

1.5 million dollars in cuts for victims assistance. That’s one in four Iowa women. And the money funding this doesn’t come from taxes. It comes from criminal fines and penalties.

391,000 dollars from the department of inspections and appeals, including 40,000 dollars from the child advocacy board that oversees Court Appointed Special Advocate and the Foster Care Review Board. (Source: the Des Moines Register)

As someone who slipped through the cracks of safety nets like the DHS [Department of Human Services] as a child I am appalled by the shaming that Senator [Matt] McCoy had to do on the Senate floor just to get this issue acknowledged. If a child starving to death doesn’t motivate you, what does it take? If a corporate retreat is your answer then I think you have your legacy defined.

So whose legacy do you want to embrace?

If this is a hard choice for you, hopefully the Iowans you were elected to represent will assist you in 2018.

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