Joe Bolkcom

MAGA nanny state thrives in Iowa

Joe Bolkcom represented Iowa City in the Iowa Senate from 1999 through 2022.

Iowans will soon elect city council and school board members. Hundreds of candidates have put themselves forward as they campaign on ideas to address unique local challenges and needs. 

These local elected officials are the backbone of making our small government democracy work. They make decisions for all of us about how our public schools operate, what roads get built and repaired, how public safety, water, sewer and library services are provided, and how to pay for it all.  

In a healthy democracy that’s how things are supposed to work. Unfortunately, we do not live in healthy democracy.

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Kim Reynolds is not really pro-life

Senator Joe Bolkcom has represented Iowa City in the legislature since 1999.

Governor Kim Reynolds continues to take victory laps for how she has managed the COVID-19 pandemic. She touts her efforts to be the first state to command kids back to school and to keep Iowa “open for business,” as Iowans were filling hospital beds and clinging to life on ventilators.  

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Cannabis criminalization is failed public policy for Iowa

Senator Joe Bolkcom represents Iowa City and has been a leading voice in the state legislature for updating Iowa law on cannabis.

This March 22 marks the 50th anniversary of an important report from the Shafer Commission, a group appointed by President Richard Nixon, tasked with studying marijuana and issuing policy recommendations. The group’s findings called for the decriminalization of cannabis possession in the U.S., but alas, the suggestions went unheeded.

Fifty years later, Iowa remains one of nineteen states where you can still be locked up for minor cannabis possession.

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Let's talk about the weather

State Senator Joe Bolkcom represents Iowa City and is outreach and community education director for the University of Iowa’s Center for Global & Regional Environmental Research.

We Iowans love to talk about the weather. But not Governor Kim Reynolds. She didn’t mention the recent off the charts weather disaster in her rosy Condition of the State address earlier this month.

On December 15, Iowans once again experienced a set of events that no one alive has witnessed. A record high temperature of 74 degrees preceded the first December derecho recorded in U.S. history.

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Republican policies fuel Iowa's workforce crisis, rural decline

Senator Joe Bolkcom represents Iowa City and is the ranking Democrat on the Iowa Senate Appropriations Committee.

Iowa’s workforce crisis and rural decline can be traced to irresponsible Republican tax and economic policies year after year.  

Their actions bring to life the words of their puppet master Grover Norquist, who famously said, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

As Governor Kim Reynolds and legislative Republicans return to the statehouse, their workforce crisis and abandonment of rural Iowa will only grow worse with more tax cuts for Des Moines millionaires. The Republican strategy is to stay the course by continuing to starve rural Iowa’s struggling public schools, exhausted health care providers, declining state parks, dangerous prisons, and neglected state resource centers. 

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Iowa governor, Republicans wrong to back billion-dollar borrowing scheme

State Senator Joe Bolkcom makes the case against a deal to lease the University of Iowa utility system for 50 years. The Iowa Board of Regents are scheduled to vote on the plan on December 10, but important details have been kept from the public. -promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds’ support of an exotic and risky funding scheme is an admission of her failure to support our public universities. GOP tax cuts for wealthy Iowans have led to a dramatic decline in support for our public universities.

It’s hard to believe that Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans think it makes sense to borrow more than $1 billion dollars to pay for on-going programs at the University of Iowa over the next 50 years.

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