A close look at a proposed Iowa constitutional amendment

Marty Ryan is a nearly retired lobbyist after 27 Iowa legislative sessions. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Lawmakers have introduced a glut of proposed amendments to Iowa’s Constitution in the legislature this year. So far, only two have survived. House Joint Resolution 2009 would guarantee the right to bear arms. Both chambers would have to pass identical language during the Eighty-Eighth General Assembly (2019-2020) in order to put that amendment on the November 2020 ballot for Iowans to approve or disapprove.

The other proposal is Senate Joint Resolution 2006, which would change the procedure for who succeeds the governor in case of death, resignation, impeachment, or inability to carry out the duties of governor. It also redefines the procedure for accomplishing that transition.

Reading the legalese of the legislative document will have you bored to death, confused, or excited to solve it like a New York Times Sunday Crossword Puzzle.

Continue Reading...

When TLC isn't Tender Loving Care

Bruce Lear explains the problems with a teacher development program that has consumed a substantial share of new state funding for public education in recent years. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Since when does TLC not stand for Tender Loving Care? Since 2013, TLC has come to mean something totally different to Iowa educators.

During the second coming of the Terry Branstad administration, a new teacher funding program called Teacher Leader Compensation (TLC) began. While all of the major education groups in 2013 welcomed the new money, everyone forgot what it could do to overall school funding for the future. Like the un-forecasted snow storm, TLC has caused major unpredicted and unintended damage to Iowa schools.

Continue Reading...

More women managing Iowa campaigns

Iowa hasn’t been the most friendly state for women in politics, to put it mildly. We didn’t elect a woman to Congress until 2014. We have not elected a woman governor. Just 22.7 percent of our state lawmakers are women, below the pitiful national average of 25.3 percent. Only two women have ever been Iowa Supreme Court justices, and we are currently the only state in the country to have no women serving on our highest court.

But Iowa has not escaped the national trend of more women becoming politically involved in the wake of the 2016 election. Not only will a record number of female candidates appear on Iowa ballots in 2018, more women than ever before are leading campaigns for high-level offices.

Continue Reading...

Six questions Reynolds must answer about fired Iowa agency director

Governor Kim Reynolds fired Dave Jamison as Iowa Finance Authority director “effective immediately” this weekend, due to “credible allegations of sexual harassment.” Communications director Brenna Smith “declined to provide more details about the allegations” than what appeared in the official announcement, William Petroski reported for the Des Moines Register.

“I’m sorry, but to protect the privacy of IFA’s remaining employees, no further comment will be made,” Smith said in an email.

That won’t cut it.

Continue Reading...

John Norris for governor

I’ve been undecided on the governor’s race for the better part of a year. The six remaining Democrats–Nate Boulton, Cathy Glasson, Fred Hubbell, Andy McGuire, John Norris, and Ross Wilburn–agree on many core issues. All would invest more in education and other public services, reverse Medicaid privatization, restore collective bargaining rights, and stand up for reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality. All bring important life experiences to the table, as you can see from stump speeches Bleeding Heartland posted here, here, and here. Not only would I happily vote for any of them in November, I would knock doors for any of them this fall.

I didn’t expect to commit to a candidate for governor until shortly before the June 5 primary. But as a Polk County convention delegate, part of my job today will be electing district and state delegates. If no gubernatorial candidate receives at least 35 percent of the vote in the primary, a state convention will select our nominee.

Here’s why I believe John Norris should be that candidate.

Continue Reading...

A perfect Iowa storm

Retired educator Bruce Lear warns about factors driving Iowa toward a significant teacher shortage. -promoted by desmoinesdem

Iowa is in the midst of a perfect storm. It’s not a blizzard, a tornado, or a flood. This one is man-made, and unfortunately it won’t move through the state until the current batch of majority party politicians are blown away by its gale force wind.

There are really three man-made causes fueling this storm, which has the potential to cause at least two major kinds of damage.

Continue Reading...
View More...