Friday, February 20, 2009

Around the Capitol This Week

Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (middle) with nursing students from St. Ambrose Univerity.

The ISU Statesmen singing in the rotunda

Senator David Johnson with members of Pheasants Forever and Iowa Conservation Alliance.

Senator Wieck at the Oversight Committee hearing of the treatment of men at the Atalissa plant

And we're throwing this lovely quote in just because we like it and it seems very appropriate at this time.

"I don't think at a time when everybody is stressed is a time to be taking more money out of people's pockets," Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal said. "I think it's unlikely we're going to pursue a gas tax increase. I think we're going to focus on ... the resources we have."

Title: Gronstal rules out gas tax for flood relief
Telegraph Herald (Dubuque, IA) - Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Top Ten List

Top 10 doctors that will see a dramatic increase in their patient load after the Democrats pass the Doctor Shopping Bill:

10) Doc. Martens
9) Doctor Tom (Davis)
8) Doctor J.
7) Doctor Feelgood
6) Doctor Doolittle
5) Doctor Zhivago
4) Doctor Dre
3) Doctor Pepper
2) Doctor Scholl's
1) Doctor Seuss

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Every Vote Counts…..for Now

Senate Democrats are examining a bill that would make every vote cast in Iowa for Presidential elections null and void. The bill, SSB 1128, hasn’t yet made it out of committee and is known as the Popular Vote Bill. The bill (if it becomes law) would mean that Iowa’s Electoral College votes would immediately turn into and go the way of the popular vote for President. So if Iowa votes for a Democrat for President, it doesn’t matter because if the entire East Coast votes for a Republican, Iowa’s Electoral votes automatically go to the Republican candidate.

Forget having any clout with the Iowa Caucuses. Why bother? Candidates would spend less time, money and energy in Iowa.

Millions of Iowan’s votes wouldn’t count for anything if this bill passes. This is a winner-take-all state of mind that stifles the voice of millions of people. And the fact that Democrats are even entertaining the idea is pretty scary.

Want to Get Involved in the Process?

If you feel strongly about forced school consolidation and that small town schools are valuable assets to Iowa communities, sign the petition to stop/prevent it:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Unnecessary Wage Discrimination Bill Passes in Senate

Senate File 137 passed today in the Senate and the bill would make it easier to sue employers in Iowa. This just adds another layer of anti-business legislation coming out of the Capitol this session.
Click here to listen to remarks by Republican Senators on the bill.

Forced School Consolidation Bad for Iowa

A Democrat from Des Moines introduced a proposal last week that would force the rapid consolidation of all school districts with less than 750 students enrolled. This would affect 216 out of the 364 school districts in Iowa.

Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) implies that keeping these schools open is too costly for Iowans. However, it costs taxpayers $167.30 less per pupil to send a student to a school district with an enrollment of less than 750 students, which is on average $7879.10 per pupil, than it does to send a student to one of Iowa’s five largest schools, which costs on average $8046.40 per pupil.

Iowa’s small schools are a great asset for our communities and state. Small schools provide high quality educational services for students. In fact, a greater percentage of 11th grade students in Iowa’s 50 smallest schools are proficient in math and reading than students in Iowa’s 50 largest schools.

Small schools also have a high success rate of keeping their kids in school through graduation. For the 2007-2008 school year, the average dropout rate for schools with enrollment under 750 was 1.1%. During the same amount of time, the average dropout rate for Iowa’s five largest schools was 4.3%.

While it is always important that we look for methods to be more efficient in all areas receiving taxpayer money, we should not immediately look to the schools that are, in most cases, providing the best education in Iowa, and force them to make unnecessary changes.

For audio from the Senate floor of Senator David Johnson (R-Ocheyedan) asking Senator McCoy (D-Des Moines) about his proposal, click here.