2017 Legislative Session in Review

Fighting the attack on working families and vulnerable Iowans

Prepared by the Iowa Senate Democratic Staff

This year, legislative Republicans and out-of-state special interests rammed through laws that are making Iowa a less attractive place to live, work and raise a family. They are driving down wages, cutting health care and degrading the quality of life for hard-working Iowans.

Because the priorities of legislative Republicans are out of whack, they managed to turn Iowa’s $928 million surplus into a $130 million deficit. The problem is compounded by policy changes and budget cuts that are causing Iowa to lose federal funding and matching funds to many state agencies and programs. [Read the full 2017 Session Wrap-up]


Legislative Democrats – 87th General Assembly

Republican lawmakers ignored the concerns of Iowans this session and broke their promise to create jobs and raise family incomes. While rewarding the special interests and out-of-state corporations, the GOP stacked the deck against everyday Iowans who are working hard but still not getting ahead. Democrats will keep listening to Iowans, hold Republican politicians accountable, and fight to build an economy that works
for all Iowa families.


GOP BroKEn PRomises; Iowa Headed in wrong direction

  • Instead of listening and working to improve life for everyday Iowans, Republicans stacked the deck against them.
  • Instead of raising family incomes like they promised, Republicans lowered wages for 65,000 Iowans.
  • Instead of making sure every kid gets a great education, they shortchanged public schools again this year with the third lowest increase in history then blamed teachers for the state’s budget problems.
  • Instead of keeping health care affordable, Republicans cut a woman’s access to health care for cancer screenings, STD test, and birth control. They also passed a 20 week abortion ban without exceptions for rape, incest, or even health of the mother.
  • Instead of keeping higher education and job training affordable to build our skilled workforce, Republicans raised tuition on students attending our state universities and community colleges.
  • Instead of working together with dedicated public servants like firefighters, police officers, and teachers, Republicans took away their rights and their voice in the workplace.
  • Instead of making it easier for Iowans to vote, Republicans created more hurdles and less time for Iowans to cast their vote.

Iowans pay for the gop budget mess

  • Republicans have wrecked the state budget, slowed the state’s economy, and turned a $930 million state budget surplus into a $130 million deficit. The deficit is largely driven by $500 million in corporate tax giveaways that overwhelmingly go to out of state corporations.
  • Now, Iowans are being forced to pay for the GOP’s budget mess. Students will be paying higher tuition. Fewer at-risk kids will be able to attend preschool. Victims of domestic violence may not get the support they need. Iowans will be paying higher property taxes.
  • Democrats believe we need to restore fiscal discipline and embrace economics that make sense for the average Iowa family. We should put people and a skilled workforce before corporate tax breaks.

Download a copy of the 2017 End of Legislative Session.

Pam Jochum at podium

Pam Jochum: Most Valuable Progressive

Most Valuable State Legislator in 2015

Senate President Pam Jochum (District 50) is listed on Nation Magazine’s Progressive Honor Roll as the Most Valuable State Legislator in 2015. She’s fought hard against an extreme Republican agenda and most recently against Governor Branstad’s plan to privatize Iowa’s Medicaid system. Make sure to congratulate Senator Jochum as one of our most valuable progressives representing Dubuque County. Read more at the Nation.com.