Friday, February 13, 2009

Weekly Senate Report: Big Union Bills Burst Forward (By Sen. Brad Zaun)

This week, Governor Culver and his party members in the Legislature have decided to once again shine the legislative spotlight on their big union boss backed agenda that would severely hinder – not help - the economic forecast for Iowa.

Just last week the news magazine U.S. News & World Report released a study noting that Iowa is now the second worst state in the United States when it comes to employer climate as determined through indicators by several esteemed and respected business indexes. Only West Virginia had an employer climate less desirable than Iowa’s. In making their pronouncement, they cited Iowa’s high government interference, very high and burdensome capital gains and corporate income taxes and heavy unemployment taxes on wages. If Iowa is to attract and retain the kinds of investments, employers, manufacturers, businesses and talent to compete not only with the other states, but also with other countries, we must act now. Failure to act will mean our children and grandchildren will not find the same kinds of opportunities that generations of Iowans before them cherished and treasured.

Governor Culver and his party member leaders have publically stated that they initially intend to bring forward four major union backed bills this session with potential for several more to follow. Having won their majority in the Senate as a result of hundreds of thousands of dollars from big union bosses, many of those union bosses are asking for a return on their electoral investment. These bills, if enacted, will drastically and dramatically affect Iowa’s business and employment climate and send a message across the country to potential employers, businesses, employees and investors that Iowa is not a welcoming place to conduct or grow a business.

This week, the governor and his legislative counterparts are pushing a doctor shopping bill that would reverse 96 years of workers’ compensation law and effectively eliminate employer directed medical care. Iowa has prided itself on creating a balance between employees’ needs for medical care for injuries occurring in the workplace, employees’ needs for replacement income while off of work, and employers seeking a predictable and insurable cost structure to accommodate employees’ needs. The union bill would allow workers to shop around for a doctor or multiple doctors to get a desired diagnosis and treatments that may not be related to their workplace injury. Iowans would also not receive adequate and immediate referrals to trained employer directed occupational medicine specialists. If this bill passed, workers’ compensation insurance rates would immediately increase to an estimated 14% higher.

This bill was rushed through committee without answers as to how much it will cost the state budget and local municipalities, and what would the negative impacts be on small businesses in Iowa. I believe with the economy in the condition it is in, this is not the time to add higher expenses.

We know the path toward a more prosperous and optimistic economic future lies in removing the barriers and roadblocks to economic growth in this state. Amidst layoffs, business and plant closings, worker furloughs and hour cutbacks, now is definitely not the time to add even more burdensome regulations onto the backs of employers and businesses. Iowans can be confident that I will choose to continue to side with the vast majority of Iowans and choose the path of common sense and economic sensibility. I oppose this doctor shopping bill and other union backed bills because I want generations of Iowans to have a future where they can thrive and succeed.

I have a forum scheduled in Des Moines with my friend, Rep. Janet Petersen (D-HD 64) on Saturday, February 14 from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. at the Northwest Community Center.

I also have the following forums set in Urbandale with my friend, Rep. Scott Raecker (R-HD 63)
  • Saturday, February 21 from 9:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce office, (2900 Justin Drive, Suite L);

  • Saturday, March 21 from 9:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce office (2900 Justin Drive, Suite L);

  • Saturday, April 25 from 9:00 to 11:30 A.M. at the Urbdandale Chamber of Commerce office (2900 Justin Drive, Suite L).
The Urbandale forums are sponsored by the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. Please join me when you can. If you cannot attend please email me at or call 515.281.3371. I am always interested in your opinion and it is truly an honor to serve the people of Iowa.


Anonymous said...

Tataglia is a pimp.

Spotlight said...

What about the widely held view that Iowa is a low wage state? Don't the employers groove on that?

United we (workers) stand, Divided we fall.

Btw, if you don't want unions to get a return on their "investment" in campaign contributions, would you favor publicly funded campaigns?

The Real Sporer said...

Spotlight, good to have you back.

Iowa is not perceived as a low wage state, and if it were, that would be something that would attract businesses.

I don't object to unions getting a payoff for their massive support of the Democrat socialist agenda, although when Rs were steamrolling you all over the last twenty years I don't remember the Democrats shutting up and getting in line. I object to what the unions want from the Democrats.

You surely don't object to our illustrating, you might say, spotlighting, the payoff? The average Iowan needs to know how the the Democrats socialist agenda benefits public employees and few others.

Anonymous said...

Who comes to mind when you read the follwoing?:

Federal authorities examining the early, chaotic days of the $125 billion American-led effort to rebuild Iraq have significantly broadened their inquiry to include senior American military officers who oversaw the program, according to interviews with senior government officials and court documents.

Anonymous said...

Senator Zaun didn't answer the question: Would he support public financing of campaigns as a way of preventing "investments" by special interests in political candidates?



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