Dec 17, 2017 at 9:00 am | Print View
Iowans take a lot of pride in the moments when the nation turns its lonely eyes to us.
In 2009, when Iowa became the first Midwest state to legalize same-sex marriage, there was much written about our state historically being far ahead of the national curve on civil rights issues. When state legislatures elsewhere pull shameless political shenanigans to draw gerrymandered districts, folks lamenting such developments point to Iowa’s nonpartisan redistricting structure as a model.
And maybe you’ve heard about how Iowans play a fairly prominent role in picking presidential nominees. First in the nation. That’s how we roll.
Don’t get me started on tenderloins, sweet corn and state fairs. These are just a few examples.
And yet, oddly enough, Republicans currently running our Statehouse, the nation’s most majestic, I say, seem determined to outsource important policy decisions to other states.
Last session, they swiftly scrapped a 40-year-old, bipartisan, Iowa-crafted collective bargaining law governing public employees in favor of Wisconsin-style union busting. They even got a digital pep talk from Badger State Gov. Scott Walker as they ripped up Iowa’s law.
Former Gov. Terry Branstad delivered our once Iowa-managed Medicaid health insurance program into the hands of private managed care companies, hoping to emulate other states, including Kansas. The administration of his successor, Gov. Kim Reynolds, now has hired the former director of Kansas’ troubled Medicaid program to run Iowa’s troubled program. I see more trouble ahead.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, R-Shell Rock, says he’s determined to cut income taxes in Iowa, looking to states such as Kansas, which enacted deep tax cuts in 2012. Kansas’ cuts led to massive budget problems, and a big chunk of those tax cuts eventually had to be repealed. Dix says