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Rep. Steckman says IPERS remains under attack


This news story was published on April 21, 2019.
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The following is a legislative update from Democratic Rep. Sharon Steckman, representing the middle-third of Cerro Gordo county in the Iowa Legislature:

Steckman: “Students from North Iowa Christian School in Mason City came to the Capitol on Wednesday, April 17th. I spoke with them about what it’s like to work at the Statehouse and answered their questions.”

We have debated quite a few bills this week, most of which were non-controversial. Some were budget bills – which fund various departments and always need more money than they get. As with our own personal budgets, it is a matter of setting priorities and there are always divergent views.

A bill was passed out of committee this week that threatens the future of IPERS and the retirement security of police officers, firefighters and other law enforcement officials. What the bill proposes is a change in the way local governments fund their retirement accounts. Instead of using a fund that is set up exclusively for retirement security, city and county governments would be forced to make retirement payments out of the fund that pays for the basic services like police and fire services, libraries, trails, etc.

In addition, the bill puts a limit on the amount local officials can raise for the fund that pays for these basic services, regardless of the needs of the individual communities. By limiting the amount collected into the fund and requiring more expenses to come out of it, the bill (HSB165) forces local officials to choose between providing basic services or protecting the retirement of the workers providing those basic services.

So far there is enough opposition on this bill to keep it from reaching the floor for debate. That could change and I will be watching it closely.

I checked and every interested Iowa group has registered as being against this bill. The only groups registered as being for its passage are the Taxpayers Association and Americans for Prosperity, a national PAC. I really wonder why it is still alive.

This week we passed the Agriculture and Natural Resources budget bill. I offered an amendment to appropriate $25,000 for the purpose of directing the DNR to review the 16 year- old Master Matrix and report their review to the legislature. It was defeated on a bi-partisan vote.

With only two weeks to go before the end date of May 3rd, the Iowa Legislature needs to finish budget business; do whatever we can to help average Iowans and leave the bad ideas in the “dustbin of history”.

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Steckman: “While we were home for the weekend, Senator Amanda Ragan and I visited the Mason City office of Iowa Works and chatted with Ryan West, Terry Schumaker, Corey Eberling, Patti Hanson and Nick Foley.”

Steckman: “On Monday, I was pleased to visit with advocates from the Iowa Adoptee and Family Coalition including Nancy Lund of Nora Springs, Michelle Spear and Susie Gill.”

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37 Responses to Rep. Steckman says IPERS remains under attack

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 25, 2019 at 9:35 am

    To me, the main issue isn’t whether or not IPERS should or shouldn’t be allowed to remain as is.

    The issue is that Republicans went up and down the state, declaring that IPERS wouldn’t be touched and that the Democrats were using it as a scare tactic. Now, not even a year later, the Republicans are attacking IPERS. Their word is worthless. All their assurances were nothing more than hot air. They lied to gain votes.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2019 at 11:19 am

      Liars in North Iowa:

      Sen. Brown
      Rep. Bloomingdale
      Speaker Upmeyer

      Again, it isn’t about IPERS, it is about the lies.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 25, 2019 at 11:28 am

      You are correct. Upmeyer is the lead liar. She also said that she would never approve medical marijuana for the state until she had definitive proof it was medically sound. Once the polling numbers came out (70% of Iowans favored it), she was all for it. She and the others are politicians. They do what they think will gain them votes.

  2. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Just a thought. There are people out there that are jealous, as was mentioned below, about others that have good retirement plans, notably IPERS. Common sense people would complain more about the BILLIONS of tax payer money going to support the illegals coming in through our southern border, then the small percentage of tax payer money that goes to IPERS.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Allen: Great point about how our tax money is spent. Rather reminds me of the people who complain about doctors fees and hospital expenses, then don’t bother to mention the multi-million dollar contracts athletes get. He can’t replace a knee or implant a pace maker, but he can sure get that ball thru the hoop.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 23, 2019 at 7:49 am

    As far as IPERS, it is a private retirement just as others out there which are provided as a result of collective bargaining (Taft-Hartley ACT). In both the public and private sector.

    In the public sector, funds such as CalPERS have had to rationalize the investment expectations due to market conditions. That means they have to collect more from the Districts it represents.

    There are States where the proper payments into their retirement funds were diverted elsewhere, and as a result, there is now a shortfall that is ballooning with each passing day.

    But more over, most funds, both private and public are solvent, and have made investments to ensure future retirees get what they have been promised.

    Steel Workers, Tradesmen, some Truck drivers, and even Railroad workers get pensions, which they negotiated, or were mandated by Congress.

    No, I think it is jealousy that drives the negative comments about Pensions, and the people who made the sacrifices and contributions towards their benefits. Everyone had the chance, it was their own personal choice to do without.

  4. Avatar

    Huck Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    F**K IPERS AND THE DNR…
    Hope they both go broke….

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2019 at 7:20 am

      It seems you don’t appreciate the work the Iowa DNR does for our community.

      If that is so, then you approve of people operating illegal dumps in our community. That you approve of people running illegal scrap processing in our community. That you approve of old gasoline tanks leaking, and getting into the ground water. That you approve of no one enforcing the laws of our State which deal with keeping our community clean and safe, and monitoring sites which are hazardous. That you approve of people using illegal and unsafe practices to make money, at the expense of our community. That you approve of people forsaking the value of your property, for their own personal gain.

      Note, I use the word people, and not corporations. Because in almost every case I have cited, it was NOT a corporation which violated our laws and our community, but individuals. And in some cases, it was not the City which took enforcement action, but the Iowa DNR. And from comments that I was allowed to view, there is more to come in our community, to make it a better place to live, and invest.

      You will also notice, I did not have to resort to foul language or vulgarities to make my point.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 23, 2019 at 7:54 am

        You are just a little Saint.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 23, 2019 at 10:11 am

          No, I think the term is, civilized. Something society needs more of.

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    Yessiree. I’m going to contact my reps and tell them I’m for sure for IPERS for school teachers. After the way they blew the whistle on Anita Micich they sure deserve it. And the posters on this site with a free ride for the rest of their lives who paid for their own retirement certainly deserve it. After all, it’s not costing we taxpayers anything and you know they don’t lie. And you know the teachers aren’t biased as they vote 50-50 for democrats and Republicans.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2019 at 9:15 pm

      Glad you’re on board. Every bit helps.

  6. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    What the hell is going on, what happened to all the civil comments?

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2019 at 1:57 pm

      There is a person who posts here quite often who doesn’t like to see anything that goes against what he believes, so he deletes because he believes that if someone can’t see it, it isn’t true.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2019 at 8:21 am

    You just have to ask why IPERS instead of 401K. IPERS is funded by the state and the city so it DOES affect taxes. Changing to a 401K would certainly help reduce taxes. I don’t care if the unions scream or not.

    • Avatar

      Allen Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2019 at 11:30 am

      Anybody in their right mind, that had a choice between IPERS, that’s been solvent for over 60 years and managed by competent people, (not government) and a 401k plan that’s managed by ???, and controlled by ???, would choose IPERS. I might be mistaken but, didn’t a 401k plan become insolvent a few years back because of greed or mismanagement. IPERS is managed by people that belong to IPERS, so who better to manage it then people that have invested in it. Also, employees contribute to IPERS, not just employers. IPERS and unions are two different organizations. Not all IPERS members belong to a union.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 22, 2019 at 6:17 pm

        Of course the pick IPERS. It is paid for by the taxpayer so there is no risk. Except to the taxpayers that is.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2019 at 6:57 pm

          WRONG, false information from an unknown comic.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2019 at 9:14 pm

          You are lying again. A trumpian lie (one that isn’t so much untrue but warps the truth into knots) but a lie just the same.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 22, 2019 at 9:33 pm

            Then please explain the funding for IPERS oldteach aka the teachpanzee. Or Teacher Brainspurs.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 22, 2019 at 11:05 pm

            Employees and their employers contribute to IPERS a set percentage of employees’ wages. Benefits are funded entirely by contributions plus investment income.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 23, 2019 at 12:40 am

            And the “employers” are government entities. These government entities are funded by taxpayers. Therefore, the “employer’s contributions” to IPERS are funded by the taxpayers.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 23, 2019 at 7:26 am

            2 things – 1st the contribution the government makes is the way the government makes up for the lack of competitive wages. 2nd, the ‘taxpayer’ includes those who receive IPERS.

  8. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 21, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    IPERS is the biggest rip-off of American taxpayers today. Why don’t they use 401K options like the real workers do? Just because every time the union asks for more, local and state govts. just raise taxes to provide the money. If people would treat govt like a business, we might be able to get our debt in order.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 21, 2019 at 7:22 pm

      IPERS was created in 1953 while 401Ks started around 1978. That might be one reason they aren’t using 401K options. If government was treated like a business, then we really would be broke.

    • Avatar

      Allen Reply Report comment

      April 21, 2019 at 8:20 pm

      I don’t know anything about 401ks but I think that anything that has been around for over 60 years and still works, is a good thing. That is as long as our government is kept out of it. Our government could never manage anything that long and keep it solvent like it was intended. Do you have any proof of your comment ” every time the union asks for more, local and state govts. just raise taxes to provide the money”. I don’t believe that is the only reason my taxes go up.

  9. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    April 21, 2019 at 10:46 am

    The money grabbers are always trying to put their fingers into something that works. Kind of like the social security program. If our government was put in charge of the sahara desert, in no time there would be a shortage of sand.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 21, 2019 at 10:51 am

      I agree with you. As long as it is not their money, they will find a way to separate it from you. Yet, our Governor, Upmeyer and the rest of the Republicans who cried “It’s a lie. We won’t touch IPERS.” are going to do just that. And before all the teacher haters talk about how it wasn’t earned, remember that LEOs, nurses and many other public servants will also be hurt by this.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        April 21, 2019 at 4:07 pm

        The bill has nothing to do with IPERS and it won’t effect IPPERS in any way. The bill is about putting a cap on property taxes and limit how much a county and city can raise your property taxes. I think that is a good thing. The Dems are throwing the IPER thing in to scare you but has nothing to do with that fund.

        • Avatar

          Allen Reply Report comment

          April 21, 2019 at 4:25 pm

          I looked through the bill, HSB165, which was hard to understand, then I found this, which I could understand, and believe. http://www.ispaonline.com/index.cfm/71155/46510/call_to_action__oppose_hsb165

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

            Thanks for finding this Allen. I had several sources to list for the person who said it was scare tactics. The bill may not be about IPERS but there is an amendment to it that does.

          • Avatar

            Anonymous

            April 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm

            If you had sources o’ex-teachpanzee where are they?

          • Avatar

            Allen

            April 22, 2019 at 8:25 pm

            At
            Anonymous

            April 22, 2019 at 6:26 pm
            If you had sources o’ex-teachpanzee where are they?

            If at all possible, could you be more specific.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 21, 2019 at 9:52 pm

      Holy shit, a civil, intelligent conversation is possible on this page? I just thought there was some virus or something stopping people from having a reasonable debate. 🙂