The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:
The 2019 legislative session will end any day now. Final bills are quickly moving through the House and Senate or being set aside for next year.
As we hammer out the state budget, I am concerned that it doesn’t Put Iowans First. We have real issues in our economy—a shortage of skilled workers, stagnant wages, cuts to worker benefits and too many families living paycheck to paycheck.
My focus is on moving Iowa forward. We can do more to bring better jobs to our communities, ensure Iowans have access to affordable health care and mental health care, provide students at all levels with the best education and training in the country, and revitalize our small towns and rural areas.
State leaders should be working on policies that respect Iowans and make our state a better place to live and work. Instead, in recent years, the Legislature has moved millionaires, corporations and other special interests to the front of the line — at the expense of working Iowans.
I’m always ready to work together on initiatives that help all Iowans, but I will continue opposing legislation that only benefits special interests.
Workers Memorial Day brings attention to safe workplaces
During 2018, 26 Iowans died from injuries sustained while working, and many more were injured in workplace accidents. Sunday, April 28 is Workers Memorial Day—a day to remember and honor them.
It’s also a time to renew our commitment to health and safety in the workplace. Since 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) has promised everyone the right to a safe job. Over the years, workers, unions and other advocates have fought to eliminate hazards and save lives. Many of those gains have been overturned in the last couple years, with new laws limiting workers’ rights and opportunities to collectively negotiate terms of employment; weakening efforts to ensure safe workplaces; and slashing protections and compensation for Iowans hurt or sickened on the job.
Iowans deserve to be valued for the work they do.