2021 Highlights & Disappointments

The 2021 legislative session has adjourned for the year with no comprehensive plan to help Iowans struggling from a global pandemic that has upended their lives and their pocketbooks.

Democrats: Build Back Iowa

Kids Back to School Safely

  • Give schools tools to get kids back to school safely (HF 659)
  • Student Pandemic Recovery Grants for public schools (HF 659)

Support Iowa Families

  • Food security for every family (HF 609)
  • Homeowner or rental assistance for 15,000 Iowans and extend prohibition on evictions until 2022 (HF 657)
  • Exempt unemployment assistance from state taxes (SF 290)
  • Pandemic assistance for child care to families and providers
    • Grants to open new licensed child care centers and financial support to keep current centers open
    • Expand eligibility and support for Child Care Assistance (CCA) (SF177/HF 613)
    • End cliff effect for child/dependent care tax credit (HF 668)
    • Tax credit for small business that provide child care (HF 617)

Open/Reopen Small Businesses

  • Expand eligibility and help another 5,000 small businesses stay open/reopen with $100 million for Iowa Small Business Relief Grant program (HF 608)

Protecting Iowans from COVID

  • Make telehealth parity permanent for mental and physical health (HF 612)

Accountability & Transparency

  • Protecting workers on the front lines while holding bad actors accountable
  • Transparency and accountability of taxpayer dollars spent on COVID response and recovery (HF 689)

Reynolds & GOP: Politics & Division

  • Voter suppression (SF 413)
  • Historic low funding for public schools (SF 269)
  • Eliminate background checks & put guns in hand of criminals (SJR 7)
  • Take away right of woman to make her own healthcare decisions; ban common forms of birth control (HJR 5)
  • Eliminates diversity plans used by some schools (HF 228)
  • Provides immunity to firearm manufacturers (HF 621)
  • Eliminates housing voucher non-discrimination laws (SF 252)
  • Expands Charter Schools (HF 813)
  • Bans “divisive concepts” like racism or sexism from being discussed in public schools and universities (HF 802)

Missed Opportunities

Common Sense, Bipartisan Bills Killed by Republicans

  • Constitutionally restore felon voting rights (HJR 11)
  • Prohibits “gay panic” defense (HF 310)
  • Cap cost of insulin to $100 for month supply (HF 263)
  • Pharmacists can give birth control without prescription (HF 434)
  • Insurance has to reimburse physical health providers at same rate for telehealth services (HF 784)
  • Prohibits employers from restricting low-wage workers from getting another job (SF 496)
  • Learning Recovery Task Force for Covid learning losses (SF 545)
  • Enhances communications with our returning veterans to be sure they access benefits they’ve earned (SF 255)

2021 Bi-Partisan Successes

  • Expanding access to emergency medical services (SF 615)
  • Increase funding for students learning English (HF 605)
  • Expand protections to prevent sexual abuse (SF 253)
  • Encourage more OB/GYN doctors to locate in rural Iowa (SF 129)
  • Increase funding for job training at community colleges (HF 871)
  • New enforcement to stop human trafficking (HF 452)
  • New tracking system for rape kits (HF 426)
  • Lifetime trout stamp for Iowans over 65 (HF 234)
  • More funding opportunities for voluntary fire departments (HF 761)
  • Expands protections for vulnerable Iowans (HF 839)
  • $1 million increase for Iowa state parks (HF 860)
  • Explores opportunities to expand broadband across Iowa communities (HF 848)
  • Creates new opportunities and financial assistance for small-scale meat processing businesses and lockers (HF 871, HF 857)
  • Expand services to sexual assault survivors and increase accountability in the investigations of these crimes (HF 603, HF 426)
  • Increase oversight of pesticide application (SF 482)

Iowans stopped these bad GOP Bills

  • Cutting unemployment for Iowans (SF 492)
  • Reduces unemployment appeals for Iowans (SF 187)
  • Private school vouchers (SF 159)
  • Prohibiting any instruction about gender identity in schools (SF 167)
  • Requiring survey of political views of university employees (SF 292)
  • Allowing discrimination based on religious beliefs/exemption defense (SF 436)
  • Penalize or remove school board members and administrators for disagreeing with the Governor (SSB 1213)
  • Digital tracking women looking for reproductive care online (HF 515)
  • Legalize conversion therapy & ban medical care for some kids (HF 193)
  • Punish students in communities with high COVID cases (HF 165)
  • Reinstate death penalty (HF 271/SF 82)
  • Publicly shaming woman for their health care decisions and falsely declaring an “abortion pandemic” in Iowa (SF 508)
  • New barriers for Iowans to get food or health care assistance (SF 389)
  • Eliminate tenure at Iowa’s state universities (HF 496)
  • Discouraging Iowans from getting live-saving vaccines (SF 555)
  • New “poll tax” before restoring someone’s right to vote (HF 818)
  • Prohibits a social media company from limiting an elected official’s access to the platform (HF 830)
  • Punishing cities for keeping budget balanced (SF 479)
  • Allows the State to make discrimination easier (HF 815)
  • Medication abortion reversal requiring physicians to give unproven information to patients (HF 383)
  • Immunity to trucking companies for hiring rapists/sex traffickers (SF 537/HF 772)
  • Putting a monetary value on people’s lives when medical malpractice has occurred (HF 592/SF 557)