The Democratic leaders of the Iowa Legislature toured the state on Monday to discuss their goals for the 2015 legislative session which begins on January 12th in Des Moines.

“Right now in Iowa, successful legislation must win support from both Republicans and Democrats,” Senate President Pam Jochum said. “In other states, that means nothing can get done. In Iowa, however, voters expect us to work together and solve problems. If we put the needs of people ahead of partisan politics, I’m confident we will produce results.”

“Iowa’s middle class is struggling to get ahead despite stagnant wages and a tough job market,” said Mike Gronstal, Majority Leader of the Iowa Senate. “Strengthening and expanding Iowa’s middle class is the best way to build a stronger state economy. That includes everything from giving Iowa companies the first shot at state contracts to cracking down on Iowa’s $600 million annual wage theft problem. Surely we can agree that Iowa workers ought to be paid what they are owed.”

“The foundation of our economy and the middle class rests on education and a highly skilled workforce,” said House Democratic Leader Mark Smith. “We’ll work together to expand job training opportunities at Iowa community colleges and make sure every Iowa child graduates with the skills necessary to land a good job or continue education after high school.”

The legislative leaders said their to-do list for the 2015 session is topped by:

– Funding for public schools that will continue improvements in student achievement and teacher quality

– Continuing to freeze tuition for in-state students at state universities for a third consecutive year

– Expanding opportunities for worker training at community colleges

– Giving Iowa companies first crack at state contracts

– A fiscally responsible budget that is balanced without raising taxes

– Expanding access to broadband, especially in rural and underserved areas

– Encourage more production and use of renewable energy, like biofuels, wind and solar

 

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