Iowans looking for work won a big victory today when a district court ruled Governor Terry Branstad’s veto closing down 36 workforce centers across Iowa was unconstitutional.
“After working together across party lines last session to make sure Iowans who need help finding a job could get it, I’m pleased the court overturned Governor Branstad’s veto which shut down 36 workforce centers, including the one in Iowa City,” said Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, who was a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging the veto.
“In tough economic times when too many Iowans are out of work, the Governor made the wrong decision to make it more difficult for them to find a job. Many Iowans need help learning new skills to land a good-paying job and small businesses in communities across Iowa rely on these centers to find Iowa workers,” added Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, who also joined the lawsuit. “It’s time to work together to strengthen our economy and help the middle class.”
During the 2011 legislative session, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature worked together to ensure Workforce Development field offices were adequately funded and language was included in Senate File 517 directing Iowa Workforce Development to keep their current offices open. Governor Branstad ignored the bi-partisan work of the Legislature and vetoed funding for the centers and requirements that they remain open. After a lawsuit was filed challenging the veto in Polk County District Court, a judge today overturned the Governor’s veto and ruled it unconstitutional. State Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, also joined the suit.