Following Governor Branstad’s veto of language protecting Iowa’s Workforce Development offices, Democrats announced they will be signing a petition calling for a special session of the Iowa Legislature with the sole purpose of overriding the Governor’s veto in order to keep workforce centers open. Democrats are also reaching out to Republican colleagues to sign on as well.
This is the wrong time to close down workforce center offices, with over 100,000 Iowans looking for work. Moving forward Democrats want to continue to work in a bi-partisan way to keep these offices open. The offices provide critical job training and placement services and help local businesses find skilled workers.
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. In his veto message, the Governor said he intends to proceed with his plan to close at least 36 Workforce Development offices around the state and replace them with computer kiosks in local libraries.
Democrats will continue to push for a special session to keep workforce centers open in order to help businesses find skilled workers and help Iowans find good paying jobs. The deadline to get a two thirds vote to call the House back is August 15.