Focus On Keeping Iowans Healthy and Restoring Financial Security  

DES MOINES – Democratic lawmakers outlined their plan today to address the needs of Iowa families and business during the upcoming session of the Iowa Legislature. 

The plan was developed by lawmakers to keep legislators focused during the final days of the 2020 session on addressing problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Iowans have worked hard to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19 and deserve to be at the front of the line in our recovery efforts,” Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen said. “We need to stay focused on fixing the problems created by the pandemic and passing a balanced budget.”

“In these uncertain times, the state needs to be more transparent than ever so Iowans have all the information available to protect their family, open their business, or go back to the office,” said House Democratic Leader Todd Prichard. “When session starts again on Wednesday, the Legislature must also fulfill its duty to provide oversight and make sure our Iowa tax dollars are spent wisely.” 

In releasing the COVID recovery agenda, the two leaders also said lawmakers must work together to find solutions that balance the physical health and safety of Iowans with their need to work and put food on the table. The full agenda is below.

COVID 19 Recovery Agenda

Keeping Iowans Healthy 

o   Access to affordable health care, including mental health

o   Ensure universal access to COVID testing, contact tracing and PPE in all 99 counties

o   Keep hospitals and local health care clinics open 

o   Free coronavirus vaccine once available

o   Support mitigation efforts by cities, counties and emergency management commissions 

o   Prepare for fall COVID resurgence 

 Opening Businesses Safely & Protecting Workers

o   Help small businesses reopen safely and help them stay open 

o   Tests for Iowans returning to the workforce and retesting at workplaces when an employee tests positive

o   Financial security for businesses and workers with COVID positive case

o   Expand whistleblower protections and workers compensation during pandemics, including first responders and health care workers  

o   Expand protections for renters and homeowners during pandemics and severe economic downturns

o   Expand community college opportunities to help Iowans get back to work

o   Paid pandemic leave for workers to stay home when they are sick 

Kids Learning & Growing Safely

o   Protect K-12 public education funding 

o   Provide universal access to technology and home-based internet for students

o   Provide PPE for all educators and students

o   Increase childcare services for Iowa families

o   Provide timely guidance to schools, parents and students on reopening

COVID Transparency & Accountability 

o   Expand vote-at-home opportunities statewide

o   Oversight of Test Iowa and other no-bid contracts

o   Require immediate public notification of COVID outbreaks and end threshold reporting requirement

o   Require OSHA inspections and enforcement during health care emergencies