2/20/2017 11:15:00 AM Long known for political temperance, Iowa suddenly moves sharply right
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — After decades as the crossroads of prairie populists and checkbook conservatives, Iowa has suddenly become solidly Republican like many of its Midwestern neighbors.
It was one of four states — along with Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire — that flipped to complete GOP control in the November election, but Iowa’s rush of new legislation has been the most intense.
In an all-night session last week, Iowa lawmakers approved a bill similar to one enacted in Wisconsin six years ago that strips most public sector unions of long-held collective bargaining rights, including health insurance.
Among other items, Republicans also are pressing to eliminate state money for all Planned Parenthood services, outlaw the use of fetal tissue for medical research, subject doctors who perform abortions to lawsuits by women at any time in the future, scrap minimum wage increases in Iowa’s largest counties and block municipalities from enacting sexual orientation discrimination protections.
There’s also talk of a tax cut, despite a $110 million shortfall in the current budget year.
“We’re doing big things for Iowa,” Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix said.