AFSCME Iowa Lobby Day, March 3, 2010

posted Mar 8, 2010, 9:50 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Mar 8, 2010, 9:56 AM ]
Report by Deb Carter:

Andy Bock, Jean McMaken and Deb Carter went to lobby day in Des Moines on March 3, 2010.  The day started at the Embassy Suites with refreshments and remarks by President Danny Homan, Deputy Political Director Mitchell Stille, and Legislative Director Marcia Nichols, who discussed, among other things, the status of the Fair Share legislation. We were asked to encourage our legislators to support Fair Share and Governor Culver’s Education budget and thank them for doing so.

AFSCME membership is up to 14,268 statewide - that number will decrease with employees that take early retirement.   

Vic Elias of the Iowa Children and Family Policy Center talked about the revenue problem in Iowa.  He maintained that the revenue decline shouldn’t be fixed only through spending less and cutting services that Iowans depend on.   He advocated closing tax loopholes and getting rid of wasteful tax credits.   

Our breakout group was with other Regents employees and Regent lobbyist Keith Saunders.  Individuals spoke to Keith about inefficiencies and policies at their institutions and Keith explained how the funding in the legislature might happen with a lower beginning allotment and a later reversion as happened this year. 

Awards were presented to Friends of AFSCME and AFSCME Road Crew and maintenance members for their service.   After a nice lunch, we left for the Capitol where we had photo-ops with our representatives. Andy, with other AFSCME members, lobbied for Reasonable Reimbursement with Representative Lisa Heddens.  (Please write to Representative Heddens with your reasons supporting reasonable reimbursement.  She needs to hear from us!)  Debbie thanked State Senator Herman Quirmbach for his support of reasonable reimbursement legislation and they talked briefly about his meeting with the Chamber in Ames and his clarifying comments regarding reasonable reimbursement on an Ames radio program.  AFSCME was personally welcomed by the Governor who provided refreshments in his office.  

The day went fast and was fun and informative.  We received information about reasonable reimbursement, state government reorganization, Iowa’s budget gap and an AFSCME bag!  I encourage everyone to go next year.  It’s a great opportunity to support our union while having fun and meeting fellow union members.