Update from the Iowa Capitol

State Sen. Eric Giddens (D-Cedar Falls)

Need help from storm recovery?

Iowa was hit hard by the Dec. 15 high winds. If you were impacted by the storm but are unsure how to proceed, call 2-1-1 to be connected to resources and guidance.

Please report any storm damage you know of so that local and state officials can document all impacted areas and ensure an appropriate response. Damage to property, roads, utilities and other storm-related information may be reported at homelandsecurity.iowa.gov.

Reynolds workforce crisis

Have you seen the “Help Wanted” signs on business doors and posts on social media?

Iowa has more jobs without workers than people without jobs, and yet Iowans continue moving out of state for better opportunities.

Iowa has become an unfriendly place for many workers in recent years. Under GOP control, working Iowans and local businesses have taken a backseat to big corporate greed and trendy culture wars.

The result? Governor Reynolds has a workforce crisis on her hands. It’s hit almost every sector of the Iowa economy–manufacturing, health care, education, services and more.

The Reynolds workforce crisis is driving up costs and making it hard for Iowans to get the goods and services they need. Too few nurses can lead life-and-death situations at our hospitals. Overburdened teachers are walking away from the profession they once loved, leaving schools understaffed and classrooms in chaos.

This is bad news for Iowa’s future. An economy that doesn’t have enough workers or opportunities for those who want to get ahead is fundamentally broken. Businesses and investors looking to grow will look elsewhere.

During the 2022 session, I’ll be focused on putting more money into the pockets of working Iowans and rebuilding Iowa’s reputation as a great place to live and work. We can get back on track by:

-Expanding apprenticeships, career training and technical education.

-Making child care more available and affordable throughout Iowa.

-Expanding high-speed Internet service to every school, business and family.

-Fully funding our schools so that students are prepared to succeed.

-Providing tax cuts to middle- and lower-income Iowans and smaller businesses.

Build Back Better

President Biden’s Build Back Better framework will cut taxes for working families and lower the costs of health care and child care, while ensuring the most profitable corporations pay their fair share.

The legislation has passed the U.S. House, and is now under consideration in the U.S. Senate. Dozens of economists are encouraging Congress to pass Build Back Better because it will allow families to keep more money in their pockets.

While everyday Iowans have struggled through the pandemic, some of America’s biggest companies have continued raking in billions in profits but paid no federal income taxes in 2020, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

Build Back Better will change that, and move us toward a more equitable, sustainable economy that creates opportunity and allows all hard-working Iowans to go get ahead.

Volunteer Hall of Fame Nominations

Through Jan. 29, Volunteer Iowa is accepting nominations for the 2022 Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame Awards. Details and nomination materials are available at volunteeriowa.org/hof.

Induction into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame is the highest state-level honor volunteers can receive. Those selected have changed the community, state, nation or world by giving their time and talents.

Any Iowa individual, national service member, family, group, organization, nonprofit, business or corporation that has made a long-lasting positive and meaningful difference in the lives of people through their volunteer service may be nominated.

Beginning with the 90th General Assembly which will begin in January of 2023, State Senator Eric Giddens will represent the new Iowa Senate District 38 including Cedar Falls, Hudson, Traer, Dysart, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Gilbertville, Washburn, LaPorte City and Mount Auburn. Contact Sen. Giddens at 319-230-0578 or eric.giddens@legis.iowa.gov.