From the Desk of Senator Giddens

State Sen. Eric Giddens (D-Cedar Falls)

As we begin Iowa’s 2023 legislative session, I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. I’m Eric Giddens and I’m proud to represent you in the Iowa Senate. I represent Senate District 38, which includes Cedar Falls, Hudson, Evansdale, Elk Run Heights, Gilbertville, Washburn, and LaPorte City in Black Hawk County as well as Traer and Dysart in Tama County, and Mount Auburn in Benton County.

I was elected to my first term in the Iowa Senate in 2019. As a former junior high math teacher and School Board member in Cedar Falls, I’m proud to be a champion in the Legislature for better schools, jobs, and healthcare for Cedar Valley families.

This session I’ll serve on the Agriculture, Appropriations, Education, State Government, and Transportation committees, and as the ranking member on the Senate Commerce Committee. I’ve also been elected to the Senate Democratic leadership team. In these roles, I’m committed to working with any and all willing allies on a pro-Iowa, pro-worker, and pro-family agenda.

I hope we can stay connected this session. You can reach me directly at Eric.Giddens@legis.iowa.gov or 319-230-0578. Listening to your concerns, advancing your interests, and making our community an even better place to live is my job, so please reach out!

Statehouse Republicans ram voucher bill through the Senate

Late this week, Senate Republicans introduced a school voucher bill to defund public education in Iowa and send hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to private schools.

Vouchers are a terrible idea for Iowa, and I’ll be fighting against this bill every step of the way.

Gov. Reynolds rolled out her latest voucher scheme during her Condition of the State Address on Tuesday night, and Senate Republicans wasted no time pushing it forward. The bill was rushed into a public hearing on Thursday afternoon, and could come up for a vote next week. I’m deeply concerned that Republicans are rushing to pass this bill with as little public scrutiny and debate as possible.

Evidence shows voucher schemes like this actually hurt student achievement, and fail to provide parents with more options, since private schools can still pick and choose the students they accept. Vouchers represent an especially serious threat to rural school districts, where loss of state support will drive more consolidation and weaken our small towns.

Gov. Reynolds has already showed us the terrible cost vouchers will place on our schools. She says her voucher plan will divert $107 million from our public schools in its first year, but at the same time she’s proposing to increase K-12 funding by just $83 million. That means Iowa schools will lose $24 million in the first year of this scheme alone – and it’ll only get worse from there.

Senate Democrats are united against this attack on our kids, our schools, and our rural communities.

State Senator Eric Giddens represents 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.