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Iowa Senate Approves Bill Cutting Bargaining Rights for Public Employees, Sends to Governor’s Desk

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Just hours after the Iowa House voted to approve a bill that slashes collective bargaining rights from most public workers the Iowa Senate followed suit.

Senate File 213, the counterpart to the House bill that passed earlier Thursday afternoon, was approved mostly along party lines 29 to 21.

The bill was first introduced last Tuesday by Republican leaders.  The bill makes it illegal for non-public safety public employees to bargain for anything other than wages.  That ends 40 years of workers inlcuding teachers and corrections workers being allowed to bargain for insurance benefits and other perks.

Democrats had tried to slow down the process on the bill and delay a vote.  On Thursday morning Republican leaders placed a “Time Certain” on amendments to the bill, requiring immediate votes on them.

Governor Branstad has promised to sign the bill.

The bill has faced near universal opposition at the statehouse from public and private union members, including police and fire unions that are exempt from the changes.