We’ve only arrived at the end of the second week of session, but it feels like lawmakers have been in Des Moines for much, much longer! The proposals are coming fast and furious. We’re highlighting two important issues Common Good Iowa is advocating against at the Capitol — and asking for your help to defeat them.

Action item: NO to vouchers

Legislative leaders are moving quickly — recklessly — to move Gov. Reynolds' plan for private-school vouchers. The House is scheduled to the debate its version of the proposal this coming Monday, and the Senate is expected to debate its version early next week as well.

Lawmakers are moving at breakneck speed even though they have not yet received comprehensive, nonpartisan fiscal analysis from their own research arm, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA), on this massive giveaway to religious and other private schools.

Please contact your state Representative and Senator today to tell them to oppose vouchers

Because lawmakers are not meeting at the Capitol again till Monday, email is the best way to reach them over the weekend.

Find your legislator, and guidance on contacting them, here.

Here are some of the big reasons to oppose vouchers:

  • Vouchers divert public dollars from public schools
    which serve 90% of Iowa students and are accountable to parents, communities and the taxpayers who fund them.
  • Vouchers don’t offer families real choice
    Private schools pick and choose who they accept. Public schools are charged with accepting ALL students, no matter their race, religion, income, disability status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Vouchers are expensive
    over $340 million a year when fully phased in, according to its boosters. Their cost will contribute to a coming budget crisis by making new demands on the state General Fund, which is already projected to be cut by nearly $2 billion a year due to last year’s extreme income-tax cuts. We will be unable to support existing services, let alone this new obligation.
  • Vouchers are a radical giveaway
    to wealthy families already in private school. Within three years, the state would direct public dollars to private school tuition for any family, no income limits whatsoever.
  • Many rural communities have little to no access to private schools
    in the first place, which means residents’ tax dollars would go to pay for private schools in other parts of Iowa.

Learn more

Read Common Good Iowa's fact sheet, hot off the presses, on how vouchers would take money away from public schools — and worsen Iowa's impending budget crisis.


Protect SNAP

There's another threat making its way through the Capitol. HF 3 would restrict SNAP participants’ ability to make their own food choices, take food away from Iowans, and increase hunger and food insecurity in our state. No doubt we’ll be sharing more about this meanspirited proposal, but here are some resources to get up to speed: 

  • Summary of the bill from the Iowa Hunger Coalition. Common Good Iowa is a member of the coalition
  • Column by Todd Dorman of The Gazette, featuring a memorable and accurate comment from CGI Policy Advocate Natalie Veldhouse. 



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