Matt Strawn, the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, was in Davenport yesterday to kickoff his three day, five city, Job Security for Iowans Tour. The press conference was held at Twin-State, Inc., a liquid fertilizer supplier based in Davenport, Iowa. The company is owned by Hovey Tinsman, the husband of former State Senator Maggie Tinsman.
Strawn focused on two contentious pieces of legislation that were recently introduced in the Iowa House of Representatives. House File 555, a bill which would require non-union employees to pay union dues if they benefit in any way from union agreements, and House File 530, which Strawn referred to as a “doctor-shopping bill.” The bill would allow injured workers the right to select their own doctors rather than the ones provided by their employer.
Strawn noted that over 80,000 Iowans are currently unemployed, and Quad-City based John Deere just announced that it would be cutting jobs last Friday. Strawn also cited a U.S. News and World Reports study which stated that Iowa ranks 49th out of 50 in terms of statewide business climate and is the second least friendly environment to small businesses.
Strawn said that Governor Culver and Democrat legislative leaders support House File 530, which he said would be devastating to Iowa business owners. “The doctor-shopping bill would gut over 90 years of common-sense workers’ compensations policy in Iowa,” said Strawn. “Iowa actually provides the highest workers compensation benefit in the Midwest and currently has the third most generous benefit in the nation,” Strawn concluded.
When asked what type of legislation Strawn would rather see, Strawn said he would hope legislators would take a Hippocratic Oath like doctors – first do no more harm to our economy. “Iowa already enjoys the third most generous benefit in the nation, so why we would add an additional cost to businesses is mind-boggeling,” said Strawn.
When asked what type of impact this legislation would have on a business like Twin State, Strawn said that the Iowa branch of the National Federation of Independent Business says the average small business would see an increase of 15-20% on their costs of their workers’ compensation insurance premiums.
Strawn noted that Iowa Republicans are offering bold solutions at the Capitol to empower Iowans, not government, to secure and create jobs in the Hawkeye State. Strawn specifically referred to GOP proposals providing immediate and substantial job creation tax credits, constitutionally protecting Iowa’s Right-to-Work law, and beginning a fundamental debate on Iowa’s hostile tax and regulatory environment.
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