Mike Gronstal, from Council Bluffs, has been the Senate Democratic Leader since 1997. First elected to office in 1982, Gronstal served one term in the Iowa House (1983-85), and is currently in his seventh term in the Senate. He is the State Democratic Leader in the Iowa Senate and has been a lifelong advocate for public education and smart politics.


We are fortunate to have Mike Gronstal represent us, our students, our schools and our profession. In the current political climate it is vital that you understand that we need YOU. Your time, your talent, and--eventually--your treasure will be needed to make sure that we reverse the trend of legislators who are willing to sell out our children for corporate tax cuts.

Making Iowa communities safer for all

One of my top priorities as your state senator is ensuring our local communities remain safe, welcoming places to live, work and raise a family. And I’m proud of the long and varied list of accomplishments we’ve made in the Legislature to better ensure that safety.

A few of the measures we’ve approved in the last couple years include:

** Standing up for the 2nd Amendment rights of responsible gun owners and improving public safety by passing uniform standards for gun permits. Iowa’s “shall issue” law was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

** Protecting Iowa families with a bipartisan initiative that prevents convicted domestic abusers from possessing guns.

** Saving lives on Iowa roads by banning texting while driving for all drivers and prohibiting teens with restricted licenses from using any electronic device.

** Protecting children by increasing criminal penalties for sex offenders, banning predators from areas where kids gather, and making it easier to track offenders online and in our communities.

** Opening up lines of communication to better ensure that dangerous, mentally ill patients scheduled for arrest aren’t released from the hospital without notifying law enforcement. This will help prevent the mistakes that contributed to the murder of Coach Ed Thomas in Parkersburg.

** Creating a new electronic database to track purchases of pseudoephedrine, a primary ingredient in meth. This step builds on laws that have already resulted in an 82 percent decline in Iowa meth labs between 2004 and 2009.

** Expanding Iowa drug courts, which reduce expensive prison costs by giving non-violent addicts a chance to get off drugs and change their lives.

** Cracking down on nuisance bars and taverns that have a pattern of criminal activity by making owners accountable for what happens in their parking lots or adjacent areas, not just inside the building.

** Protecting teens from sexual exploitation by closing a loophole that allowed minors to dance nude in strip clubs.

** Establishing stronger supports for our volunteer and professional public safety workers so that they can more effectively do their jobs.

Saving lives on Iowa roadways

Iowa traffic fatalities dropped 9.7 percent in 2009 compared to 2008, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fewer deaths on Iowa roads is good news—and it’s a trend we want to continue.

During the 2010 session, we approved a common-sense measure that will help do just that: banning texting while driving. The law is aimed at saving lives and preventing serious injuries.

Distracted driving can be deadly. In fact, more than 6,000 people nationally died last year in distracted driving accidents. Here in Iowa, we’ve taken steps to curb that problem by cracking down on the use of electronic devices by drivers.

All drivers are now prohibited from texting while driving. The law goes even further for young drivers: teens with school, restricted, work or graduated drivers licenses cannot use cell phones or any electronic entertainment device while driving.

The new law went into effect on July 1. During the first year, law enforcement will be offering warnings, and adults cannot be pulled over unless they’ve committed another offense. After the first year, drivers will be subject to a $100 fine. There are tougher penalties if someone is killed or seriously injured.


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