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.

from the Desk of Senator Gronstal on Education and Economic Development

Dear Friends,

Budget negotiations at the Iowa Capitol have stalled over support for education and job creation.

Our schools and colleges, as well as Iowa’s recovery from the national recession, will be damaged if we don’t reach a common-sense compromise.

To make that happen, Iowans need to get involved. That’s why I’m asking for your help. Please join your friends, neighbors and family members in voicing your concerns about unnecessary cuts to education at every level and the job creation initiatives that are helping our economy recover. The proposed cuts are unnecessary because we can afford these investments at a time when our state’s reserve funds are full at $600 million, and another $300 million will be added by the end of the fiscal year.

Here are 10 areas where Republicans insist on deep, unnecessary cuts that are causing gridlock at the Capitol:


1. Zero for K-12 schools – Republicans insist on no new money for our local schools for the next two years. That means fewer teachers, more crowded classes, and fewer educational opportunities.

2. Quality early education – Republicans want to cut funding to Iowa’s successful statewide preschool for four-year-olds, which will lower both quality and access for thousands of Iowa families.

3. Public universities - Republicans demand a $40 million cut to ISU, the U of I and UNI that will force double-digit tuition increases on Iowa families.

4. Private college students –Republican cuts will take away support for Iowa students who rely on need-based financial aid.

5. Community colleges – There is $24 million dollar difference between what Democrats and Republicans want to provide to our community colleges. The Republican plan would force huge tuition increases that could once again make Iowa home to the highest community college tuition in the nation.

6. Skilled jobs – House Republicans refuse to invest $10 million to take a successful job training initiative statewide. It would provide local employers with the skilled workers they need.

7. Workforce offices – Republicans want to close many Iowa workforce offices, which help unemployed Iowans improve their skills and find jobs.

8. High-wage jobs –Republicans want to shut down the Iowa Values Fund—established with strong bipartisan support—which helps businesses create high-wage jobs in cutting edge fields.

9. Employee health insurance – Republicans are blocking a state tax credit that would help businesses with ten or fewer employees provide affordable health care insurance.

10. Renewable energy jobs – House Republicans have blocked approval of $10 million in consumer rebates for on-site home and business wind and solar projects. Approved by a bipartisan Senate majority, this initiative would create work for Iowa plumbers, contractors, electricians and other small businesses.

If you support efforts to protect education and job creation priorities, call Governor Branstad at 515-281-5211 and urge him to compromise.


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