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.

Voices of Iowans move us toward common sense deal

Iowans are speaking out against deep cuts to schools, job creation initiatives and other state services. In the Senate, Senator Gronstal and pro-education legilsators are listening.
Senate Democrats have organized daily budget hearings at the Capitol and have hosted close to 40 listening posts and community meetings around the state. Senate Democrats are learning first-hand from Iowans about how Republican cuts will hurt Iowa families, students, communities and schools.

The Iowa House has taken a completely different approach, rushing through a super-sized spending bill loaded with special interest amendments.

House File 697 is a two-year budget and policy bill that is supported by all Republican legislators and Governor Branstad. The 600-plus page bill includes several pieces of legislation that previously failed to make their way to the Governor’s desk. You can read the bill for yourself by going to and searching HF 697.

The good news is that the voices of Iowans ARE being heard, and efforts to find common ground are starting to move forward. For example, Republicans agreed to reverse cuts to child care services for low-income working Iowa families and to ensure that vulnerable Iowans get the care they need in their homes and avoid costly institutional care.

However, more must be done to avoid a two-year starvation diet for Iowa schools, as well as cuts to health care for Iowa families, assistance for out-of-work Iowans and job creation initiatives. With $600 million in our reserve funds and another $400 million to be added by the end of this fiscal year, we don’t need to make deep cuts that will hurt Iowa families, local schools and the vitality of our communities.

Senator Gronstal is particularly concerned about huge cuts in education funding at all levels. Republican-proposed budget cuts will surely impact student achievement, make higher education unaffordable for many middle-class families, increase class sizes and reduce course offerings.

In addition, we must invest in our state’s economic growth and continue to provide incentives and job-training to help Iowa compete in the global economy. With more than 100,000 Iowans still out of work, we’ve got to do all we can to continue our state’s recovery from the national recession, help Iowans get back to work, and encourage small business growth.

Thank you to all who’ve shared your views. It takes active citizens to make democracy work. Because of your involvement, Senator Gronstal is confident that the compromises Iowans want can be found.

To learn more about what Iowans have had to say on the state budget and to make your own voice heard, go to


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