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Lawmakers Debate Amendment to Proposed Collective Bargaining Bill

Lawmakers Debate Amendment to Proposed Collective Bargaining Bill
Lawmakers Debate Amendment to Proposed Collective Bargaining Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Democrats at the Statehouse are trying to delay the proposed collective bargaining changes for as long as possible.

There are more than a dozen proposed amendments to this collective bargaining bill. However, only one of those amendments was debated Tuesday. After four and a half hours of debate, the amendment was defeated in a 29-21 vote.

State senator Nate Boulton, the Democrat who sponsored Amendment 3021--a change to SF 213, the public employee collective bargaining bill--said, "This amendment is our last chance to stop this freight train that is barreling towards our public workers. We've finally arrived at the point of no return on this."

State Senate Democrats rose up in support of Boulton's so-called Time Out Amendment and voiced opposition to the Republican-sponsored collective bargaining bill. Democrats say the bill guts chapter 20 of the Iowa Code and would change the law to make it so that public sector workers could be fired at will, on the spot, and without cause.

Since four o'clock Tuesday afternoon, one Democrat after another passionately spoke in opposition to the collective bargaining bill. Only one Republican senator rose to speak in favor of the change.

Emotions ran high in the chamber. Towards the end of debate, a point of order was called after Democrat State Senator Liz Mathis implied Republican State Senator Jason Schultz was not being honest about his intentions in sponsoring this bill. Mathis later apologized for this comment.