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Iowa Legislature’s Assault on Workers’ Compensation

We need all members and their family to show up wearing orange at the Iowa State Capitol Tuesday March 7th 6 pm to speak out against workers compensation reform. You never know when an injury could happen at work.

Represents another vicious attack on the interests and livelihood of hard-working Iowans by the Republican majority in the Iowa Legislature. Reports from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show increasing number of work-related injuries in both private and public sector employment in Iowa that exceeds the national average. And of course, virtually all income distribution data continues to show that the vast majority of Iowans and Americans live pay check to pay check. Simply put, Iowans injured at work constitute one of the most vulnerable groups of citizens in our State.

HSB 169

Blatantly and callously: Cuts benefits available to injured Iowa workers in multiple ways: it drastically reduces the benefits available for common types of shoulder injuries which are frequently suffered by employees whose jobs require repetitive motions; it eliminates benefits based on an employee’s loss of earning power due to an injury if the employer returns the employee to work for short period of time, but then terminates the employee, leaving the employee with no compensation for his lost access to other employment due to his injury; it arbitrarily discriminates against older workers by requiring an injured employee’s age to be used to reduce available benefits, and to absolutely limit the benefits available to employees who are age 67 or more when injured; and for Iowans who are permanently and totally disabled by a work injury, if they become disabled prior to age 67, their benefits cease at age 67; and for those age 67 or older who suffer career-ending injuries, they are limited to 150 weeks of benefits. Reduces employers’ liability to provide benefits to workers injured on the job, it makes proving an employee sustained a work-related injury more difficult by requiring that work activity was the “predominate” factor in causing the employee’s injury and disability

(This will allow employers to deny injury claims based on the injured worker’s pre-existing condition); and it makes a mere positive drug or alcohol test result grounds for an employer to deny payment of benefits for an injury without regard to whether drugs or alcohol in fact caused the injury to occur.Further tilts the claims procedures in favor of employers avoiding payment of benefits: it changes the point at which an employee must report an injury or lose the right to claim benefits for an injury; SSB1003/HSB4 (Secondary Road Swap).

SSB 1003 and its companion bill HSB9, would allow the Transportation Commission, along with other stake holders, to allocate moneys from the Primary Road Fund (PRF) for the establishment, construction, and maintenance of the secondary road system and the municipal street system, in exchange for retaining all or a portion of federal aid road funds that would otherwise be allocated to the counties and cities.

Essentially, this legislation would allow the secondary road fund to swap, dollar for dollar with the DOT, to avoid federal provisions tied to federal dollars. This includes environmental regulations for secondary roads and bridges, as well as avoiding Davis Bacon dollars in rural areas, and to avoid the “Buy American Act” (Title 23 Sec. 313/U.S.C./Federal Highway Act).

We feel this would undermine construction wages in rural areas, which could lead to the recruitment of out of state contractors with an out of state workforce.

We also feel this could hurt U.S. steel manufacturing by avoiding the requirements under the Federal Highway Act (FDWA). We feel that Iowa’s long term infrastructure should not be built with Chinese steel manufactured by Chinese hands.

Below are some talking points as well as republican members on the transportation committee.

Talking points on HSB9 and SSB1003 for members (Road Fund Swap/Davis Bacon Swap):

  • This bill would undermine rural construction worker’s wages who construct secondary roads and bridges (by removing Davis Bacon wages from the secondary road system). Please vote no!
  • This bill would undermine U.S. steel manufacturing in the U.S. and state of Iowa, by avoiding the federal requirements of using U.S. steel (we don’t want Chinese steel on our roads and bridges). Please Vote NO!
  • This bill would lower construction wages in rural areas, which would recruit an out of state 1099 workforce. This would undermine the Governors efforts to build an IA skilled workforce. Please Vote NO!
  • This bill will send a message to rural construction workers that you must move to the big city to make a good construction wage. Rural IA is hurting enough, don’t remove a wage safety law that helps us rural Iowan’s. Please vote no.

House R’s Transportation Committee

Rep. Gary Carlson
Legislative E-mail: Gary.Carlson@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 104 Deerpath Lane, Muscatine, IA 52761
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Dave Maxwell
Legislative E-mail: dave.maxwell@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 2171 540th Ave, Gibson, IA 50104
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Rob Bacon
Legislative E-mail: rob.bacon@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 302 3rd Avenue, Apt. 1, P.O. Box 485, Slater, IA 50244
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Brian Best
Legislative E-mail: Brian.Best@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: P.O. Box 491, Glidden, IA 51443
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Kristi Hager
Legislative E-mail: Kristi.Hager@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 2026 Lycurgus Road, Waukon, IA 52172
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Ashley Hinson
Legislative E-mail: Ashley.Hinson@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 1637 Hunters Field Ln., Marion, IA 52302
Call: 515-281-3371

Rep. John Landon
Legislative E-mail: john.landon@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 2905 NE Trilein Dr., Ankeny, IA 50021
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. Gary Mohr
Legislative E-mail: Gary.Mohr@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: P.O. Box 1556, Bettendorf, IA 52722
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

Rep. David Sieck
Legislative E-mail: David.Sieck@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 1710 Timber LN, Glenwood, IA 51534
Capitol Phone: (515) 281-3221

Rep. Rob Taylor
Legislative E-mail:rob.taylor@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 495 77th Place, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Capitol Phone: (515) 281-3221

Rep. John Wills
Legislative E-mail: John.Wills@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 15732 Tradewind Dr., Spirit Lake, IA 51360
Capitol Phone: (515) 281-3221

Rep. Gary Worthan
Legislative E-mail: gary.worthan@legis.iowa.gov
Home Address: 5647 105th Avenue, Storm Lake, IA 50588
Capitol Phone: (515)281-3221

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