Iowa Democrats frustrated with ongoing legislative session

Iowa Democrats are frustrated with the ongoing legislative session as it passes the scheduled end date. Democrats say they should use this extra time to pass bipartisan legislation.


Gabby Drees

Iowa Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, responds to a question asked by a reporter at a press conference at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. In contrast to Republicans wanting to see the court cases regarding vaccine mandates play out, Democrats would rather use the legislature’s time to encourage vaccinations.

Emily Delgado, Politics Reporter

Democrats in the Iowa House and Senate are upset the 2022 legislative session is not yet adjourned. 

The set end date for the session was April 19, and on Thursday Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, and House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, expressed their frustration for the long legislative session. 

“We have known that April 19 was the day we were supposed to be done,nd yet here we sit on April 21,” Konfrst said. “No debate in the House all week. And we don’t know what’s happening next week.”

Both Wahls and Konfrst said they would like to get back to their constituents at home. 

“Iowans are fed up with the division and the politics as usual that have been happening up here at the Iowa legislative session in ’22,” Konfrst said. 

Wahls said Iowa Republicans and Gov. Kim Reynolds should abandon their efforts to change  legislation  on Iowa’s  education by requiring curriculum material be made public. 

“We want solutions to Iowa’s broken childcare system. We want justice for the victims of child sex abuse, but instead of actually tackling those problems,” Wahls said “We’re pushing this privatized voucher school scheme. So that’s where we are, as we head into overtime here in the Iowa legislature. It’s incredibly frustrating,” 

Both Wahls and Konfrst are upset about the legislative efforts to give money to private schools in Iowa. 

“What Republicans are doing is pushing this voucher scheme that if passed, will defund and especially damage rural schools, that will make it harder for our small towns and their children to survive and get the education that they need,” Wahls said. “These private school vouchers are being pushed by the party that has been relentlessly trying to undermine our public schools.”

Reynolds has been pushing for school vouchers since the start of the session. 

“If education truly is the great equalizer, we should create opportunities for more families to provide their children with the education choice that’s best for them,” Reynolds said in a prepared statement following the Senate’s passage of her education bill. “That’s exactly what this legislation does.” 

The end of the 2022 legislative session is still in the air.

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