By State Senator Steven Sodders
2015 Legislative Session Should Help Iowa’s Middle Class
The 2015 session of the Iowa Legislature began on Monday, January 12. State Senator Steve Sodders of State Center says his top priority is helping improve the incomes of working and middle class families by focusing on education and job training.
“The recovery from the Great Recession is uneven,” Sodders said. “Wall Street is celebrating while Iowa’s middle class is struggling due to stagnating wages, slow job growth and the gap between the skills workers have and the skills employers need. For Iowa communities and businesses to fully recover, we need Iowa’s middle class to grow and expand.”
Sodders pointed out a number of measures that would make Iowa families more financially secure: expanding workforce training programs at community colleges, fighting wage theft to make sure workers are paid for their work, continuing the tuition freeze at Iowa’s state universities, and giving Iowa companies the first crack at state contracts.
“The current makeup of Iowa’s state government means ideas need support from both Republicans and Democrats to become law,” Sodders said. “That’s why I’ll focus on proposals with broad public support. I think we can all agree we need more good jobs, great schools, affordable child care, health care, and housing, and to be able to retire with dignity.”
Sodders said one area of disagreement during the 2015 session could be state support for local students. “During the last several years, Republicans have broken state law and used local school funding as a bargaining chip. This has hurt our local schools. It is an outrage that Iowa has fallen to 37th in the nation in per student funding,” Sodders said. “Great local schools help our communities attract new businesses and new residents. When it comes to support for our local schools, we need to return to the pro-education approach that built our state.”
Senator Sodders is the Senate President Pro Tempore and also serves as Chair of the Judiciary Committee and the Vice Chair of the Economic Growth Committee. In addition, he is a member of the Agriculture, Commerce, Labor and Business Relations, Rules, and Veterans Committees.
Senator Sodders represents Senate District 36. It includes Marshall County, Tama County and part of Black Hawk County.
“I count on the people from the district to help me do my job by sharing their thoughts and concerns with me. You can contact me directly at (641) 751-4140, or my official email address: Steve.Sodders@legis.iowa.gov and to receive my weekly email newsletter, sign up at www.senate.iowa.gov/senator/Sodders.”