It’s no secret the Iowa Democratic Party is married to organized labor in the state. And, while Democrats often propose legislation that would be beneficial to unions, a pair of bills offered yesterday in the General Assembly were surprising.
House File 164, offered by Todd Taylor (D-Cedar Rapids), and its companion bill, Senate File 145, offered by state Sen. Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids), would require the addition of one member to the boards of directors of every judicial district department of correctional services. Specifically, those bills require the new member be “chosen from and by the largest statewide public employees’ organization representing state employees.”
AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is the largest statewide public employees’ organization that represents Iowa state employees. Its president, Danny Homan, has long been a critic of policies related to prison capacities and staffing levels.
The proposed legislation would make the AFSCME members of the boards non-voting positions, but would also increase the number of positions on the executive committees of those boards to allow for the AFSCME representatives to be added to them, as well. That position would also be non-voting.
As could be expected, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 has declared its support for the bills. The Iowa State Bar Association has declared it is “undecided” on the proposed legislation.