Letter: Strip lawmakers of their benefits

Republicans in the House and Senate passed legislation that gutted 40-plus years of collective bargaining. Signed behind closed doors by Gov. Terry Branstad, it destroyed the rights of unions to bargain for most benefits.

Since all House and Senate members, plus all elected state officials, including the governor and lieutenant governor, are part-time employees, I propose that they not be allowed to be eligible to receive any state-sponsored or -funded benefits.

Additionally, attention needs to be given to elected officials (especially the Republicans who voted to end collective bargaining) who have been receiving health insurance benefits through the State of Iowa, with a majority of the cost being provided by Iowa taxpayers. My guess is that most of them paid the same amount in premiums that had been negotiated by union contracts. All of that money needs to be recovered and returned to the Iowa taxpayers.

Further, they should not be allowed to participate in the IPERS retirement system. They should become true public servants, not private individuals being carried on the backs of Iowa taxpayers.

David Kirchner


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