Des Moines, IA - Today, at a hearing of the Iowa State Senates
Subcommitteee on Senate File 48, Progressive States Network Senior
Health Care Policy Specialist Adam Thompson provided the following
written testimony in support of Sen. Jack Hatch's owa Health Care
Coverage Partnership Program:
In New York State, 31% of uninsured residents are young adults between
the ages 19 and 29. To help this population and reduce the state's
uninsured rolls, Governor Paterson wants to require private employers
to offer health insurance to workers' dependents
who are between the ages 19 and 29. The proposal would expand
eligibility to some 800,000 uninsured New Yorkers and the Governor's
Office projects about 80,000 would take advantage of the new rule.
According to the New York Times,
business groups appear to be supportive of the idea, which would not
require employers to help pay for coverage, merely to make it available.
With legislative sessions getting underway around the country, this
Dispatch provides a list of key bills and policies that we encourage
legislators to consider introducing. While not exhaustive of the range
of needed reforms in states, they emphasize initiatives of strategic
importance that are being considered in multiple states. Working with
our various partners, Progressive States Network is providing staff
support for these policies and will work to use movement in multiple
states to generate national media and attention. This in turn will
create greater momentum to assist individual states in pushing bills to
passage. The following is a quick checklist of key policies with links
to model legislation and policy summaries.
State labor authorities levied nearly $10 million in fines Wednesday for wage violations at an Iowa meatpacking plant where nearly 400 illegal immigrant workers were arrested in a raid in May.
The fines against Agriprocessors Inc.,
one of the country’s largest kosher meatpackers, were the largest wage
violations penalties ever levied in Iowa, state officials said.
About $9.6 million of the fines were for illegal paycheck deductions
the company made for protective jackets and other uniforms that
packinghouse workers were required to wear. Iowa inspectors found
96,436 deductions for uniforms from the paychecks of 2,001 workers, and
brought fines of $100 per incident.
The workers’ wages had been reduced by $192,597, Iowa officials said.
“You cannot legally deduct for clothing required by the company,”
said Kerry Koonce, a spokeswoman for Iowa Workforce Development, the
state’s labor department.
We urge Iowa and other states to sign onto the plan so that by the next
presidential election, every vote will be counted, and every state will
matter in what we hope will be a truly nationwide campaign.