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Press Release


March 28, 2008
Contact: Heather Reams

AAE Seconds Iowa Partner’s Call for Veto of Controversial Labor Bill

Alexandria, VA — The Association of American Educators (AAE), the largest national non-union professional teachers’ association, has expressed its support of its state partner, Professional Educators of Iowa (PEI), in the battle over HF 2645. The controversial labor bill, which would greatly expand collective bargaining power of unions, was passed in the Iowa Assembly March 24. However, due to pressure from the governor’s office and citizens statewide, the bill has yet to be sent to Governor Culver (D) for his signature.

The governor expressed concern over the way the bill was being shuttled through the Assembly. The bill, which is seen by many as repayment by Democrats to the unions which contributed to their campaigns, was introduced in the House just six legislative days before it passed the Senate.

“This action by the state assembly is another clear example of Big Labor dollars winning out over true democracy,” said Gary Beckner, executive director of AAE. “The people of Iowa deserve to know the truth about this bill and what it means for them.”

HF 2645, in part, allows for the possibility that property taxes will be raised to meet union demands. In a memo, Governor Culver called upon the Senate to hold a public hearing on the bill to give Iowans a chance to better understand the stakes. The senate leadership refused, saying the governor would understand once he had the chance to review the discussion from the senate floor.

“This is the time when we most need the governor to govern the state of Iowa,” said Jim Hawkins, executive director of PEI. “He cannot sign this bill into law; otherwise, he is simply paying his fair share of dues back to the Big Labor forces that got him elected.”

In a press conference on Tuesday, the governor reiterated his desire for public input on the bill and indicated the lack thereof could influence his decision whether to sign or veto. Senate Democrats have expressed confidence that Governor Culver will not veto the bill, as he is planning on running in the future on the Democratic ticket.

Dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student, the Association of American Educators is the premier educators’ network that advances the teaching profession through teacher advocacy and protection, professional development and promoting excellence in education so that educators receive the respect, recognition and reward they deserve. AAE has members in all 50 states and welcomes professionals from all education entities.