I thought when my colleagues Governor Reynolds and Speaker Upmeyer made very clear statements about the security and stability of Iowa’s public pension system, it would quell the election year scare tactics and nonsense. The lies have continued, so I wanted to add my voice as the Iowa Senate Majority Leader to the discussion in an effort to provide even more clarity.
Much like the Democrats’ false claim Republicans cut funding to K-12 education, the scare tactics they are using to suggest there is a secret plan to make sweeping changes to IPERS are also purely false. In fact, the last time legislative changes were made to IPERS was when Democrats controlled state government.
IPERS is one of the better funded and managed retirement systems in the country. It does have a $7 billion unfunded liability, so it is important for to continue to monitor it and ensure it has the resources necessary to keep its promises to each and every public employee. These employees have invested a portion of each paycheck into this retirement system with the expectation the state will provide the benefits it has promised. I will work to make sure that promise is kept.
Since Democrats have surrendered the issues of improving career opportunities, tax relief, and wage growth, their last resort in a desperate attempt to regain power is stoking the fears of public employees. Over the last two the legislature moved several major pieces of legislation designed to make Iowa the number one state in the country. At no time during those two years, despite the same irresponsible rhetoric from Democrats, did legislation to make changes to IPERS see any movement in either chamber.
Election years prompt crazy charges and wild accusations and this year no different. However, two things are certain this year: if Democrats control state government they have promised to raise your taxes. Governor Reynolds, Speaker Upmeyer, and I have promised to protect IPERS.