Undermining Social Security to Pay for Parental Leave

Undermining Social Security for Parental Leave Fact Sheet

The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) has put forth a deeply flawed paid leave proposal that asks working parents to take a cut in their future Social Security benefits to underwrite too-small parental leave benefits. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), along with Ivanka Trump and Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are interested in this flawed approach.  While no legislation has been developed utilizing this proposal yet, we believe these offices may be working towards drafting a bill.

Access to paid leave shouldn’t be carved out of funds dedicated to Social Security.

Small business owners and their employees shouldn’t be asked to pay for paid leave today by rolling the dice on their future needs for Social Security retirement benefits.

Creating a plan that covers only parental leave excludes the vast majority of working people who need time to deal with a personal or family member’s serious illness.

Benefit levels would not replace an adequate share of usual wages, putting the ability to use paid leave out of reach for those who need it most.

Women’s retirement security would take the biggest hit from this plan because they will disproportionately borrow against their own Social Security benefits.

The FAMILY Act: The U.S. can create a national paid family and medical leave plan affordably and responsibly without reducing workers’ Social Security or forcing them to delay retirement. The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (S. 337/H.R. 947) would do just that: create a self-sustaining, comprehensive national family and medical leave insurance program.

The FAMILY Act contains the following principles that MSA small businesses have said are essential to making a paid family and medical leave work for small business:

  • All individuals who work should have the ability to earn extended leave from work to care for their families or themselves, without fear of losing their job.
  • Any PFML policy must be financed in a way that is affordable and cost effective for small business owners and their employees.
  • Any PFML policy must be comprehensive and specific in addressing serious family and medical needs.
  • An inclusive family definition should be used to cover the range of family configurations and care responsibilities that business owners and their employees face.
  • The PFML implementation process should be simple and minimize the administrative responsibilities of small business owners.

CLICK HERE to see the entire fact sheet

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa – a coalition of hundreds of Iowa businesses, farmers and self-employed – works in partnership with Iowa Citizen Action Network and the national Main Street Alliance to provide a small business a voice on the most pressing public policy issues across the nation. Our advocacy promotes vibrant businesses and healthy communities, and fosters leadership development of socially responsible business leaders. The Main Street Alliance national network formed in 2008 and works on a range of issues that matter to small businesses and local economies.

Using Social Security to fund Parental Leave???

What do YOU think??

Social Security is NOT a piggy bank!

Senator Ernst has been working with Senator Rubio on a plan to let people collect Social Security benefits early to pay for time off after they have a baby. This might seem like a good idea, but there’s a catch: Parents would have their Social Security benefits delayed when they retire to offset the costs. And it will further erode Social Security as we know it.

The Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy is planning to hold a hearing on July 11, with Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) planning to testify and a yet-to-be determined panel of experts.

We’d like to hear from YOU prior to that hearing!

Voting Rights!!

The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 5th – Polls are open from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Elections in Iowa are held on Tuesdays only. If you ever have questions about voting call your county auditor’s office or the Secretary of State’s Office at 1-888-SOS-VOTE.

Early Voting is available through Monday, June 4th at your County Auditor’s office. Any absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date to be counted.

Voter ID Law Info:

For this year only, people who don’t bring identification to the polls on June 5 can still vote, but need to sign an oath verifying their identity.

Some Additional Info:
• Voters may wear a campaign button or clothing when they go to vote but must leave the polling place as soon as they are done voting. Campaigning or electioneering of any kind in a polling place is illegal; loitering in a polling place while wearing political items is considered electioneering. Employees of the county auditor’s office, precinct election officials, poll watchers, and observers at satellite voting locations are not allowed to wear political items while at the polling place.
• A provisional ballot is used by voters whose qualifications to vote have been challenged, voters who can’t prove they are qualified to vote, and voters who requested absentee ballots but did not surrender them at the polls. If your name is not on the list of registered voters or if someone challenges your right to vote on Election Day, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. You have the right to provide evidence showing why you are eligible to vote. You may provide evidence to the precinct election officials or to the county auditor’s office by the deadline listed on the provisional ballot envelope.
The absentee and special voters’ precinct board will meet after Election Day to review your registration record and the information you provided. The board will then decide if your ballot can be counted. Before you leave the polls on Election Day, you will be given a written notice explaining your voting rights and listing the date on which the special ballot board will meet so you may be present to observe and present more information to the board. If your ballot is not counted, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining why it was not counted.
• Credentialed reporters, photographers and other staff with the media may be present at the polls as long as they are not interfering with the election process in any way. Voters may not be interrupted, hindered, or opposed while trying to enter the polling place, while inside the enclosed voting space, or while marking a ballot. The media may photograph or film activity inside the polling place but cannot take any images of how a voter marks or has marked a ballot. A voter must give permission before being photographed or filmed. If the media wishes to speak to voters about how and why they voted, the media must be outside the polling place to do so.
• If you make a mistake while voting your ballot at the polling place, tell a precinct election official. The official will take the ballot on which you’ve made the mistake and have you “spoil” it so it cannot be counted. You will then be given another ballot to vote. Voters may receive up to three ballots.
Beginning January 1, 2019Iowa voters will be required to show a driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, passport, military ID, veterans ID, or Voter ID Card at the polls before they vote. Voters without the necessary ID will be offered a provisional ballot and can provide ID up until the time of the county canvass of votes (Monday after Election Day for Primary and General Elections).
Any registered voter who does not have valid driver’s license or non-operators ID issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation will be issued a Voter ID Card for free, automatically, in the mail. This also applies to anyone who registers to vote in the future. Upon receipt of the Voter ID Card in the mail, it should be immediately signed and placed in the voter’s purse or wallet, and taken with them to vote. Obtaining the Voter ID Card does not require any further documentation or action by the voter. Voters simply need to be registered, and take their new Voter ID Card to the polls when they vote.


Iowa Needs Net Neutrality

The Senate voted May 16, 2018 to pass a measure that would repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission. Noticeably voting against Main Street, farmers, workers and more were Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

We are collecting signatures from Iowans to forward to our Congressional Delegation.

The measure, which was backed by all 49 Democrats and 3 Republicans, has been sent to the House, where an uncertain vote is likely in the very near future.  Net neutrality is not a partisan issue, 83% of Americans support net neutrality and the open Internet regardless of their political affiliation.

We are calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs, farmers, retirees, workers, students and more.

Equality of access to the internet is an integral part of life in Iowa. Net neutrality protects that access.

Don’t make net neutrality a partisan issue.


Main Street NEEDS Net Neutrality!

The Senate voted May 16, 2018 to pass a measure that would repeal changes to net neutrality rules that were recently adopted by the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission. Noticeably voting against Main Street, entrepreneurs and Iowa’s farmers were Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

The measure, which was backed by all 49 Democrats and 3 Republicans, has been sent to the House, where an uncertain vote is likely in the very near future. Net neutrality is not a partisan issue, 83% of Americans support net neutrality and the open Internet regardless of their political affiliation.

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa is calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs and farmers.  Equality of access to the internet is an integral part of business in Iowa.  Net neutrality protects that access. An open and fast internet allows businesses to process and market products.  Taking that away makes it impossible to compete with the big corporations that have the resources to make sure they are prioritized by internet service providers.

We hear a lot of talk from politicians about “The American Dream” and having access to the internet allows businesses and entrepreneurs to achieve that by launching a business and reaching anyone around the world.

Sign the letter below!

Dear Member of Congress,

We are companies who rely on the open Internet to grow our business and reach customers online. We are calling on our Iowa delegation in the House to vote FOR small business, entrepreneurs and farmers.

Users and businesses need certainty that they will not be blocked, throttled or charged extra fees by Internet service providers. We cannot afford to be left unprotected while Congress deliberates.

We will accept nothing less than the protections embodied in the 2015 order. Please ensure the FCC keeps its tools to protect consumers and business like ours.

Thank you for considering our views.


We say NO to TrumpTax!

We should not be paying the way for wealthy corporations and millionaires… watching the rich get richer at our expense.


We call on our Iowa delegation to REJECT this TrumpTax Scam and truly represent the people who elected you.

The Main Street Alliance of Iowa Survey

In Washington, DC and Des Moines politicians are continually banging the drum about small business and what they need and want.

At the Main Street Alliance we think you should be telling THEM what’s important!

The Main Street Alliance creates opportunities for small business owners, the self-employed, farmers and entrepreneurs to speak for themselves to advance policies that are good for them and the communities they serve.

Please fill out our 2 minute survey below to help make your voice heard!


Booze, Women, Movies OR….

Iowa’s Senior Senator, Chuck Grassley, thinks that getting rid of the estate tax will help people who are investing instead of everyday Iowans. 

Apparently he thinks we should be working harder instead of “just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.”

Tuesday, December 5th at 5 pm we will be gathering outside the Senator’s offices at the Federal Building in Des Moines or 531 Commercial Street in downtown Waterloo… along with our empty booze bottles… to talk about what Iowans really need.

The FACTS are, according to IRS data from the past 5 years,  out of around 1.4 million Iowans who file federal tax returns, the number who paid the estate tax ranged from 32 in 2012 to 61 in 2015… and most of them were not farmers or small business owners.

So we want to know, what are YOU spending your hard-earned pennies on?

We will be forwarding the results to Senator Grassley to let him know what Iowans are really doing with their money.


Another threat to public employees

We know about the Koch brothers funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and it’s off-shoot Americans for Propserity (AFP) and their keen interest in the Iowa Legislature. This past session they pulled their bills from a box with model legislation written for the wealthy, not for every day Iowans and, since they bought their way into our statehouse, AFP was able to accomplish many of their goals, limiting public-employee collective bargaining, workers’ compensation, medical malpractice and asbestos claims to name a few.

And now there’s a new player in town, The Reason Foundation is yet another in the web of organizations funded by the Koch brothers. It portrays itself as a top-tier think tank with respected public policy research on a variety of issues. But Reason doesn’t provide unbiased facts on any issue – only the side of the story that favors the Kochs and their wealthy friends. Putting “Reason Foundation” and “think tank” in the same sentence results in an oxymoron.

In a Des Moines Register article, “Gov. Kim Reynolds said she supports a legislative committee’s fact-finding inquiry into Iowa’s underfunded public employees’ pension funds, but she indicated plans have been dropped for a task force to recommend changes in retirement programs.”


Because the Reason Foundation offered to do a “study of Iowa’s public employees’ pension funds”… FOR FREE. Interestingly, the Reason Foundation has published a pension reform handbook that includes establishing a 401(k)-style defined contribution retirement plan and a “hybrid” plan that mixes traditional defined benefit and defined contribution programs.

So, once again, the Koch Brothers and their allies are inserting themselves into OUR legislative process. These are not Iowans and are not entitled to a say in how Iowa manages its affairs. The state needs to honor the promises it made to its employees through IPERS and should solve whatever problems exist without breaking those covenants.

WHAT CAN YOU DO???  Contact your legislator and the Governor – tell them to represent Iowans, not the interests of out-of-state organizations and their wealthy donors.

We Deserve Better!