Iowa – Workers Win Court Victory Over Illegal Closures
All Iowans — especially the unemployed and those dedicated public service workers who try to help them get back on their feet — won a constitutional victory this spring over Gov. Terry Branstad’s abuse of his authority.
The unanimous state Supreme Court ruling stems from the Homan vs. Branstad case that Council 61 helped bring to the justices over the governor’s veto last July of portions of a budget bill.
His actions led to the shuttering of 36 unemployment offices throughout the state. In their place, the state installed hundreds of computer stations in libraries and other locations where Iowans searching for work were supposed to access the programs.
Council 61 and several Democratic legislators sued, arguing the governor acted improperly, violating the state’s Constitution.
A lower court agreed with the union’s arguments. When it reached the high court, the judges concluded that “the Legislature appropriated funds to (Iowa Workforce Development) with strings attached and our constitution does not permit the governor to cut the strings and spend the money differently.”
The high court’s unanimous decision “confirms that the governor can’t veto the will of the people of Iowa,” said Council 60 Pres. Danny Homan, also an AFSCME International vice president.