Originally broadcast 01/18/2017
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Professor Emeritus Cornelia Flora joined us this week to explore Political Capital in state and local elected policy makers and organizations. We started the show with a brief clip from Governor Branstad's Condition of the State Address revealing his plan to replace state employees' union-negotiated health insurance with a state imposed plan. Senator Herman Quirmbach(D) and Representative Beth Wessel-Kroschell(D) raised concerns about the effect of this plan on state employees who have often negotiated lower salaries in exchange for strong health insurance. Moving from the state level to the county level, we interviewed Bill Petersen, executive director of the Iowa State Association of Counties, telling us how that organization assists counties in cooperating to deal with common problems. Newly elected county supervisor, Lauris Olson(D), spoke with reporter Greta Anderson about the way the Story County Supervisors approach difficult problems in a cooperative bi-partisan fashion. She described some of the details of two issues in which local control is being undercut by actions at the state level. These issues are (1)the siting of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) and the use of the MATRIX to determine whether to grant permits, and (2)the effects of the governor's plan to end collective bargaining for unionized workers' health insurance. Cornelia Flora explained the importance of local control as an organizing principle of county politics.