Republican lawmakers want a package of changes in labor law they say would make a more business-friendly atmosphere in Iowa. Those include making laid-off workers wait a week to get unemployment, and making it harder to extend those jobless benefits when a plant has closed. Senate republican leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says the changes would put Iowa in line with other states. Iverson says for the state to be competitive, attract and keep business, it must note these issues and adapt to what’s happening. Iverson says you can’t build a fence around Iowa, because events in surrounding states have a huge impact. House speaker Christopher Rants says the G-O-P plan also limits the use of “project labor” agreements that let contractors demand potential bidders offer workers healthcare and minimum wage standards. Rants says the legislation is to create an environment that lets business thrive, so workers can get up every morning confident they’ll still have a job to go off to. Republican lawmakers have tried at least some of these changes before, including caps on the amount of money juries can award in medical-malpractice cases, and the democratic governor’s rejected them. Governor Tom Vilsack says he doesn’t expect the current proposals to fare any better. Vilsack notes the recent case where doctors gave the wrong type organs to a girl in North Carolina, and asks whether 250-thousand dollars would compensate the family for their pain.
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