The 2022 Iowa Legislative Session is quickly approaching, and the stakes have never been higher. We are rounding out the end of our second year in a global pandemic, businesses are operating at half-capacity, and schools across the state are losing teachers because of unsafe work conditions and lack of support.

Governor Kim Reynolds, however, doesn’t seem to want to make these issues her priority for this upcoming session. In fact, we don’t really know what her priorities are at all. She has limited press access and hidden behind her Republican legislative allies while they share their plans for session. 

And now, in a plan to distract Iowans from the real issues, Governor Reynolds is calling for more “transparency” in a push to anger parents about what books are available in school libraries. The thing is, parents are already able to access and, if they choose to, review their children’s school reading materials. In a false attempt to provide “transparency,” Reynolds continues to show how out of touch with Iowans she really is.

Reynolds is so out of touch with Iowans, her administration has been named the least transparent administration in recent Iowa history. The governor is currently facing lawsuits from reporters for refusing to comply with legal open record requests, as well as an ongoing lawsuit with the Utah Attorney General over an open records request that Reynolds failed to comply with for months.

Unfortunately, none of this comes to us as a surprise. Many of us will remember May 2021, after midnight, the Governor signed a bill prohibiting mask mandates. This late night, rushed decision forced school administrators to change their policies and prepare their teachers for any issues, with very little time to prepare.

Iowans need clear and effective leadership to end this pandemic and address the many issues facing our state. We all need to raise our voices, call our legislators, and demand that they stop hiding behind closed doors and tackle the issues Iowans care about.

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