Iowa collective bargaining bill heads to Gov. Branstad for approval

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would greatly reduce negotiating power for public sector unions in the state.

The GOP-led chamber voted 29-21 Thursday, Feb. 16, with all Democrats and an independent opposed. The vote followed lengthy debate in the chamber that started Wednesday morning and entered the next day.

The Republican-majority House approved the measure 53-47 about an hour earlier. The bill now heads to Gov. Terry Branstad, who supports the measure.

Legislative leaders used a rare procedural move to end debate early on the bill.

The bill would prohibit public sector unions from negotiating over several issues, including health insurance and extra pay. The bill proposes that mandatory discussions be limited to base wages. Some public safety employees are exempt from some provisions of the bill.