Democrat who bucked party sees bills dropped



A Democratic state representative who voted against his party this week on a controversial labor bill says he’s no longer in charge of the bills he’s proposed to aid veterans.

“I’m no longer the chair of any of my veterans bills. I’ll just leave it at that. That’s public knowledge right there,” said Rep. McKinley Bailey.

Bailey, of Webster City, declined to answer further questions about the matter. Bills are generally assigned in committee to a subcommittee chairman, who usually leads debate in committee and on the floor.


The bills have been dropped, not out of retribution but because there are other ideas the committee wants to focus upon, said Rep. Ray Zirkelbach, D-Monticello and chairman of Veterans Affairs.

“I don’t know where he gets his information from. We’re not even assigning those bills this year,” Zirkelbach said. “One was a terrible bill that would punish kids.”

Zirkelbach later said there are “trust issues” with Bailey stemming from his vote against the prevailing wage bill.

Bailey was one of five Democrats who voted against House File 333, the so-called “prevailing wage” bill that would set minimum pay and benefit standards for workers on public projects.

The bill failed on Monday.

Bailey told other Democrats that he would vote for the bill, Zirkelbach said. Bailey voted no when a provision that would have exempted some school board, community college and public hospital projects never came up for a vote because of a procedural quirk.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he wasn’t aware of the situation but that Zirkelbach, as chairman of the committee, decides who is assigned to manage bills.

McCarthy declined to say if leaders are taking steps to remove Bailey from other committee responsibilities.

“I am not going to comment on any internal caucus politics at this time,” McCarthy said.

Bailey, who served in the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a member of the agriculture, appropriations, commerce and veterans affairs committees. He is also the vice chairman of the Economic Growth Committee.

Bailey’s bills

Here are the bills proposed by Bailey that had been assigned to the Veterans Affairs Committee:
HOUSE FILE 55: Establishes a county commissions of veteran affairs grant program, requires the development of a Web site to assist veterans, and makes an appropriation.
HOUSE FILE 235: Deals with involuntary discharge of a resident from the veterans home.
HOUSE FILE 237: Provides for family military leave from employment for certain relatives of individuals called to active military service.
HOUSE FILE 326: Requires the department of veterans affairs to prepare a report related to the activities of county commissions of veteran affairs.


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