Ryan Flood, R-Cedar Rapids, state Senate District 34
Liz Mathis, D-Cedar Rapids, state Senate District 34
Flood claims that Mathis voted in favor of taxpayer funded abortions and to keep drug addicts on the welfare rolls.
Flood mailed campaign survey
Claim No. 1: “Do you agree with Senator Mathis’s vote against an amendment protecting the welfare rolls from drug users? (SF5209)”
Amendment S-5209 was to amend S-5203, which was attached to S-2336, the appropriations bill for health and human services. It would have required drug testing for adult welfare recipients to continue receiving benefits. It could include random drug tests, but also stated, “if the information available in regard to a specific applicant indicates there is a strong likelihood that the applicant is using a controlled substance, such testing may be required.”
Amendment S-5209 was defeated on April 12. Mathis voted against it.
However, as she noted in an email to The Gazette, “There are several programs that work with welfare recipients to move them into employment,” such as Family Development and Self Sufficiency (FaDSS) and Promise Jobs, which already have rules that disqualify substance abusers or those who are violating other terms of welfare agreements.
Flood said his stand is solid against drug users being allowed to receive welfare. “If we don’t, we are enabling them. We’re enabling a bad lifestyle.”
Claim No. 2: “Do you agree with Senator Mathis’s vote to provide abortions for free using taxpayer dollars? (SF5206)”
Amendment S-5206 also was attached to S-2336. In part, it said, “Funds appropriated in this subsection SHALL NOT BE used to fund the performance of any abortions in the state of Iowa.”
Amendment S-5206 was defeated on April 12. Mathis voted against it.
In other words, she voted against an amendment that would have forbidden the use of taxpayer money to fund any abortions. Current Iowa law does not allow public funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, where the life of the mother is at risk or there is fetal abnormality.
Regarding the first claim, the wording of the survey question implies she is against drug testing for all welfare recipients. But other measures are in place to deny welfare benefits to drug users, which she supports.
The second claim’s wording implies that Mathis’s vote on this amendment indicated support of public funding for all types of abortions. Iowa law already provides public funding for some abortions and the amendment cited in Flood’s survey would have eliminated those exceptions.
Overall, we rate the two claims mostly false.
— Researched and reported by Dave Rasdal, reviewed and edited by Jeff Tecklenburg