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From the Desk of Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer, February 10, 2012

Bills are quickly moving in the Iowa House. We are wasting no time putting Iowans back to work. In order for Iowa employers to create quality jobs and careers in the state, they must know that our economy is stable. We will continue to focus on crafting legislation that will increase jobs in the state, find savings in the budget, and create certainty for all Iowa job creators.

The House has already passed numerous pro-jobs bills to the Senate in a bi-partisan manner. HF 2104 will allow employers to more accurately calculate their unemployment history. Passing the House 97-0, this legislation will free up money for job creators to hire more employees or invest in their business. The bill does not decrease a company’s unemployment obligations, but allows employers to speed up their recovery.

Another bill aimed at improving Iowa’s business climate, HF 2103, is a bi-partisan bill targeted at helping new employers do business in Iowa. The legislation reduces the length of time new employers pay an ‘introductory rate’ for unemployment taxes. Under current law, this introductory rate is not based on the employer’s history and often forces new employers to subsidize existing employers. With the passage of this legislation, new employers will spend less time paying a tax rate set by the state, and more time paying the tax rate they have earned.

With a vote of 92-0, the House has also passed HF 2042, a bill requiring all administrative rules that are created by state agencies to be accompanied with a ‘Jobs Impact Statement.’ Administrative rules are regulations drawn up by government bureaucrats to implement laws passed by the Legislature. The statement requires every proposed rule to detail the impact it will have on state agencies, local governments, the public, and Iowa businesses. Furthermore, the statement must assess whether or not the proposed rule will have a positive or negative impact on private sector jobs and employment.

The House will soon be considering HF 2085, a bill that relates to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). The bill provides an incentive for a business owner to sell all or a portion of a company to an Iowa-based ESOP. Passage of this bill will result in employees of a company having ownership in the company, and provide them with a retirement plan.

As the legislative session moves forward, we will continue to pass legislation that will make it easier to be a job creator in the state and signal that Iowa is open for business. We will pass a budget that spends less than it takes in and does not appropriate one-time funds for ongoing expenses. We will reform Iowa’s burdensome property tax system and ensure that significant and genuine relief is delivered to all property taxpayers in Iowa. Finally, we will go over the budget line-by-line to find savings and increase government efficiency.

In addition to these pro-jobs bills, this week the House passed legislation in response to concerns involving Iowa’s child abuse registry. Legislation was enacted last year that required a work group to examine Iowa’s child abuse registry and the speed of the appeal process. In most cases, placement on the child abuse registry is appropriate. However, in some instances, innocent individuals have been placed on the registry. Nonetheless, the damage to their personal life and employment has already been done. Placement on the abuse registry is public record, and the process to remove an innocent person has taken over a year. HF 2226 will provide a balance between protecting Iowa’s children and the due process rights of the accused.

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Yesterday was the most blatant rejection of your gun rights that I’ve seen yet this year from
Chairman Baudler. There were two bills voted on yesterday, most notably, HF 2114, the Pre-
Emption reform bill that would put an end to Iowa’s current county by county gun ban.

Tens of thousands of gun owners all over the state are anxious to know that they don’t have to
stop at every county line in Iowa to determine where they can and can’t carry.

After all, Iowa code 724.28 already prohibits this, but the Iowa Attorney General’s office has
created a loophole. HF 2114 would clarify the current code and put and end to all of this…..

…but not anymore, now that Chairman Baudler just gutted the entire bill’s impact.

I am very upset that you who profess to be pro-gun, understand
that your betrayal yesterday will not go unnoticed. I guess you don’t like your job any longer. You will be voted out.

You see, yesterday in committee, an anti-gun legislator put forth an amendment which said
that nothing in HF2114 would preclude “governing boards” from prohibiting your right to
carry firearms, ammunition, or accessories at any city hall, hospital, or courthouse. And
Baudler supported this.

That’s the whole point of the bill…to stop towns and counties from doing that. This amendment
would allow them to do the very thing gun owners need to have stopped!

Seeing this, Rep. Alons immediately protested and said that he could never support an
amendment that was hostile to your gun rights, no matter what political party was behind it.
“I’m a no vote in committee and I’m a no vote on the Floor because this is not pro-gun.”
We applaud Rep. Alons, again, for his fierce commitment to our gun rights.

When the amendment was voted on Chairman Baudler was able to peel off three of his
Republican peers in passing the amendment! As amended, nothing would stop every town
in Iowa from enacting their own ordinances.

More, the amendment specifies ammunition. If you have so much as a shotgun shell in your
pickup and someone sees it in your car while parking in a hospital parking lot you are likely
facing criminal charges.

Further, nothing in this bill requires intent. Even if you inadvertently have a gun or ammo in
your car (like the box of .22 shells that most farmers in Iowa carry in their glove box) you
are in violation and could be charged!

This is outrageous coming from the party that claims to be pro-2nd Amendment!

(Please note, Iowa Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan entity. We work with any pro-
gun legislator we can find. We seek to expose anti-gunners regardless of their party affiliation.
We are expressing anger at the Republicans currently, because they are in control of the
House and because a Republican Chairman is passing objectively bad gun bills.)

There are some bills in the General Assembly that are more controversial than others when
it comes to the 2nd Amendment. This bill isn’t one of them. For the House Leadership team
to allow Chairman Baudler to continually sell out gun owners is inexcusable.

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