From Rep. Linda Upmeyer –
In looking at the extended forecast, I am hopeful we’ve seen the last of sub-zero temperatures for this season.
This week was very much devoted to committee work as we completed the first funnel week of the legislative session. As you may recall, the first “funnel” is a deadline for legislators to pass bills out of their respective policy committees in either the House or Senate, in order to remain eligible for consideration. Appropriations, Ways & Means, and Government Oversight bills are exempt from the funnel rules.
I am excited about a number of bills that passed out of House policy committees this week. Many great ideas have been brought to us from individuals across Iowa that will help move our state forward.
In order to address growing concerns involving the protection of student data, the House Education Committee passed HSB 173. The bill places additional protections around ensuring student data collected by school districts and the Iowa Department of Education remains private. The Department must also develop a plan if student data is breached.
The House Judiciary Committee passed legislation to further strengthen and protect our 2nd Amendment rights. Under HSB 201, Iowans will still renew their permit to carry every five years, but will only be required to retrain every ten years. Additionally, the bill allows parents to train their children under the age of 14 on how to safely operate a pistol or revolver. The bill legalizes suppressors and creates a process for a chief law enforcement officer to approve the paperwork necessary for the purchase of a suppressor. The bill also creates permit privacy for gun owners by no longer requiring permits to carry and permits to purchase to be public information. The information will still remain available to law enforcement.
Legislation to provide more transparency and openness in state government was passed by the House State Government Committee. HSB 124 forbids the use of confidentiality/nondisclosure clauses in personnel settlements for public employees. The bill also makes the reason and rationale for certain disciplinary actions taken on a public employee, a public record. Iowans expect to know how their tax dollars are being spent. By prohibiting the future use of confidential settlement agreements, Iowa taxpayers can be confident their tax dollars are being spent appropriately.
The House Human Resources Committee passed HF 58, which requires physicians, prior to performing an abortion, to document in the woman’s medical records that the woman has undergone an ultrasound and has been given the option to view the image as well as hear the baby’s heartbeat.
To combat the increased spread of dangerous synthetic drugs, the House Public Safety Committee passed HF 279 this week. This bill reorganizes the synthetic drug list and adds additional chemicals to the list. HF 279 also treats simulated substances and imitation substances the same for prosecution, which is key to stopping the spread of synthetic drugs throughout the state.
For a complete list of legislation that survived the first funnel, visit www.iowahouserepublicans.com.
I always enjoy reading and hearing about the impressive accomplishments of our young Iowans. Many exciting things have been happening recently and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate our local students on all of their academic, extracurricular, and athletic achievements. Our local FFA chapters recently celebrated National FFA Week, and the newspapers were filled with the students’ many accomplishments. I’ve also enjoyed following the great success of our wrestling and boys’ and girls’ basketball teams throughout their thrilling seasons. Thank you to all of our young men and women for the wonderful contributions you make to our communities.
As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 515-281-4618.