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Legislative update from Rep. Linda Upmeyer: GOP “acting boldly”

“The ladies from the Iowa Federation of Republican Women visited the Capitol this week. It’s always great to hear what they’re up to!”

From Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake –

We had a great week in the Iowa Legislature this week. We continue to act boldly, passing positive reforms and getting the important work of Iowans done. We’re keeping our promise to Iowa voters to shake things up in Des Moines and challenge the status quo.

This week we passed three major pieces of legislation. In this week’s newsletter I’ll detail those bills which include our comprehensive firearm bill, the election integrity and modernization bill, as well as our preemption bill which clarifies that the state regulates commerce and sets labor standards.

Comprehensive Firearm Bill

The first bill I want to touch on is our comprehensive firearm bill that protects and strengthens Iowans’ Second Amendment rights. We worked with folks in law enforcement, as well as Democrats and firearm enthusiasts, to pass a bill with bipartisan support that covers a wide range of topics.

Here’s what’s included in the bill:

Youth handgun use and parental rights: This section will allow parents to teach their children handgun safety under direct supervision. Current law allows kids under the age of 14 to handle rifles and shotguns, but doesn’t allow for handguns. This will clear up that inconsistency. This section will also allow younger Iowans to participate in shooting competitions in the state.

Permit privacy: This section of the bill will keep the personal information of gun permit holders private and confidential. It does allow for the release of non-identifiable statistical information however.

Stand Your Ground: This section allows Iowans to defend themselves in the event of danger and removes the duty to retreat. The bill also includes civil immunity to protect Iowans from costly litigation.

There were a number of other pieces of the bill, but these were the main issues covered. For a full explanation, read our staff analysis here.

Election Integrity

As I wrote about last week, ensuring that Iowans have confidence in our elections is a top priority. This week we passed the Election Integrity and Modernization bill that will make it easier to vote, harder to cheat, and ensures no eligible voter is turned away at the polls.

The bill requires voters to present a government-issued identification at their polling location such as:

– An Iowa Driver’s License
– An Iowa Non-operator ID
– A United State Passport
– A Veteran or Military ID

If someone doesn’t have one of these forms of identification, the Secretary of State’s office will automatically send them an ID free of charge.

Voter verification measures are already law in 34 other states and a recent Des Moines Register poll finds that 69% of Iowans believe that a government-issued ID should be presented in order to vote. This is a fantastic bill to protect the integrity of our elections and ensure voter confidence.

Preemption

A final issue that I’d like to touch on is the issue of statewide commerce issues and local government preemption.

Certain things are best left at the state level, just as some issues should be in the purview of the Federal Government. Most importantly, regulating commerce and setting labor standards are absolutely the responsibility of the state in order to have a consistent set of rules in all areas of the state.

It has long been held that current law withholds the legal authority for counties or cities to raise their local minimum wages. House File 295 clarifies that the minimum wage and other commerce and labor issues are determined at the state level.

A patchwork of varying minimum wages, labor standards, and employment laws is not favorable to grow Iowa’s economy. Some counties even have different wage levels from city to city, perpetuating an already confusing situation for businesses that operate in multiple states, counties, and cities.

Next week, the Revenue Estimating Conference is scheduled to meet which will give us an updated revenue projection as we move forward on setting next year’s state budget.

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