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Legislative update from Iowa Democrats


This news story was published on June 9, 2019.
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The following is a legislative update from Iowa Democrats:

Lawmakers Call for Special Session to Override Governor’s Veto of Medical Cannabis

More Iowans with severe health problems and chronic pain could have had access to medicine that would improve their lives after a bi-partisan bill to expand the state’s medical cannabis law was approved.

However, Governor Kim Reynolds unexpectedly vetoed the expansion at the last minute due to concerns over increasing the THC limit. The bill, passed during the 2019 legislative session, would have eliminated the current 3% THC cap by replacing it with a 25 gram over 90-day period maximum disbursement. The measure passed 96-3 in the GOP controlled House and 40-7 in the GOP controlled Senate.

Democratic lawmakers are working this month to call for a special session to override the Governor’s veto. Two-thirds of lawmakers in each chamber are needed to request a special legislative session.

Currently, Iowa is one of the lowest “THC” states in the country. Thirty-three other states have no limits on medical cannabis products, which have helped address opioid addiction and chronic ailment costs.

In a poll released earlier this year, nearly 80 percent of Iowans support expanding access to the state’s Medical Cannabidiol program, according to the Des Moines Register.


SAVE School Infrastructure Bill Signed into Law

A top priority of school leaders across Iowa for several years, the “SAVE” bill to extend the one cent local sales tax for school infrastructure was signed by the Governor.

The program will continue to provide funds for school infrastructure improvements, as well as increasing a portion of the funds for property tax relief. A separate Career Academy competitive grant fund is established to help build job training facilities.

More transparency is provided in the plan by allowing voters to reapprove the district’s revenue purpose statement. If SAVE funds are going to be obligated for 20 year bonds, school boards must hold a public hearing and give citizens an opportunity to petition for a direct vote of the people.

The program is now extended through 2051, instead of having it expire in 2031.


Iowa Measles Cases Show Need to Keep School Vaccinations

As of May 24, the latest figures from the Center for Disease Control show that 940 individual cases of measles have been confirmed this year in 26 states. Iowa is one of those states. This is an increase nationally of 60 cases from the previous week. It is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

Measles is highly contagious and can spread through the air. The most common symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough, but is known for its heavy rash all over the body. People can suffer complications such as pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and pregnant women may deliver prematurely.

According to the CDC, the spread of measles can be attributable to the following:

        • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
        • Measles is still common in many parts of the world.
        • Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.
        • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

    Every state allows schoolchildren to be exempt from vaccinations for medical reasons, such as a compromised immune system or an allergy to a vaccine’s components. Iowa is one of the states that allow an exemption for religious reasons, but some states also allow it for personal reasons.

Mississippi is one of three states that does not allow for religious or personal exemptions. They only accept medical exemption approved by the state medical director, and they are currently one of the states without a single case of the measles.

House Stops Bill Relieving Health Screening Requirements

After cruising through the Senate, a bill was halted in the House Education Committee last session that eliminated school requirements for vision, dental, and lead blood screenings. Originally, the bill also removed school vaccination and school nurse requirements, placing the burden on health care providers to notify parents of the need to vaccinate their child, including diseases such the measles, polio, or tetanus.

Iowa schools serve as a critical partner in ensuring students are healthy and ready to learn, and many local school board members voiced their opposition to the bill during session. However, they were puzzled to learn that the bill was actually being pushed by their Iowa Association of School Boards, vastly without their consult.

SF 438 is still in the House Education Committee and can still be considered for the 2020 session.


Grants Awarded to Communities to Help with Derelict Buildings

Help to deconstruct or renovate derelict buildings have been granted to 13 cities across the state by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The program helps communities with populations of less than 5,000 deconstruct or renovate abandoned structures. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis from annual applications.

This year’s grants will provide $396,864 total to 13 communities including Afton, Aurelia, Eagle Grove, Elma, Farragut, Galt, Hampton, Hopkinton, Lytton, Mingo, Traer, Wapello, and West Branch. The projects include projects at commercial buildings, abandoned school buildings, post offices, coal fired power plants, and abandoned churches.

Applications for the next round of funding will be due on February 20, 2020. Additional information on the grant program, including application forms, can be found at www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/LandStewardship/WasteManagement/DerelictBuildingProgram.aspx.


State Parks Day Camps

This summer the University of Iowa is hosting day camps in state parks across Iowa. Camps are open to kids in grades 3-7. The camps are led by teachers, naturalist staff, and college students. Kids will learn about the park, the park’s history, and animals. Fees for the week range from $100-$150 depending on the park. For more information about the camps and to register, click on the links below.


Protect Yourself from Ticks

In the past 12 months, the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 277 cases of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that starts as a rash and if not treated can spread and have lasting impacts to an infected person’s health.

To prevent tick-borne disease like Lyme disease, it is best to avoid wooded and grassy areas. However, if you spend time in these areas it is best wear long-sleeved shirts and long, light-colored pants tucked into socks or boots; stay on trails when walking or hiking and avoid high grass, and use insect repellants. The repellants that contain DEET should be used in concentrations no higher than 15% for children and 30% for adults. Finally, after spending time where ticks live, check yourself, your children, and your pets for ticks. Ticks tend to prefer the back of the knee, armpit, scalp, groin, and back of the neck.

More information about tick prevention and Lyme disease can be found here: http://idph.iowa.gov/cade/disease-information/lyme-disease.

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8 Responses to Legislative update from Iowa Democrats

  1. Avatar

    Allen Reply Report comment

    June 11, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Whatever happened to the subjects in the article, geez, this isn’t the whiners den.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 11, 2019 at 9:25 am

    this site shouldnt be anonymous any more. i think people would probably speak to each other with more respect. i think other people who use this site as a place to run their mouths to strangers in the safety of their home would stop using the site and in any case we could know for sure which one of our friends or family or coworkers or neighbors is an ignorant retard who harbors hateful or downright stupid opinions. reading this comment section has enlightened me. almost everyone from this area of the state is a mean spirited loser or just straight up idiot. in the middle you have smart people that say smart things but the half smart mason city know it all drunks and junkies have to argue insult and race bait. this website has a fan base of worthless bottom feeders that need to be banned. its amazing how you can post something and end up with liberals and conservatives arguing against you together, it just shows the people that use this site are suffering diminished mental capacity and wait around all day to feel important by making what they must consider to be pretty striking and impactful comments to each other. i honestly wonder if its more than 5 or 6 people that read this shite. i do really think this used to be a great source of almost real time info, now youre lucky to find half of anything that happens in the area posted here. kimt is just as bad and the globe may as well not even exist. what do they want for a sunday paper these days? a twenty and half a pint of your first born childs blood?anyway, people need to start having real discussions not just trying to irritate each other and have useless insult wars or childish communication on every single story. you people call yourselves adults but then you cant even talk to eachother without name calling and you never ever grow or learn or take anything positive out of any interaction here. its always im right and youre a n***** or im right and youre a drug addict. those arent conversations. the truth is this is north iowa and the majority of people just have opinions some of them handed down from past generations, you live your life based on those opinions and refuse to even consider that other people might have better info than yourself. i get that this is iowa and alot of the attitudes are going to be negative and under informed, i was born here and can see that. get over it open your minds.

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    June 10, 2019 at 6:56 am

    think its important to note that it isnt just democrats that are trying to over ride the governors ignorance. you leave that part out of the story to prove your biased bs? everyone in the state with a functioning mind and a heart supports expansion of the medical marijuana law. of course on this particular site there are one or two mental midget morons that are very anti medical cannabis….. you can tell from the way they communicate that they are valuable intelligent members of society…… or worthless hicks that shouldnt be allowed a voice in any public forum.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      June 10, 2019 at 8:02 am

      You are certainly one of those hicks that should never, ever be allowed a voice. But, because we feel sorry for your moronic attempts to be intelligent we put up with it. No one that I have seen is against medical marijuana, but we are against creating more brain dead people like you with recreational pot.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        June 11, 2019 at 9:02 am

        well, im not a hick. i probably actually possess a higher iq then yourself. you think pot creates “brain dead” people? but alcoholshould be legal? the prescription drugs that cause actual brain damage as well as damage to internal organs are ok? show me these brain dead pot heads, elon musk, joe rogan oh and about half the country under the age of 65. you dont have any real arguement here, just your braindead biased and misinformation. maybe you should educate yourself on marijuana instead of running your mouth based on the propaganda you choose to believe? you are just a simple minded person who has no clue what they are talking about.i didnt even mention recreational. your comment proves youre ignoarant. raising the thc cap FOR MEDICINAL has nothing to do with recreational. you need to work on your reading comprehension, moron. you dont know anything about thc thca thcv cbd cbn or anything else, do you? how are you gonna call me the dumb one when you have no facts and no knowledge. just another idiotic iowa inbred tragedy out here getting all passionate about shit they are to stupid and lazy to take the time to research, enjoy your busch light and your malrboro’s you hypocrite white trash loser. recreational is obviously fine too, several states several years into it and everyone is perfectly fine. the only people having problems are the ones who wanted to see bad things happening because people were smoking pot because those people just need something negative in their life so they can bitch and complain based on emotion and inaccuracy combined with ignorance. hate filled unhappy little under educated pos people. you dont have to beleive it but recreational pot in iowa would lead to…. basically the same exact place we live in now except drinking rates tend to fall when people have a legal susbstance available to them that is vastly less destructive than booze, under age use falls dramatically because the rebellious taboo falls away and the state makes a billion dollars. its not my fault that youre a simpleton, itis however extremely annoying to me that ignorant folks such as yourself use good oxygen up and take up space all the while spouting off ignorant shit nobody wants to hear cuz its wrong and then voting based on your incorrect selfish obnoxious idiotic feelings. youre a loser.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        June 11, 2019 at 9:08 am

        youre one of those people that thinks they are smart because they FEEL that their OPINION is FACT. You are just a jackass that lacks facts, here you are calling someone an idiot when you used half their post in an attempt to insult them, then you go on to make comments about their intelligence when their statement is filled with it, especially in comparison to your own pointless drivel. you have no basis on which to stake your claim the op is somehow less intelligent then “the rest of us” i think if you actually talk to people youll find youre in the minority here and if everyone had the spine to be honest youd have been informed well before today that youre a mental midget and as much as free speech is a beautiful thing, sadly some people exist for whom speech at all should not be an option. sorry but youre beyond your depth in this conversation. its obvious. youre a dumbass.

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        June 11, 2019 at 9:33 am

        posting insults while anonymous? wow you must be one of mason cities smartest toughest coolest people, huh? im impressed. im sure other people are too. keep up the good work. really respect your considerate and not outdated opinion. youre so smart it causes the rest of us to suffer extreme bouts of jealousy infused rage. lol you seem to like to type total bullshit so i figured you probably like to read bullshit. i imagine that your tell yourself those things in the mirror everyday before you get up and sit infornt of your phone looking for places to make idiot comments in an attempt to fill the hole in your pathetic existence, i know your perceive yourself as some sort of intellectually superior internet troll who is causing some great effect on strangers. i bet the fantasy contributes largely to your sense of purpose, i just want you to know that nobody cares and the internet hates you just as much as people who have to deal with you in real life.

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          June 11, 2019 at 5:46 pm

          You are really for of yourself for someone so stupid.