The following is a legislative update from Republican State Rep. Shannon Latham, representing portions of Franklin, Hamilton, Story and Wright counties in Iowa House District 55:
Week 7 of the 2023 legislative session was a race to get bills vetted by subcommittees, so House committees can vote on them before the March 3 funnel deadline. A bill originating in the House must be passed by a House committee and a bill originating in the Senate bill must be passed by a Senate committee by March 3 to “stay alive” for this session.
Rep. Chad Ingels and I celebrated National FFA Week when a bill we co-sponsored to support Ag Education, House File 389, got read into the Iowa House and referred to the House Agriculture Committee. We’re working to get it passed through subcommittee and committee before the upcoming legislative deadline.
The Iowa House also held one day of debate during Week 7. Although we passed 15 bills in total on Feb. 22. I’m highlighting a few bipartisan bills that I believe are especially interesting.
Below is a brief summary of bills that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support through the House this week:
- House File 272 requires employers to treat employees, who adopt a child, the same way as those with a biological child. This bill passed 95-0.
- House File 279 amended the Code of Iowa to require assessors to comply with county or city conference board policies for employees and expenditures. If the conference board has not adopted rules, the assessor is required to comply with the county/city policies. This bill passed 95-0.
- House File 282 adds the use of “extended crop rotations or rotational grazing” as a temporary soil and water conservation practice and deletes the term “row crop,” so provisions would apply to non-row crop land such as grazing land, forest land and other vegetative land. It also creates a new section in Iowa Code, allowing counties to establish a water quality improvement district and provides that flood control districts may combine soil health and water quality improvement functions. This bill passed on a 95-0 vote.
Protecting Landowner Rights (HF 368)
This week Iowa House Republicans moved forward House File (HF) 368, which creates additional protections for landowners as three major CO2 pipeline projects are in the works. This bill has passed subcommittee and needs to pass through committee before March 3. Please note that legislators are working to strike a balance. While I support the ethanol industry, I do not believe pipeline companies should be allowed to use heavy-handed tactics and abuse landowner rights. Watch for updates as HF 368 moves through the process.
Constituents in the Capitol
Tuesday was an extremely fun day for me as it was Iowa State Day on the Hill. My husband and I graduated from Iowa State, and our son is a junior there. We are proud supporters of the Cardinal & Gold! I enjoyed visiting with President Wendy Wintersteen. Did you know The ISU Creamery turns milk from the college’s dairy farm into unique ice cream? It’s worth a campus visit for the ice cream! Also this week, I met with Butler and Franklin County residents who oppose eminent domain for carbon pipelines.