This week March Madness came to the Capitol. It has been a full-court press keeping bills alive by getting them off the full floor and through standing committees in the opposite chambers.
March 28 was our best bipartisan debate of the session. We passed bills that have been cooperatively worked on by House Representatives for years. These included HF 603 that prevents Eminent Domain Abuse in Iowa, and HF 607 that allows local breweries and wineries the same protection as the big companies. Previously, the new small town brewery trying to get started had huge limitations put on them. Though I am opposed to alcohol abuse, I support equality in the market place.
Another important bill to our agriculture people was HF 410. This put Palmer Amaranth on the noxious weed list in Iowa. This is a very invasive weed that can literally crowd out crops such as corn, soybeans, and cotton. Once it gets started it spreads rapidly and is very hard to control. This bill prohibits the import, sales and distribution of this plant in Iowa. Palmer Amaranth can literally threaten our agriculture base in Iowa if it gets started.
One of the reasons I serve in the legislature is to protect vulnerable Iowans. One way of doing that is to combat domestic violence and hold abusers accountable. The House passed legislation this week that protects victims of domestic abuse. House File 263 ensures that habitual domestic abusers serve a minimum amount of time in prison. This will provide survivors and victims of abuse with more time to remove themselves from a bad situation while abusers serve their sentence.
Another great bill passed in the house this week, House File 233 will give sick Iowans, and their doctors, more control over their healthcare. The bill provides a number of exceptions so that patients can get the medicine they need without having to undergo treatments that aren’t effective as a way for insurance companies to save money. This will ensure that sick Iowans get the medications that their doctors recommend without having to go through a number of ineffective treatments first.