Session Coming to a Close
The Iowa House has been working very hard this session and we have taken some difficult votes. We have worked to make schools safer and offer more college credit, provide mental health services, train individuals in suicide prevention, add the 2nd Amendment to the Iowa Constitution, offer healthcare coverage to the Iowa Farm Bureau and other small businesses, enforce immigration laws, correct the code, and much more. While we have made progress in a lot of areas including our educational system the discussion is not over. We have two weeks left of session, which will be filled with bill debate in order to get as much done in this general assembly as possible. The last bills that will be discussed I presume are bills dealing with funding coming out of either the Ways and Means committee or Appropriations committee as these bills do not have a deadline like other committee bills due in the funnel week.
Many of you have asked questions pertaining to the backfill. I have filed amendments to HSB678 that would change the date for the reduction in the backfill from 2019 to 2020. It would also change the length of backfill reduction from four years to five years. It would leave 25 million for the counties and cities that have not had any growth. The second amendment that I have filed would increase the property tax on wind mills to what they were pre 2013. I believe that I have done the best I can do for my constituents in the 7th district by filing these amendments. The backfill is going to go away and there is no way to stop that. I could simply vote “no” and lose all bargaining power, but by filing these amendments I still have bargaining power.
Point of Personal Privilege
On Wednesday, April 4, 2018, I chose to do a point of personal privilege. A point of personal privilege is a time where a Representative can speak to the whole body about any subject they choose. The concept of my thinking is that everything starts with the family. Shootings, mental problems, and suicides are at the forefront of our minds nowadays and I believe that if the family were to stay together and take care of problems within the family then we would see a lower number of deaths and struggle in this country. My goal is to work on the issue of divorce and see what legislation can be formed to help the children. Some ideas I have thrown around are a lower cost of a marriage license for individuals who participate in pre-marital counseling, requiring counseling with compatibility testing prior to marriage, establishing covenant marriage, and eliminating no-fault divorce. We must also take a good look at single-parent situations. Overall, I firmly believe that the children are the most important part of our lives and we should make decisions that help them to succeed in life, not set them up for failure.
The Enforcement of Immigration Laws bill prohibits local entities from refusing to comply with a written federal detainer request for a person in their custody who is in the country illegally. If a local entity does not comply than they will lose state funding. At this point it is not possible to determine a fiscal impact for this bill. I believe that it is completely possible to come into this country legally, which is what immigrants should do if they want to be a part of this nation and state. My family along with many of the people I know came from countries other than the United States to find a better life here, but they did it the right and legal way. I think that a diverse population is great, but we should not be sacrificing our safety and freedoms as American’s for illegal immigrants.
This bill allows an individual over the age of 18 to carry a taser without a “permit to carry” that does not have a projectile. As I believe everyone has a right to keep and bear arms, I also believe that allowing individuals to protect themselves with a taser is a safer method that can aide in protection. If a minor is armed with a taser, it will be considered a simple misdemeanor under this legislation.
SF2360 requires the Department of Education to develop a task force on dyslexia response in Iowa. This task force is to report findings and recommendations related to dyslexia response such as student screenings, classroom accommodations, assistive technology, and teacher preparation and professional development. I believe that this is good legislation that will help the students of Iowa. Every child in Iowa deserves education tailored to their needs whether that is through special education, home school, parochial school, etc.