Republican State Senators elected or reelected in November were sworn in on Monday.

From Iowa Senate Republican Caucus Staff:

Iowa Senate Republicans prioritized a number of bills to begin this session. Many of these bills Republicans have been working to pass the last few years. They are bills consistent with our push for fiscal responsibility and smaller government.

One of these bills is a constitutional amendment regarding the 99 percent expenditure limitation. Adding a 99 percent expenditure limitation as part of the Constitution will provide confidence to Iowa families and job creators that the state will live within its means in the same way they must live within their means. This constitutional amendment will prevent the Legislature from using budget gimmicks to get around the expenditure limitation law. When senators take the oath of office they promise to protect and defend the Constitution. With adoption of this amendment, future senators will commit to uphold sound budgeting principles when they swear an oath to defend the Constitution.

The second is a constitutional amendment to protect Iowan’s Second Amendment rights. A constitutional amendment enshrining the right of Iowans to keep and bear arms will protect Iowans against the increasingly active courts who seek to eliminate Second Amendment rights by judicial command.

The third is a jobs impact statement for new administrative rules. Currently, through executive order, the Governor requires jobs impact statements on proposed administrative rules. This bill would make that practice law, so families and job creators can be confident a diligent review of the possible impact to jobs from regulations proposed by the executive branch has been performed. Regulations can have a serious impact on the job climate in our state and ensuring a rigorous evaluation of any impact on jobs an administrative rule may have will help protect Iowa from needless regulations.

The fourth will eliminate taxpayer funding for abortion providers. Currently, family planning funding is only available in a limited number of clinics in Iowa. This bill will substantially increase the number of facilities available to women, giving them more choices. Many women in rural Iowa must travel very far to receive women’s health services. This bill would improve their access to care and offer many Iowans the confidence their tax dollars are not being spent in a way that violates their conscience, while providing more healthcare choices for more women.

The fifth is a tort reform bill.  Too often job creators must spend more time and money fending off frivolous lawsuits than they do creating new career opportunities. This common-sense proposal would force the loser of frivolous lawsuits to pay the legal fees which result from those lawsuits. People bringing nuisance lawsuits will be much less likely to bring them if they know they risk bearing the cost of those lawsuits. People should be entitled to defend themselves against a frivolous lawsuit without fear of damaging costs. No one should have to choose to settle because the cost of defense is too high to bear.

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