It is Funnel Week in the Iowa Legislature! This means that except for Ways & Means, and Appropriations legislation, if bills are to remain alive, they must pass through committee by the end of session this week. There is a second funnel in a few weeks for bills that come over from the Senate for consideration. Today, I want to identify priority legislation still alive and bad ideas that are now dead for the year, thanks to the Funnel process.
Priorities Still Alive
SAVE EXTENSION (HF546): This legislation would extend the school infrastructure penny, known as SAVE, through 2050. This helps ensure schools have the resources to upgrade their facilities while delivering significant tax relief to local property taxpayers. It also includes funds to enhance school security and help grow rural Iowa through funding for career academies that will help address the worker shortage.
Children’s Mental Health (HSB206): The House is working to advance legislation that establishes a framework for a children’s mental health system. While this will help with kids getting services they need, the ultimate answer to this growing crisis does not rest with . Rather, the ultimate solution is to rebuild family and faith in America.
2nd Amendment Rights in the Iowa Constitution (HJR3): One of my top priorities has always been to protect individual liberty, including the God-given right of self- defense, enshrined in the Constitution by our 2nd Amendment. Iowa is one of only six states that does not have 2nd Amendment protections in the State Constitution. This must change. While this process was set back by Secretary of State Pate’s mistake in not providing public notice (we had to start the process over as a result), House Republicans are working to get this issue before the voters in 2022.
Companion Animal Cruelty (HSB114/HSB227): We have all heard the tragic news stories about mistreatment of pets in our state. Our cruelty laws are woefully inadequate, and we are working to make them stronger.
Judicial Nomination Reform (HSB 110/HF503): This continues to be a high priority, as House Republicans work to bring more transparency, fairness, accountability and voice of the people to this process. Less than 18% of lawyers making these selections, beholden to the Bar Association and not accountable to the people, is not an acceptable method for selecting commissioners. It is time for this modern-day version of a “” club to come to an end.
Well Deserved Casualties
Socialized Government-Run Health Care (HF96): Iowa House Democrats have introduced legislation that would force Iowans into a socialist, government-run health care system that would spell disaster for quality health care and financial stability. This idea has proven to be a disaster virtually everywhere it has been tried and cannot be financially sustained. This “free” health care plan is unaffordable and can only result in massive tax increases and reduction in quality of care. This socialist pipe-dream will never work. House Republicans will continue to work for private-sector solutions that do not involve expensive, massive programs that grant government far too much power over our lives.
The attack on Homeschool Freedom (HF100, HF182 & HF272): While House Republicans look to expand parental choice, House Democrats are looking to do the exact opposite. They are initiating bills that would reduce parental choice by making it more difficult to homeschool.
Restricting 2nd Amendment Rights (too many bills to count): This year House Democrats have flooded the Public Safety Committee with bills that would arbitrarily restrict this fundamental right. Bills introduced by Democrats would ban the sale or possession of commonly-owned firearms, including shotguns, hunting rifles, and handguns that are used in self-defense.
We can measure success not only in what is but also what is not allowed to move forward, as can be seen in this list of funnel survivors and casualties.
We are off to a great start in the 88th General Assembly. However, significant work remains. We must continue to stand up and fight for life in the face of activist court decisions that seek to make Iowa the most abortion-friendly state in the nation. We must address welfare reform that encourages a return to the private sector. And we must continue to search for ways to stop government growth and the growing dependency on government programs as opposed to that which built America: self-reliance and hard work.