The final 48 hours before sine die 2023
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
10M ago
A bill removing work restrictions for teenagers is revised. Democrats still oppose it but say this newly amended version is much better than what was proposed earlier in the session. All the budgets are now passed but many have status quo or small increases, including the education budget. It also has a hiring freeze for university diversity, equity and inclusion departments. And the caucuses are coming in less than a year. A bill would prohibit some proposed changes to prevent any kind of mail in ballot ..read more
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Loosening tattoo artist requirements, encouraging biogas pipelines, taxing glass pipes, and a much bigger version of the governor’s education bill
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
11M ago
Among the policy bills advancing this year include one adding a 40% tax to glass or metal pipes supporters say are used to smoke dangerous drugs. There is also a bill making it easier for gas pipelines to be built from farms with anaerobic digesters converting manure to a form of natural gas. And the governor’s education bill about gender identity is now much bigger after the House of Representatives adds an amendment containing sections from many non-controversial bills that have already passed ..read more
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Raw milk, crisis numbers on student IDs, and SNAP and Medicaid verification pass one chamber and advance in the other’s committees
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
11M ago
A bill requiring public schools to print on Student ID cards contact information for the crisis service Your Life Iowa passes out of the House, and is also considered by a Senate committee. The sale of raw milk passes in the Senate and has advanced from a House committee. The Senate’s version of a bill requiring more paperwork for eligibility for food assistance and Medicaid also passes a House committee. This is from a week where most bills need to pass from both a Senate and House committee to remain viable for this legislative session ..read more
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A barrier to eminent domain and the governor’s restrictions on gender identity in schools
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
In the 11th week of this session a bill that requires more landowners to agree to carbon pipeline construction on their property advances. It would permit the Iowa Utilities Board to allow eminent domain only if pipeline companies first reach voluntary deals for 90% of the land along the pipeline route. Also penalties increase for Fentanyl, distracted driving, and assaulting a pregnant woman. The Senate advances the governor’s large public education proposal prohibiting elementary schools from discussing gender identity and removing books in K-12 schools not deemed “age-appropriate ..read more
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Prohibiting medical gender transition for minors passes the House and Senate
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
A bill prevents Iowa medical-assisted gender transition for minors including the use of hormones or drugs even with parental consent. Senate Republicans say it’s a matter of public health and children are vulnerable and confused. But opponents say this violates Iowa’s constitution by targeting the small population of transgender children and youth. They are joined by a handful of Republican representatives that say this proposal will eliminate a parent’s choice in helping their children. The Senate and House pass the proposal and it is eligible to be signed into law by the governor ..read more
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New conditions for education concerning gender, sexuality, and books
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
A bill advances stating a student must use the public school bathroom that conforms to their gender assigned at birth. Subcommittees also listen to testimony about a proposal prohibiting a healthcare professional from performing or referring a patient that is a minor for gender-affirming surgeries or drugs. And there is a bill from the governor that would make certain subjects illegal to discuss in K - 6 grade public schools and require parental consent for all students to view some books in school libraries ..read more
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Another push for capital punishment and denying medical services for religious or moral beliefs
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
This bill expands on current code protecting healthcare workers from being forced to participate in medical procedures involving an abortion and creates a broader protection based on religious beliefs and moral convictions. Opponents say this could be used to easily discriminate, but a senator supporting the bill says this is a matter of First Amendment rights. A bill to bring back the death penalty after nearly 60 years advances. And so does one about making gun safety material modeled after the National Rifle Association's Eddie the Eagle program available in K-12 schools ..read more
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The long journey of budget appropriations subcommittees.
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
This is the time of year when many department heads present their budget requests and answer questions from legislators. Property taxes were unintentionally calculated too high, but during an appropriations subcommittee the director for the Department of Revenue says it wasn’t an error and they followed the law. The presidents of the state universities present their budget request and are asked if they are spending too much money on diversity equity and inclusion programs ..read more
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Public school funding and capping lawsuits
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
Funding for K-12 public schools will be $107 million more than last year, the same amount private schools are estimated to get for new state funded scholarships. Democrats say public school funding should have a larger increase to match tax cuts and new funding private schools will receive. And there’s a bill that limits the amount awarded in medical malpractice cases. Iowa doesn’t have a cap on the amount a jury can award in a medical malpractice suit, and advocates of the bill say that’s hurting the healthcare workforce. Some states have ruled caps are unconstitutional ..read more
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Identifying gender identity restrictions in schools and unintended property tax increases
Under the Golden Dome
by John Pemble
1y ago
Bills limiting discussion of gender and personal pronouns in schools that differ from a student’s biological gender listed on their birth certificate are advancing. A House proposal requires parents to be notified if public school staff hear a student is suggesting they are going to change their gender or pronoun. Supporters say parental notification should be mandatory but opponents have concerns this proposal will stop a student from having a safe space to talk about this potentially sensitive issue. Late last year it was quietly discovered property taxes would unintentionally rise higher du ..read more
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