Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Hope you’re staying warm and safe at home. It was a great week for Iowans in the Iowa House. Working toward the second funnel, we had lots of visitors from home, 3 public hearings, committee meetings and debated a number of bills. Looking back on 65 hours of work, it’s amazing how much we accomplished in that short amount of time.
You may have heard on the news about the three major pieces of legislation we debated – Voter ID, Firearms and Preemption.
First let’s talk about Voter ID or as the bill was called, Election Integrity and Modernization. Benton and Iowa County voters will see very few changes here, but basically, when going in to vote you will need to show your driver’s license, DOT non-operator ID, passport, veteran ID or military ID. If you don’t have one of those, the secretary of state will be sending you a voter identification card free of charge. Although our law has less provisions than some states, 34 states have voter identification laws and we crafted ours so that any legal challenges will hold up in court. For years, our voters have visited with me on wanting this and I am happy to say we finally have it through.
Second, let’s talk about the Firearms legislation strengthening Iowan’s 2nd Amendment rights. Besides being a bipartisan effort, we also worked with law enforcement to walk the line between Iowans’ safety and a person’s right to protect themselves and their loved ones. The bill addressed being able to teach your children firearm safety under direct supervision, protects a carry permit holders’ identity and allows you to protect yourself when confronted by a criminal. I very much appreciate the outpouring of thanks I received from constituents after supporting this bill. Thank you!
The third largest bill of the week dealt with preemption. There are certain things the state needs to have standardized across the state and not a patchwork of 99 different counties or even down to every city having something different. The preemption bill said no local government shall have authority to create different laws for commerce or labor standards. Until recently, this has been the practice and we needed to clarify.
The Revenue Estimating Conference was supposed to meet, but one of the members was out of state. We are anxiously awaiting the estimates so we can get on with the budgeting process. Hopefully we won’t have much of a downturn from the December numbers for 2017’s budget or we may have to deappropriate again. Hard decisions.
On a brighter note, I love hearing from you. Whether you have a different opinion than I or the same, both inputs are good for decision making. Please keep calling and emailing. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone is 515-281-3221. Have a good week!
Yours in service,
Iowa House of Representatives
“proudly serving Benton and northern Iowa Counties”
Click to view Newsletter March9.2017