Action Alert from Senator Rob Hogg –
If you want to speak up about any of these bills, you can find contact information for House members, including committee membership, at www.legis.iowa.gov.
We are dealing with lots of bad bills coming from the Republican majority, and I wanted to take a few moments to let you know about “the dirty dozen” bills – a baker’s dozen – that have passed the Senate and are now pending in the Iowa House:
SF481 – Unfunded Mandate on Immigration Enforcement – This bill would force local governments to assist enforcement of federal immigration laws without funding, and is opposed by law enforcement agencies because it will inject distrust into community relationships. It passed the Senate in 2017, and was passed Tuesday by the House Public Safety Committee on an 11-10 vote and is now eligible for House floor debate.
SF2117 – Mid-Year Budget Cuts – This bill would cut the budget for the last four months of the fiscal year for our universities ($14.5 million), our community colleges ($1.8 million), skilled workforce fund ($10 million), corrections ($3.4 million), public safety ($200,000), our courts ($1.6 million), human services ($6.2 million), aging services ($220,000), public health ($925,000), agriculture and land stewardship ($377,000), and natural resources ($123,000). It has passed out of House Appropriations Committee with an amendment (H-8012) and is now eligible for House floor debate.
SF2148/HF2118 – Ban on Automatic Traffic Enforcement – This bill would ban communities from using automatic traffic enforcement, even in dangerous places where they are shown to reduce accidents and save lives. This bill is now eligible for House floor debate.
SF2169/HF2391 – Limit on Compensation for Alcohol-Related Injuries – This bill would put arbitrary limits on “dram shop” liability of $75,000 for injuries and $100,000 for loss of support for alcohol-related injuries and fatalities. This bill is now eligible for House floor debate.
SF2235/HF2394 – “Critical Infrastructure” Crimes – This bill would impose a Class B felony (up to 25 years) for people who commit an unauthorized act (like trespass) with the intent to disrupt public services, effectively punishing peaceful protest. This bill is now eligible for House floor debate.
SF2281 – Ban on Abortions – This bill would effectively ban all abortions, even in the cases of rape or incest, after six weeks of a pregnancy. This bill has been assigned to the House Human Resources Committee.
SF2282 – Supreme Court Super-Majority – This bill would prohibit Iowa courts from declaring any statute unconstitutional unless done so by a five-member super majority of the Iowa Supreme Court. This bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.
SF2305 – Worker’s Compensation Crimes – This bill would create a Class D felony for workers’ compensation claimants who assert claims without sufficient medical evidence. This bill has been assigned to the House Commerce Committee.
SF2311 – Utility Regulations – This bill would take away regulatory authority from the Iowa Utilities Board and slash energy efficiency by putting a cap on utility energy efficiency programs, raising rates for Iowans by an estimated $400 million each year. This bill has not yet been assigned to a House committee.
SF2329/HF2364 – Farm Bureau Health Plans – This bill would allow the Farm Bureau, and only the Farm Bureau, to provide unregulated health plans to “eligible” members without coverage for pre-existing conditions or other insurance consumer protections. This bill is now eligible for House floor action.
SF2341 – High-Stakes Multiple Choice Civics Test for Graduation – This bill would impose a high-stakes multiple-choice civics test for high school graduation, which if not passed would prevent students from graduating from high school. This bill has been assigned to House Education Committee.
SF2346 – Partisan Listing of Candidates – This bill would list candidates on a ballot with the top spot reserved for the candidate of the party who won the last gubernatorial election. Studies show that the top ballot spot helps a candidate, but Republicans rejected an amendment for non-partisan rotation of ballot position. This bill has been assigned to the House State Government Committee.
SF 2383 – Senate Republican Tax Bill – This bill would raise several taxes but overall cut taxes by $207 million in FY2019 and $1.2 billion, requiring deep cuts in education, health and human services including mental health, public safety, and natural resources. This bill has been assigned to House Ways and Means Committee.
Finally, I want to let you know about two upcoming events:
Cedar River Watershed Coalition Spring Meeting, Friday, March 9, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Wickiup Hill Outdoor Learning Center, 10260 Morris Hills Road, Toddville, Iowa 52341. For more details, and to invite your friends, visit this link: www.facebook.com/events/1948351225414523/
League of Women Voters Legislative Forum, Saturday, March 17, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., at the Kirkwood Linn Regional Center, 1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha, Iowa 52233. For more details, and to invite your friends, visit this link: www.facebook.com/events/1364977403606375/