The Iowa legislative session ended Saturday morning at 7:15 a.m. after pulling an all-nighter. Here are a few updates from the past week:
The Senate passed Senate File 471 and sent it to the governor. The bill prohibits abortion after 20 weeks post-fertilization with exceptions to save the life of the mother or for a serious physical health emergency. The bill also contains a three-day waiting period before an abortion. We have been working on this bill since 2011 and it is the…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 24, 2017 at 1:12pm — No Comments
Although the state legislature may be moving towards adjournment in the next week or two, there are still several issues where your input can make a difference.
Thanks for your contacts last week with legislators in support of mental health funding reform. House Study Bill 194 passed the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously. If you haven’t sent a message yet, your help would be appreciated in bringing this issue to the attention of legislators. For background information…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 16, 2017 at 8:05pm — No Comments
First things first – we pray you have a blessed Holy Week!
On to the news …
Senate File 471, the bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, passed the House with an amendment last week by a vote of 55-41 and returns to the Senate. The bill corrects the deficiencies we saw in the House and adds a 72-hour informed consent period before an abortion takes place. If the Senate agrees, the bill goes to the governor.
There was some confusion on social…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 10, 2017 at 9:02am — No Comments
The second legislative “funnel” deadline was on Friday. Other than budget and tax bills, legislation was required to have passed one chamber and through a committee in the other chamber to remain eligible. Keep in mind nothing is totally dead until the session is over.
Senate File 471 advanced out of the House Human Resources Committee last Wednesday night. The committee fixed the problems we saw in the Senate version of the bill. We will be working to see if we can get…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on April 3, 2017 at 8:54am — No Comments
Appropriations bills for state departments are being introduced at the legislature, which is usually a sign that the session is heading into its last month or so.
A bill outlawing trafficking in fetal body parts, Senate File 359, passed the Iowa Senate last week by a vote of 43-6. The bill moved to the House for possible consideration. This bill would allow the use of tissue procured from morally-licit sources.
Senate File 471, a bill to restrict abortions after…Continue
LAST WEEK AT THE STATE CAPITOL
A bill to restrict abortions after 20 weeks post-fertilization, Senate File 471, has passed the Senate by a vote of 32-17. The vote was mainly along party lines with two Democrats and an Independent joining the Republicans in supporting the bill. The bill now goes to the House for possible consideration.
Senate File 471 has an exception to allow…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 19, 2017 at 10:01pm — No Comments
Thanks for your quick response to our action alert supporting an increase in Iowa’s minimum wage. Unfortunately an effort to bring up an amendment to increase the minimum wage to $10.75 failed in the House on Thursday by a vote of 57-41.
The House went on to pass House File 295 which would “pre-empt” cities and counties from raising the minimum wage on their own. Four counties – Linn, Wapello, Polk and Johnson – had already passed an increase in the minimum wage and the bill…Continue
The first legislative “funnel” deadline was last Thursday. That means any bill that has not passed out of a committee by now is dead for the session, with the exception of budget and tax bills.
During the next few weeks, the Iowa Senate will be working to pass bills that came out of a Senate committee, and send them to the House so they can go through a House committee before the next deadline date of March 31. The Iowa House will be doing the same. But nothing is dead for certain…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on March 5, 2017 at 9:43pm — No Comments
Our newsletter is extra lengthy this week because of the upcoming first legislative deadline. Bills are required to pass their first committee by Friday to remain eligible, with the exception of bills related to budget or taxes. It will be an extremely busy week at the capitol.
Here’s a list of the bills that have an action alert on our website followed by a short explanation. Please visit our Action Center at…Continue
Almost all other work stopped at the state capitol last week as debate focused on a bill to limit collective bargaining rights for public sector union members (HF 291). The bill passed both chambers on Thursday and was signed by the governor on Friday. In light of the legislature’s debate on the issue, the Iowa Catholic Conference again released its statement on “Labor and the Common…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on February 19, 2017 at 9:17pm — No Comments
Please contact your legislator regarding House File 265, the successor bill to HSB 67. The bill is a piece of “enforcement-only” immigration legislation. It passed the House Public Safety Committee last week and is eligible for debate on the floor. Additional information about the bill is available here.
A subcommittee meeting…Continue
The Iowa Catholic Conference is asking for your help with two new action alerts. Many of you have already sent in a message on one of these issues - if so, thank you!
Added by Tom Chapman on February 6, 2017 at 9:04am — No Comments
REACTION TO IMMIGRATION/REFUGEE ORDERS
On Friday, President Trump issued an order related to refugees. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the order will virtually shut down the refugee admissions program for 120 days, reduce the number of refugees to be admitted from a goal of 110,000 to 50,000 people, and indefinitely suspend the resettlement of Syrian refugees. (Click here for a Nov.…Continue
New resources posted on Education Savings Accounts
We are working to encourage state legislators to pass an Education Savings Account program this year. Some new resources have been posted on our website, including a link to a recent webinar and the Iowa bishops’ statement.
You are invited to attend a “National School Choice Week” event this Wednesday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. at the State…Continue
Bills introduced to “defund” abortion providers; eliminate regulation of guns
The Iowa legislative session began last week with the introduction of some bills of interest to the Iowa Catholic Conference and the Governor’s “Condition of the State” address.
The ICC supports redirecting government health care funds away from abortion providers. Senate File 2 would, in effect, stop all government health care funds from going to abortion providers. We believe that…Continue
The 87th Iowa General Assembly convenes on Monday. Most of the first week is taken up by the usual ceremonies and organizational meetings of committees. During the first day, legislative leaders address the chambers to talk about their plans for the session. Also coming up this week is Governor Branstad’s presumably final “Condition of the State” speech to the legislature and Chief Justice Cady’s “State of the Judiciary” address.
It’s a new situation at the State Capitol because last…Continue
Added by Tom Chapman on January 8, 2017 at 7:27pm — No Comments
LEGISLATIVE KICKOFF WEBINARS
One of our top priorities during the upcoming legislative session is to encourage passage of a flexible Education Savings Account (ESA) program in Iowa. In preparation for the session, our partners at Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education are offering 30-minute “Legislative Kickoff” webinars at two convenient times – Tuesday, Jan. 10 at noon and Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
The webinars will
present a refresher on the legislative…Continue
Please note: Iowa Right to Life has cancelled the Midwest March for Life on Jan. 14, 2017. The Mass for Life with the four bishops of Iowa has been rescheduled for 5 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15 at Saints John and Paul Church in Altoona, IA at the conclusion of the first day of the Iowa Institute for Social Action. Bishop Martin Amos of Davenport will be the homilist. (To be clear, no sign-up is necessary for the Mass!)
We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving. Time to get back to work!
One of our top priorities during the upcoming legislative session is to encourage passage of an Education Savings Account (ESA) program in Iowa. Click here for a very short video about how ESAs work for families.
ESAs will help all parents pay for the learning environment that best suits their child’s needs,…Continue