Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, Feb. 9, 2014

To: Iowa Catholic Conference Legislative Network

Thanks for the great response to the action alert we sent you last week. It is very much appreciated! If you haven’t had a chance to send a message to your legislator in support of an increase in the minimum wage, Educational Savings Accounts, or a ban on “webcam” abortions, go to our Action Center at

Hopefully we’ll see some movement on bills to increase minimum wage in Iowa, House File 2011 and Senate File 2039. Please feel free to contact the subcommittee members for these bills directly: for House File 2011, Representatives Greg Forristall, Pat Murphy, and Ralph Watts; and for Senate File 2039, Dick Dearden, Bill Anderson, and Bill Dotzler, and ask them to move it along.

House File 2090 is the bill that would create a state-funded education savings account for each nonpublic school student. The bill advanced out of subcommittee Wednesday. It’s too soon to know if the bill will advance any further, but in any case, your messages have created a lot of discussion in the House.

House File 2073, which would prohibit “webcam” abortions, passed the House Human Resources Committee on Thursday night on a 12-9 vote. The new bill number is House File 2175. It could reach the floor for debate as early as Tuesday.

We were also pleased that House File 2082 passed out of a subcommittee last week. It would provide a $2,500 state tax credit for adoption expenses ($5,000 if the adoption was of a special needs child).

House File 2170 came out of the House Education Committee last week. Among other provisions, it allows a nonpublic school to apply for the same waiver of their annual calendar as public schools. It should be debated on the floor soon.

Among the bills introduced last week that we support:

In cases of human trafficking, House Study Bill 588 would allow county attorneys to refer prostitutes who are minors to the Department of Human Services as a “child in need of assistance” in lieu of prosecution.

House Study Bill 598 would allow civil lawsuits following the death of an unborn baby (who had reached viability) as a result of another person’s wrongful act or omission. 

Senate File 2094 would limit the effective interest rate of payday loans to 36 percent. We have supported similar bills for years as payday loans usually end up to be a long-term debt trap for low-income people.

House File 2126 would create a scholarship for special education children to attend nonpublic school.


The Rally for Life is next Monday, Feb. 17. The event will be held at St. Anthony Church and the State Capitol in Des Moines. Don’t forget to RSVP for lunch by emailing

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 17 at St. Anthony. The keynote on assisted suicide by Wesley Smith will begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch (free-will offering) and lobbying training before moving to the capitol at 1:30 p.m. The Rally for Life in the capitol rotunda begins at 3 p.m.

Smith has been named by the National Journal as one of America’s leading experts in the area of bioethics. Don’t miss this great opportunity.


As expected, President Obama signed the Farm Bill on Friday. Go to Catholic Rural Life for its reaction to the bill. 

Tom Chapman

Executive Director

Iowa Catholic Conference

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