By: The Iowa Liberty Network

The first self-imposed funnel deadline came on Friday March 3, 2023. This funnel limits what bills will continue to be considered the rest of session, excluding bills coming from Ways and Means or Appropriations committees, Government Oversight bills, or bills sponsored by Majority Leaders.

On average 1000 bills are filed every session. The bills are assigned to committees by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. The committee chairs, which are chosen by the Speaker of the House and Majority Leader in the Senate, then are responsible for assigning a subcommittee. The three or five-person subcommittee is then tasked with scheduling a hearing for the bill. The chair of the committee or leadership in the chamber can however prioritize whether a bill even receives a hearing.

Bills that survived the first funnel that expands Medical Freedom:

(SF506)- A bill that reforms the certificate of need process for mental health facilities and birth centers, removing burdensome regulations that have stifled these facilities from opening and operating in a free market.

(HF265)- Gives the ability for certified professional midwives to be licensed in the state, expanding their services they can offer and allowing for more licensed birth professionals to fill the gaps and provide more choice in the maternal health area.

Bills that DIED due to the funnel that could have improved Medical Freedom:

 (SF91/HF303)-A bill reforming the Emergency Powers and Public Health Disaster chapters of Iowa law. These bills failed to pass the funnel with the Senate bill passing a subcommittee but were never called up for a vote before the full State Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Jason Schultz. The House version was never assigned a subcommittee by State Government Committee Chair Rep. Jane Bloomingdale.

(HF166)-A bill prohibiting minors to consent for vaccinations aimed at preventing sexually transmitted diseases was never assigned a subcommittee by Rep. Ann Meyer.

(SF45, SF323)-Two bills limiting an employer’s ability to mandate COVID testing and vaccines in the workplace failed to be called up for a full committee vote in the Senate Workforce committee chaired by Senator Adrian Dickey.

(HF369)- A bill establishing employer liability for COVID vaccine injury was not given a subcommittee hearing in the House Labor and Workforce Committee chaired by Rep. Dave Deyoe. 

(SF300, SF160)-Two bills regarding disciplinary action of prescribers and medical providers for not following the guidance of a Federal Agency or prescribing ivermectin or hydroxychloroquine failed to be brought up for a full committee vote in the Senate Health and Human Services and State Government Committees.  

(SF395, HF507) Two bills limiting the ability to track vaccination and immunization status of citizens by state public health agencies and prevented the sharing of the registries information with federal or international agencies without the consent of the individuals were not given subcommittee hearings in either chamber’s Health and Human Services Committees chaired by Senator Jeff Edler and Rep. Ann Meyer.  These bills were unfortunately not introduced or given numbers until the funnel week.

HJR5– A constitutional amendment allowing for a citizen to refuse a medical treatment and not be denied any rights or public accommodations under the law was also not given a subcommittee hearing by Judiciary Chair Rep. Steven Holt. This bill was also unfortunately not introduced or given a number until funnel week.

Bills that DIED in the funnel that would have violated the rights of Iowans:

(HSB178)-A bill requiring all providers of immunizations or vaccinations report the demographics, health screenings, and immunization history of their patients into the Iowa Immunization Registry Information System (IRIS), including the refusal forms for not wanting to disclose their information in the system, was thankfully not taken up for a full committee vote. This bill would have expanded the state’s ability to violate the rights to privacy of Iowa citizens. Currently, no consent is obtained prior to putting a patient’s information into the IRIS registry. The bill was authored by the Health and Human Services Committee in the House chaired by Rep. Ann Meyer.

(Hsb51)- a bill expanding access for vaccinations to be given by a podiatrist for those over the age of 13 was also not taken up for a full committee vote in the House HHS committee as it also included provisions to mandate recording the vaccinations into IRIS, without the knowledge or consent of the patient, and required no additional training or improvement in the informed consent process prior to podiatrists being allowed to give vaccinations. The bill was authored by the Health and Human Services Committee in the House chaired by Rep. Ann Meyer.

*These are some of the bills we were watching throughout the process but there certainly could have been others that fall into this category. 

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