Miscellaneous Liberty: FIRST FUNNEL WEEK WRAP UP
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 restored or protected liberty:
Privacy (HF346/SF262)- A bill that limits what companies, non-profits, and government agencies can do with consumer data protecting the privacy of Iowans. SF262 Passed Senate Floor 3/6/23 47-0.
ESG (SF507/HF2)- Bills that would limit state funds from being invested for any reason other than pecuniary reasons. There are slight differences in the bills, with the house version also limiting what considerations a state bank or credit union can use to determine whether to make a loan. This bill aims to prevent ESG from being forced as a determining factor for lending or financial institutions that hold state funds. SF507- Passed Senate Floor 3/7/23 33-16, party-line vote.
Food Freedom (SF315)- A bill allowing for the sale of raw milk in Iowa but limits the sale to farm sales only from small herds under 10 cows.
Parental Rights (SF274)- A bill rewarding joint custody and joint physical care. This bill did not survive the subcommittee hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
Bills that survived the first funnel that infringe on the liberties of the people:
Right to a trial (HF201/SF228)- A bill that limits the liability a trucking company owes to victims of an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle. This bill limits the damages owed for noneconomic damages but doesn’t put any limitations on the insurance companies or out-of state attorneys taking the cases. Instead, it limits the rights of individuals over reigning in various industries taking advantage of unfortunate and often deadly accidents. This bill was authored by the House and Senate Judiciary committees. The Senate has already passed this bill and it is ready for floor debate in the House.
Election Integrity (HF470)- A bill dealing with the conduct of elections related to absentee ballots, recounts, and contested gubernatorial elections. This bill contains provisions that would require a citizen to post a bond in order to challenge whether a voter’s registration is valid which could limit the ability to clean up the voter registration rolls in a county or neighboring counties. This bill was authored by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann and is ready for floor debate in the House.
Bills that DIED due to the funnel that would have restored or protected liberty:
Election Integrity (SF341-2, SF351) – Three bills dealing with election integrity were never called up for a vote in the Senate State Government Committee, despite passing their subcommittee hearings, by the chair Senator Jason Schultz.
Election Bill (SJR4) – A resolution establishing a recall of elections, passed subcommittee but was never heard in full State Government Committee.
Election Integrity (HF148) – A Bill reining in the changing of party registration immediately prior to an election was never assigned a subcommittee in the House State Government committee chaired by Rep. Jane Bloomingdale.
State Sovereignty (HF522) – A bill defending the state’s national guard from being called to deploy into active combat unless the United States Congress has officially declared war. This bill also failed to receive a subcommittee assignment by House State Government Committee chair Rep. Jane Bloomingdale.
State Sovereignty (HF508)- A bill that nullificaties the Federal Respect for Marriage Act considering the Act violates the tenth amendment and Congress lacks the authority to define marriage under Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution. This bill also failed to receive a subcommittee hearing by House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Steven Holt.
Second Amendment (HF147)- A bill establishing the second amendment preservation act. This passed a subcommittee but was never brought up for a vote in the full House Judiciary Committee.
Civil Rights (HF190) A bill removing gender identity from the civil rights code also failed to be given a subcommittee hearing by the Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Steven Holt.
Food Freedom (HF338)- A bill allowing for the sale of raw milk in Iowa but limits the sale to farm sales from small herds under 10 cows passed a subcommittee but the bill was pulled from the agenda by Agriculture Committee Chair Mike Sexton on the final committee meeting prior to the funnel. The bill in the Senate is ready for debate on the floor.
*These are some of the bills we were watching throughout the process but there certainly could have been others that fall into this category.