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 funnel that uphold the Right to Life:
(HF630)- A bill that increases the felony charge for those involved with Human Trafficking.
Bills that survived the funnel that infringe on the Right to Life:
(HF427/HSB91) A omnibus bill brought forward from the Governor’s office combining an expansion of funding for pro-life pregnancy centers and programming while also allowing for hormonal birth control therapies, which are abortifacients, to be prescribed over the counter for those over age 18 without having to visit with a doctor for 27 months. While some divisions of this bill passed as stand alone bills the bill is still several divisions that cover a variety of healthcare issues. The senate’s version of the bill (SF324) does not include the over the counter hormonal birth control therapies and is a better option that affirms life.
Bills that died due to the funnel that would have affirmed the Right to Life:
(HF146)- A bill limiting some abortifacient drugs from being prescribed or distributed in the state. This bill was never assigned a subcommittee by HHS chair Rep. Ann Meyer
(HF510)- A bill protecting life at conception. This bill had 20 cosponsors and was filed in the second week of February but wasn’t read in or assigned a bill number until funnel week. It also failed to receive a subcommittee hearing by the Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Steven Holt.
*These are some of the bills that we were watching throughout the process, but there certainly could have been others that fall into this category.