By: The Iowa Liberty Network
The second funnel deadline came on Friday March 31, 2023. This funnel further limits what policy bills will continue to be considered the rest of session. (Excluding ways and means, appropriations, or government oversight bills, or bills sponsored by both Majority Leaders or placed on the unfinished business calendar by the Majority Leaders)
Any bill that has not passed one chamber and the opposite chamber’s subcommittee/committee process is now dead for this year, except for those mentioned above as exceptions. The remaining weeks will primarily be focused on passing policy bills that passed the funnel or ways and means/appropriations bills that deal with the budget. Property tax bills have not been mentioned much this session because they are appropriations/ways and means bills and part of the budgetary process. A policy bill can still be brought forward by the Majority Leaders in both chambers as sponsors.
This article will focus on the bills that survived this funnel or have been signed into law since the first funnel.
Uphold the Right to LIFE (HF623/SF538)- Bills that limit permanent life-altering transgender surgeries and treatments until individuals have reached the age of eighteen was passed by both chambers and has been signed by the Governor.
(HF630)- A bill that increases the felony charge for those involved with Human Trafficking has passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Privacy (HF346/SF262)- A bill that limits what companies, non-profits, and government agencies can do with consumer data protecting the privacy of Iowans was passed by both chambers and has been signed into law by the Governor. This law does not go into effect until 2025 and further amendments to improve upon protection of consumer’s health data need to be made.
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 has passed the Senate floor and the committee process in the House. It awaits a full floor vote in the House.
Medical Freedom (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. This passed the House floor 97-3 and passed the committee process in the Senate. It awaits a full floor vote in the Senate.
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. Passed both the Senate and House processes but was amended in the House and sent back to the Senate. It was added to the unfinished business calendar.
HF597- A bill limiting access to materials with descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act in school libraries or in programs provided by a school, and developing policies to address selection and reconsideration requirements for school library materials.
HF604- A bill that outlines a teachers bill of rights aimed at protecting teachers in the workplace and outlining the policies that would allow for removal of a disruptive student.
HF348- A bill that prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation from being taught in grades K-6.
SF391/SF496- Two Governor’s education reform omnibus bills that prohibit the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation for grades K-6, updates required educational standards, requires the formation of a comprehensive list of materials removed from libraries or schools for being obscene or sexually explicit, and puts in place a 7 day advanced notice for any screening, survey, or physical examination that is meant to assess the student’s mental, emotional , or physical health in addition to the current requirement of written parental consent to conduct or administer, among other provisions.
HF430- A bill amending the rules for the Board of Educational Examiners that would add a parent to the board and modify the process for investigating complaints against school employees.
*Various provisions from the above bills have been included in the Governor’s Education Reform Omnibus bill SF496 in some capacity by amendment made in the House Education Committee but are no longer alive as standalone bills. SF496 awaits a full House vote and will then need to go back to the Senate for a full Senate vote to retain all of the amended language.
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.
(SF326) A bill that allows pharmacists to order and fill epinephrine auto-injectors and provide over the counter hormonal birth control without a prescription has passed the House Health and Human Services Committee. It awaits a full floor vote in the House but needs drastic amendments to remove the immunity from liability that pharmacists would have, improve the informed consent/screening process, require a doctor to visit first, or scrap the entire bill as hormonal therapies are still abortifacients.
Bills that survived the funnel that infringe on the 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 bill passed the House and had previously passed the Senate; however, it was amended in the house to raise the cap on the noneconomic damages and created a list of exclusions when a cap wouldn’t be imposed. This will go back to the Senate for another floor vote.
A bill that survived the funnel that infringes on the Rights of Iowans to access prescriptions: (Hf555)- A bill reforming the pharmacy board chapter to “simplify” the code and improve transparency to licensed pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. This bill also contained language that would have expanded the rules by which a board can discipline a pharmacist using “Standards of Care” as defined in the chapter to include undefined US Laws and Regulations and comparison to the standard of care used by other pharmacists of similar training. Many citizens have spoken about how they were denied a prescription from being filled during COVID despite a doctor writing a valid prescription. What ramifications would this new language have on citizens’ obtaining valid prescriptions written by their medical doctor whom they have an established relationship with if their pharmacist felt their license was at risk for filling it? This passed the House 89-10 and has passed the committee level in the Senate, but with the Federal US Laws and Regulations being removed. It awaits a full Senate floor vote.