The Iowa Senate’s Big Tech censorship bill cleared another hurdle on Monday afternoon as it passed through the Ways and Means Committee. All Republicans voted to support the bill while all Democrats opposed it.
The bill simplified explanation of the bill is that if Big Tech companies are going to continue to censor Iowans and violate their fundamental constitutional right to free speech, those companies will then surrender their tax incentives received by the state.
Democrat Sen. Janet Petersen said that the bill gives Iowa a “black eye” and is “anti-tech, anti-business and anti-growth.”
“Companies have walked away from our state just by this bill even being proposed,” she said. “This is just another example of a piece of legislation that is going to make Iowa look like a state that is not a pro-growth, pro-business state that values businesses coming to Iowa.”
Petersen said she wishes Gov. Kim Reynolds would talk to Republicans in the legislature about how this bill is hurting Iowa’s opportunities for business growth.
Republican Sen. Zach Whiting said he is well aware of the potential economic damage the bill may do, but said it comes down to the damage being done to Iowans and their liberty.
“This bill is pretty simple,” he said. “It tells these companies don’t violate the rights of Iowans and you don’t lose any of your cushy tax breaks.”
While private companies also enjoy First Amendment rights, Whiting said they do not have a fundamentally protected constitutional right to taxpayer subsidies.
“I’m very supportive of the bill,” he said. “I was very glad to be the first person to sign my name as a cosponsor. I cannot wait to vote for this bill on the floor of the Iowa Senate.”