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State Sen. Jim Carlin, who is challenging U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in a Republican primary, issued a release on Wednesday night questioning House Speaker Pat Grassley’s motives when it comes to killing a pair of bills that Carlin believes would have greatly impacted Iowans.

The first, Senate File 321, was managed on the floor in the Senate by Carlin. It was a committee bill sponsored by the Veterans Affairs Committee, which Carlin chairs.

“(The bill) would have generated a massive increase in funds for Iowa veterans through safe investment directed by the Treasurer,” Carlin said. “Interest earned from the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund is used to fund many basic needs of Iowa veterans. Had this bill passed, the money invested would have yielded potentially millions of dollars more for Iowa veterans.”

The money would’ve been reinvested into a fixed index fund. The Treasurer’s office estimated it could earn between 5-8 percent based on what was presently happening with the market, which actually far exceeded those estimates.

This would have been a substantial increase over the eight-tenths of one percent on $32 million it currently garnered.

That bill passed the Iowa Senate 48-0. It never received a subcommittee in the Iowa House.

Senate File 305 is a bill providing for a human trafficking task force and an annual report to the legislature.

“The second bill would have created a task force, replicating Nebraska’s successful model, to address the relevant and crucial issue of human trafficking,” Carlin said. “Currently the state of Iowa is woefully understaffed and unprepared to deal with the magnitude of this very real problem.”

That bill passed the Iowa Senate 47-0. It made it through a House subcommittee 3-0, but was killed at that point. 

“When such bipartisan bills meet that kind of opposition, it begs a few questions that Iowans deserve answers to,” Carlin said. “What politics are at play in the Iowa State Legislature and are special interests interfering with representing the needs of Iowans?

“Is Pat Grassley abusing his position as Speaker of the House by blocking legislation simply because it was authored by someone running against his grandfather, Chuck Grassley? Why was a bill that garnered unanimous support in the Senate blocked and kept from becoming law in the Iowa State House?”

Carlin noted the content of the legislation was not controversial.

“Does the Speaker of the Iowa State House wield his position as a political weapon to benefit his family’s special interests,” Carlin asked. “Tactics like this may succeed in punishing fellow lawmakers who don’t play along with his games, but at the end of the day, the interests of veterans and the victims of human trafficking are the ones left to suffer.”

Author: Jacob Hall