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Iowa State Senator Jeff Taylor presented some of his top priorities for the 2023 legislative session at a forum last week in Le Mars. Taylor is entering his third year in the legislature.

The first priority Taylor mentioned was a pro-life bill. He didn’t get into specifics, but said he is looking for a bill that provides “as much protection as possible for the unborn” now that Roe v. Wade was struck down.

Taylor said he’s also hoping for a good school choice bill to pass the legislature, something even more comprehensive than what has been offered the last couple of sessions.

As vice chair of the Senate Education Committee, Taylor added he expects a parental bill of rights will once again be on the table.

A religious freedom bill has continually been frowned upon by Senate leadership, Taylor said, but he’s hopeful that gets a chance to progress in 2023. Taylor said it was passed through the process but not brought to the Senate floor due to leadership being “skittish” about it. He said they were worried they’d be beaten up over the issue.

“People feel like its prejudice against LGBTQ folks if you’re trying to protect religious freedom,” he said. “That’s not my motivation.”

Taylor called on his colleagues to stand up for something “as foundational both in our Constitution and what comes from God.”

Another big issue for Taylor is the use of eminent domain for private use.

“The merits of the CO2 pipelines can and are being debated,” he said. “I tend to see them as a boondoggle.”

Taylor added if he were a landowner he would have real concerns for safety and crop yielding despite the fairly high prices being offered for the land.

“To be forced into granting an easement or selling that property to private companies for private gain is wrong,” Taylor said. “I think it’s also unconstitutional. The Constitution of Iowa and the United States Constitution are very specific — eminent domain is for public use. The CO2 pipelines, whatever they are, they’re not for public use.”

Taylor tried last year to remove the power from the Iowa Utilities Board to use eminent domain for private projects, but it stalled after subcommittee. He said he has five bills ready this session with a sixth on the way addressing the issue.

“That’s going to be a main focus of mine this coming session,” he said.

Finally, he will seek to provide protection for minors against transgender surgeries and drugs. He said it is something that has become “very trendy,” but it is something that’s “very harmful” to society as a whole.

“It’s something that’s very harmful to society as a whole because it is based on something that isn’t true,” he said. “When you glorify a lie at the expense of truth and expect everyone to go along with it, even though deep down we know it isn’t true, that’s harmful on all kinds of levels. But I also think it’s most harmful to those who are most vulnerable and that is children.”


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