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The House Judiciary committee had a buy meeting on Wednesday night. There were some big bills that passed through committee, but House File 621 wasn’t one of them.

House File 621 was filed by Rep. Jon Jacobsen. The bill related to personal injury to a viable fetus. It would’ve sought damages for personal injury to a viable fetus brought by a parent, court-appointed guardian or conservator. The bill said a court shall not adjudicate the issue of viability of a fetus under this section without affording the fetus, through the real party in interest, due process and equal protection.


“I didn’t get (the bill) until Monday,” said Rep. Steven Holt, the chair of the House Judiciary committee. “We got it assigned to subcommittee, but nobody really had had much of a chance to look at it. Even though we didn’t have a lot of concerns about it initially, there’s just a lot of underlying issues on where that might take us. There just was not enough time to vet it.”

The bill was signed through subcommittee and put on the full committee’s agenda, but it did not get taken up.

Holt said there are still ways to get things done, even though the bill did not pass through committee prior to the end of funnel week.

House Study Bill 68, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Iowa Constitution relating to the restoration of felons’ voting rights passed, but Holt said the issue has many layers yet to be solved.

“We get to define what serving the completion of sentence means,” Holt said. “There’s a lot of folks who want victim restitution or who believe extended sentences like somebody being on the sex offender registry, should not get their right to vote back. There’s a lot of discussion remaining.”

Rep. Andy McKean ran a bill that would allow a parent, guardian or legal custodian of a child to delegate another person of parental authority.

“It’s been used in a number of other states and it cuts down on the need for foster care,” Holt said. “It actually has a much higher return rate of children to their families than foster care does. That’s an important bill that we passed out on Wednesday too.”

That bill received some bipartisan support as well.


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