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Amending Iowa’s Constitution requires many steps, but the final one is the most important. Any proposed amendment must pass a vote of the People.
There will be debate in the legislature in 2020 regarding at least a couple of proposed constitutional amendments. One of those is the life neutrality amendment, which will likely have a hard time receiving support from many, if any, Democrats.
But during a debate in the Iowa House in 2019, something struck me. Representatives were discussing their reasons for supporting a proposed constitutional amendment for the automatic restoration of felons’ voting rights.
It was Rep. Mary Wolfe (D-Clinton) who said:
“So, I think often we say, ‘Let’s just give the people a chance to vote,'” she said. “I say to the Senate, put your yes vote where your mouth is and let the people of Iowa vote on this amendment. And, in order to do that, you have to vote it out this general assembly session.”
She’s correct. Legislators often say they are there to represent the people. They say they are there to listen to Iowans.
What better platform do Iowans have than voting on proposed constitutional amendments?
It will be interesting to see if Democrats treat the proposed life neutrality amendment with the same logic they treated the automatic restoration of felons’ voting rights amendment.
To paraphrase Rep. Wolfe, Democrats, put your yes vote where your mouth is and let the people of Iowa vote on this amendment. And, in order to do that, you have to vote it out this general assembly session.
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