This week we passed House File 161, a bill to limit non-economic damages in Medical Malpractice lawsuits to $2 million maximum at a hospital and $1 million for other health care providers. No amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one. But, in Iowa, massive non-economic damage awards have increased dramatically. These awards can close a smaller hospital or a medical clinic, limiting the health care options in our rural areas especially. Twenty-eight other states currently have these hard caps, including all of our surrounding states. Iowa ranks 44th in the nation for physicians per capita, by passing this legislation we intend to make Iowa a more attractive state for physicians so that we have the healthcare resources we need.
This week the Government Oversight Committee brought in five Iowa moms to share their experience challenging age-inappropriate books in their child’s school library. These moms gave examples of sexually explicit descriptions and images found in their schools, and shared stories of retaliation by teachers and administrators for voicing their concerns. Such retaliation is totally unacceptable, as are these materials. Democrats have been dismissive of these pornographic materials that have been found in Iowa schools. These materials include “Gender Queer”, “All Boys Aren’t Blue”, and “Push”, among other books. Sections of these books are very sexually explicit and graphic. I could not publish these sections in my newsletter, nor could a newspaper publish them, they are too pornographic. It is shocking that we even have to argue this point with the Democrats and many school administrations, but sexually explicit material does not belong in our schools. If we were to use the movie rating system, these books would be rated R or possibly X. Democrats desperately want to make this issue about the LGBTQ community and book banning. This isn’t about either. This issue is about protecting our innocent young children from grossly explicit pornographic writing and images. It is also about the bureaucratic mess that many public schools throw up in order to prevent parents from challenging these books. One of these five moms had to hire a lawyer to help navigate the one-sided process. Ultimately we hope to introduce legislation this session to correct these issues so that parents have more control of their child’s education.
In my last newsletter I mentioned House Joint Resolution 2, seeking an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that I filed to add the right to Hunt, Fish, and Trap. That resolution passed the House Judiciary committee on Thursday, it is now available for floor debate. The committee vote was thirteen Republicans voting for the resolution and all seven Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Lohse, opposed.