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House File 2331 was passed this week to move Iowa towards making Daylight Savings Time (DST) permanent so we don’t have to change our clocks back and forth twice a year.  This bill makes DST the official time of Iowa year-round. However, we can not actually implement that change until we have corresponding legislation from the federal government.  When DST was started many decades ago it was implemented nationally so that we wouldn’t have time changes jumping back and forth across the nation.  Also, as a practical matter, if Iowa changed while the six states bordering us didn’t, we’d have issues with people that live in one state and work in the other being on different time.   This legislation adds Iowa to the list along with 19 other states that have passed similar legislation, increasing the pressure on the US Congress to act and end this practice.

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On Thursday I had the opportunity to see two of my bills pass on the House floor.  House File 2369 is a bill I also floor managed, it adds raccoons, opossums, ground hogs, and skunks to the list of animals that can be destroyed as nuisance animals without them having to be doing damage or having prior permission from the DNR, and without a hunting license.  A nuisance animal cannot be harvested for fur or meat under this bill.  Currently coyotes are the only nuisance animal under this code.  This change will allow farmers in particular the ability to legally and proactively eliminate these nuisance animals in their barnyards before they do damage to gardens, crops, or buildings.  Also, a bill I filed, House File 2209, was passed on the floor with Rep. Maxwell as floor manager.  This bill clarifies that a child under the age of 16 can accompany a parent or other adult with parental consent while hunting and trapping without the child holding a hunting or trapping license as long as the adult is licensed.  The accompanying child does not increase the possession and take limits beyond those granted the licensed adult.  This bill will help with training of our youth in the field.

The Iowa House is working hard to increase transparency in education for parents and is also workable for our schools and teachers. Ultimately, transparency will provide accountability to prevent teachers and administrators from using their roles in schools to indoctrinate students into their political thinking. This has become an issue here in Iowa and nationally particularly over the last two years with some Iowa schools promoting Black Lives Matter ideology and with schools having books in their library that contain pornographic images. Iowa House Republicans believe that parents matter. And that they deserve to know what their child is being taught in the classroom.  However, the Democrats clearly don’t agree. They introduced amendment H-8130 to House File 2499, our bill to increase transparency. This Democrat amendment targets parents by forcing them to report parenting decisions to the school for government approval.

Democrats’ plan forces parents to provide information every week such as a list of “every  television show the student watched during the preceding week” and “a thorough description of how the relationships among adults in the student’s life are displayed in front of the student.” Of course, this amendment is meant to make a mockery of  parents’ rights to know what their child is being taught and at worst it is a gross attempt to allow government control over Iowans’ parenting decisions.

This week, the Iowa House passed a bill to require testing for radon gas in Iowa Schools. This legislation was written in honor of Gail Orcutt, a retired Iowa teacher who lost her battle with radon-induced lung cancer in 2020. An estimated 400 Iowans die each year due to radon-induced lung cancer and this bill takes a meaningful step to reduce that number.  The bill requires schools to test for radon within 5 years, and every 5 years thereafter, using funds from SAVE, the current one percent sales tax for school infrastructure.

Author: Dean Fisher

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