Many of the pieces of legislation passed in the House this session revolve around the theme of keeping Iowans safe. Public safety is one of the top items identified by Iowans for the legislature to focus on and we have taken that message seriously in our work on both policy and the budget.
Improving School Safety – House File 637 helps protect our children from predators who try to move from school to school to avoid detection by requiring school administrators to report misconduct in a timely manner. House File 546 extends the 1% school infrastructure sales tax known as SAVE. House Republicans included provisions in the bill that prioritizes upgrades like secure entrances, security cameras, and other safety enhancements.
Empowering Students on College Campuses – The number of assaults and rapes on our college campuses in Iowa has increased in recent years. Senate File 188 provides students with more tools to protect themselves on campus by preventing our Regent schools and community colleges from banning the carrying of stun guns for personal protection. When seconds count, law enforcement is minutes away, so the use of a personal protection device such as a stun gun could be the difference between life and death. These types of weapons are legal for 18 year olds to carry now in other public places, adding this option for self-defense on our campuses simply makes sense.
Safe Roads – Senate File 113 holds repeat drunk drivers accountable by allowing stiffer penalties as habitual offenders for offenders with three or more OWI’s.
Protecting Seniors and Vulnerable Iowans – House file 323 ensures that a person can be found guilty of dependent adult abuse even if they didn’t personally profit from the abuse. House File 731 updates our mandatory reporter law by requiring more frequent and more streamlined training. House File 569 ensures that an individual that intentionally shames, degrades, humiliates, or harms the personal dignity of a dependent adult is held accountable. These bills help to ensure that seniors and vulnerable Iowans are protected and not taken advantage of.