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Week 4 of the 2020 Legislative Session has been highlighted by Caucuses, the Constitution and Chips. Negotiations with the Senate continued on school funding levels, and the committee process that determines which pieces of legislation move forward was in full swing.

CAUCUSES
On Monday night February 3rd, Iowans across the state went to their caucus locations to take part in a great tradition that goes far beyond walking into a voting booth and marking a ballot. Iowans came together with friends and neighbors to discuss the issues of the day and convince each other which candidates were best suited to represent them. Despite the delays encountered by Democrats with their voting application, our caucus tradition should continue. The process of coming together as friends and neighbors, face to face to discuss candidates and issues is sorely needed in this age of impersonal technology that allows faceless attacks on social media. The caucuses must go on.

CONSTITUTION
This week I held sub-committee and moved the Life Amendment forward. This resolution launches the process to make Iowa’s Constitution neutral on the issue of abortion and is an essential response to the judicial overreach that placed a fundamental right to abortion, subject to strict scrutiny, in the Iowa Constitution. The Legislature makes laws and the Supreme Court’s constitutional role is to interpret law, not create it. This amendment is also essential to prevent late-term and taxpayer-funded abortion from being legalized by Iowa Courts. The minority opinion of Iowa Supreme Court Justices Mansfield and Waterman in the case that struck down our 72-hour waiting period is a clear warning of what is coming. In reference to the majority opinion, they stated, “I wonder if the majority is laying the groundwork instead, perhaps a stepping stone toward a ruling that Iowa’s Medicaid program must fund abortion.” It is for these compelling reasons that the Life Amendment must be given serious consideration in this legislative session.

(micro)CHIPS
Perhaps the most media interest this week revolved around legislation I put forward that would prevent businesses from mandating that employees must be microchipped as a condition of their employment. In Wisconsin in 2017, a company attempted to place microchips in their employees in order to save the money spent on employee ID cards and security badges. At that time a USA Today headline suggested that it was a matter of time before all Americans were microchipped. My legislation will not allow businesses to mandate or incentivize microchipping of employees. This issue involves a fundamental freedom that must be protected.

Steven Holt

Author: Steven Holt