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The following are some of the bills that I am sponsoring or co-sponsoring this legislative session. Additionally, all of these bills address issues brought directly to me by you, my constituents. Below is a description of the bills and an update on where they currently stand in the legislative process.

House File 2110 – I am co-sponsoring this bill with Representatives Paustian, Thede, Kurth, Mommsen, and Winckler. This bill would establish the Quad Cities Regional Metropolitan Authority. The Quad Cities Regional Metropolitan Authority would serve as a bi-state regional funding mechanism that would allow for investment in quality of life and infrastructure initiatives on a regional basis. The bill was introduced and referred to the State Government Committee on January 23, 2020. It was then assigned to a subcommittee consisting of Representatives Derry and Mitchell with Representative Kaufmann serving as the subcommittee chair. The subcommittee met on January 28, 2020, and recommended passage. The bill was then added to the State Government Committee calendar to be taken up by the full committee at the committee’s February 6, 2020, meeting. At the meeting, the bill passed and can now be taken up by the entire House.

House File 2153 – This bill would increase the scheduled fine for writing, sending, or viewing an electronic message while driving on a highway within two-hundred (200) feet of a school. Under current law, a person who writes, sends, or views an electronic message while driving in violation of Iowa Code § 321.276 is subject to a scheduled fine of $30. My bill would increase the scheduled fine to $60, up from $30. This bill was introduced and referred to the Public Safety Committee on January 28, 2020.

House File 2154 – This bill addresses child sexual abuse and child sexual assault awareness and prevention. First, this bill provides that continuing education activities authorized by the board of educational examiners for purposes of renewing a license, certificate, statement of professional recognition, or authorization may include participating in or presenting at in-service training programs on child sexual abuse and child sexual assault awareness and prevention. Additionally, the bill would require school districts to provide age-appropriate and research-based instruction in child sexual abuse and child sexual assault awareness and prevention as part of its human growth and development instruction in kindergarten through grade 12, and in prekindergarten, if the school district offers a prekindergarten program.

The bill seeks to teach children how to recognize unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances. The bill also seeks to teach children how to effectively reject unwanted sexual advances, and that it is wrong to take advantage of or exploit another person. The bill also seeks to teach students about the dangers of sexual exploitation by means of the internet including specific strategies to help students protect themselves and their personally identifiable information from such exploitation. The bill also requires students receive instruction about counseling, medical, and legal resources available to survivors of sexual abuse and sexual assault, including resources for escaping violent relationships. The bill was introduced and referred to the Public Safety Committee on January 28, 2020.

House File 2259 – This bill seeks to prevent human trafficking through implementing training for employees of lodging providers. The training would help employees of lodging providers identify signs of potential human trafficking and provide instruction on how to properly report suspected human trafficking. This bill was introduced and referred to the Public Safety Committee this morning (February 6, 2020).

Gary Mohr

Author: Gary Mohr