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Women’s/Girls’ Sports – This bill preserves female sports by ensuring women’s and girls’ sports teams are based on biological sex as marked on the original birth certificate. Leaving female sports open to biological males does nothing to help those who struggle with sexual identity but instead provides the basis to threaten women’s and girls’ opportunities for athletic titles and scholarships. It is common knowledge that biological males, due to their physical makeup, are typically bigger, stronger and faster than biological females in physical activities such as sports. It is entirely unfair for girls to have to compete against biological boys in sports. Allowing biological males to compete in girls’ sports defeats the purpose for which girls’ sports was created, which was to create a level playing field for girls.

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COVID Vaccine Mandates – The Medical Freedom and Privacy Act passed subcommittee this week, which would not allow employers, schools, businesses, or government to inquire into a person’s medical treatment status, to require a person to furnish an immunity passport, or to discriminate against anyone based on their vaccination status. This is intended to protect the 4th Amendment right of Iowans to be “secure in their persons” regarding choice of health care treatment.

Workforce Shortage:  We have a bill that implements unemployment insurance reforms with the goal being to return unemployment to what it was originally intended: provide financial support for a limited time while working towards re-employment. Lower unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 16 weeks and make it tougher to turn down suitable jobs. Also reduce the extension of benefits for plant closings from the current 39-week maximum benefit to 26 weeks. Benefit payments beginning one week after a claim is filed, allowing time for claims and potential employer appeals to be processed, while also encouraging a faster return to work.

Health Care – 1) Right to Try – Expands our current Right to Try law from those with a terminal illness to now those on a ventilator to try FDA drugs that have not completed the full investigational process. 2) Prohibit schools from requiring a COVID vaccination in order to attend school or college.

Child Care:  Addressing the staff shortage in the child care industry by allowing 16-year-olds working or volunteering at a child care facility to provide child care without additional supervision

Abortion Reversal Informed Consent – Requirement that prior to administrating a medication abortion, a woman receive informed consent regarding the risks of the abortion and the possibility of reversing the abortion

Religious Liberty –  This bill, which is ready for the floor in the Senate, would require churches to be treated the same as businesses during a disaster emergency and would also require the courts to use the highest legal standard when deciding religious liberty cases. This will help protect the rights of people to live and work according to their beliefs without fear of punishment by the government.

Election Bill – This will make the recount process uniform across the counties and prohibit private funds being given to selected county or city governments to be used for their election expenses.

Bottle Bill – The current bottle deposit and redemption system is not working well. Significant work was done last year that would make changes to the system. HSB 709 is a starting point to continue the work with all the stakeholders to make the bottle bill system one that works for consumers.

President’s Executive Orders – This bill establishes a process whereby executive orders that have been issued by the President but not passed by Congress can be reviewed by the Attorney General to determine their constitutionality.

Daylight Savings Time – Establishes Daylight Savings Time as the official time in this state throughout the year

Bicyclists’ Bill – Strengthens penalties for driving a vehicle unreasonably close to or toward a bicyclist on the road

Welfare Reform – This bill deals with Medicaid eligibility verification. It codifies practices to authenticate the identity of applicants and require verification information prior to enrollment. This bill also requires individuals to cooperate with child support enforcement prior to receiving food assistance funds. This cooperation requirement is already done in both the Medicaid and cash assistance (FIP) programs. This bill importantly requires Iowa’s welfare program eligibility processes to be merged into one single system that will verify all income information of applicants and make sure there is no fraud in the program. The goal of these programs is to provide a necessary safety net for low-income Iowans while at the same time protect the Iowa taxpayer from paying for services for ineligible individuals. We want to make sure these programs are sustainable for the future as a protection for the taxpayer.

Author: Sandy Salmon

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