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State Representative Sandy Salmon brings lofty goals of conservatism into the 2021 legislative session — as she typically does.

One of the state’s most stalwart conservative champions, Salmon is committed to pushing on key issues every year until they get addressed.

This year, one of her main priorities is protecting the rights and freedoms of Iowans by making changes to the public health disaster emergency law.

“I believe our first run at implementing the public health disaster emergency law that is on the book has revealed some weaknesses that should be corrected in the law,” Salmon said.

Among potential alterations is giving the legislature (if in session) or the legislative council authority to line-item veto provisions of a governor’s proclamation.

Salmon would also like to see a governor’s disaster proclamation be in effect for only 30 days and only be extended by the legislature. An extension from the legislature could grant up to 60 days, but the legislature would have to reauthorize any additional extensions. In addition, the legislature could also have the power to terminate the disaster proclamation.

Compelling government interest and the least restrictive means of satisfying that interest should be used if any right under the Constitution is infringed.

Additional updates to the law would include making it so no business or church should be closed by government order without a compelling government interest and the least restrictive means of satisfying that government interest be used.

Hospitals or nursing homes would not be able to deny the request of a patient or family to visitation by a pastor or priest, etc. No nursing home would be allowed to deny the request of a resident to have face-to-face visits with family members, a pastor, a priest, etc.

Government use of drones, microchips, cell phones and other technology to track citizens without their awareness to accomplish a goal related to a disaster emergency would be prohibited.

In addition, restoring medical and religious exemptions for vaccinates required for attendance at public school during a public health disaster would be implemented.

There is also concern with the government having the power to vaccinate, quarantine or treat healthy people. Even if someone is sick, the government should still not be able to vaccinate or treat them.

Those are just some of the potential changes Salmon would like to see to the public health disaster emergency law.

Salmon has additional priorities:

*Pass the Protect Life Amendment, which states there is no fundamental right to abortion and no requirement to fund it in the Iowa Constitution.

*”Alternatives to Abortion” program similar to the one put in place in Texas. Essentially create a virtual clinic with the goal of intercepting a woman before she contacts an abortion clinic. Advise the woman of life-giving options for her baby by routing her to local resources.

*Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment needs to be passed a second time.

*Government Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits the government from discrimination on the basis of certain religious beliefs — marriage, life, gender, etc.

*Stop Social Media Censorship Act, which would allow a citizen to sue a social media site for censoring his or her religious or political speech.

*Bathroom Bill, which would preserve access to bathrooms based on biological sex.

*Prohibit sex-change treatment for minors.

*Women’s Sports Bill, which would state sports teams must be based on biological sex.

*Modernization Decency Act, which requires filters against pornography on all internet-capable devices.

*Minor Access to Internet Pornography Bill, which modernizes criminal and civil penalties for minors gaining access to internet pornography.

*Pornography in schools and libraries, which mostly removes the exemption for schools and libraries under the obscenity laws and provides criminal penalties and a private right of action against a school or library that allows minors exposure to pornography.

*Drag Queen Story Hour Bill, which prohibits drag queen story hours with criminal and civil penalties.

*Campus Intellectual Diversity Act, which requires special speaking forums at state universities on public policy issues featuring opposing perspectives, especially for viewpoints poorly represented on campus.

*Opt-In for Sex Ed, which means schools must provide full disclosure to parents regarding sex ed classes or conferences and must get prior written consent for students to attend.

*State-Sponsored Research, which requires regent universities to disclose the sponsor and payor of research they conduct.

Salmon added balancing the budget and finding ways to implement additional tax cuts are also important. She hopes to strengthen EMS and build out broadband into rural areas.

It’s a lengthy, worthy list. And we’re anxious to see what happens in 2021!

Author: Jacob Hall