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Statement from Rep. Skyler Wheeler:
After careful reflection last night, and hearing from a lot of constituents, I have concluded I cannot support many of the new mitigation efforts rolled out last night. Please see my statement below:
“15-days to flatten the curve” has now dragged on to 8 months with no end in sight. Across the country we have seen complete and total violations of our liberties and freedoms.
We’ve seen business owners, church goers, and law-abiding citizens made into criminals for refusing to comply with ridiculous and unconstitutional lockdowns and rules. We’ve seen governors become tyrants across the nation. We’ve seen people turn in their neighbors for not complying with unconstitutional and ridiculous rules handed down by a single government official. This is unacceptable and has been committed by governors in both parties.
COVID-19 poses a real public health risk for many different reasons. I believe we should take it seriously and that we should work, as the Governor has asked, to help slow the spread and keep our healthcare system from overflowing. However, any and all mitigation efforts that are made should be done so in accordance with our Constitution and with respect to freedom and liberty.
Most of you are aware of the newest proclamation rules laid out by the governor last night. I am certainly aware of the position she is in. It is surely not an easy one. I do not plan to “pile on” or lambast her. I believe she has done a good job recently of excluding worship services from any of these proclamations and respecting that part of our Constitutional rights. I respect her greatly and know that she is hearing it from both sides. We must keep her and her team in our prayers. With that being said, my allegiance is not to a governor of a party I identify with. It is to God Almighty first and foremost and second to the Constitution and freedom.
Chapter 29C of the Iowa Code grants emergency powers. This is of course when we are in a declared state of emergency (for natural disasters or public health pandemics like this). The wording is quite broad. However, I don’t believe for a second the previous legislatures that shaped this code section meant for it to be used to shut down private business, lock down people, close churches, and completely and totally change your way of life and normalcy. It is incumbent on the Legislature to narrow the scope of 29C and to ensure that no governor, especially a Democrat who would surely abuse the current way the chapter is written, can violate the Constitution and shut down private enterprise. It is our duty and you the people should demand that from your legislators as we prepare to convene in January.
There are legitimate long-term implications and concerns to this as well. A government that limits who and how many people you meet with, cancels sporting and other events for children, and who works to force you to cover your mouth and nose with cloth is a government that is too large and to powerful (I am not anti-mask, I am anti-mask by government force). Even with the emergency, no one elected official, or legislature, or government entity should have the authority to do such things. As Americans, are we really going to continue to stand for this?
As your state rep, and one of the most vocal legislators on this whole issue throughout the pandemic, I promise you I will do all I can to narrow the scope of 29C and put your mind at ease that the government will never again shut down your business, your church, your job, your kid’s activities, or your way of life.
“Liberty once lost, is lost forever.” -John Adams