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There were quite a few positive bills that passed the House in the last few weeks. This includes legislation that keeps health care professionals in Iowa, protects free speech, and encourages the business ventures of young entrepreneurs.

Iowa faces health care provider shortages in many of the more rural parts of the state. The legislature started addressing this shortage by trying to keep our best and brightest students right here in Iowa. House File 2383 says that the University of Iowa Medical and Dental Schools would be required to have a minimum of 75% of their admitted students be Iowa residents. Students with ties to the state are more likely to stay in Iowa and work, pay taxes, and raise their families here. Public universities are taxpayer-funded and exist to serve Iowans. Sadly, House Democrats voted to keep Iowans out of their own taxpayer-funded medical and dental schools

In 2017, a small family-owned newspaper in western Iowa published a story about a local police officer’s questionable actions, including a sexual relationship with a teenager. The story ultimately led to the resignation of the officer, who was already under threat of termination. The ex-officer sued the paper for libel. The newspaper ultimately won the lawsuit but was forced to incur thousands of dollars in legal fees, simply for exposing the truth. The House passed House File 2339 to prevent these lawsuits, which are meant to suppress free speech by dragging people through costly and lengthy court battles. This legislation ensures that freedom of speech is protected and when bad actions or misdeeds are brought to light, the people involved are held accountable.

Finally, House File 2238 protects one of Iowa’s smallest small businesses: the lemonade stands that are run by neighborhood kids. Lemonade stands provide kids with great life lessons so they can learn important skills like real-world math. This bill would prevent local governments from creating or enacting policies that crackdown on food stands run by minors. We should be encouraging our children’s entrepreneurial spirit, not crushing it.

These are just a few bills that were passed this past week that protect your rights and enable our freedoms. I will continue to bring our Northwest Iowa values to Des Moines. I am honored and blessed to represent you each day.

Author: John Wills