House Republicans have a long-standing track record of fulfilling the promises we make. When Iowans saw fit to return House Republicans to the majority in November, they had a realistic expectation that we would continue to advance the causes that Iowans cared about.
This session we have wasted no time and have already hit the ground running. Since the beginning of session there has been a constant stream of subcommittee and committee meetings, moving forward legislation that Iowans care about. While some topics may be more controversial than others, the legislation that is advancing are all things that republicans heard on the campaign trail and made promises to get accomplished.
Due to the diligent work by House Republicans through the committee process we have been able to engage in full floor debate in this third week of session. Some of the topics we covered in floor debate include returning students to the classroom, the life amendment, and the freedom amendment.
Return to Learn
Parents and students across the state have expressed frustrations with some school districts not offering a full-time, in-person, educational opportunity. We have heard those frustrations and are responding to those concerns by requiring school districts to provide an option for 100% in-person education. While many school districts have been offering this opportunity there are still those that have not, thus facilitating legislation to require this alternative.
The Life Amendment seeks to rebalance the constitutional power between the legislative and judicial branches of government. This proposal came about due to a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision which in essence took the power away from the people of Iowa to determine what is and what is not in our constitution. The court’s ruling was in response to the heartbeat bill which the legislature passed and the governor signed in 2018. The effect of the court’s ruling and overturning this legislation went beyond declaring the heartbeat bill unconstitutional and instead created new legal doctrine, which goes beyond the confines of our constitution and state law. If this ruling is allowed to stand unanswered by the legislature it could have the potential effect of authorizing abortions up until the day of birth and also requiring taxpayer funding of abortions in Iowa. The Life Amendment proposal does not end abortion as some critics will claim but instead returns the power to Iowans to decide what is and what is not in our laws and constitution.
As many subscribers of this newsletter know the Freedom Amendment is the proposal to enshrine in our state constitution protections for our Second Amendment rights. This proposal is something that House Republicans have been working to advance for the last decade. The language is simple, straightforward and unambiguous. It reads as follows, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” Iowans need and deserve this fundamental protection in our constitution, as we are one of six states who do not currently have these protections in our state constitution.
Both the Life Amendment and Freedom Amendment will require voter approval before they are ratified into our state constitution. The Life Amendment will need to go to the next General Assembly for approval and could be on the ballot in 2024. After its passage this week, the Freedom Amendment is now on its way to the ballot in 2022.