While the second week of the legislative session was shortened due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, we have started holding subcommittee meetings on bills and our work on the many proposals we have for this year.
This year, one of the big topics is transparency and empowering parents in their children’s education. On Wednesday, one of the first bills going through the Education Committee is Senate Study Bill 3005, which prohibits school districts from administering an invasive physical examination of a student or a student health screening that is not required by state or federal law unless the school district has acquired the written consent of the student’s parent or guardian. This bill arose from schools providing mental health screenings on students without the parents being notified.
Parental notification is an issue in another bill request I have submitted. Many parents do not want their children exposed to gender identity-based curricula, particularly in their early formative years.
In response, I have drafted a bill that requires written notification and written consent from parents to present any curriculum containing gender identity references or content for children. Parents have a fundamental right to define the moral upbringing of their children. I believe that boundary should be respected by our schools. Parents should not be excluded from knowing what their children are being taught without their consent.
Covid vaccinations have known risks, including death, associated with them. Where there is a risk, there should be a choice. As an attorney, I know that informed consent means the patient should be appraised of attendant risks associated with a particular course of care or procedure. Good data is needed to have informed consent. I have requested bills that require disclosure of risks before administering the vaccine. In another bill I have drafted, coroners will be required to document deaths that took place shortly after or near the time of vaccination. The people have a right to know.
Physicians should not have prescriptions challenged or ignored by pharmacists in Iowa. Yet, that is happening all around the state when physicians prescribe prescriptions for Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of Covid 19. I recovered from Covid 19 within 30 hours of receiving Ivermectin. Both medications have been used for decades to treat parasites and malaria, with Ivermectin earning a Nobel Prize. Choices involving the right course of care belong to the patient and physician. This bill will allow physicians to prescribe these two drugs with known success to patients in the treatment of Covid 19 with protections for the physician from professional sanction.
On Wednesday, the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs put on their yearly Veterans Day on the Hill. Thankfully, they were again able to hold their in-person ceremony this session. Every year, a dedicated group of Iowa veterans come together at the Capitol and celebrate their service and accomplishments with a ceremony in the rotunda. This advocacy day was attended by veterans from across the state of Iowa who are passionate about advocating for veterans’ issues. Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs officials, state legislators, Governor Reynolds, and Lt. Governor Gregg were all program speakers at the ceremony, telling stories of remarkable Iowa veterans, the noble service they have given our state, and the important work on veterans’ issues that needs to be done. An inspiring rendition of the National Anthem was given by Jackie Schmillen, an anchor for Local 5 ABC News in Des Moines.
We recognize the sacrifice our veterans have made for the state of Iowa and express our utmost gratitude for their service. It was an honor to have veterans from across our great state at the Capitol this week. We are looking forward to seeing them again next year.
Last year I submitted a bill that redefined how the Veteran’s Trust Money is invested. I discovered that the fund earned a paltry .008% return because it was lumped together with the general appropriations budget. The interest earned on the money funds our veterans in need programs when money is tight. The Treasurer came up with a plan to earn 5-8% annually, potentially increasing the amount of money available by 600-1,000%. I am optimistic that the House will pass the bill this year.