***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Here is Part 2 of the 2024 legislative session accomplishments:


When I campaigned for office I said I would work for: Pro-life legislation

What we did:

MOMS Bill: Updates the More Options for Maternal Support (MOMS) program to give operational flexibility for Iowa HHS to distribute state grant funds to non-profit organizations that support healthy pregnancies and childbirth instead of abortion. These are the many pregnancy resource centers in our state.

Medicaid Postpartum Coverage:  Expand Medicaid to cover pregnant women through 12 months of postpartum care.

Maternity Group Homes:  Prohibits cities from restricting maternity group homes from being located in residential areas. Allows them to be located in residential areas the same way group homes for those with developmental disabilities are. Maternity group homes offer room and board, personal care, supervision, training, support, and education for expecting or new mothers and their young children.

What we still have left to do: We are anxiously awaiting an Iowa Supreme Court ruling expected in June. We are hopeful the court will uphold the constitutionality of the Heartbeat Law and allow it to go into effect. We also hope the court will establish the same guidelines as the U.S. Supreme Court did in 2022 and allow states to protect unborn children. This will guide us in future legislation.

We worked this past session on a different way to lay foundation for future protections for pre-born babies. We had a bill to require grades 7-12 in schools to be taught in sex ed. or health class human biology related to pregnancy and human development inside the womb. It would be using a high-definition, ultrasound video showing the process of every stage of human development inside the uterus from conception to birth. This would be a wonderful tool to educate youth on the reality and beauty of what is actually happening inside the womb during pregnancy. Youth will know that this is not a “clump of cells” but an actual baby is being formed, which it is hoped would engender a sense of wonder, respect, and awe at the miracle of human life. Unfortunately, this bill did not make it and so we plan to offer it again next year.

Constitutional Rights

When I campaigned for office I said I would work for: Protecting religious liberty and all our constitutional rights, including expanding 2nd Amendment rights

What we did:

Religious Liberty Bill:  This bill was called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. I had worked on getting it passed for 8 years, and some people had worked on it longer than that! But I am glad we finally made it! It establishes that the same legal standard used to evaluate fundamental rights cases is also used by courts to evaluate religious freedom cases when government action is set to violate a citizen’s free exercise of religion. This standard is often called “strict scrutiny” and requires the government to demonstrate a compelling interest that necessitates the violation of the citizen’s free exercise rights.

Bills Protecting Life, Liberty and Property:  A number of bills were passed to protect life, liberty, and property – the primary purpose of government.

Illegal Immigration – Criminalizes the act of illegally re-entering the U.S. Makes illegal re-entry a state crime, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony. Gives Iowa law enforcement authorities the power to stop, arrest and jail people who are suspected of re-entering the state illegally on new, state-level illegal re-entry charges. Arresting officers must have probable cause. The law would also allow Iowa judges to order migrants suspected of committing the new illegal re-entry misdemeanor crime the choice of being deported from the U.S. or continuing their prosecution. Migrants who don’t leave could face arrest again under more serious felony charges.

This law mirrors one passed last year by the state of Texas. The U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) sued Texas and now Texas’ law is currently in litigation. The DOJ is now threatening to sue the state of Iowa if we enforce this law, just as they did Texas. The governor has said she is determined to enforce the law.

Grooming:   Grooming is added as a sexual abuse crime. Grooming is an attempt to knowingly seduce, lure, or entice, a child or person believed to be a child to commit any unlawful sex act or otherwise engage in unlawful sexual conduct. The bill covers all forms of potential contact including computer, internet service, electronic devices, or written communications.

Looting:  Creates the crime of looting, which is defined as intentional entry, without authorization by 2 or more people acting in joint criminal conduct to damage or remove property.

Harassment and Extortion Law: Current law makes criminal harassment when someone distributes an image of another person, the victim, in a state of nudity or engaged in a sex act against their will. Technological advancements and AI have made it possible to depict the victim’s likeness very accurately to make it appear like it was the victim when it really wasn’t. Currently that is not criminal. This bill makes it criminal. The same thing applies to extortion where a person threatens to disseminate or distribute an image of the victim. Even if the image was not that of the victim but “doctored up” and made to look like the victim, that would be criminal. 

Swatting:  Swatting is the deliberate and malicious act of reporting a false crime or a false emergency with the purpose of getting an aggressive response from law enforcement or emergency services officials. The penalties for swatting are raised from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Boy Scouts of America Civil Action:  Those making a claim against the Boy Scouts for sexual abuse will be able to take their case forward without being restricted by Iowa’s current statute of limitations.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC’s): Prohibited CBDC’s from being considered as “money” in the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC); similar to Florida and several other states. This is Iowa’s pushback against CBDC’s, which are a threat to a citizen’s liberty. This is only a start. More will need to be done in the future.

Gender Balance on Boards:  Repeals requirement for appointments to boards and commissions to be gender-balanced. It has been difficult at times to find qualified, willing applicants and the removal of the gender restriction will allow the most qualified applicants to now be considered. This treats men and women equally.

Traffic Camera Regulation:  After over 10 years of effort to put a ban on traffic cameras in place, we simply did not have the votes to do it. I believe traffic cameras to be a constitutionally questionable violation of the 6th Amendment right to confront your accuser as the person accused of violating a traffic law is not able to face his accuser at the time his ticket is issued. The next best thing for protecting 6th Amendment rights to a ban was to set up strict regulation on traffic cameras. So that is what we did.

Schools and the 2nd Amendment:  Employees of school districts, private schools, and institutions of higher education are allowed to qualify for and be issued a professional permit to carry weapons. This expansion of 2nd Amendment rights provides the opportunity to better protect students in an active shooter situation.

What we still have left to do: Plenty! The longer we go, the more is needed to protect life, liberty, property, and constitutional rights!

  • 1st Amendment: We need to protect the 1st Amendment religious freedom right of health care providers to refuse to participate in medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs, such as abortion, sex-change treatments, etc. That should include protections for mental health counselors to exercise their 1st Amendment religious freedom and free speech rights to help LGBT counselees who want to live according to their faith teachings on sexual ethics and practice.
  • Free Speech-Social Media: We should do what we can at the state level to protect citizens’ 1st Amendment free speech rights on social media as well as protect children from harm and damage inflicted on them by social media. Social media needs some rules put in place to protect kids and to allow for respectful dialogue offering differing (read conservative) viewpoints.
  • Private Property Rights: Our 5th Amendment private property rights remain at risk with the possibility the Iowa Utilities Board may allow private companies to seize farmland in the form of easements to use for a carbon capture pipeline. This is not for public use, but for private use and economic development which are not appropriate for the use of eminent domain power. Even though many efforts were made, it was a not only a big disappointment, but a crying shame, to me that once again we did not get these protections put into place this past session.
  • Election Integrity: More needs to be done to shore up election integrity-better maintenance of our voter rolls, ID’s for absentee ballot voters, ballot security markings, and transitioning to hand counting or non-internet capable “counting” machines. Iowa is good but Iowa has some loopholes. This should be a no-brainer.
  • Medical Freedom: Our 4th Amendment right to medical freedom still needs to be strengthened and nothing was done on this issue this past session. The ban on COVID vaccine passports needs to be extended to employers so employees are protected from having to show proof of a COVID shot, as well as to nursing homes, hospitals, and doctor’s offices so visitors can see their loved ones and patients can get treatment. Medical boards should be prohibited from disciplining doctors and pharmacists should not be threatened for prescribing drugs off-label for COVID, such as ivermectin. And more.
  • Disaster Emergency Law Reform: Disaster emergency law needs to be updated to include greater protections for the rights of citizens, families, businesses, and churches during a public disaster emergency. Still not done.
  • Pornography: We need to address the issue of pornography as it is totally pervasive now in society, especially on the internet, destroying children, marriages, and families and feeding human trafficking, virtually unhindered. To protect children and assist parents, we need to require internet-capable devices to have their filters turned on when purchased. We also need an age-verification law to enter sexually explicit sites. In addition, we should prohibit minors from viewing sexually explicit and pornographic materials, programs, and performances, both live and in-person. All of this still not done.
  • Bathrooms: We need to extend the same safety and privacy protections to women and children in public restrooms that we have set in place for school restrooms: use only by persons of the same biological sex.
  • ESG: We did not get finished the bill requiring managers of public funds such as IPERS to consider only financial factors when making investment decisions (as has always been) and not ESG ratings. ESG stands for environmental, social, governance. Large corporate directors and business investors, with input from the federal government, designate these scores based on how well the person or small business or company adheres to a number of policies, such as “green” climate change-inspired policies, opposition to the use of fossil fuels, opposition to production agriculture, opposition to gun manufacture, beliefs about racial equity including anti-racism, white privilege, etc., support for abortion on demand, and LGBT ideology. It has started to become a trend in some places to deny loans or investment capital if a company’s ESG score is not high enough, meaning the company does not adhere strongly enough to these policies. This bill would prohibit these ESG scores from being used in decisions regarding investments of our public funds. In addition, financial institutions and their customers need protection from ESG score from being imposed on them. Nothing was done this past session regarding these protections.
  • Sexual Abuse Victims: We need to extend protection for sexual abuse survivors that we did in the Boy Scout case mentioned earlier. We should remove the statute of limitations entirely for all sexual abuse victims so that those victims would not be cut off from being able to file a claim. It is well known that it normally takes longer than 4 years from the time a sexually abused child-that-becomes-an-adult discovers an injury and decides to file a claim.
  • Federal Government Tyranny: Last but not least we need to push back on the federal government unconstitutional overreach: the Title IX redefinition of sex that endangers our girls sports programs and more, the disastrous no-border policy that threatens the well-being of our citizens, the push for totalitarian control that would come through CBDC’s, the looming restrictions on freedom that would come with the “agreement”  to be made soon with the WHO over international health policy and more. I had a bill that would allow a review of presidential executive orders (not passed by Congress) to determine if they were constitutional. It was not taken up. We need to put this in place and assert our 10th Amendment constitutional authority against these dangerous, freedom-crushing policies.

Conclusion:  I was happy with the productive session we had where a number of important things were accomplished! I appreciate all the input and support I received from so many of you that made these accomplishments possible! Thank you so much! As you can see there is much more that still must be done and we will be back next session to work on those things.

There are many other concerns that I worked on that are important but for lack of space I did not cover those. Please feel free to contact me if I did not cover something of concern to you.

Author: Sandy Salmon


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here