This week was the tenth week of the legislative session and the second major legislative deadline of the year. Most of our time in the Senate was spent working on bills sent to us from the House and spending time on committee work. We talked about a number of topics, including a few familiar ones we’ve talked about before.
One bill discussed in committee this week was House File 2431 regarding home-based food establishments and the regulation of small, low-impact home-based business operations. Currently, Iowa law regulates “home bakeries,” and this bill would broaden the law to allow home-based food establishments. The goal of the bill is to help people who have decided to prepare home goods as a business or an additional source of income to help them and their families. House File 2431 would give Iowans access to more local foods, help support local businesses and startups, and give Iowans more flexibility in following their dreams.
The Senate also worked on House File 2198, which is another bill regarding child care. The bill would allow child care center employees and substitutes who are 16 years or older to supervise school age children without additional supervision. Since the House has yet to take up the Senate’s child care legislation, this bill was amended in committee to add the language the Senate passed earlier this year to help address child care needs in the state. It would change the ratios in child care centers to one child care worker for every seven children who are 2 years old, and one child care worker for every ten children who are 3 years old.
On Wednesday in the Senate we unanimously approved a resolution supporting the people and nation of Ukraine. The resolution recognized the prosperous trade relationship that exists between Iowa and Ukraine, and commended Ukraine for being an independent and autonomous nation that has maintained fair and free elections since 1991. Senators spoke of the horrendous acts committed by Russia, which is responsible for the loss of life, destruction, and human suffering. We stand with the nation of Ukraine, sending our prayers and support to their people.