Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley talked with the media on Thursday about a variety of bills.
He was asked about the bill that would prohibit tenure and told the media it is a live round and something the Republican caucus will consider.
While conversations have taken place in the past, this is the first time in Grassley’s legislative tenure that a bill addressing tenure at the regents has advanced out of committee.
“For years and years we’ve always had conversations with the universities about free speech, making sure that there weren’t repercussions for people that raised those concerns and it always has been just a conversation,” he said. “That’s all that’s ever happened. And I think our caucus is really to the point now where we feel that we invest millions and millions of dollars every in higher education. We think it’s something that needs to have a serious look.”
Grassley also discussed the bill that would prohibit the 1619 Project from being taught in Iowa classrooms.
“I think that a case can be made that there’s a lot of folks on the both sides of the aisle that would say this is just factually inaccurate curriculum that’s being promoted and really is it something that should even be in the history class or not,” Grassley said. “This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, there’s folks from both sides of the aisle that think just the actuality of what’s beign promoted in that is inaccurate.”
Grassley said they’ll continue to have conversations about it and the bill has to work its way through the House Education Committee and then the floor process.
Another bill discussed was the legislation discussed in the Senate that would require school bathrooms to be used based on a person’s biological sex.
“I’m aware of the bill,” Grassley said.
But he said he hasn’t had any conversations about it and isn’t even sure what committee the bill is in.
“I would want to have a conversation with the chair to see what his or her intent would be with that bill,” Grassley said.
Grassley said the House followed through with things it has been wanting to have as part of its agenda. He noted the bills that passed the chamber on Wednesday related to childcare access.
“We’ve been trying to increase accessibility, affordability, the workforce issues, the payments to the providers — so we feel like we passed some very comprehensive bills yesterday,” he said.
The Speaker was asked about a bill introduced by Gov. Kim Reynolds that would make E15 the standard fuel option by 2025. The E15 promotion tax credit would be updated to three cents per gallon year-round as well. Upon enactment, the bill creates an E10 standard and B11 standard. Essentially, E10 and B11 would be the only fuels available to most consumers upon enactment.
“It’s a big proposal and obviously our caucus is very supportive of the renewable fuels industry,” Grassley said. “The best answer I can give you at this point in time is I’ve had a lot of requests for meetings from several different groups who are at the table for this one. Ultimately our caucus wants to be supportive of the renewable fuels industry, but we also want to take the input from all the groups. The meetings are lining up pretty quickly.”