Capitol Update: Week 6

Bills Passed During Funnel Week

Friday is the end of the first funnel.  Funnel week requires that all policy bills from the House must pass through a committee by Friday: if a bill does not pass committee by then it is dead for the rest of session.  Bills moving through Appropriations and Ways and Means are not affected by this rule.  We passed four bills through the House Agriculture Committee this week.  I assisted in passing bills through the other policy committees I sit on: Judiciary and State Government.  Here are just a few of those made it past the funnel.

HSB658-This bill from came out of State Government Committee and allows use of a credit card to purchase amusement park wrist bands and entry into Midway games of chance at county fairs and the State Fair.

HJR13-This resolution was in the Judiciary Committee.  It would put second amendment language into the State of Iowa’s Constitution.  Amending the Constitution requires that a resolution passes both chambers in two different general assemblies and then be ratified by a majority of voters in an election.

HF2260-We passed this bill out of Ag Committee this week.  It prohibits an individual from spraying pesticides and herbicides into a lake unless that person has a permit.  As water quality efforts have begun working sunlight is reaching the bottom of lakes where it wasn’t before.  This has created algae blooms and other vegetative growth.  A few Iowans began to apply herbicides such as 2-4D directly to the water’s surface to limit these algae blooms.  We passed this bill in an effort to make sure that these applications were done correctly and safely.

HSB592- This bill would legalize sports wagering if the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is overturned.  This Act is before the US Supreme Court currently.  There are only four states that are allowed to hold sports wagering. Overturning it would give the rest of the states the right to have sports wagering.  The bill would allow for in-person or mobile sports wagering after signing up at an in-state casino.

The second funnel week is about a month away where all bills must have passed out of one chamber and passed out of a committee in the other to remain eligible.  Next week debate on the House floor will be taking up the majority of the weeks’ time.

Visiting the the Iowa Supreme Court

On Monday night I had the privilege to go sit in on an Iowa Supreme Court Oral Argument.  The argument presented that evening was Morgan Honomichl, et al. v. Valley View Swine.  According to the Iowa Supreme Court, “An oral argument is an oral presentation attorneys make to the court.  Oral arguments give an opportunity for attorneys to emphasize certain legal points and for the appellate court to ask questions about the case to help clarify the parties’ arguments.”

I enjoyed getting to visit with the Justices following the arguments and the chance to observe the judicial process.   From time to time the Supreme Court Justices do hear cases in cities across Iowa.  If you ever get a chance to attend one locally, I would encourage you to attend.

News from House District 96

I met with representatives of Innovative Ag Services and River Valley Co-Op on Wednesday Morning.  They were here at the Capitol as part of their legislative breakfast.  I visited with Biodiesel producers from across the state at their Capitol lunch this week as well.

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