Capitol Update Week 6

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Recently the state launched updates to Iowa’s coronavirus dashboard to include information on COVID-19 vaccine administration and locations eligible Iowans can receive the vaccine. The vaccine information can be found at the link below. On the dashboard, you can pull up each county and see the vaccine distribution and locations where you can get the vaccine in your area.

https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/pages/vaccineinformation#VaccineInformation

Even as demand has far exceeded supply, Iowa continues to vaccinate at record rates. Iowa should be receiving a 5% increase from the federal government, meaning now 49,900 doses of vaccine are being delivered to Iowa each week. As of Wednesday, 496,981 doses have been administered. This includes 125,558 Iowans that have completed both doses of the vaccine, and 245,865 Iowans that have received their first dose.

As a State, we have focused on protecting vulnerable Iowans and maintaining important societal needs throughout the pandemic.  This has continued with the rollout of eligible populations receiving the vaccine. Iowa’s nursing homes have been hit hardest by COVID and within the first 1.5 months of vaccines being available, Iowa’s nursing home residents have already been vaccinated.

Current Legislation

This week we passed over 50 bills out of the Iowa House. Often times when the legislature makes the news it is over issues that are partisan in nature. In reality, a majority of the bills that pass through our state government are common sense and often times make me wonder how they did not already exist. These bills are just good policy and usually pass unanimously through the House. Here are a few such bills that if passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor will become law.

-HF 435 will allow people to provide emergency contact information when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or non-operator identification. This will allow law enforcement to reach family members more quickly in case of a serious accident.

-HF 313 also known as the Lemonade Stand Bill, will prohibit cities and counties from requiring minors from obtaining licenses, permits or paying fees is cases such as lemonade stands. This has actually been a problem in some areas which has triggered a bill to not allow this to occur.

-HF 499 which will allow students participating in the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Program to suspend participation in the program for up to two years if the are called up for military service. I am glad this issue was brought to our attention. Many of our friends and neighbors have served this country, and it is a great mistake to punish them for their service by revoking their scholarships.

-HF 490 will apply the same regulations on placement of campaign signs to federal campaign signs as are already in place for state campaign signs. There were no existing rules regarding federal election signs prior to this.

These are just a few of the many issues we deal with at the State House. If you have further interest in these or any other bill in the House please contact me and I will do my best to try and keep you up to date. You can also follow bills on the legislative website once you know the bill number www.legis.iowa.gov.

Jones County Economic Development will be hosting a forum on Friday, February 26th at 12pm in the Anamosa Library. If you are interested in attending in person or online please reach out to Derek Lumsden at: director@jonescountydevelopment.com

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