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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Legislative Blotter April 25


What’s happening in the Iowa Legislature these days?

The S&B compiled this legislative listing to keep you in the know.

SF 615 – This week, House Republicans voted to force the Iowa Attorney General to gain permission from the Legislature or the Governor before joining out-of-state lawsuits or taking any out-of-state action. Opponents of the measure argue this is a politically motivated effort to limit Attorney General Tom Miller’s power, while the bill’s supporters argue Miller has improperly leveraged his office to make political moves misrepresentative of Iowa, primarily joining lawsuits against President Donald Trump. Miller is a Democrat in his 10th term as Attorney General. The provision was included in an amendment to a routine budget bill, and it passed both the House and Senate with Representative Dave Maxwell and Senator Tim Kapucian both voting in favor. It now heads to Governor Kim Reynolds, who has not indicated whether or not they will sign the bill.

SF 617 – The House and Senate passed a bill that would legalize sports gambling in Iowa. Opponents — both Democrats and Republicans — deride the measure as immoral, but proponents — also including members of both parties — insist that it would be an important source of revenue for the state. The bill now goes to Governor Kim Reynolds, who hasn’t yet indicated whether or not she will veto the bill. Kapucian voted for the bill while Maxwell voted against it.

SF 346 – Last week the Iowa Legislature passed a bill that would criminalize female genital mutilation. The bill was passed after an amendment was added that would create an education campaign to increase awareness “in collaboration with community insiders” around the issue. Both Kapucian and Maxwell supported the bill, and Governor Reynolds is expected to sign it.

HF 690 – The Iowa legislature passed a bill establishing a children’s mental health care system that would add to the adult system passed last year. The condition of Iowa’s mental health care was a prominent issue in the 2018 campaign, with both Republicans and Democrats acknowledging major shortfalls in the current system. Going into the 2019 legislative session, creating a system of care for children’s mental health was a priority for the Governor. The bill was a bipartisan effort, with both Maxwell and Kapucian voting in favor.

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