Opposing bills that limit our freedoms

March 8 was the funnel date, the date when our policy bills need to be passed by a committee to stay eligible for floor debate. By one account, there have been 1,647 bills filed so far this session in both chambers. The committee chairs, their subcommittees and full committees sort through this huge number of bills to bring forward roughly 200 that have merit.

I frequently report in my newsletter about the positive bills that make Iowa a better place to live, work and raise a family — bills that are a priority for Iowans and House Republicans. Often times we protect those priorities by stopping the bad bills from becoming law. There are numerous bills filed by House Democrats that would harm our economy and our families, sending Iowa backwards instead of forwards.

As chair of the Environmental Protection committee I set aside twelve bills that would have negatively impacted our agricultural economy. Bills that would have added onerous regulations and moratoriums on modern and efficient hog and cattle feeding operations, and bills that would have added regulations to our crop farmers. As chair of this committee I am in support of our existing nutrient reduction strategy wherein our farmers are encouraged through education and financial incentives to implement procedures that minimize nutrients from entering our waterways. I also support our “Master Matrix” used for siting confined animal feeding operations with fair and reasonable limitations to protect their neighbors. These strategies are working, and allowing our agriculture economy to grow.

There are of course, other harmful bills stopped by House Republicans:

HF 272, HF 100, & HF 182 (Homeschool restrictions) — All three of these bills were proposed by Democrats, and pertain to homeschooling and private education in Iowa. HF 182 completely eliminates all private instruction in the state of Iowa while the other bills unnecessarily intrude on a parent’s right to choose the educational setting that works best for their children. We should be giving parents more education options, not limiting them.

HF 96 (Single-payer health care) — Like the Democrats in Washington D.C., Democrats here in the Iowa House have jumped on the bandwagon of government-run socialized health care. The proposed legislation by several House Democrats would implement a government-run health care system and ban private health insurance options across the state. This bill also contains language that would allow individuals who work in Iowa and live in a different state to also receive the state provided insurance. I will not support any version of this bill as it is far too costly for Iowa families and businesses, and creates far too many restrictions on our freedoms.

Restricting Second Amendment Rights –House Democrats have long been hostile toward Iowan’s Second Amendment rights and this year was no exception. There were many bills filed infringing on our rights, one in particular, House File 83, would have criminalized the simple act of loaning your shotgun or any other firearm to a friend or even a family member while hunting or target shooting unless you had proof of a federal background check beforehand. House Republicans will continue to make sure these bills never see the light of day.

These are just a few of the bills that we have seen this year. We will oppose bills which have a negative impact on Iowa taxpayers, or significantly restrict our freedoms and liberties. The House Republicans will continue to focus on expanding freedom and opportunities for Iowans.

We will begin debating bills on the floor of the House in earnest, focusing on sending House bills to the Senate, and our House committees will begin reviewing bills sent over from the Senate as they pass bills over to the House.

As always, I can be reached at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov and at 641-750-3594.