Cornfields, common sense and community

This week was the eighth week of session, also known as funnel week. Funnel week is the first legislative deadline for bills to be passed through a respective chamber’s committee process to be considered further.

This week, the Health and Human Services Committee had several high-profile bills to debate. On Tuesday, the line-up included two bills that seek to modernize areas of the Health and Human Services Department in Iowa. SSB 1117 is a bill that would significantly update Iowa’s Certificate of Need (CON) law for health services and clinics.

The purpose of this bill is to streamline the current application process, while also opening the door to new and replacement equipment, as well as expand services in Iowa. The bill would also allow birthing centers and community mental health facilities to no longer fall under the CON requirement to promote service expansion in rural Iowa.

The second major bill was SSB 1105. This is also a modernization bill that would push HHS to update their IT systems for eligibility verification for SNAP and other assistance programs. This bill again streamlines the process for those who are eligible to receive benefits. The bill would also place an asset test on households leading to a more extensive look at their true need for assistance.

On Thursday, we ran three bills through the HHS committee. SF 187 permits an adopted person who is at least 18-years-old to apply to the state registrar to amend their original birth certificate to include the name of an omitted biological parent.

SSB 1196 regulates patient visitation policies of a hospital or nursing facility, as a condition of their facility license. A hospital or nursing facility shall not institute a policy that limits a patient’s or resident’s ability to receive visitors designated by the patient/resident, regardless of their diagnosis. A hospital or nursing facility may impose infection control protocols related to the physical presence of those designated visitors.

Lastly, we ran SSB 1197, which prohibits health care professionals from knowingly performing gender transition procedures on minors, which include puberty blockers and permanent, life-altering surgeries. As a matter of public safety, we currently regulate age on a number of activities deemed as not safe for developing youth. These include use of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, medical cannabidiol, etc. Children should not be pushed to receive experimental treatments that can leave them permanently sterile and physically marred for life.

Next week will be a busy week. We will have a lot of floor debate on bills that must be through the Senate to make it to the House chamber for consideration.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Jeff Edler, a Republican from State Center, represents District 26 in the Iowa Senate.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today