(Des Moines) — This week at the State Capitol in Des Moines was when state legislators actually got started with working on bills. The first week was reserved for more ceremonial events such as the Governor’s “Condition of the State” the Iowa Supreme Court’s Chief Justice “Condition of the Judicial
Courts, and the Iowa National Guard Commander’s “Condition of the Guard” address. Republican State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says some time was devoted this week to establishing the rules of which would govern the lawmakers.
Jeneary says one piece of legislation that was passed out of the House Public Safety committee and will go before the entire House for a vote is House File number 9, which would adopt the 2nd Amendment from the U-S Constitution and
incorporating the amendment to the Iowa Constitution.
Jeneary says the bill has some good details, and it “definitely puts an iron wall around our absolutely fundamental right to keep and bear arms.” Jeneary says next week the focus of attention for the state legislature will be to examine all aspects of education.
The Le Mars lawmaker serves on the House Veterans Committee and will be introducing legislation this next week that he says will benefit local veterans.
Jeneary says on a personal note, he is anxious for a bill to be introduced through the Natural Resources committee dealing with a lifetime trout fishing stamp for people over the age of 65.
On the Senate side of the Capitol, newly elected State
Senator Jeff Taylor, a Republican from Sioux Center, says in his news letter Senate Joint Resolution 2, “the Protect Life Amendment” is moving forward.
Taylor is a co-sponsor of the bill. Taylor is the vice chairman of the Senate Education Committee. He says Iowa students must be given the option of attending school 100% of the time in person.
When many students do not receive in-person instruction, their academic performance suffers. According to local news reports, 37% of students in Iowa City schools had at least one failing grade this fall. That number is nearly double the number of students with at least one failing grade in previous years. If students fall too far behind academically, they will struggle to
regain the skills and knowledge they lost, and their future education and career opportunities may suffer.
Senate Study Bill 1064 addresses this problem by requiring schools to offer a 100% in-person option. This bill continues the waiver process if significant spikes of COVID-19 occur in the community or the school district is unable to adequately staff their classrooms.