Capitol update

Phil Thompson

March 11, 2019

FIRST FUNNEL

This past week was the first “funnel” of the legislative session. The funnel is an important step in the legislative process because it’s the last opportunity for committees to consider house bills. If a bill didn’t pass through a committee by last Thursday, it can’t be discussed again until next year. More than 200 bills advanced out of committee and will continue through the legislative process. Here are some highlights of bills that survived the first funnel:

HSB 206 (Children’s mental health) – This bill works to build off the mental health legislation passed last year. Now we’re working to establish a children’s mental health system to ensure our kids have access to the services and support they need.

HF 546 (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education or SAVE) – This bill would extend the school infrastructure tax, known as SAVE, through 2050. These funds are collected from the state sales tax and are used across the state to help schools update infrastructure, improve security, and help reduce property taxes for local taxpayers.

HSB 198 (Sports wagering) – This bill allows sports wagering to be conducted in person and through mobile devices through licensed casinos. This bill also authorizes Daily Fantasy Sports to be conducted in Iowa.

HSB 114 & HSB 227 (Companion animal protections) – Both of these bills address concerns of mistreatment of pets and companion animals and implement protections for pets across the state. These bills also ensure that abusers are held accountable for their actions.

HSB 68 (Felon voting rights)- Governor Reynolds mentioned felon voting rights in her Condition of the State address in January as one of her priorities for this session. This bill would restore the voting rights of felons once they have served their sentences. This bill is alive in both the House and the Senate after the funnel.

This is just an overview of some of the bills we’ve seen thus far. It’s been an honor to serve you all and I will continue to work in the best interests of the people of Boone and Greene counties and the state of Iowa. Please reach out if you have questions, concerns, or thoughts you’d like to share. Email me at phil.thompson [at] legis [dot] iowa [dot] gov or leave me a message on the House switchboard at 515-281-3221.

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