By Tom Chapman
Hopefully we’ll see some movement on bills to increase minimum wage in Iowa, House File 2011 and Senate File 2039. Please feel free to contact the subcommittee members for these bills directly: for House File 2011, Representatives Greg Forristall, Pat Murphy and Ralph Watts and for Senate File 2039, Dick Dearden, Bill Anderson, and Bill Dotzler, and ask them to move it along.
House File 2090, the bill that would create a state-funded education savings account for each nonpublic school student, advanced out of subcommittee last week.
House File 2073, which would prohibit “webcam” abortions, passed the House Human Resources Committee Feb. 6 on a 12-9 vote. The new bill number is House File 2175. It was expected to reach the floor for debate this week.
The Iowa Catholic Conference (ICC) is also pleased that House File 2082 passed out of a subcommittee last week. It would provide a $2,500 state tax credit for adoption expenses ($5,000 if the adoption was of a special needs child).
House File 2170 came out of the House Education Committee last week. Among other provisions, it allows a nonpublic school to apply for the same waiver of its annual calendar as public schools. It should be debated on the floor soon.
Among the bills introduced last week that the ICC supports:
In cases of human trafficking, House Study Bill 588 would allow county attorneys to refer prostitutes who are minors to the Department of Human Services as a “child in need of assistance” in lieu of prosecution.
House Study Bill 598 would allow civil lawsuits following the death of an unborn baby (who had reached viability) as a result of another person’s wrongful act or omission.
Senate File 2094 would limit the effective interest rate of payday loans to 36 percent. We have supported similar bills for years as payday loans usually end up to be a long-term debt trap for low-income people.
House File 2126 would create a scholarship for children in special education to attend nonpublic school.
Rally for Life
The Rally for Life is Feb. 17. The event will be held at St. Anthony Church and the State Capitol in Des Moines. The keynote on assisted suicide by Wesley Smith will begin at 10 a.m., followed by lunch (free-will offering) and lobbying training before moving to the capitol at 1:30 p.m. The Rally for Life in the capitol rotunda begins at 3 p.m. Smith has been named by the National Journal as one of America’s leading experts in the area of bioethics. Don’t miss this great opportunity. For more information on how to register, visit our website: www.iowacatholicconference.org.
(Tom Chapman is executive director of the Iowa Catholic Conference.)