Representative Jason Schultz (House District 18)
18 Valley View Circle
Schleswig, Iowa 51461
Work: (712) 676.2109
Welcome to my page
The snow melting not only indicates that spring is near, but it also reminds us that the legislative session is coming to an end. The schedule has been full of issues to debate. Some of the most notable bills include SF2357 that relates to firearm forfeiture, a bill that relaxes weight restrictions on commercial vehicles, and education reform within appropriations.
SF2357 passed the House and the Senate prohibiting a person charged with domestic abuse or subject to a protective order from possessing firearms, offensive weapons, or ammunition. Domestic abuse is wrong and those who are found guilty should be punished accordingly. However, punishment without being found guilty is unconstitutional. Even more, this punishment is the revocation of one’s 2nd Amendment right to bear arms without due process. Amendments were offered to try to make the bill better, but were rejected. These amendments would have defined the word “spouse” as it is still defined in Iowa Code – one man and one woman. Another amendment would place a penalty on a person who knowingly provides false information to obtain a protective order. An amendment was offered to create a program of self defense classes funded by additional fines on domestic abusers. Unfortunately, these amendments were defeated, and it may soon be possible to have your firearms removed without being convicted of a crime.
The House Agriculture Committee passed House File 2512 that allows trucks moving livestock and construction materials with six axles to weigh up to a range from 80,500-90,000 pounds; and up to 96,000 pounds for seven axles to apply to all commercial vehicles of similar size. The measure requires that a commercial motor vehicle traveling under the new weight restrictions must be operated by a person with a commercial driver’s license valid for the vehicle operated, unless the operator is exempt from commercial driver licensing requirements under existing law. The provisions of the bill do not apply to vehicles operated on interstate highways. My first impression was that this would increase the damage to our roadways. I discovered that research performed by many states and the Federal Department of Transportation has found that the additional axels lessen the amount of weight that each axle carries and transmits to the pavement. Only trucks with the proper number of axles would be able to haul the additional weight, and the bill does not change our laws for the trucks operating under the 80,000 pound weight limit. Why is this helpful to our agriculture industries? Trucks operated by one-driver could haul almost 25% more per load for a fuel use increase of about 10%, saving energy and creating greater hauling efficiency. In addition, weight damage to roads will decrease with more axels balancing the weight placed through the wheels. I believe that this bill will be helpful to Iowa farmers and I will support this provision.
Our communities are full of teachers who work hard to create a bright future for out kids, but the Education Appropriation bill contains policy changes that carve out special favors for teachers at the expense of district taxpayers. A bill was passed through Education Appropriations that exempts teacher salaries from any across the board cuts within the Education budget bill, SSB3248. Here is how this affects you:
- School districts will have to find $24 million to pay teachers for THIS fiscal year. It will create a $24 million property tax liability statewide because districts will have only three months to pick up the cost.
- Exempting teachers from across the board cuts creates an inequitable workplace environment, as janitors, food service workers, teacher’s aides, and secretaries take a pay cut but not the teacher they work beside.
- This exemption means that teachers are being preferred over public safety, child support services, seniors, and workforce development. Democrats are sending a message that hard times should not be shared by all and should never be shared by teachers.
In addition, the Education Appropriations bill makes teachers the only professionals in the state that will immediately get the name of the person filing a complaint against them. All other licensing boards keep complaints unanimous. This is an idea that should be in its own bill, not attached as a part of a budget bill.
As always, I appreciate any comments and questions from the District. Please contact me at Jason.email@example.com or call 515-281-3221.