Under the Golden Dome, Too – February 21

Upmeyer UTGD

This week’s winter storm did not hinder the good work being accomplished in the Iowa House.  We successfully concluded the first “funnel,” which is a deadline for legislators to pass bills out of their respective policy committees in either the House or Senate, in order to remain eligible for further consideration.  Appropriations, Ways & Means, and Government Oversight bills are exempt from the funnel rules.  In preparation for the storm, our committees worked hard to complete their work early.

I am excited about a number of bills that passed out of committee that will strengthen and protect Iowa’s families, as well as promote greater opportunities for Iowans.

Legislation to augment our community colleges’ efforts to reach out and train Iowans where there is a worker shortage was passed by the House Economic Development Committee.  HSB 541 is a bill that encourages apprenticeship opportunities and ensures Iowans are getting the job training they need to access good careers.  It also builds upon the skilled worker initiative passed last session.

In an effort to eliminate fraud and the misuse of Iowa’s Medicaid program, the House Human Resources committee passed HF 2275, a bill that would modernize the process used to apply for the program.  This bill would require a new, more efficient and expedited Medicaid application  process to verify income, assets, and identity of the applicants prior to approval.

A bill that would help Iowans attend school and continue to work without losing child care assistance was passed out of the Human Resources Committee.  HF 2070 would allow Iowans to receive child care assistance if they work and go to school for a combination of 28 hours per week.  Currently to receive assistance, a parent must work or go to school 28 hours per week.

The Home Base Iowa plan also made it through the funnel.  This is a package of legislation to attract veterans back to Iowa and ensure they have the opportunities they need to be successful when they return.

The House Education committee approved HSB 525, an anti-bullying proposal aimed at keeping up with changes in social media activity and ensuring a system is in place for parental notification if an incident occurs.

The Kathlyn Shepard tragedy last year highlighted areas where we could strengthen Iowa’s laws in regards to kidnapping.  HF 2253 elevates penalties for kidnapping and eliminates the earned time credit for some offenders.

In response to growing concerns over human trafficking, legislation was passed to protect underage Iowans who have been forced into prostitution.  HF 2254 would ensure minors involved in human trafficking are provided the necessary protection and services needed for recovery.

Two pieces of legislation aimed at protecting Iowans’ privacy also survived the funnel week.  In an effort to update our privacy laws with new technology, HF 2289 would prevent individuals, state agencies, and law enforcement from recording video through the use of drones on private property.   Further protecting Iowans’ privacy, HF 2116 allows parents to protect their children’s identity by placing a security freeze on the child’s credit records to protect against identity theft.

HF 384, a bill that would allow Iowans to purchase suppressors for firearms- as long as they are properly approved by the federal government after completing a thorough application process- was also passed out of committee.  Suppressors are a safety device that can help prevent hearing damage for gun owners.  Currently, Iowa is one of only 11 states that does not allow for the purchase and use of suppressors.

If you have feedback or questions on these proposals, or any piece of legislation we are considering, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.  If you’d like more information on the legislation being considered in the House, please visit www.iowahouserepublicans.com.  As always, I can be reached anytime at linda.upmeyer@legis.iowa.gov or 515-281-4618.

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  • Valerie Volk Sober

    The Sin of Pride
    Catholic Encyclopedia
    Pride is the excessive love of one’s own excellence. It is ordinarily accounted one of the seven capital sins. St. Thomas, however, endorsing the appreciation of St. Gregory, considers it the queen of all vices, and puts vainglory in its place as one of the deadly sins. In giving it this pre-eminence he takes it in a most formal and complete signification. He understands it to be that frame of mind in which a man, through the love of his own worth, aims to withdraw himself from subjection to Almighty God, and sets at naught the commands of superiors. It is a species of contempt of God and of those who bear his commission. Regarded in this way, it is of course mortal sin of a most heinous sort. Indeed St. Thomas rates it in this sense as one of the blackest of sins. By it the creature refuses to stay within his essential orbit; he turns his back upon God, not through weakness or ignorance, but solely because in his self-exaltation he is minded not to submit. His attitude has something Satanic in it, and is probably not often verified in human beings. A less atrocious kind of pride is that which imples one to make much of oneself unduly and without sufficient warrant, without however any disposition to cast off the dominion of the Creator. This may happen, according to St. Gregory, either because a man regards himself as the source of such advantages as he may discern in himself, or because, whilst admitted that God has bestowed them, he reputes this to have been in response to his own merits, or because he attributes to himself gifts which he has not; or, finally, because even when these are real he unreasonably looks to be put ahead of others. Supposing the conviction indicated in the first two instances to be seriously entertained, the sin would be a grievous one and would have the added guilt of heresy. Ordinarily, however, this erroneous persuasion does not exist; it is the demeanour that is reprehensible. The last two cases generally speaking are not held to constitute grave offences. This is not true, however, whenever a man’s arrogance is the occasion of great harm to another, as, for instance, his undertaking the duties of a physician without the requisite knowledge. The same judgment is to be rendered when pride has given rise to such temper of soul that in the pursuit of its object one is ready of anything, even mortal sin. Vainglory, ambition, and presumption are commonly enumerated as the offspring vices of pride, because they are well adapted to serve its inordinate aims. Of themselves they are venial sins unless some extraneous consideration puts them in the ranks of grievous transgressions. It should be noted that presumption does not here stand for the sin against hope. It means the desire to essay what exceeds one’s capacity.

  • Marijuana Task Force

    25% Reduction in Opioid Deaths in States with Legalized Marijuana


    There have been other studies that have analyzed the connection between medical marijuana and reduced opioid prescriptions, including one published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine in 2014 that found a 25 percent decrease in opioid overdose deaths in states with legal medical marijuana.

    The findings appear to go hand-in-hand with another more recent study, released in the July 2016 issue of Health Affairs journal, which found doctors in medical marijuana states prescribed 1,800 fewer painkiller prescriptions for patients a year.

    More than 33,000 U.S. residents died from an opioid-related
    overdose in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
    Marijuana, which the federal government still classifies as a
    Schedule I substance, has yet to be linked to any fatal overdoses.

    Article 2016 – http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i3942

    Article 2014 –