Senate File 481, the immigration enforcement bill, passed the Iowa House and Senate last week and is going the governor for her signature. The Iowa Catholic Conference opposed the bill. Among other provisions, the bill requires local jails to comply with all requests from ICE (immigration control) to hold immigrants, even when federal law does not require it. People would be held for possible deportation when they otherwise normally would get released.
Click here for a statement from the Iowa bishops regarding the passage of the bill. The bishops are asking Gov. Reynolds to veto the legislation. Here’s the legislative history of the bill and more information about the votes.
Several hundred people attended the Iowa ACE Education Celebration in support of nonpublic schools at the State Capitol last week. Rep. Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) spoke in support of school choice. Check out our Facebook pagefor some photos of the event.
There was no movement last week on Senate File 359. It would stop trafficking in the fetal body parts which remain following an elective abortion. There is an amendment to the bill which would prohibit abortions after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected as well.
In his encyclical letter “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis has called us to protect creation and care for our common home. Energy efficiency is a relatively inexpensive way to help us address our energy needs while lessening our reliance on fossil fuels. Senate File 2311, now in the House, makes many changes to regulation of public utilities. Some of these changes will impact energy efficiency programs, including weatherization programs that benefit low-income people. We are asking legislators not to undermine Iowa’s current energy efficiency policies. Click here for more information and an opportunity to contact your legislator on these issues.
The Iowa House has scheduled a public hearing today (Monday, April 9) regarding HSB 671, the governor’s tax reform bill being consideredby the House Ways and Means Committee. Here’s our blog post on the bill.
The fifth annual Iowa Religious Freedom Day event will be held at noon at the State Capitol on Thursday, April 12. A short program beginning at noon will highlight the importance of living faith in the family. Singers from Dowling Catholic High School are scheduled to perform. Susie Flood, a parent from Dowling Catholic High School, and Matthew Bishop, a student at Dowling Catholic, will be among the speakers.
The Iowa Catholic Conference is a co-sponsor of the event with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and the Des Moines Area Religious Council. Go to www.iowareligiousfreedomday.org for more information.
Legislators stop getting paid on April 17. The end of the legislative session typically comes around that time, but this year it seems unlikely. None of the state department budget bills have been introduced, and work has not been completed on tax reform bills, a priority of the Republican leadership.