From Senator Mark Lofgren

– Week 8  

This Week in the Senate

The eighth week of the legislative session included our first major deadline of the year. It also included a visit from community colleges across the state on Tuesday, during Community College Day on the Hill! With Funnel Week behind us, more movement of bills between the two houses will now be occurring and we will be spending more time debating issues on the Senate floor.

Enhanced Rights and More Transparency for Parents

Progress was made this week on a number of important issues to constituents. One of these issues was addressed in Senate Study Bill 1145, the Parental Bill of Rights and School Transparency Bill proposed by Governor Reynolds. This bill does many things. First, it enhances parental rights in education and provides more transparency for parents into the day to day instruction of their children. The bill also puts restrictions on gender identity and sexual activity instruction for elementary students to ensure curriculum is age appropriate. Lastly, the bill adds a requirement for parental consent for surveys given to students and outside presenters and provides transparency for school records and materials.

Protecting Investment Clients from Political Agendas

Another issue of concern to constituents has to do with ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment practices and the idea that investment firms are putting their own political agendas over client returns. By doing so, they compromise their duty to investors to maximize financial returns. Senate Study Bill 1094 addresses this. SSB 1094 would prohibit public entities and public funds from investing in companies that boycott fossil-fuel based energy, timber, mining, production agriculture, or anything relating to firearms. This study bill, which passed the State Government Committee, ensures a public fund cannot use a company to invest Iowa’s public dollars if that company decides to advance political causes over increased returns.

Keeping Private Information Private

Moving through committee this week was legislation to ensure some of the most private information of Iowans is protected. Senate Study Bill 1200 protects citizens’ private, personal information from inspection by the state auditor. This would include medical records, academic records, or any similar information an individual would reasonably expect to be kept private.  This bill is common-sense legislation that will protect Iowans’ information that is unnecessary for an audit.

Community College Day on the Hill

Tuesday was Community College Day on the Hill. It was nice to have the opportunity to meet with students, faculty and staff from our community colleges to discuss how we can continue to support them and to see how they are supporting and encouraging our Iowa workforce.

Protecting Iowa Children

Two bills have garnered a lot of attention this session, which serve to bring common sense solutions in order to protect children. The first bill, SSB 1197, prohibits gender transition, or sex change, procedures on children under the age of 18. SSB 1197 would make it illegal to perform irreversible operations to change children’s biological sex. It also stops the use of life-altering drugs to delay maturation or begin a transition to the opposite sex on Iowans under the age of 18. Study after study demonstrate the profound risk and grave side-effects these drugs can have on children, including substantially higher risks of stroke, cancer, infertility, and more. Current state law prohibits minors from getting a tattoo, voting, buying cigarettes or alcohol, and regulates other public health behaviors and activities. These type of surgeries and procedures are life-altering. Iowa has a duty to uphold the public health, safety, and well-being of its citizens and that duty is done by prohibiting these procedures on minors.

If you’ve been around children for any length of time, you quickly become aware that they change their interests often as they grow and begin to understand themselves and the world around them. An opinion or life direction they have at age 10 may not be the case at age 14 or especially at the age of 18. Guiding them to irreversible, life-altering therapies before they can vote or buy a beer is morally specious and the legislature is right to protect children in the same way they protect them from other public health hazards.

The second bill, SF 335, simply requires boys to use the boys’ bathroom and girls to use the girls’ bathroom in Iowa schools. It is a reasonable policy and something most schools implemented for decades without a written policy until recently. The reality of boys entering a girls’ bathroom or locker room creates real risk for Iowa girls. Girls should not have to feel intimidated or fearful of using their locker or bathroom facilities at school.

Best regards,




Informative and Constructive Conversations


Constructive dialogue between legislators and constituents is always a good thing. Last Saturday’s Mt. Pleasant Chamber Legislative Breakfast provided that opportunity for community members.