|Hello Senate District 44!
With week 11 of the legislative session coming to a close, we witnessed a fair amount of floor debate this week. Next week is the second funnel week of the session, so I imagine we will have a fairly busy week ahead of us. This week, we celebrated National Agriculture Day on Tuesday. It was a great chance to recognize and show appreciation for all of the hard work that Iowa’s farmers put in to provide food to us all. Farmers feed the world, and we are proud to have many farmers in our caucus. I am proud to support Iowa’s farmers, and proud of the work Senate Republicans have done to support the agricultural community. We all owe farmers a big “thank you” for what they provide.
One bill that passed through the Senate this week was SF 496, which was introduced by Governor Kim Reynolds. Since the pandemic, parents have had the chance to become more aware to the content being taught and materials available to their kids at school. This has led to a nationwide conversation around ensuring parents are part of their children’s education. Many parents have described explicit materials available to their children. Naturally so, they are upset with this material and believe that sensitive topics such as sexuality and gender are best taught at home.
You most likely heard from the media or misinformed individuals that this bill will ban books, implement speech codes, and have a wild amount of censorship. To no surprise, this is all false. This bill merely implements common sense. It is perfectly reasonable for sexually explicit material to be unavailable to young students in schools. It is also perfectly reasonable to make sure that parents are informed of their child’s activities in school, especially when it relates to sensitive topics such as gender identity or sexuality. Lastly, it is perfectly reasonable to prohibit discussion of sexual activity and gender identity to elementary students. These years are vital to building a strong educational foundation for the child, and should not be filled with explicit material.
During debate, a Democratic Senator stated that “there are some things parents shouldn’t have access to.” If this doesn’t highlight the differences between Senate Republicans and Democrats, then I’m not sure what does. Information regarding the child and their education should not be hidden from parents. In SF 496 Senate Republicans have focused on parental rights, and ensuring that this principle is here to stay. Parents are tasked with the responsibility and given the right to guide their children’s moral upbringing, preparation for the future, and education. By enhancing parental rights and transparency in the classroom, we are only empowering parents to help guide and raise the next generation of Iowans.
Another large bill we passed through the Senate this week was SF 494, which roots out error, fraud, and abuse of Iowa’s welfare system. This issue has been a priority for the past few years, and on Wednesday we finally took that step forward. This bill creates updated and effective income and identity verification parameters for public assistance programs by implementing third party technology to identify fraud and possible errors. The sole purpose of welfare programs is to provide aid to those in need. In order to accomplish this, a properly working system must be in place to ensure fraudulent payments are not taking away resources from those who truly need them. While this issue was bipartisan for many years, it now seems to be only cared about by Senate Republicans. Members from the super-minority Democratic party tried to amend the bill in ways that would in turn make it easier to commit fraud. This bill is another common-sense solution to an issue Iowans have consistently shown support for. This bill will save taxpayers millions of dollars per year, and ensure that only Iowan’s who truly need these assistance programs are receiving them.
This week contained some GREAT legislation that I am proud to have voted for. I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks and holding more floor debate. As always, thank you for the support. Any questions or comments on legislation? Please reach out to me at Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great weekend SD 44!