Week nine involved lots of floor debate as we move bills off the floor before our second deadline (funnel) on March 18. Here are some of the bills we voted on:
We passed SF 2357 which requires all school board members to vote yay or nay on a matter before their board. Some board members were refusing to vote once the outcome of a motion was clearly passed or rejected. This prevents the public from knowing their position. This bill ensures community members know where board members stand on every issue before the board.
There were two bills voted on relating to dairy. SF 2309 legalized the direct sale of fresh milk to consumers by small producers milking less than 10 animals. Fresh milk and the cheese made from it are growing in popularity. SF 2309 allows Iowa to join the other 44 states in which the sale of fresh milk is legal.
We also ran SF 2290 which creates a Dairy Processing and Milk Production Innovation and Revitalization program. Its goal is to establish more dairy processing that produces small amounts of traditional products.
In 2019, the Iowa Senate initiated a change in the way judges on the Iowa Supreme court are selected. We took the control of the committee recommending nominees to the governor away from the judiciary and the Bar Association. That change has worked well and SF 2132 extends those reforms to the district courts as well. This will improve the public accountability of the commission making nominations for the governor.
Peter Marshall was United States Chaplin following World War II. The opening line of his prayer was, “Give us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for—because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.”
At that time, Mr. Marshall’s primary concern was communism. Today, we can add to that threat that of moral decay, of imploding as a nation, losing freedom, and of being enslaved by a corrupt view of the world.
Many of our traditional institutions have been under attack. Instead of protecting those, our own government has infringed upon our freedom of expression, actually discriminating against these who hold Judeo-Christian values.
These are times when we should all be asking ourselves, “What do I stand for? What am I willing to die for? What do I want to pass on to my children?”
One group of people who do make a stand is our military. Several years ago, I was able to board one of the jets used to refuel Air Force One in the air. After that memorable event I asked the Colonel, “How much did it cost taxpayers to give legislators this show?” His answer impressed me. He said, “Having you on the flight cost the taxpayers zero. We practice this maneuver every day. Today we just had passengers.”
That is real dedication and preparedness. We could emulate this attitude of preparedness as well. Our military is ready to defend us at a moment’s notice. Are we as ready to defend our beliefs and freedoms at a moment’s notice? We need to practice every day.
I Peter 3:15 tells us, “Always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you: yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
I plan to have my last Town Hall meeting on April 1, at the Algona City Hall at 10 AM.