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Capitol Update

February 26, 2016
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Garwin , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Newsletter for Thursday, February 18, 2016:

Thursday marked the first funnel date, the date by which a bill must have passed at least one House committee for it to remain eligible. The House will now shift to dealing with bills that have been sent over from the Senate in committee, and with running our own bills on the House floor.

House File 2092, the federal tax code coupling bill, has been stalled in the Senate since the House passed it January 29. Without this bill our farmers and small businesses will suffer an enormous tax increase. The Senate must act soon so that farmers can meet their March 1 filing deadline, and so that small business owners, seniors, parents, students, and teachers can begin filing their taxes with these tax advantages.

Article Photos

Last week State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Garwin) met with Allen Burt, President of the Marshall County Farm Bureau, and Rebecca Dostal, President of the Tama County Farm Bureau. The two were visiting the Capitol to talk to legislators about water quality and other agriculture related issues as part of Farm Bureau Day on the Hill.
Pictured here are Allen Burt, Rep. Dean Fisher, and Rebecca Dostal.
-Photo provided

My Bills

This week I passed bills assigned to me in the Natural Resources Committee through the committee process. My Public Safety bills dealing with Sex Offenders and making changes to the Safe At Home Act are ready for Floor action.

HSB 610 - Iowa protects all other species of wild game by not allowing them to be harvested during their nesting season with the exception of turtles. This bill directs the DNR to set seasons and bag limits for sport and commercial harvesting of the four species of turtle that are legal to harvest in Iowa (common snapping, smooth softshell, spiny softshell, and painted). In researching this bill I was surprised to find that Tama county ranks second in the state for the number of pounds of turtle harvested, nearly 9,000 pounds in 2013, up from nearly 4,000 pounds in 2010. While not yet endangered, Iowa turtles have been commercially harvested heavily in recent years for the China market. Farming of turtles is fortunately starting to slow the harvesting of wild turtles but more must be done to ensure their protection.

HF 2160 - Deer baiting has been a topic of discussion in Iowa recently as the result of a high profile case in Marion county wherein the DNR charged a hunter with hunting over bait and taking a trophy deer.

The case has highlighted the fact that the DNR rules are vague on deer baiting. This bill seeks to clarify those rules by inserting specific parameters in the Iowa code. Under this bill, any bait must be removed ten days before the first deer season, a hunter may not hunt within 200 yards of a salt lick resulting from baiting, food plots and byproducts of normal agriculture activities are not bait, and other related provisions.

Other Bills of Note

We have several bills that passed through committee that expand our 2nd Amendment rights. HF 2043, the Hearing Protection Act, legalizes the use of suppressors for hearing protection; HF 2044, the Emergency Protection Act, prevents government officials from confiscating legally owned firearms during an emergency; HF 2042, the Youth Safety and Parental Rights Act, removes the age limit on the handling of a handgun by children so that a parent can teach their child to safely use a handgun; HF 2066, the ATV Carry Act, allows those riding an ATV to concealed carry a firearm just like in a car or truck. These bills will be renumbered as they move to the Floor for action.

I would love to have you come down to the Capitol any Monday through Thursday to visit, discuss your concerns with me, and take a tour of this beautiful building. It is one of Iowa's treasures.

As always, please feel free to contact me at or 641-750-3594.



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