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Distrcit 72 Update

April 30, 2016
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Garwin , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Newsletter for Thursday, April 21, 2016

This was week 15 of the session and we are now past the 100 day mark. Our clerks have been let go, our per diem has ended, and many of our pages have also gone back to school. We have debated all of the budget bills that originate in the House this year and have sent them to the Senate. These include the Economic Development bill, the Justice Department bills, the Agriculture/DNR bill, the Health and Human Services bill, and the Standings bill.

One minor budget line item that was cut over last year's spending level was the General Assembly's own budget in the Standing Appropriations bill. House Republicans decided that we should lead by example in a tough budget year, and cut our own budget by $1.635 million dollars over fiscal year 2016, nearly a 5% cut. In these tight budget years we continue to practice what we preach, and that tight budget years require us all to tighten our belts and make do with what we have. The legislature should be no different.

Article Photos

State Rep. Dean Fisher

Defunding the Abortion Providers

In the past our state's family planning funding has been available to all family planning agencies, including those that perform abortions.

According to federal and state law an abortion provider is not supposed to use any of this family planning funding for abortions, but the reality is that if the abortion provider receives family planning funds a portion of those funds will ultimately, directly or indirectly, support all the activities that go on under that roof regardless of how carefully the financials are managed.

Many find the practice of abortion to be heinous and do not want their tax dollars to be used for abortions.

In order to ensure that no public funds are used to support abortions that are not a medical necessity the House Republicans have inserted language in the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget bill that will replace the federal family planning funds with state controlled funds.

The federal funds come with rules that limit our ability to direct these funds so that they will not go to abortion providers. With the language in the HHS bill we will use state funds for family planning services. Therefore we will have the ability to set our own rules for how these funds are distributed, allowing Iowa to direct those funds to providers that don't perform abortions.

Preventing abortion providers from receiving family planning funds will not prevent them from performing abortions, nor prevent them from continuing to provide family planning services such as distributing birth control pills and all the other services they offer. It will simply prevent them from doing it at the taxpayer's expense, protecting the freedom of conscience of the taxpayers. There are approximately 213 family planning centers across Iowa that are not tied to abortion providers.

There are only 13 abortion providers that currently receive family planning funds. Preventing these 13 abortion providers from receiving taxpayer funds will have little to no impact on the availability of services.

The House debated the HHS bill until midnight on Tuesday and finished up Wednesday morning, passing this bill on a strict party line vote of 56 to 42. It goes to the Senate for consideration.

In closing

This week I was able to greet the sixth graders from North Tama. They were a great group of kids, very polite and inquisitive with their questions.

As always, please feel free to contact me at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov or 641-750-3594.

 
 
 

 

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