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Cornfields, Common Sense and Community

April 12, 2018
By State Senator Jeff Edler - R-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In the Legislature

This week the governor signed several bills sent to her by the Legislature, including the bill providing affordable health insurance options for Iowans, SF 2349. This is a very important step to help Iowans and allow for more health insurance options in our state.

The Senate also passed House File 2422. This bill requires the development of new training materials relating to brain injuries and concussions to be used to educate coaches and contest officials every two years.

Article Photos

State Senator Jeff Edler
R-State Center

The Senate also passed House File 2467, which allows schools to offset school meal debt at the end of every year, if the school has made reasonable efforts to collect the debt. This bill will provide schools a mechanism to collect debt while ensuring students with a negative balance are not singled out in front of their peers.

Expanding Opportunities

for Iowa Students

This week the Senate received from the House a bill the Senate passed last year making a number of changes for online education in the state of Iowa. Senate File 475 strikes limitations on online education including which schools may have online learning, enrollment caps, and a school's ability to develop and offer online education. Online education improves educational opportunities for students in rural schools in Iowa.

Budget and Tax Reform

The Senate and House are continuing to work on tax reform and the FY19 budget. These two issues really progress hand in hand. In order to make a tax package work the budget must accommodate it, and in order for the budget to work spending and revenues must be harmonized. We hope to have the targets out soon.

The Facts vs. the Myths

of Senate File 481

SF 481, which has been dubbed by the media as the "sanctuary city" bill, needs to be accurately explained.

SF 481 as amended and passed by the House and Senate is not the same bill that was originally commented on by many of our law enforcement officials. The bill in its amended form tried to address many areas of concern. The challenge now is getting out the truth about the current SF 481 and bypassing the "old" perceptions.

Fact: SF 481 says: "A law enforcement agency in this state having custody of a person who is subject to a detainer request issued by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shall fully comply with any instruction made in the detainer request and in any other legal document provided by the federal agency."

This bill only applies to a person in custody, period. If someone isn't arrested, the bill does not apply to them.

Myth: SF 481 opens the door for discrimination in enforcement of immigration laws.

Fact: SF 481 prohibits discrimination while enforcing immigration laws and requires law enforcement to follow the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of Iowa.

Myth: SF 481 will scare victims and witnesses away from cooperating with law enforcement.

Fact: SF 481 explicitly provides protections to the victim and witnesses who come forward to report criminal activities.In the situation where a person has already committed a crime, and is suspected by ICE of being illegal in status, we should want to comply with the ICE detainer request to adequately vet the status of the criminal. SF 481 reinforces to local agencies the expectation to comply with federal immigration law or there will be monetary consequences to the local agency by the State of Iowa.

I proudly voted for this bill to help provide safety for all Iowans. I hope this article has helped accurately explain the facts and dispelled the myths around SF 481.

I want to sincerely thank our law enforcement agencies and specifically the officers for their sacrifice, service and protection yielded to Iowans.



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