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District 72 Update

April 3, 2019
By State Rep. Dean Fisher - R-Montour , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Newsletter for Thursday, March 28, 2019

We continued with debate this week as the next funnel looms large in our minds as we press for our bills to come to the floor.

Pioneer

Article Photos

Last week, Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) welcomed South Tama students of iJAG, to Iowa House of Representatives. Pictured are David Blom, Rep. Fisher’s clerk), Beth Wiese, Anthony Wilson-Healey, Emma Sauerbry and State Rep. Dean Fisher R-Montour.According to the Iowa Department of Education iJAG is Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) provides high quality, comprehensive drop-out prevention and school-to-work transition services for youth in 7th grade through the college level on a statewide basis. iJAG is an independent, state-wide private nonprofit corporation established in Iowa in 1999 (modeled after the highly successful National JAG program), and was created to assist students with multiple barriers to graduating from high school and/or successfully transitioning from high school to continued education and careers.
-Photo provided



Lawmakers

of Iowa

Wednesday afternoon of this week we held a joint meeting of the House and Senate for the 2019 induction ceremony of new members of the Pioneer Lawmakers of Iowa.

This was the sixty-sixth biennial session of the Pioneer Lawmakers organization that was formed in 1887. Legislators that reach the 20th anniversary of their first election are eligible to be members, regardless as to whether or not they still serve.

Also, select members of the capitol staff, press, and lobbyists are also inducted as honorary members.

This year my predecessor, Lance Horbach, was inducted, having been first elected in 1998. Another notable inductee was our current Chief Clerk of the House, Carmine Boal, who previously served as a legislator in the House.

Bill Petroski, longtime reporter for the Des Moines Register was also inducted, and gave a fine keynote address to the joint meeting.

Joni Arnett, one of our capitol tour staff, was inducted and honored for her 40 years of service to the people of Iowa.

Congratulations to Lance and all the other new members!

Flooding

We are all aware of the severe flooding across Iowa, especially the devastation in Western Iowa that appears as though it will continue for some time.

Tama and Marshall counties were among the 56 counties impacted and included in Governor Reynolds request for an expedited Presidential Disaster Declaration.

President Trup quickly approved $1.6 billion in aid making these counties eligible for federal disaster relief. Thankfully the legislature passed legislation in 2011 that gives the governor the authority to use the Economic Emergency Fund to quickly respond to these types of disasters. Thanks to this forward looking legislation, it is unlikely that the Legislature will need to take action this session, but House Republicans continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to act if necessary.

CARE Act

House File 533/Senate File 210 - The CARE Act - this bill addresses discharge procedures for hospitals, ensuring that a patient being discharged has a designated lay caregiver and that the hospital provides the caregiver with aftercare instructions and notify the caregiver the patient is ready for discharge.

This caregiver is typically a family member or close friend of the patient. This procedure has proven in other states to help significantly in improved outcomes for patients. The bill passed the House 94-3 and the Senate 49-0. If signed into law, Iowa will join 37 other states that have already enacted this type of legislation.

Animal Abuse Prevention

House File 737 - Animal Abuse Prevention - This bill clarifies what constitutes animal abuse and increases penalties for these crimes. The bill does not apply to livestock.

The bill defines that animal abuse consists of intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly acting to inflict injury or death to an animal by force, violence or poisoning, or through neglect by failing to provide reasonable food, water, shelter, grooming, sanitary conditions, or necessary veterinary care.

Concerns were raised about whether "farm dogs" that live outside would be considered abused or neglected. The bill makes it clear that if an animal has shelter from the elements such as a dog house, shed, or barn and has adequate food and water and that the animal is of a breed suitable for outdoor life then it would not be considered neglect.

In addition to the abuse provisions, a bill that I had filed at the start of the session was amended into this bill. This amendment makes it illegal for a person other than the owner to tamper with or remove a rabies identification tag or electronic tracking collar from an animal. There have been issues with persons removing tracking collars from lost hunting dogs yet no charges could be filed for the act.

Also, a dog without a rabies tag can be destroyed at will, therefor any person removing a rabies tag would be putting the dog's life at risk. The bill passed the House 96-0 and now goes to the Senate.

Felon Voting Rights

House Joint Resolution 14 - Felon Voting Rights - this bill seeks to change the state constitution to allow felons to regain their voting rights if they meet requirements set later by the legislature. Iowa's Constitution currently states that anyone convicted of infamous crimes (felonies) are not eligible to vote. However, the constitution also gives the governor the right to restore voting rights to felons on a case by case basis.

I voted no on this amendment for two simple reasons.

First, the victims of crimes frequently carry the impact of the crimes committed against them for life, it is reasonable then that the perpetrators of these crimes receive a similar impact. Second, leaving the definition of what crimes will be allowed to regain their voting rights to a future legislature is problematic. The definition could be changed at the whim of a future legislature, creating confusion.

This bill passed the House against my no vote 95-2.

As always, I can be reached at dean.fisher@legis.iowa.gov and at 641-750-3594.

 
 

 

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