Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
July 17, 2011
Actually, the 84th General Assembly, first session, has not really ended. True, the legislators went home, both chambers having gaveled out at the end of June, but in the waning hours, passed several appropriations bills. The governor has thirty days to decide whether he will sign, veto an entire bill or item veto portions of appropriations. It is not expected that he will do anything surprising; but as the saying goes, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
I view this session of the Legislature with mixed emotions, some good, some bad. I was encouraged by some things that went on this year, discouraged and saddened by others. I won’t belabor you with all the details. That would take too many words and probably
bore you no end. But I do want to give you a summary of what I believe were the most significant accomplishments and failures this legislative session.
The Pro-Life Agenda
A coalition consisting of the Iowa Right to Life Committee, Iowans for Life, The Catholic Conference and Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition met several times before the session to decide on several pro-life initiatives, how we would prioritize them and what our strategies would be to get them moving through the process.
Our top two priorities would be to significantly reduce the opportunities for late-term abortions and to stop Planned Parenthood’s chemical abortion services. Other states around us were moving on these two pro-life initiatives and we believed that especially on the late-term issue, Iowa was vulnerable to exploitation by the pro-abortion advocates.
Late-Term Abortion HF 5 (became HF 657)
The late-term abortion ban, we felt, was of the highest priority because that was a real threat that a baby killer from Nebraska would move his nefarious practice to Iowa in response to Nebraska’s passing legislation to halt the practice in that state.
We had a bill, HF 5, authored by Rep. Matt Windschitl of Missouri Valley, assurances from House Republican leadership that Matt’s bill would be given the highest priority and it would pass the House in the opening days of the session, giving us time to work the Senate which we knew would pose a problem.
Within the first few days of the session’s start, we found out that there would be vigorous opposition to HF 5 and that our projected timetable might be interrupted, if not completely curtailed. HF 5 was not going to proceed easily through the House and we
were forced to alter our strategy. It took almost the entire session to get a bill through the House and gave us very little time to work the Senate. I told you in my second paragraph of this report that portions of the session saddened me. This is one of those. The opposition to our bill, that effectively derailed it, did not come from the pro-abortion
advocates, but from people we expected would help us and not oppose us. I was not only surprised by their opposition but hurt by the viciousness of their public and private attacks. The hurt wasn’t for my feelings, but for those of people like Jenifer Bowen of Iowa Right to Life and Maggie De Witte of Iowans for Life and many others. I couldn’t care less what they said about me. In 77 years you acquire a pretty tough hide. But the name
calling and misrepresentation of what we attempted to achieve did go over the top, was hurtful and unwarranted. Those of us in the pro-life coalition agreed early on that we would not respond to attacks in like manner and I believe we all honored that agreement, although we were accused of not doing so. We are still honoring that agreement, so that’s all I will say about this disagreement.
Anyway, the blame for not passing a late-term abortion bill lies squarely in the lap of the Democrat majority leadership of the Senate, particularly with four senators who used every bit of their power to deceive, delay and thwart a majority of the Senate who wanted to vote for HF 657.
The minority Senate Republicans and two Democrat senators signed a “discharge petition” which got HF 657 to the calendar. Senator Mike Gronstal, Majority Leader, Sen. Jack Kibbie, Senate President, Sen. Tom Courtney, Majority Whip and Sen. Joe Bolkcom, Asst.
Majority Leader, all played significant roles in defeating a legitimate will of the Senate to get late-term abortion limits enacted.
I could write pages about the role each of these senators played in thwarting the people’s desire to put an end to the heinous process of full-term baby killing, but it would serve little purpose. Know only that these four men are guilty of allowing the worst of the worst to continue to be inflicted on uninformed and at-risk women and innocent pre-born
babies of both sexes.
Mike Gronstal said publicly many times that he would not stand in the way of a late-term abortion bill. But that’s what he did at every opportunity.
Jack Kibbie told another lobbyist and me he abhorred late-term abortion but used his power as Senate President to stop every effort to get a late-term abortion bill up for a vote.
Courtney and Bolkcom are unapologetic about their support for abortion and served their Planned Parenthood masters well. Some of Bolkcom’s statements in support of his bill, a farce he substituted for HF 657, were ludicrous and disingenuous. Courtney said little but his smirk on the Senate floor when Bolkcom’s bill was being debated said it all.
God willing, we will take up the challenge again next year. There are no assurances that the outcome will be any different, but that will not keep us from trying. Our trust is in Him and He will determine the outcome for His purposes. We need only to be obedient. I will be guided by how the Holy Spirit leads me, not how other people may be led. I have been pro-life for 36 years, the same number of years I have been a child of God, a partaker of the Spirit of God and a follower of Jesus the Christ. Before April 28th, 1975, abortion was not an issue with which I concerned myself. If I believed it was wrong, I didn’t act on it or speak against it. For me it was a blissful ignorance. The first book I studied as a new believer was Romans. I very quickly became unabashedly pro-life. That will never change.
The Encouraging Things
I was encouraged by the steadfast fidelity to their campaign promises of many, if not most, of the Republicans in both the Senate and the House. I know there will be some of you who will disagree with me. I’ve heard people say that politicians are all alike, makes no
difference whether they’re Republicans or Democrats. In my experience, that’s just not true. I don’t always agree with every Republican, but I do trust most of them to be true to their conservative, constitutional and in many cases Biblical principles. If I believed there is no difference between the parties, I would just stay home and pray for Christ’s return before everything goes to “hell in a hand basket.” That will happen anyway, but I believe we are to occupy until He comes and keep the door open for the sharing of the gospel for as long as He tarries.
There are people of principle who love this country, this state and its people. I have talked and commiserated with them at the Capitol. They truly are there to serve and I respect them for their faithfulness and hard work.
Jesus said, ~~“You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will
it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck-measure, but on the lamp stand; and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ~~Matt. 5:13-16
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
March 23, 2011
HF 5 VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE
At about 7:30 p.m. this evening the House Government Oversight Committee took up the bill that will keep LeRoy Carhart from butchering unborn children who are at least 20 weeks of gestation. HF 5, which has been called the “fetal pain” bill and the “late-term abortion” bill, is much more than just that. If the bill passes out without any major amendments, I will give you a more thorough assessment of HF 5. Rep. Janet Petersen, speaking against the bill, stated, “This bill goes well beyond preventing abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.” She was right.
The Democrats on this committee are Rep. Janet Petersen, Rep. Bob Kressig and Rep. Deborah Berry. They played a little political game by offering an amendment to “strike and replace” the text of HF 5 with the same language contained in HF 153, which was Rep. Kim Pearson’s (R) “Life at Conception” or “Personhood” bill. It forced the Republicans on the committee to vote against the HF 153 language or lose the language of HF 5. Five Republicans (Pettengill, Baudler, Hagenow, Tjepkes and Baltimore) voted against the amendment. Pearson voted for the amendment.
After little debate, the same five Republicans voted for passing HF 5 out of committee and having it placed on the calendar. Pearson joined the three Democrats in voting against HF 5, as she has said she would.
HF 5 will be eligible for debate and consideration of the full House next Monday, March 28th. I’ll let you know when we expect it to come to the floor.
DEMONSTRATE FOR LIFE AT PLANNED PARENTHOOD BOOK SALE
Tomorrow, Thursday, March 24th, some faithful pro-lifers will picket at the Fairgrounds Planned Parenthood book sale. It’s been years since that’s been done in Des Moines. I remember when we had hundreds of people picketing the book sale. It’s time to get the ground troops energized again.
If you are pro-life but never had the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment in a physical, meaningful way, meet some of your pro-life brothers and sisters at the Logan Street entrance to the Iowa State Fairgrounds between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 24th. I know it’s short notice. I know it’s going to be cold. I know it’s a hassle. But I also know it’s effective and a way to BE pro-life, not just TALK pro-life.
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
January 26, 2011
The Senate Democrats who control the Senate by 2 votes (26-24) also control the rules under which the Senate conducts its business. They are proposing to change the rules to consolidate more power in the President of the Senate, Sen. Jack Kibbie, D – SD 4, Emmetsburg and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D – SD 50, Council Bluffs.
I spoke with several members of the Senate Republican Leadership today. They are in agreement that changing some of the provisions which are rarely used are an attempt to silence the minority and give Gronstal and Kibbie near dictatorial powers over the Senate. What Senate Democrats are doing will not add to open discourse and debate. It will muzzle senators who disagree with the majority and take from the people the opportunity to have their will and their voice heard in free and open discussion. This is unconscionable; it is tyrannical and you should not, must not, tolerate it.
Sen. Merlin Bartz, R – SD 6, Assistant Majority Leader, is the Republican resident expert on the rules of the Senate. He will lead the Republican challenge to these rule changes. There is no need to contact Republican senators. You will be wasting your time and theirs. They are united in their opposition to these changes. Contact Democrat senators. They are responsible and need to be responsive to the people. Call, write, e-mail Democrat senators. Ask them to reject the proposed changes. Contact Senators Gronstal and Kibbie and inform them that they are not silencing the Senate minority; they are infringing on the right of the people to be heard through their elected representatives.
Don’t let them get away with this power grab, this assault on our democratic form of government.
The Senate will begin debate on these rules at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 27th. You can reach Democrat senators by calling the Senate switchboard, 515-281-3371. Mike Gronstal, 515-281-3901—- Jack Kibbie, 515-281-8761. Follow our links on this site to find e-mail addresses of other Senate Democrats. The Capitol Switchboard will open at 8 a.m. Additional contact information can be found by following the hyperlinks below.
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
January 24, 2011
HJR 6 – MARRIAGE AMENDMENT PASSES FIRST HURDLE
Representative Alons’ sponsored amendment to the Iowa Constitution which states, “Marriage between one man and one woman shall be the only legal union valid or recognized in this state,” was passed out of a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee this afternoon and out of the full Judiciary Committee this evening.
A very crowded and public subcommittee meeting presided over by Rep. Alons, R (chair), Rep. Hagenow, R, and Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell, D, went into overtime and caused a delay of the full committee. There were many speakers on both sides, some very emotional. But in the end, the two Republicans voted to recommend HJR 6 to the full committee. The subcommittee was gracious and patient to the speakers and their supporters.
The full House Judiciary Committee convened at 4:30 pm, immediately went to caucus for about one hour, and then reconvened.
Rep. Alons, R, introduced the bill with a brief statement. Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell, D, and Rep. Lensing, D, spoke against the bill, very briefly. Rep. Swaim, D, who is the ranking member (representing the Democrats) also spoke briefly, but not in opposition. He said it was the right of the people to vote on their constitution and that the debate should proceed in a civil manner.
The Democrats asked for a public hearing which the Republicans granted. I’m sure it will be scheduled for some evening soon.
The final vote of the Judiciary Committee to advance HJR 6 to the House Calendar was 13 yes (12 Republicans and 1 Democrat) and 8 no (all Democrats).
We will keep you informed as the bill proceeds through the process.
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
January 20, 2011
House File 45 – (was HSB-1)
The Legislature was not in session on Monday. It was Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday. On Tuesday evening, the House held a public hearing on HF 45, the Taxpayer Act. I attended, along with several hundred other Iowans. By observation (tee shirts are a dead give-away) and the applause for those speaking against the bill, I concluded that the majority in attendance were union members (especially ASFME – they wore aqua) the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) and people who operate or patronize free preschool programs. I was impressed by the number of legislators from both House and Senate in attendance.
The hearing went on beyond the allotted two hours because of the number of people who wanted to speak to this issue. This courtesy, extended by the chair, Rep. J. Scott Raecker, House District 63 – Polk, was commendable. If you recall, in some previous public hearings, Democrat leadership not only tried to stifle presentations by speakers with whom they disagreed; in one hearing the Democrat Speaker ordered the State Police to throw the spectators (citizens) out of their own House. Rep. Raecker politely asked the audience to hold their applause so that more speakers could be heard but did not threaten the spectators if they disobeyed. Some applause did resound, but the crowd was respectful.
On Wednesday the House took up HF 45 and debated until about 11:30 pm. A number of amendments were filed, most by Democrat Representatives, attempting to remove or weaken some provision in the bill. Many tried to restore the funding for free preschool beginning at age four, using the talking points I assume they got from the ISEA.
All attempts to weaken HF 45, a bill that would create savings of about 500 million dollars over three years, were rejected by the Republican majority. The bill now goes to the Senate where it faces strong opposition from the Democrat majority (elections do have consequences).
Now is the time to start contacting your state senators asking for their support for HF 45, the Taxpayer Act. Budget cuts always affect someone, maybe even you. But more of the same is not a solution. Business as usual will result in future, unsustainable expenditures and eventually tax hikes. I think we pay enough, don’t you?
New bills of Interest Introduced
In the House
HF 35 – Core Curriculum. Prohibits the State Board of Education from adopting federal standards related to the core curriculum, or from amending the core content standards without specific statutory authorization.
The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Royd Chambers, R, HD-5, assigned to the Education Committee. We favor local control of your schools and agree that the Federal Government has no constitutional authority to control what, by whom and how your children will be taught.
HF 47-Inheritance Tax Elimination. Eliminates the state inheritance tax as of July, 2011. Introduced by Rep. Matt Windschitl, R, HD-56, assigned to Ways and Means Committee.
There are a number of other House Files you may want to look at but I will leave that to your curiosity level and not mine. You can always go to the legislative web site from this site and scroll through the bills.
House Joint Resolutions: (Three, HJR 3, 5 and 6 are proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution.)
HJR 3 Right to Life. Calls for an amendment to state that the right to life is the most paramount right and applies from the moment of conception. Sponsored by Rep. Dwayne Alons, R, HD-4 and 34 Republicans. This is often referred to as the “Personhood” amendment and, if enacted, would in effect end abortion in Iowa, if upheld after enactment by whatever courts would claim jurisdiction.
HJR 4- Nullification. Calls on Congress to call a constitutional convention to put out an amendment allowing states to repeal federal laws by a vote of 2/3 of state legislatures. Sponsored by Rep. Dawn Pettengill (a former Democrat who is one of my favorites) and 12 Republicans. Assigned to the State Government Committee.
This is not a state constitutional amendment and follows a process like an ordinary House File, but does not create an Iowa statute.
HJR 5 – Health Care. Calls for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit requiring a person to participate in a particular health care system and would allow people to pay for any health care. Sponsored by Rep. Linda Upmeyer R, HD-12 (also House Majority Leader) and 34 Republicans.
This amendment proposes to protect Iowans from some of the more onerous provisions of “Obamacare.”
HJR 6 – Marriage Ban. Calls for an amendment to define marriage as being between one man and one woman. Sponsored by Rep. Dwayne Alons, R, HD-4 and 56 Republicans, including the Speaker and Majority Leader.
This is the amendment to the constitution that would ban homosexual marriages and according to some, civil unions and any other “marriage -like” statutory institutions.
A subcommittee will meet at 1:00 pm on Monday, January 24th, to begin the process toward House approval. Approval by the House is assured with at least 56 votes and most likely closer to 60. But I encourage you to message your representative anyway, if not to encourage their yes vote if they are Democrat, but thank them if they are Republican.
In the Senate
SF 37 – Abortion Coverage Ban. Prohibits the use of federal health care reform funds for abortion or for insurance with coverage for abortions. Establishes exceptions. Sponsored by Sen. David Johnson, R, SD-3 and 8 Republicans, assigned to the Senate Human Resources Committee.
This bill is self-explanatory. Read it to get the fine points.
SF 39 – Informed Consent. Establishes the Woman’s Right to Know Act and procedures for informed consent. Requires that doctors give women specific information, including an ultrasound of the child, and information on abortions before performing an abortion. Includes other provisions, responsibilities and exceptions. Sponsored by Sen. David Johnson, R, SD-3 and 8 Republicans, assigned to Senate Human Resources Committee.
This or similar bills have been introduced in both Houses several times in the last 12 years. I believe it was passed once and vetoed by then Gov. Vilsack. Please access it on the Legislature’s Web site. A similar bill was passed in Nebraska, challenged in court because of the ultrasound provision. Nebraska did not pursue it further.
SF 40 – Outpatient Abortion Clinics. Makes a facility where 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions are performed, five or more 1st trimester abortions subject to the certificate of need requirements and other regulations for outpatient surgical facilities and ambulatory surgical centers. Sponsored by Sen. David Johnson, R, SD-3 and 8 Republicans, assigned to the Senate Human Resources Committee.
Currently, abortion facilities are not subject to any rules, regulations or inspections of any kind. These are facilities where a surgical procedure is practiced on sometimes very young women and are totally unregulated. That speaks for itself.
SF 41 – Abortion Drug Reports. Prohibits a person from knowingly dispensing mifepristone (RU486) for an abortion unless the person is a licensed doctor and the drug will be used in accordance with federal rules. Requires the reporting of incomplete abortion or other complication and for the Health Dept. to compile the reports and makes other provisions to protect the health and life of young girls and women who receive RU486 in a manner not approved or envisioned by the manufacturer or the Food and Drug Administration.
This is the “chemical” or “medical” abortion you have heard about that is being offered and promoted by Planned Parenthood. They have done over 2,000 of these without any oversight. The physician they use is not an OB-GYN but an Osteopathic family physician with no post-doctoral training in surgery or obstetrics. We believe that what they are doing in the 20 or more clinics around the state is not only illegal but a callous disregard for the safety of the pregnant women they treat. Obviously, the unborn child is murdered in the process. This is a bill you should study and support by calling your senator to urge their support.
SF 42 – Late Term Abortion Ban. This is a companion bill to HF 5 and all that we said about that in our call to action on HF 5 applies to this bill. The bill is sponsored by Sen. David Johnson, R, SD-3 and 7 Republicans. It, too, is assigned to the Senate Human Resources Committee.
The Democrat senators on the Human Resources Committee are: Sen. Amanda Ragan, D, SD-7 (chair); Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm, D, SD-8; Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D, SD-39; Sen. Bill Dotzler, D, SD-11; Sen. Robert Dvorsky, D, SD-15; Sen. Jack Hatch, D, SD-33; Sen. Pam Jochum, D, SD-14; Sen. Herman Quirmbach D, SD-23. That adds up to 8 Democrats.
The Republican senators are: Jim Seymour, R, SD-28 (ranking member); Sen. Robert Bacon, R, SD-5; Sen. Nancy Boettger, R, SD-29; Sen. David Johnson, R, SD-3; and Sen. Jack Whitver, R, SD-35. That makes 5 Republicans.
The Democrats have a 3 vote advantage on the Human Resources Committee.
Senate Study Bills (SSB):
There are at least two study bills in which you might be interested.
SSB 1010 – which deals with Judicial Appointments and SSB 1016 which would legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes (i.e., pain management and possibly appetite stimulation.)
Senate Joint Resolutions:
SJR 2 – This is a companion joint resolution to HJR 3, to amend the Iowa Constitution to specify the right to life is a paramount and most fundamental right of every person. It is sponsored by Sen. Randy Feenstra, R, SD-2. There are no co-sponsors.
SJR 3 – This is also a companion bill to a House Joint Resolution. It is identical to Rep. Alons’ bill, HJR 6. It also is sponsored by Sen. Randy Feenstra and at this time has no co-sponsors in the Senate.
An Apology to Representatives Glen Massie, Kim Pearson and Tom Shaw
The staff of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition which consists of one full-time employee, Steve Scheffler, and two as needed, independent contractors, Drew Klein and me, decided to append and/or link an article in the Iowa Republican entitled, “Republicans Pearson and Massie Set To Block A bill That Would Prevent Late-Term Abortions,” posted on January 20, 2011. We offered the article with no comment or endorsement. We seriously erred. We should have, if we were more sensitive to the hurt a statement in the article would inflict on especially Massie and Pearson, either stated we did not agree with or edited out the last paragraph.
This paragraph said, “If you claim to be pro-life, opposing this bill is absolutely unacceptable. If you are the one legislator who prevents this bill from moving forward, you will have innocent blood on your hands, just like LeRoy Carhart.”
When we made the decision to post the article, it was partially because I was quoted and partially because the article presented facts which did not appear in my January 16, 2011 “Call to Action on House File 5 – Late-Term Abortion Ban.” There is nothing regarding the factual information in the article for which any apology is warranted. But if readers of the piece see it as denigrating or insulting to these three legislators, then we are sincerely apologetic. We all have the utmost respect for Massie, Pearson and Shaw, who we supported in any way we could when they ran. I will repeat again what I said in my “Call to Action.” “As for their God and Bible arguments, I could not agree more. All they say is right from a biblical worldview perspective which is from where I come. I do not, nor would I ever doubt their sincerity, faith in Christ, reliance on Holy Writ or commitment to protecting and rescuing the unborn.”
Both Scheffler and Klein agree with this statement and we continue to stand by it.
That being said, we have made a commitment to other pro-life organizations and legislators to actively support the passage of HF 5 and its companion in the Senate, SF 42. We will see it through to its signing by Governor Branstad.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”~~Phil. 4:8,9
“Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.”~~Titus 2:2
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
January 17, 2011
Representative Matt Windschitl and 31 co-sponsors have introduced HF 5, a bill that addresses a newly developing threat to life by prohibiting late term abortions in our state.
As it regards the mother: “Abortion has a higher medical risk when the procedure is performed later in pregnancy. Compared to an abortion at eight weeks gestation or earlier, the relative risk increases exponentially at higher gestations. The incidence of major complications is highest after twenty weeks of gestation.”
As it regards the unborn child: “There is substantial evidence that by at least twenty weeks after fertilization, an unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain. There is substantial evidence that by twenty weeks after fertilization, an unborn child seeks to evade certain stimuli in a manner which, in an infant or an adult, would be interpreted as a response to pain.”
The bill further states that: “It is the purpose of the State of Iowa to assert a compelling state interest in protecting the unborn child from the stage at which the unborn child is capable of feeling pain.”
The bill requires that: “Except in the case of a medical emergency (defined in Section 2 of HF 5), an abortion shall not be performed or induced or be attempted to be performed or induced unless the physician performing or inducing the abortion has first made a determination of the probable past fertilization age of the human pregnancy or relied upon such a determination made by another physician.”
The physician performing the abortion must use a termination procedure that, “in his judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.” The law would allow an exception to protect the life or irreversible physical impairment of the pregnant woman.
The proposed law would require certain reports to be filed by physicians who perform late term abortions and requires the Department of Public Health to collect physician reports and issue statistical reports which would protect the identity of the woman having the procedure.
I also want to call your attention to Section 5, 146A.4 Construction
1. “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to an abortion.
2. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as determining life to begin at twenty weeks gestation. Instead, it is recognized that life begins at conception.”
HF 5 is about ten and a half pages long and goes into sufficient detail to enforce the law. It is fairly easy reading. I encourage you to read the bill on the Legislature’s Web site or request a copy from your state representative.
Where is HF 5 Now?
HF 5 has been assigned to a sub-committee of the House Human Resources Committee. The sub-committee consists of Rep. Richard Anderson – HD 97; Rep. Mark Brandenburg – HD 100; and Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell-HD 45. Anderson and Brandenburg are Republicans. Wessel-Kroeschell is a Democrat. The sub-committee will meet on Tuesday, January 18, at 9:30 am. I expect them to pass the bill and refer it to the full Human Resources Committee.
The members of the House Human Resources Committee may take up the bill at any time. If you support HF 5, I urge you to contact members of this committee and ask them to support HF 5. You can write, e-mail or call these legislators. If your representative is on this committee, I recommend a phone call. If you want to call them at the Capitol, the number is 515-281-3221. When the switchboard answers, just ask for the representative by name. If they are unavailable, leave a message and/or ask them to call you.
House Human Resources Committee:
Rep. Linda Miller R (chair) Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell D
Rep. Joel Fry R (vice chair) Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad D
Rep. Richard Anderson R Rep. Bruce Hunter D
Rep. Mark Brandenburg R Rep. Mary Mascher D
Rep. Julian Garrett R Rep. Janet Petersen D
Rep. David Heston R Rep. Mark Smith D
Rep. Ron Jorgensen R Rep. Sharon Steckman D
Rep. Kevin Koester R Rep. Cindy Winckler D
Rep. Mark Lofgren R Rep. Mary Lynn Wolfe D
Rep. Glen Massie R
Rep. Kim Pearson R
Rep. Renee Schulte R
There are twelve Republicans and nine Democrats on this committee. It takes eleven votes to get HF 5 out of committee and on the House Calendar for a future floor vote.
I doubt that any of the Democrats on this committee will vote for HF 5. That means we have to get all eleven votes from the Republicans on the committee. At this point, that is not a sure thing, even though seven of the eight members of the House Republican Leadership are co-sponsors of HF 5.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that there are some individuals who are pro-life and at least one pro-life organization who have at this point not committed to supporting HF 5. Their reason? It does not go far enough. It is an incremental step; it’s a band-aid and not God’s will. According to them, we need to first introduce a “personhood” bill which would establish in law or our constitution that life begins at conception. Such a bill, if passed, they say, would protect all unborn children, not just those over 20 weeks gestation. They assert that the God of the Bible does not say that life begins at 20 weeks or any other point than at conception. Some of them make other arguments that are more political as opposed to spiritual. I won’t go into those. They have no merit and are open to broad disagreement.
As for their God and Bible arguments, I could not agree more. All they say is right from a biblical worldview perspective which is from where I come. I do not, nor would I ever doubt their sincerity, faith in Christ, reliance on Holy Writ or commitment to protecting and rescuing the unborn. I ask only that they afford me and the other pro-life individuals, organizations and legislators, who are supporting the passage of HF 5, the same courtesy.
I have posed the analogy of a burning house in which are trapped five children. I can rush in but can only save some, not all. Do I not do the best I can with what God has provided and save what I can? Their response is that I should rather try to put out the fire. Sorry, that is not an option. The fire is out of control. So is this issue of late-term abortion.
Should HF 5 fail to become law in Iowa, three, six, nine or twelve months from now when the baby butcher, Leroy Carhart opens for business somewhere in Iowa, I will be at peace knowing that I did what I could to stop him. I know the other pro-life individuals and organizations who have signed on to support HF 5 feel the same. I hope you agree.
Until my next report:
“The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.” ~~ Numbers 6: 24-26
For your convenience HF5 is printed below. Our website www.ffciowa.com has a convenient link at the top of the page called “Find Your Legislator.” You can always use this link to find easy access to contact information for those that represent you at the state and national level as well as information about bills currently being considered at the state level. Become a fan of Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition on Facebook. Join us at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Iowa-Faith-Freedom-Coalition/172788926072675
House File 5
FORRISTALL, ROGERS, DE
SWEENEY, L. MILLER,
SANDS, PAUSTIAN, and
A BILL FOR
1 An Act relating to abortions including prohibiting late=term
2 abortions with certain exceptions, providing penalties, and
3 including an effective date provision.
4 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
TLSB 1155YH (16) 84
1 1 Section 1. FINDINGS. The general assembly finds all of the
1 2 following:
1 3 1. Abortion can cause serious short=term and long=term
1 4 physical and psychological complications for women including
1 5 but not limited to uterine perforation, uterine scarring,
1 6 cervical perforation or other injury, infection, bleeding,
1 7 hemorrhage, blood clots, failure to actually terminate the
1 8 pregnancy, incomplete abortion or retained tissue, pelvic
1 9 inflammatory disease, endometritis, missed ectopic pregnancy,
1 10 cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, renal failure, metabolic
1 11 disorder, shock, embolism, coma, placenta previa in subsequent
1 12 pregnancies, preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies,
1 13 free fluid in the abdomen, organ damage, adverse reactions
1 14 to anesthesia and other drugs, psychological or emotional
1 15 complications such as depression, anxiety, sleeping disorders,
1 16 and death.
1 17 2. Abortion has a higher medical risk when the procedure is
1 18 performed later in the pregnancy. Compared to an abortion at
1 19 eight weeks' gestation or earlier, the relative risk increases
1 20 exponentially at higher gestations. The incidence of major
1 21 complications is highest after twenty weeks of gestation.
1 22 3. The state has a legitimate concern for the public's
1 23 health and safety.
1 24 4. The state has a legitimate interest from the outset
1 25 of pregnancy in protecting the health of the woman. More
1 26 specifically, the state has a legitimate concern with the
1 27 health of women who undergo abortions.
1 28 5. There is substantial evidence that by at least twenty
1 29 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child has the physical
1 30 structures necessary to experience pain.
1 31 6. There is substantial evidence that by twenty weeks
1 32 after fertilization, an unborn child seeks to evade certain
1 33 stimuli in a manner which, in an infant or an adult, would be
1 34 interpreted as a response to pain.
1 35 7. Anesthesia is routinely administered to an unborn child
2 1 twenty weeks or more after fertilization when the unborn child
2 2 undergoes prenatal surgery.
2 3 8. Even before twenty weeks after fertilization, the unborn
2 4 child has been observed to exhibit hormonal stress responses to
2 5 painful stimuli, and a reduction in such response results when
2 6 pain medication is administered directly to the unborn child.
2 7 9. It is the purpose of the state of Iowa to assert a
2 8 compelling state interest in protecting the unborn child from
2 9 the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates the
2 10 unborn child is capable of feeling pain.
2 11 Sec. 2. NEW SECTION. 146A.1 Definitions.
2 12 As used in this chapter unless the context otherwise
2 13 requires:
2 14 1. "Abortion" means abortion as defined in section 146.1.
2 15 2. "Attempt to perform or induce an abortion" means an act,
2 16 or an omission of a statutorily required act, that, under the
2 17 circumstances as the actor believes them to be, constitutes a
2 18 substantial step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in
2 19 the performance or inducing of an abortion.
2 20 3. "Department" means the department of public health.
2 21 4. "Fertilization" means the fusion of a human spermatozoon
2 22 with a human ovum.
2 23 5. "Human pregnancy" means an individual organism of the
2 24 species homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.
2 25 6. "Medical emergency" means a condition which, in
2 26 reasonable medical judgment, so complicates the medical
2 27 condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate
2 28 abortion of the human pregnancy to avert the woman's death or
2 29 for which a delay will create a serious risk of substantial and
2 30 irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
2 31 "Medical emergency" does not include a condition which is based
2 32 on a claim or diagnosis that the pregnant woman will engage in
2 33 conduct which would result in the pregnant woman's death or in
2 34 substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major
2 35 bodily function.
3 1 7. "Medical facility" means any public or private hospital,
3 2 clinic, center, medical school, medical training institution,
3 3 health care facility, physician's office, infirmary,
3 4 dispensary, ambulatory surgical center, or other institution or
3 5 location where medical care is provided to any person.
3 6 8. "Physician" means a person licensed under chapter 148.
3 7 9. "Postfertilization age" means the age of the human
3 8 pregnancy as calculated from the fertilization of the human
3 9 ovum.
3 10 10. "Probable postfertilization age" means what, in
3 11 reasonable medical judgment, will with reasonable probability
3 12 be the postfertilization age of the human pregnancy at the time
3 13 the abortion is to be performed.
3 14 11. "Reasonable medical judgment" means a medical judgment
3 15 made by a reasonably prudent physician who is knowledgeable
3 16 about the case and the treatment possibilities with respect to
3 17 the medical conditions involved.
3 18 12. "Unborn child" means a human pregnancy in the
3 19 postembryonic stage.
3 20 Sec. 3. NEW SECTION. 146A.2 Determination of
3 21 postfertilization age prior to abortion == abortion prohibited
3 22 at twenty or more weeks postfertilization age == exceptions ==
3 23 reporting requirements == penalties.
3 24 1. Except in the case of a medical emergency, an abortion
3 25 shall not be performed or induced or be attempted to be
3 26 performed or induced unless the physician performing or
3 27 inducing the abortion has first made a determination of the
3 28 probable postfertilization age of the human pregnancy or relied
3 29 upon such a determination made by another physician. In making
3 30 such a determination, a physician shall make such inquiries
3 31 of the pregnant woman and perform or cause to be performed
3 32 such medical examinations and tests the physician considers
3 33 necessary in making a reasonable medical judgment to accurately
3 34 determine the postfertilization age of the human pregnancy.
3 35 2. a. A physician shall not perform or induce or attempt
4 1 to perform or induce an abortion upon a pregnant woman when it
4 2 has been determined, by the physician performing or inducing
4 3 the abortion or by another physician upon whose determination
4 4 that physician relies, that the probable postfertilization age
4 5 of the human pregnancy is twenty or more weeks unless, in the
4 6 physician's reasonable medical judgment, any of the following
4 7 applies:
4 8 (1) The pregnant woman has a condition which the physician
4 9 deems a medical emergency.
4 10 (2) It is necessary to preserve the life of the unborn
4 11 child.
4 12 b. If an abortion is performed or induced under this
4 13 subsection, the physician shall terminate the human pregnancy
4 14 in the manner which, in the physician's reasonable medical
4 15 judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child
4 16 to survive, unless, in the physician's reasonable medical
4 17 judgment, termination of the human pregnancy in that manner
4 18 would pose a greater risk than any other available method of
4 19 the death of the pregnant woman or of the substantial and
4 20 irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.
4 21 A greater risk shall not be deemed to exist if it is based on
4 22 a claim or diagnosis that the pregnant woman will engage in
4 23 conduct which would result in the pregnant woman's death or in
4 24 substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major
4 25 bodily function.
4 26 3. A physician who performs or induces or attempts to
4 27 perform or induce an abortion shall report to the department,
4 28 on a schedule and in accordance with forms and rules adopted by
4 29 the department, all of the following:
4 30 a. If a determination of probable postfertilization age of
4 31 the human pregnancy was made, the probable postfertilization
4 32 age determined and the method and basis of the determination.
4 33 b. If a determination of probable postfertilization
4 34 age of the human pregnancy was not made, the basis of the
4 35 determination that a medical emergency existed.
5 1 c. If the probable postfertilization age of the human
5 2 pregnancy was determined to be twenty or more weeks, the basis
5 3 of the determination of a medical emergency.
5 4 d. The method used for the abortion and, in the case of
5 5 an abortion performed when the probable postfertilization age
5 6 was determined to be twenty or more weeks, whether the method
5 7 of abortion used was one that, in the physician's reasonable
5 8 medical judgment, provided the best opportunity for the unborn
5 9 child to survive or, if such a method was not used, the basis
5 10 of the determination that termination of the human pregnancy
5 11 in that manner would pose a greater risk than would any other
5 12 available method of the death of the pregnant woman or of the
5 13 substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major
5 14 bodily function.
5 15 4. a. By June 30, annually, the department shall issue a
5 16 public report providing statistics for the previous calendar
5 17 year, compiled from the reports for that year submitted in
5 18 accordance with subsection 3. Each report shall also provide
5 19 the statistics for all previous calendar years, adjusted to
5 20 reflect any additional information from late or corrected
5 21 reports. The department shall ensure that none of the
5 22 information included in the public reports could reasonably
5 23 lead to the identification of any woman upon whom an abortion
5 24 was performed.
5 25 b. (1) A physician who fails to submit a report by the end
5 26 of thirty days following the due date shall be subject to a
5 27 late fee of five hundred dollars for each additional thirty=day
5 28 period or portion of a thirty=day period the report is overdue.
5 29 (2) A physician required to report in accordance with
5 30 subsection 3 who has not submitted a report or who has
5 31 submitted only an incomplete report more than one year
5 32 following the due date, may, in an action brought in the
5 33 manner in which actions are brought to enforce chapter 148,
5 34 be directed by a court of competent jurisdiction to submit a
5 35 complete report within a time period stated by court order or
6 1 be subject to contempt of court.
6 2 (3) A physician who intentionally or recklessly falsifies
6 3 a report required under this section is subject to a civil
6 4 penalty of one hundred dollars.
6 5 5. The department shall adopt rules to implement this
6 6 section.
6 7 Sec. 4. NEW SECTION. 146A.3 Civil and criminal actions ==
6 8 penalties.
6 9 1. Failure of a physician to comply with any provision of
6 10 section 146A.2, with the exception of the late filing of a
6 11 report or failure to submit a complete report in compliance
6 12 with a court order, is grounds for license discipline under
6 13 chapter 148.
6 14 2. A physician who intentionally or recklessly performs or
6 15 attempts to perform an abortion in violation of this chapter is
6 16 guilty of a class "C" felony.
6 17 3. A medical facility licensed in this state in which
6 18 abortions are performed or induced in violation of this chapter
6 19 is subject to immediate revocation of licensure.
6 20 4. A medical facility licensed in this state in which
6 21 abortions are performed or induced in violation of this chapter
6 22 is ineligible to receive state funding and is subject to
6 23 repayment of any state funds received from the state during the
6 24 time after which an abortion in violation of this chapter was
6 25 performed or induced.
6 26 5. A woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in
6 27 violation of this chapter or the biological father may maintain
6 28 an action against the physician who performed the abortion in
6 29 intentional or reckless violation of this chapter for actual
6 30 damages.
6 31 6. A woman upon whom an abortion has been attempted in
6 32 violation of this chapter may maintain an action against the
6 33 physician who attempted to perform the abortion in intentional
6 34 or reckless violation of this chapter for actual damages.
6 35 7. A cause of action for injunctive relief to prevent a
7 1 physician from performing abortions may be maintained against a
7 2 physician who has intentionally violated this chapter by the
7 3 woman upon whom the abortion was performed or attempted to be
7 4 performed, by the spouse of the woman, by a parent or guardian
7 5 of the woman if the woman is less than eighteen years of age or
7 6 unmarried at the time the abortion was performed or attempted
7 7 to be performed, by a current or former licensed health care
7 8 provider of the woman, by a county attorney with appropriate
7 9 jurisdiction, or by the attorney general.
7 10 8. A woman upon whom an abortion was performed or was
7 11 attempted to be performed shall not be subject to prosecution
7 12 for a violation of this chapter.
7 13 9. If the plaintiff prevails in an action brought under
7 14 this section, the plaintiff shall be entitled to an award for
7 15 reasonable attorney fees.
7 16 10. If the defendant prevails in an action brought under
7 17 this section and the court finds that the plaintiff's suit was
7 18 frivolous and brought in bad faith, the defendant shall be
7 19 entitled to an award for reasonable attorney fees.
7 20 11. Damages and attorney fees shall not be assessed against
7 21 the woman upon whom an abortion was performed or attempted to
7 22 be performed except as provided in subsection 10.
7 23 12. In a civil or criminal proceeding or action brought
7 24 under this chapter, the court shall rule whether the anonymity
7 25 of any woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or
7 26 attempted shall be preserved from public disclosure if the
7 27 woman does not provide consent to such disclosure. The court,
7 28 upon motion or on its own motion, shall make such a ruling
7 29 and, upon determining that the woman's anonymity should be
7 30 preserved, shall issue orders to the parties, witnesses,
7 31 and counsel and shall direct the sealing of the record and
7 32 exclusion of individuals from courtrooms or hearing rooms to
7 33 the extent necessary to safeguard the woman's identity from
7 34 public disclosure. Each such order shall be accompanied by
7 35 specific written findings explaining why the anonymity of the
8 1 woman should be preserved from public disclosure, why the
8 2 order is essential to that end, how the order is narrowly
8 3 tailored to serve that interest, and why no reasonable less
8 4 restrictive alternative exists. In the absence of written
8 5 consent of the woman upon whom an abortion has been performed
8 6 or attempted, anyone, other than a public official, who brings
8 7 an action under this section shall do so under a pseudonym.
8 8 This subsection shall not be construed to conceal the identity
8 9 of the plaintiff or of witnesses from the defendant or from
8 10 attorneys for the defendant.
8 11 Sec. 5. NEW SECTION. 146A.4 Construction.
8 12 1. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as creating or
8 13 recognizing a right to an abortion.
8 14 2. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as determining
8 15 life to begin at twenty weeks' gestation. Instead, it is
8 16 recognized that life begins at conception.
8 17 Sec. 6. NEW SECTION. 146A.5 Severability clause.
8 18 If any provision of this chapter or its application to any
8 19 person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does
8 20 not affect other provisions or application of this chapter
8 21 which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
8 22 application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are
8 23 severable.
8 24 Sec. 7. EFFECTIVE UPON ENACTMENT. This Act, being deemed of
8 25 immediate importance, takes effect upon enactment.
8 26 EXPLANATION
8 27 This bill relates to abortions. The bill provides findings
8 28 of the general assembly and definitions.
8 29 The bill provides that, except in the case of a medical
8 30 emergency, an abortion shall not be performed or induced
8 31 or be attempted to be performed or induced unless the
8 32 physician performing or inducing the abortion has first made
8 33 a determination of the probable postfertilization age of the
8 34 human pregnancy. Additionally, the bill prohibits a physician
8 35 from performing or inducing or attempting to perform or induce
9 1 an abortion upon a pregnant woman when it has been determined,
9 2 that the probable postfertilization age is 20 or more weeks
9 3 unless, in the physician's reasonable medical judgment, either
9 4 the pregnant woman has a condition which the physician deems a
9 5 medical emergency or it is necessary to preserve the life of
9 6 the unborn child. If an abortion is performed or induced when
9 7 the probable postfertilization age is 20 or more weeks, the
9 8 physician is required to terminate the pregnancy in a manner
9 9 which, in the physician's reasonable medical judgment, provides
9 10 the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive unless
9 11 such termination would pose a greater risk either of the death
9 12 of the pregnant woman or of the substantial and irreversible
9 13 physical impairment of a major bodily function of the woman
9 14 than would another available method.
9 15 The bill also requires certain reports to be filed by a
9 16 physician who performs or induces or attempts to perform or
9 17 induce an abortion with the department of public health, on
9 18 a schedule and in accordance with forms and rules adopted by
9 19 the department. The department is required to compile the
9 20 information collected annually and issue a public report,
9 21 ensuring that none of the information included in the public
9 22 reports could reasonably lead to the identification of any
9 23 pregnant woman upon whom an abortion was performed. The bill
9 24 provides monetary penalties for a physician who fails to submit
9 25 a report in a timely manner, submits an incomplete report, or
9 26 intentionally or recklessly falsifies a required report.
9 27 The bill provides for civil and criminal actions and
9 28 penalties relating to violations of the bill. Failure of a
9 29 physician to comply with any provision, with the exception of
9 30 the late filing of a report or failure to submit a complete
9 31 report in compliance with a court order, is grounds for license
9 32 discipline. A physician who intentionally or recklessly
9 33 performs or attempts to perform an abortion in violation of the
9 34 bill is guilty of a class "C" felony, which is punishable by
9 35 confinement for no more than 10 years and a fine of at least
10 1 $1,000 but not more than $10,000. The bill also provides that
10 2 a medical facility licensed in the state in which abortions
10 3 are performed or induced in violation of the bill is subject
10 4 to immediate revocation of licensure. Additionally, a
10 5 medical facility licensed in this state in which abortions are
10 6 performed or induced in violation of the bill is ineligible to
10 7 receive state funding and is subject to repayment of any state
10 8 funds received from the state during the time after which an
10 9 abortion in violation of the bill was performed or induced.
10 10 However, the woman upon whom the abortion was performed or was
10 11 attempted to be performed is not subject to prosecution for a
10 12 violation of the bill. The bill provides for the maintaining
10 13 of actions by certain people based on alleged violations of
10 14 the bill. A woman upon whom an abortion has been performed in
10 15 violation of the bill or the biological father may maintain
10 16 an action against the physician who performed the abortion
10 17 in intentional or reckless violation of the bill for actual
10 18 damages. A woman upon whom an abortion has been attempted
10 19 in violation of the bill may maintain an action against the
10 20 physician who attempted to perform the abortion in intentional
10 21 or reckless violation of the bill for actual damages.
10 22 Additionally, a cause of action for injunctive relief to
10 23 prevent a physician from performing abortions may be maintained
10 24 against a physician who has intentionally violated the bill by
10 25 the woman upon whom the abortion was performed or attempted
10 26 to be performed, by the spouse of the woman, by a parent or
10 27 guardian of the woman if the woman is less than 18 years of
10 28 age or unmarried at the time the abortion was performed or
10 29 attempted to be performed, by a current or former licensed
10 30 health care provider of the woman, by a county attorney with
10 31 appropriate jurisdiction, or by the attorney general.
10 32 The bill provides a process for preserving the anonymity of
10 33 the woman upon whom an abortion has been performed or attempted
10 34 from public disclosure if the woman does not provide consent to
10 35 such disclosure during any proceeding or action under the bill.
11 1 The bill also provides that the bill is not to be construed
11 2 as creating or recognizing a right to an abortion, and the
11 3 bill is not to be construed as determining life to begin at 20
11 4 weeks' gestation; instead, it is recognized that life begins at
11 5 conception.
11 6 The bill includes a severability clause as is applicable to
11 7 every Act or statute pursuant to Code section 4.12.
11 8 The bill takes effect upon enactment.
LSB 1155YH (16) 84
Norm Pawlewski – Lobbyist
January 14, 2011
84TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES
The incumbent and newly elected legislators began the first session of the 84th General Assembly on January 10th. As you know, Republicans now control the House of Representatives by a 60 to 40 majority and have closed the gap with the Democrats in the Senate. Republican, Jack Whitver of Ankeny, is contending with Democrat John Calhoun of Polk City for the Senate District 35 seat formerly held by Republican Senator Larry Noble. Senator Noble will head the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Assuming Jack Whitver will prevail, and he should with your help, the Democrats will control the Senate by a 26 to 24 majority. If you live in Senate District 35 which covers Ankeny, Polk City, Alleman, Elkhart, Johnston and Grimes, along with rural locations in the townships of Saylor, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison and Union, be sure to vote on Tuesday, January 18th. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. If you are not sure whether or not you live in Senate District 35, go to the Iowa Legislature’s Web site and follow the prompts on finding your legislator to determine whether Larry Noble was your senator. I have met Jack Whitver and believe he is deserving of your support.
CULVER GIVES CONDITION OF THE STATE SPEECH
There was nothing remarkable about Culver’s speech. He said the things an outgoing, badly beaten candidate, whose administration failed miserably at connecting with the people of Iowa, is expected to say. What he said were the major accomplishments of his administration came straight out of the progressive (i.e., liberal) playbook. I’m sure you can find a copy of The Speech on the Des Moines Register’s Web site, but why bother? As I said, it was not a very noteworthy presentation.
First Week House Files
On January 11th, ten bills were submitted (HF 1 through HF 10) all by Republicans. Lobbyists can (and should) declare on behalf of their clients, whether they are FOR – AGAINST or UNDECIDED on every bill they will lobby. These declarations are available to legislators, other lobbyists and the general public on the Legislature’s Web site. These declarations are helpful to everyone interested in the legislative process. I registered FOR the first nine bills. They are:
HF 1 – Departmental Reviews – States the intent of the Legislature to create a review process for executive branch agencies and to implement a staggered sunset program for those agencies.
HF 2 – Health Care Purchase – States that Iowans have a right to choose a health care plan or to choose to pay for private medical services. Prohibits any penalty for the failure to participate in a particular health care system.
HF 3 – Right-to-Work Notices – Requires the DED (Dept. of Economic Development) to print “Iowa is a Right-to-Work State” on its business recruiting, tourism and promotional literature.
HF 4 – Income Tax Reductions – Reduces the income tax rates for all brackets by 20%, effective January, 2012.
HF 5 – Late Term Abortion Ban – Requires doctors to determine the age of an unborn child before performing an abortion, except for medical emergencies. Prohibits abortions after 20 weeks unless the doctor determines that the mother’s life is in danger and makes other provisions to protect the unborn child. It also requires the collection of data, its reporting and provides penalties for violations of the provisions of the act. (See my comments about HF 5 attached to this report.)
HF 6 – Budget Database – Requires the Dept. of Management to create a searchable budget database on the Internet which would include the names and addresses of recipients of State dollars, the amounts and sources of the funds, past and expected outcomes, and other information.
HF 7 – Justifiable Use of Force – Allows a person to use deadly force, and does not give the person a duty to retreat, if a person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent death, serious injury or to prevent a forcible felony. This is a self-protection without unjustified liability law.
HF 8 – Voter ID – Requires voters to show ID. Allows provisional ballots in some cases.
HF 9 – Property Tax Formula – State School Aid: Increases the state school foundation aid to 100% over 7 years. Spending: Requires local governments to reduce spending on non-essential services first if the property tax capacity of the government is reduced.
House Study Bill 1 – Taxpayer First Act – This is a 58 page act which is projected to save over one half billion dollars over a three-year period. Although I probably will register FOR this bill, I’m still working through it to see if there are any deal breakers in it. What I have read so far looks good. I have included a House Republican Staff Analysis of HSB 1 on our Web site with a copy of this report. If you are interested, go to www.ffciowa.com, click on Lobbyist Reports to see the Staff Analysis. Direct link: http://www.ffciowamedia.com/report/Iowa_House_Staff-Analysis.pdfYou can also follow the prompts to the Legislature’s Web site to access a copy of HSB 1. Direct link: http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-ICE/default.asp?Category=BillInfo&Service=Billbook&ga=84&menu=text&hbill=HSB1
As of January 13th, there have been 32 House Files submitted. We could probably support a few more of these House Files, but there is a limit as to how many we can follow at one time. HF 27 – Immigration Law Enforcement is probably another bill I will register FOR in the next few days. The bill deals with the responsibilities of the Attorney General and local law enforcement in regard to immigration law enforcement and agreements with federal government agencies.
Senate Files Introduced
I have not had time to look closely at the bills and study bills introduced in the Senate. I will look at them this week and see if there are any that require immediate attention. Right now, most of the action is in the House and that is where my focus is.
State of the Judiciary – Chief Justice Mark Cady
Just to make sure I could hear Supreme Court Justice Mark Cady’s address clearly, I watched it on Public Television. Therefore, I was not distracted by the pomp, the surroundings (the House Chambers are impressive) or the homosexual activists and their supports who packed the gallery. I would grade his speech a “D” for delivery and an “F” for content.
His delivery, for a supposedly learned scholar, was, to say the least, awful. He delivered the speech as if it was written for him and he was reading it for the first time. He did pretty well in the first third or so, in which he talked about what almost all previous Chief Justices did on this occasion, decried the lack of resources allocated to the judicial system. They tell the Legislature how overworked, underpaid and understaffed the court system is and why they need a bigger appropriation. That may be the case. I’m not in a position to judge. I hope the Legislature looks closely at the budget requests of the judiciary and gives the courts what they need so that the people can get the justice they need and deserve.
But when Cady got into the political aspects of his speech, his delivery began to slip. When he began to scold the people of Iowa and proceeded to give us, including the Legislature, a civics lesson, his arrogance and elitist attitude came through loud and clear. I, for one, was insulted. He portrayed the retention rejection of his colleagues as an act of petulance and punishment by a populace unhappy with one decision which they neither understood nor appreciated for its compassion and brilliance. Hogwash! What Cady did not understand was that the people, over five-hundred thousand strong, decided their vote in protest of the court’s arrogance and its activism on behalf of a well funded “special interest” group without any recognition of the people’s right to decide what constitutes a marriage in their state.
One line in his speech infuriated me the most. When he used the 1803 case of Marbury v Madison as the linchpin for the court’s decision, he probably assumed most people never heard of the case or if they did, did not understand its significance in creating the authority of “judicial review.” This decision, foisted on this nation by a very political and selfish master politician, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall, is quite literally the foundation for the unconstitutional power being exercised not only by the U.S. Supreme Court but state Supreme Courts as well.
I would like to say more about this but I’ll save it for a near future commentary about the whole issue of impeachment of the remaining justices and the future of our judge selection process.
I apologize for the length of this report. I hope to be more succinct in future reports.
January 7, 2011
THE GAMES BEGIN – JANUARY 10, 2011
I don’t mean to belittle the legislative session by referring to it as a game. It’s not a game meant for entertaining or amusing either the participants or spectators. But it is a contest of wills, world-views and ideologies. The last few years, the pro-life, pro-family, honor the constitutions (both state and federal) advocates have been playing a lot of defense at the Capitol. Fortunately, our losses were not as bad as they could have been. Some of what was done, especially in education, can be reversed or ameliorated. Some things will take more time than one two-year legislative session. Sen. Gronstal still has enough power to retard conservative progress in the Senate and keep corrective legislation away from Governor Branstad’s desk. But with a substantial majority in the House and a closer split in the Senate, we do stand a good chance of getting some of our priorities enacted into law.
One of our major pro-life initiatives will be to stop late term abortionist LeRoy Carhart from opening an abortuary in Council Bluffs. Meetings with like-minded organizations, legislators and others have been productive. We are all in agreement that abortions after 20 weeks will not be performed in Iowa. We will not become the third trimester, full-grown baby, murder capital of the Midwest. Not on our watch.
Another pro-life area of concern is the failure of the Iowa Board of Health, Iowa Board of Medicine, the Iowa Board of Pharmacy and other Iowa officials responsible for protecting the public health to enforce current law and allowing Planned Parenthood to sell so-called “Telemed Abortions.” Young women, many of them teens, are being put at great risk by Planned Parenthood’s do-it-yourself, in the privacy of your own bathroom, abortions. We will be presenting our case for declaring these abortions illegal to the new administration and, if needed, the Legislature.
We will keep you informed of other pro-life measures as they develop into legislation.
Returning the responsibility and power to educate their children to their parents is another area of interest. We will be working with organizations that favor parental authority over government control of the education of children. The last two governors favored more state government involvement in schools and pre-schools. We believe the new administration will swing the pendulum back toward parental and local control. We will assist them in any way we can.
The amendment to the Iowa Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman will be introduced this session. Although it will most likely pass the House, Senator Gronstal has pledged to keep it bottled up in the Senate. Only time will tell if we can thwart his efforts and get the amendment started through the three-year process.
There will be other attempts to get the Varnum decision nullified. I’m not at liberty to say what they are at this time. We will keep you informed about this issue as the session progresses.
There will be thirty new state representatives taking office next week. Twenty-two are Republicans and eight are Democrats. In the Senate, eight Republican Senators and one Democrat, for a total of nine, will be sworn in. As far as I know, none of the new Democrat legislators ran as conservatives, blue dog or otherwise. But I will talk to them anyway to determine if we can get their support on any of our priority issues. I will also be meeting with the new Republican legislators and reporting to you on whether or not their actions and votes comply with their campaign pledges. During the last election, Iowa Faith and Freedom was heavily invested in eight races; six of them won their seats. We will be especially interested in their voting records. We were also involved in a number of other races indirectly. We may not have had a lead role in their campaigns but we did assist them in various ways. Regardless of our involvement, we will communicate with most Republican and some Democrat legislators and report to you our impression of their world-view. So, look for my legislative reports; let me know what you need to know about what’s going on at the Capitol and stay involved with the process. November 2nd was the end of the campaign, not the battle to restore constitutional governance on behalf of the people of Iowa. As believers we have an obligation that goes beyond that of a non-believing citizen.
~~”First of all, then I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all men,
for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time.”~~ 1 Timothy 2:1-6