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The Jeneary Journal (March 2, 2023)


The Iowa Legislature has reached the first funnel deadline. This means that bills that have not been approved in a committee this week will no longer be able to be advanced this session. There were more than 120 subcommittees held this week.

Certain bills are not dead this session. Government oversight, Appropriations, and tax bills are not affected by the deadline. Legislative leadership may file bills and bills that did not pass this week can be added as amendments to bills that have survived the funnel.

HSB 206 – Teacher Empowerment

  • When talking with teachers in Iowa, it is shocking to hear the behavioral issues of students that they are asked to deal with on a daily basis.
  • Currently, teachers may be limited in their ability to discipline students that are disruptive and protect themselves against students that are violent. This bill will change that.
  • HSB 206 came about after receiving feedback from teachers about their experiences in the classroom. It has passed the Education committee. It is likely not in its final form and we are continuing to work with folks in education to make it the best bill possible.
  • In its current form, HSB 206:
    • Allows teachers to make a complaint directly to the ombudsman’s office regarding violence in the classroom and requires the ombudsman to investigate.
    • Requires the school district to ensure their teachers know their rights regarding teacher immunity when coming in physical contact with a violent student.
    • Requires teachers to notify the parent/guardian within 24 hours if they witness student injury.
    • Includes teacher whistleblower protections.
    • Lays out a 3-strike system for student discipline. First offense – meet with school counselor and one day of in-school suspension. Second offense – meet with school counselor and 5 days of in-school suspension. Third offense – student is removed from that class and if in high school, will not receive credit for that class.

HSB 214 – Prohibiting Transgender Procedures on Children

  • This week, the Judiciary Committee advanced a bill to ban transgender surgeries and harmful hormonal therapy from being used on Iowa children.
  • Earlier in the year, the House Government Oversight Committee reached out to the four major hospital systems in Iowa asking about their transgender surgeries, procedures and treatments.
  • Two hospitals responded that they do not do any surgery or hormone therapy for children. However, Unity Point provides hormone therapy and puberty blockers, and UIHC provides hormone therapy, puberty blockers as well as top surgery to children.
  • These gender transition services are permanent, life-altering decisions with serious risks and side effects including sterilization. Children are just too young to understand the full impact of these decisions.
  • In many ways, we limit children and their parents from making choices they are too young to make. A child can’t consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or gamble, even with parental consent.
  • These kids are struggling and they deserve support and care -not harmful, experimental treatments. This law will help give Iowa children the time to mature and grow into themselves before making such a life-altering decision.
Senator Alons and I met with members of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation this past Tuesday morning. This INHF is a statewide nonprofit conservation organization that works with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water, and wildlife.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at my email:

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