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Senator Kevin Alons (March 3, 2023)

The Alons Archive by Senator Kevin Alons

As we finish week eight in the legislature, we have reached the halfway point (assuming we finish on schedule, which remains to be seen). This week was funnel week, which is definitely a busy and urgent process to advance many priorities towards becoming law this session. As a freshman senator there is certainly a steep learning curve and I have learned much about the process I will be able to use in the coming years to focus on those priorities I continue to hear from my constituents across Senate District 7.

One issue I been watching and have heard constituents express concern about is ESG, which stands for Environmental Social Governance. IPERS and other Iowa public entities invest their stakeholders’ dollars with the objective of increasing their fund balances for future obligations and benefits.

Unfortunately, several very large ESG-oriented investment funds invest with “non pecuniary social investment” objectives instead of profitability or financial success. Senate Study Bill 1094 was introduced to ensure IPERS and other public funds will be invested in investment vehicles that seek primarily to gain value and cannot specifically boycott fossil-fuel based energy, timber, mining, production agriculture, or anything relating to firearms.

The issue of obscene and age-inappropriate material, teaching and activism within Iowa schools has become a flashpoint in our state, and across the nation. Several bills advanced through funnel week to address these issues. While some argue other issues are more pressing and more deserving of attention, I strongly believe the family is the foundation of society and the primary responsibility for deciding when, where, and how these important topics are addressed should done by parents, with parental knowledge and consent. Senate Study Bill 1045, known as the Parental Rights and School Transparency bill advanced through the Education Committee, with a similar bill moving forward in the House.

A related bill that moved through Health and Human Services committee, is Senate File 1197, which would prohibit gender transition procedures on minors in the state of Iowa. These procedures are experimental in nature, cause permanent and irreversible changes to the bodies of children and will be limited to those very rare circumstances of imminent danger of death of major bodily impairment. Iowa has a duty to uphold the public health, safety and well-being of its citizens and must consider the long-term impacts on a minor’s development and behavior. This law is similar to prohibitions in other areas, such as use of tobacco and vaping products prior to 21, tattoos, the purchase or consumption of alcohol, gambling, etc.

Another bill I participated on was Senate Study File 1190. It will create an online portal, managed by the Secretary of State’s office, to modernize and streamline citizen notification. Currently, this notification is mandated to be in local printed publications that costs tax payers many millions of dollars each year. The reformation provided in this bill will improve accessibility, add search and notification subscription capabilities, and standardize how and where Iowans keep up with issues they care about.

Quimby & Washta forum
With Senator De Witt & Western Iowa Tech students
Visiting with Rande Giles
International Relations Committee greets a Ukranian delegation

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