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The Schultz Perspective (March 24, 2023)

The Schultz Perspective by Senator Jason Schultz

In 1987, state law was changed to require gender balance for state-level appointees to boards and commissions. In 2009, the Democrat-controlled House, Senate, and Governor required county and municipal level appointees to meet the same standard. The 2009 law delayed the balance standard in order to give counties and cities a chance to find women who would be willing to serve on these boards. This delay proved to be a recognition of the difficulties to come.It should go without saying that licensing and regulating boards should be comprised of the most qualified people in each field who are willing to serve. Almost all of us agree on that idea, but that would be the end of my newsletter, so let’s dive in.This requirement has been difficult for local officials who want to find the most qualified person for the available position. As women fill more and more professional positions, they are becoming the majority of professionals in some occupations. Imagine the irony of a law from 1987 preventing a woman from serving on an important board due to the fact that she is a woman – and the board already has the maximum allowable number of women!

That is the subject of a lawsuit involving a woman from western Iowa and the State of Iowa. To add to the story, the State of Iowa – governed by Kim Reynolds – will see the law keeping a woman off the Commission defended by Attorney General Brenna Bird. This is the insanity brought to us by militant activists who had no vision for the future. I filed this bill this year in my name alone so any politically correct outrage was aimed at only myself. I somewhat enjoy the moral outrage of short-sighted liberals who try to use the power of government to impose their failed worldview. But if the bill became a political landmine, I didn’t want to implicate my colleagues or the governor’s office. Immediately upon filing the bill and making it public, I have received a lot of positive feedback from those who must find the most qualified person for a board commission. The opposition to the bill has centered upon left-wing social engineering advocates who seek mandates to enforce their will and some who can’t seem to get on a board or commission without leveraging this law.Most importantly, I’ve enjoyed hearing from the governor’s office, who bears the brunt of this artificial mandate. They have trouble filling the hundreds of positions that rotate open each year with people who meet all the required mandates such as proper licenses, geography, political registration, experience, and gender. This bill is a welcome opportunity.I’ll continue working to move this bill in the future in order to add flexibility to appointments and to remove artificial restraints based on left-wing political agendas on our volunteer occupational boards.I do not believe it is ever a good idea to use government for social engineering purposes. It is always good to have the most qualified candidate be chosen to serve in any capacity that is open. And sometimes, the reason you are not asked to fill a public position has nothing to do with gender.

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