By Representative Dean Fisher
The ceremonies and speeches are done and the House has gotten down to business The emphasis now is on finishing up the research on bills, having them drafted and reviewed, filing them, assigning them to the pertinent committee and conducting sub-committee meetings. It’s a busy and hectic time because each of us is dealing with all of the bills we personally sponsor, dealing with bills assigned to us in our committees, and reviewing bills that we might want to sign on as co-sponsor.
One area I have been working on in past years has to do with requiring sex offenders that have timed out of their requirement to register as a sex offender to continue to register once with the county sheriff when they have moved to a new address. This would apply to sex offenders that have moved within Iowa, or moved into Iowa from another state. Past Iowa Supreme Court precedent has regarded this type of requirement to be applied retroactively as a regulation, not a punishment. It is imperative for the protection of our children and adults both that our law enforcement be aware of the presence of past sex offenders. I will be filing this bill again this year.
Last session the House and Senate passed resolutions for constitutional amendments to ensure our right to keep and bear arms in Iowa, and for clarification of succession of the governor and lt. governor. An amendment requires that it be passed in two consecutive General Assemblies, meaning it has to be passed twice, with an election in-between, and then be voted on by the people of Iowa at the next general election. There is also a requirement that the Commissioner of Elections, under the office of the Secretary of State, shall publish notices of the amendment in two newspapers in each of Iowa’s four congressional districts each month for three months prior to that intervening election. Sadly, that publishing requirement was not carried out for either amendment, causing both amendment processes to be thrown out. This is very frustrating to all involved. It sets these two amendments back two full years. We hope to pass both these amendments prior to the 2020 election, make the necessary publications, and pass them again before the 2022 election so that they can be voted on in that general election in November. The Secretary of State’s office is working to implement procedures to make sure this never happens again.
Senator Edler and I will be sponsoring a companion bill in each chamber that seeks to provide a homeownership development tax credit of seven million dollars for charitable contributions to non-profit low-income single family housing developers in the state such as Habitat for Humanity and others that qualify. The Iowa Economic Development Authority will administer this program. This tax credit is aims 20% minimum toward rural areas. The impetus for this bill comes from the need for housing after the tornado hit Marshalltown last fall, but could also help develop housing in Tama County as well, particularly for workers at the Iowa Premium beef packing plant.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com and at 641-750-3594.