Letter to the Editor

Wrapping up the session

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

As I type today, we are quickly moving to adjournment for this legislative session. We have quickly moved budgets to the House Floor and the Senate has done the same. As I write, we are still working on the Appropriations Budget, medical cannabis, water quality, and a few other important bills.

Below are several significant bills the Governor has signed already in the last few weeks.

 

Senate File 444 – 24/7 Sobriety and Distracted Driving

A person who is using a hand-held electronic device and kills another while driving is guilty of a Class “C” felony. SF 444 also establishes a 24/7 sobriety program requiring certain offenders charged with alcohol or controlled substance violations to report twice a day for alcohol and drug testing. This bill is designed to reduce the number of repeat drunk drivers on the road.

HF 517 – Firearms

This bill makes changes to Iowa’s firearms laws including; permitting procedures, stand your ground, safety training requirements, confidential permit records, age to teach firearms safety and limits on government restrictions on firearms in a state of emergency.   

 

Senate File 332 – Drug Rescheduling

SF 332 classifies and reclassifies substances, including synthetic drugs, in accordance with actions taken by the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency.

 

Senate File 413 – Statute of Repose

The bill strikes 15 year statute of repose and replaces it with a statute of repose that is specific to certain structures:

• Nuclear power plants, or interstate pipelines - 15 years

• Residential construction - 10 years

• Actions related to, or improvement to other real property - 8 years 

If there is intentional misconduct or fraudulent concealment of unsafe or defective conditions the claim must be brought within 15 years. If the unsafe or defective condition is discovered within one year prior to the applicable statute of repose, the period or repose shall be extended for one year.

 

Senate File 446 – Civil Asset Forfeiture

SF 446 prohibits civil asset forfeiture for property valued less than $5,000, if there is no conviction. The standard of proof in cases of civil asset forfeiture is increased from preponderance of evidence, to clear and convincing evidence. SF 446 requires property to be reviewed proportionally to the crime. Requires law enforcement agencies to retain records related to asset forfeiture

Signed by the Governor

These bills and many more this year have kept the promise Republican legislators have made during campaigns and forums. I have, and will continue to represent House District 1 in the best way I can and ensure our northwest Iowa values are upheld on the concrete of Des Moines. I am honored to represent you and will work hard to ensure you feel represented by me.  Since this is the last week we will be in Des Moines, my newsletters will be less frequent over the summer.