Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
By State Sen. Jeff Reichman
Mar. 7, 2023 9:59 am
Week eight of the legislative session marks our first major deadline of the year. Hundreds of bills are filed each year, and this deadline helps us narrow them down to the ones with the support to continue on to the Senate floor for debate.
Senate Study Bill 1094, prohibiting public entities and public funds from investing in companies that boycott fossil-fuel based energy, timber, mining, production agriculture, or anything relating to firearms. This bill is a result of concerns about ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment practices and the idea that investment firms are putting their own political agendas over client returns. When investment firms put political agendas first, they compromise their duty to investors to maximize financial returns.
On Tuesday, we were fortunate to host the Community College Day on the Hill. Community colleges from across the state were invited to the Capitol to put on displays of their workforce programs. We are proud of the work our community colleges do to help support Iowa’s workforce needs. It is always exciting to have visitors from back home and I was excited to see Dr. Ash, staff members and students from SCC. I am an alumni, and my father, brother, niece, and now my daughter all attended SCC. They are such an important part of workforce development and growth in our area.
Protecting Iowa Children
Since 2020 it has been more frequently necessary for the Iowa Senate to legislate common sense. In 2021 it was legislation to prevent defunding the police and to give Iowa students the option to be in school full-time where most of them learn best. This year two bills have garnered a lot of attention, which should also be common sense. The first bill, SSB 1197, prohibits gender transition, or sex change, procedures on children under the age of 18. The second bill, SF 335, simply requires boys to use the boys’ bathroom and girls to use the girls’ bathroom in Iowa schools.
SSB 1197 is a common-sense piece of legislation to make it illegal to perform irreversible operations to change children’s biological sex. It also stops the use of life-altering drugs to delay maturation or begin a transition to the opposite sex on Iowans under the age of 18.
Study after study demonstrate the profound risk and grave side-effects these drugs can have on children, including substantially higher risks of stroke, cancer, infertility, and more. Furthermore, state law prohibits minors from getting a tattoo, voting, buying cigarettes or alcohol, and other public health behaviors and activities. If they cannot get a tattoo, they should not be having life-altering surgeries or treatments.
During the subcommittee meeting on this bill. One of the doctors who testified at the subcommittee was asked if these procedures are FDA approved. She responded, “We generally don’t do FDA clinical trials on children.” Children should not be subjected to experiments.
SF 335 is another simple bill. It just provides clarity for Iowa schools by requiring their students to use bathrooms according to their biological sex. It is a reasonable policy and something most schools implemented for decades without a written policy until recently. The reality of boys entering a girls’ bathroom or locker room creates real risk for Iowa girls.
Girls in Iowa K-12 schools have enough to manage with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and navigating their growth and social interactions. They should not be intimidated or fearful of using their locker or bathroom facilities at school.
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