Legislative Report, Week #6
Last week was the first “Funnel Week” of the 2014 Session. Regular bills that did not come out of committee by Friday are dead for the Session; tax and spending bills are still alive, and will become the main focus from now until the end of Session.
Not surprising to The FAMiLY LEADER team, but very disappointing, was the failure of several great bills dealing with stopping Common Core federal education takeovers, stopping payday loan abuses of the poor, defining life as beginning at conception, and allowing Iowans to vote on restoring the definition of marriage (the Iowa Marriage Amendment). Our team spent hundreds of hours working on these bills, and educated lots of legislators on them, which hopefully pays off in coming years as we continue to seek God-honoring laws.
These bill failures are largely (but not completely) a result of the Senate leaders’ un-godly worldview, and the House leaders and Governor concluding that they cannot convince, or force, the Senate leaders to capitulate. It’s obvious we need different Senate leadership, and some changes in the House also, through heart/mind change, or personnel change. We continue to disciple, share the gospel, and pray for conversions, as well as pray and work for good candidates to oust legislators who mock God’s Word.
Two highlights this past week: 1) our third biennial Campaign Academy, where numerous such good candidates learned the philosophy and tactics necessary to honor God in running for the legislature; and 2) the visit of 30 Baptist ministers and laypeople to the Capitol. They met with Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Gov. Branstad, encouraging them to give consideration to the Iowa Marriage Amendment, and emphasizing the need to protect religious liberty in Iowa.
Two bright spots regarding bills that passed the Funnel: 1) HF 2175, banning the use of telemedicine to provide for abortions did pass the House last week, and now awaits Senate action, where it is unlikely to be debated because of Democrat, pro-abortion control; and 2) one weak Common Core bill survived, which will allow debate to continue in the House.
It is obvious that both Democrats and Republicans want to adjourn early. They finished most of their work by Wednesday evening and went home. It appears that an early adjournment may be achieved.
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