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Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter, April 16, 2023

After a four-hour debate on Thursday, Senate File 494 passed the House by a vote of 58-41. It goes to the governor for her signature. Five Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the bill.

SF 494 makes significant changes to income verification systems for Medicaid and food stamps (SNAP) in Iowa. It’s our concern that the new requirements create unnecessary hurdles and will lead to some eligible persons losing benefits. The bishops of Iowa signed an interfaith letter opposing the bill.

A subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee has passed Senate File 324, which contains an increased appropriation for the Iowa MOMS maternal support program and a fatherhood engagement initiative. The ICC supports the bill.

The Iowa Supreme Court listened to arguments on Tuesday on the “heartbeat” six-week abortion ban. An injunction in 2018 stopped enforcement of the law. Hopefully the Supreme Court will allow it to go into effect.

The House unanimously passed a bill the ICC supports to double the tax credit for adoptive parents to $10,000 over the next two years. House File 351 goes to the Senate for its consideration.

House File 654 passed the House and goes to the Senate for consideration. It relates to the carrying and possession of weapons by certain persons and in certain locations. The ICC opposes the bill.

One of the bill’s provisions would legalize Iowans having a gun locked away in their car while in school driveways or parking lots if they're dropping off or picking up a student or school staff member. Even though we are sure many people don’t take time to leave their gun at home now, technically this is a Class D felony under current state law.

Lawmakers removed provisions that required an employer to allow guns locked away in their parking lot after receiving objections from the business community.

Iowa legislators stop getting paid on April 28. That is usually a target date for the end of the legislative session. The biggest issues remaining are the resolution of the property tax cut discussions and the budget bills.

Iowa March for Life

The Iowa March for Life will be held on Saturday, June 24 at the state Capitol. We have a “save the date” card on our website.


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