Iowa's legislative session is over, what you should know

Last updated: 05-28-2021

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Iowa's legislative session is over, what you should know

Gov. Reynolds signed a bill Thursday banning mask mandates in counties, cities and schools. She also signed a bill banning vaccine passports, or state documentation identifying those who have been vaccinated. 

Not all were in support of these bills, like House Minority Leader Todd Prichard (D - Charles City). 

"To me it just seems so unnecessary to take away that tool for local officials who maybe dealing with something that's specific to a certain part of the state or the community," Prichard said. 

Another bill passed this session would shorten early and election-day voting.

"This is a completely unnecessary piece of legislation that will make it harder for people to vote. And I just don't see how, if you believe in the power of the people and this country, you would want to do something to stifle that voice," Prichard said. 

But Stone argued that was not the goal. 

"It was request just to shorten it just by an hour so they would have time to shut everything down and tally everything up and process the information. This actually came from multiple county auditors from around the state," Stone said. 

Prichard said he feels the state didn't do enough when it comes to pandemic relief. 

"That's, to me, the biggest failure of this session. Rather than do things to address the issue of the day, the economy and Covid, we had really unnecessary and partisan legislation that really isn't going o do anything to help working people and families," Prichard said.  

Those on the right say they feel it was a successful session. 

"I'm really proud of what we did this year. We tackled a lot of tough issues. There was a lot of spirited debate within the chambers," Stone said.  

Other bills passed this year include a mandate that schools provide a 100 percent in person learning option. Another bill passed increases protection for police officers, and increases penalties for protesters. One bill allows Iowans to buy and carry a gun without a permit. 

Some legislation that failed this year would have capped insulin prices at $100, and another banned texting and driving.


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