Sheets Snapshot – March 8, 2018

by Larry Sheets

Dear friends in House District 80,

There were 192 Bills that got through the first funnel. Some recent ones are noteworthy:
• The Senate passed SF2281 (30-20). This bill bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected unless the mother’s life is in danger. It has been sent to the House and has yet to be assigned to a committee.
• The House passed HF2405 (59-40), prohibiting claims for wrongful birth and wrongful life.
• HF 2456, a Bill providing an extensive reform to the mental health care in Iowa passed the House. It strengthens Iowa’s regional mental health system, ensuring Iowans with mental illness can access services near their families and in their home communities. The bill:
• Creates new short-term access centers where Iowans suffering from a mental illness can be stabilized before reaching a crisis, and receive appropriate treatment
• Ensures long-term, sustainable resources for mental health and substance abuse services across the state of Iowa. These new services will be Medicaid-covered services.
• Returns mental health care determinations to medical professionals, instead of judges and law enforcement officers. Iowans don’t want jails and prisons to become the default location to treat mental health issues.
• The House also passed HF2305 to expand telehealth services in Iowa.
o Many rural parts of the state have limited access to psychiatrists and other mental health professionals, which often leads to long drive times or not getting the critical care that someone needs.
o This bill expands health care options for Iowans, allowing patients to see a mental health provider using modern technology.

A Sanctuary Cities Bill, SF481, passed out of the Public Safety committee. Much of what has been said about it is untrue. It basically says that if an undocumented alien is arrested and booked for a serious crime (e.g. not a traffic stop.), normal procedures of fingerprinting and transmittal of those prints to federal officials take place. If during the 48 hour holding period the federal officials respond with a “detainer request” properly documented in writing, the local police must detain the offender for no more than an additional 48 hours. If the federal officials don’t pick up the undocumented offender in that time, the locals must release the individual if the usual bail arrangements have been made.

If the local police intentionally refuse to cooperate with federal officials, the associated city, county or State bureaucracy will have state funds denied for a full year. However, if the responsible local authority is removed from office, the funds will be restored. That is the enforcement part of the Bill. Accidental noncompliance does not trigger this action, and neither does just talk. Hopefully, this clears up all the misconceptions about this Bill. We will continue working late to get these Bills out, so goodbye until next time.

Upcoming forums:
* March 17: Albia Forum @ 8:30 at the Heritage Hall at the First Iowa State Bank; 19 Benton Avenue East Albia, IA

* Mar 17: “Legislative Coffee” @ 10am in at the office of Chariton Planning and Development;
308 North 12th Street Centerville, IA
* April 7: League of Women Voters @9:30am at the Bridge View; 102 Church Street Ottumwa, IA

Please contact me with any questions or concerns at larry.sheets@legis.iowa.gov or 641-895-6153.

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Posted by on Mar 8 2018. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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