The Iowa legislature adjourned for the 2017 legislative session on Saturday, after pulling an all-nighter on Friday. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters spoke with IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell.
Lawmakers worked through Friday night to pass an expansion on medical marijuana and failed to do anything about water quality. In a last-minute deal, lawmakers have made it so Iowans with family members who have children with epilepsy can buy medical marijuana in Iowa. It can also be grown and manufactured here. However, while working through the night, lawmakers were unable to pass anything to allocate money to clean up Iowa’s waterways.
The Republican trifecta passed a long list of conservative laws. A remarkable list of conservative initiatives got passed which stripped collective bargaining rights for public sector workers, limit lawsuits for injured workers and “nipping higher minimum wage in the bud,” says IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell. There are now more restrictions for abortions, more lax gun laws and voters will have to show an ID to vote in the state.
Republicans still have a lot left on that to-do list for 2018. From using public school funding for private schools and cutting income taxes, the GOP is already talking about next year’s legislative session. Many Republicans also want further restrictions on abortions.
Laws that ban texting while driving and buying fireworks will go into effect soon. A law that will make texting while driving a primary offense will give law enforcement the right to pull drivers over for using their cell phone while driving. Iowans should be able to buy fireworks in the state before the Fourth of July.