Advancing E-Verify Bill

The subcommittee for my E-Verify bill is set for Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. I am pleased that 26 senators, a majority of the Senate, are co-sponsors. Several others say they will vote for the bill. I am chairing the subcommittee and will be the floor manager for the bill as it proceeds through the senate.

Education funding

State Senator Julian Garrett

State Senator Julian Garrett

The first bill that we passed this year was funding for our K-12 education system. Total new funding comes to $89.3 million. This includes $7.8 million for transportation equalization. Transportation costs vary from district to district. Rural schools, of course, have higher transportation costs because they have to transport students greater distances to get them to the schools.

Total taxpayer funding for K-12 education, including state, local and federal funding is $7.1 billion. This includes SAVE money funded by a 1-cent sales tax that goes for improved infrastructure. This total comes to $14,600 per student. By law we are supposed to pass this funding in the first 30 days of the session so schools will know how much money they will have in the coming fiscal year. That was rarely done a few years ago when Democrats controlled the Senate, but we are making it a point to pass the funding on time now.

Iowa’s “Second Amendment”

I, and many other legislators have been trying to enact an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to guarantee the rights of Iowans to keep and bear arms, as is guaranteed in the U. S. constitution, for a number of years.

In our current proposal, we are leaving off the language in the preamble of the U. S. Constitution’s second amendment, having to do with a militia. The reason is that opponents of a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms have used that preamble, so far unsuccessfully, to argue that the constitutional right only applies to the military and law enforcement, and not to the average citizen.

Democrats have used this wording as an excuse for opposing the proposed amendment in the Iowa legislature, but proposing to substitute the language in the U. S. Constitution so they can claim that they too support the right to keep and bear arms.

Some people oppose our amendment saying that we have the federal second amendment and therefore we do not need a state provision. A state amendment would be an insurance policy in case we lose our federal right. It was not long ago that the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 vote that the right to keep and bear arms was a right enjoyed by individual people. Four Supreme Court judges in a dissenting opinion said that right did not apply to individuals.

 As always please feel free to contact me with your ideas or concerns.

(1) comment

Michael R May

Senator Garrett's proposal of "Iowa's 'Second Amendment'" masks an attack on the Second Amendment because the proposal only quotes part of the one sentence Second Amendment. It is impossible for Senator Garrett to respect and defend the Second Amendment without giving effect to every word of the one sentence Second Amendments. Perhaps it is time -- as Iowans mourn the massacre of the Parkland Florida school children -- to take this this true/false quiz on the indisputable fundamentals of the Second Amendment:


1. TRUE OR FALSE: The exact wording of the Second Amendment is, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
False. The exact wording of the Second Amendment is, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
2. TRUE OR FALSE: The right secured by the Second Amendment is unlimited.
False. The controlling U. S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller states “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.”
3. TRUE OR FALSE: The Second Amendment gives the right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.
False. The controlling U. S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller states the Second Amendment right is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
4. TRUE OR FALSE: The controlling U. S. Supreme Court case of District of Columbia v. Heller abolished existing restrictions on all laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in such places as schools and government buildings.

False. The Court stated, “nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt” on “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.”


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