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.
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.