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Cornfields, Common Sense and Community

February 5, 2020
By State Senator Jeff Edler - R-State Center , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

In The Legislature

The second week of the legislative session was a short one due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday. However, that day off did not mean the week was any less busy. Subcommittees have already started on a number of topics and we're starting to hear from groups and departments on proposed budgets for the next year.


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State Senator Jeff Edler
R-State Center

There are several bills moving through subcommittees as a result of issues raised by our constituents during the last several months.

This week I was able to chair the subcommittee for SSB 3020 requiring public schools with ID cards to print the Your Life Iowa Crisis Telephone and Text suicide prevention number on the ID. This bill passed unanimously out of the full committee and is another small step to help ensure our schools are doing what they can to provide resources for our students in Iowa.

Other bill topics included creating a special license for people ages 14-18, allowing minors who live or work on a farm in Iowa to operate a motor vehicle to help with farm work. Another bill would allow a permit to carry weapons for specially trained EMTs who may be working in a dangerous situation with an active threat.

Education Funding

Discussions continue on education funding and ensuring a bill is passed in a timely manner to give school boards and school administrators the time they need to plan their budgets for the next school year.

Each year when the legislature debates the education budget you may hear we are cutting funding. The reality is we are deciding how much to increase the budget each year, in addition to the increase from the previous year.

We are dedicated to passing reliable and sustainable school funding for schools and directing more of that funding for use in the classroom. Inequities in transportation costs and per-pupil funding continues to also be a priority for us, so we can ensure that the resources available to school districts are equitable across the state.

Working to Protect Life

A joint resolution that would make the subject of abortion neutral in the Iowa Constitution is one of the first bills moving through the legislative process.

This change to Iowa's Constitution does not prevent abortions.

And, the U.S. Supreme Court precedent still prohibits states from banning all abortions under the U.S. Constitution. What this amendment does do is give the people of Iowa and not the unelected judges of the State Supreme Court the decision-making power of how Iowa regulates abortion.

Governor Reynolds urged us to take action on this amendment during her Condition of the State address.

Senate Republicans have passed significant pro-life legislation in our three years in the majority. Since 2017, we have passed the 'Heartbeat Bill,' recognizing life at the sound of a heartbeat, and also bills on a 20-week abortion ban, a 72-hour waiting period, and removing state money from any clinic in Iowa that provides abortions. Protecting life will always be a priority for us in the Senate.

I am the chair of the Local Government Committee and the vice chair of the Health & Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. Additionally, I serve on the Agriculture, Education, Human Resources, International Relations, Veterans Affairs, and Ways & Means committees.

Please feel free to contact me at

Mailing Address:

Jeff Edler

1007 E Grand Ave

Des Moines, IA 50319-1001



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