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On the last day of the 2021 Session, the Iowa General Assembly passed key TFL priorities, then adjourned just before midnight! After three weeks of legislative overtime, the Iowa House and Senate (and your TFL team) spent three long days and late nights working on budgets, tax cuts, and other bills.

Thank you for praying, contacting your legislators, and financially supporting The FAMiLY Leader! Many of you used our activation tools to contact your representatives, and your help was essential in passing important bills to protect unborn life and promote parental choice in education. You helped make this the best legislative session in TFL history!

Here is a quick look at what happened this year:

THE GOOD:

The Protect Life Amendment

On the last two days of session, the Iowa House and Senate came to agreement to pass our top priority this year! In 2018, activist judges on the Iowa Supreme Court effectively amended the Iowa Constitution by fabricating a right to abortion. Without the Protect Life Amendment, Iowa will be unable to protect unborn children from abortion.

Senate President Jake Chapman and Rep. Steve Holt were key in passing the Protect Life Amendment, along with many other legislators, including Majority Leaders Windschitl and Whitver and Speaker Grassley, who brought the amendment up for a vote.

PLEASE thank those who worked extremely long hours and stood firm for the sanctity of every human life, including voiceless unborn children! CLICK HERE to send one thank you message to each of those who voted for life!

As a constitutional amendment, the Protect Life Amendment will need to pass the 90th General Assembly either in 2023 or 2024. The amendment will then need to be passed on the ballot by a vote of the Iowa people.

Parental Choice in Education:

Expanding Public School Open Enrollment: Some of the largest and worst-performing school districts in Iowa have used policies to limit parents’ ability to open enroll their child into different school districts. Legislators found horror stories, including where the Des Moines school district denied an open enrollment application for a student who was sexually assaulted by another student and wished to go to a different district. The Iowa General Assembly acted this year to end those policies, ensuring that all public schools in Iowa have true open enrollment.

Expanded Tax Credits for Private Schooling and Home Schooling: The Iowa General Assembly passed a bill doubling the Textbook and Tuition Tax Credit to $2,000 per student and expanded the eligibility to include parents who choose to homeschool. In addition, the General Assembly greatly expanded the School Tuition Organization (STO) Tax Credit, where individuals receive a tax credit for donating to organizations that provide scholarships to poor students entering private school. Hundreds more students should receive help!

Donor Privacy:

In mid-April, the General Assembly passed a bill ensuring the privacy of donors to nonprofits like The FAMiLY Leader and The FAMiLY Leader Foundation. In 2010, Kamala Harris (then California attorney general) began demanding donor disclosures from nonprofits in her state; and other states have considered laws or policies that would do likewise. These disclosures threaten and have sometimes resulted in donor harassment. HF 309 ensures Iowa bureaucrats cannot require the disclosure of donor information without a court order. We were pleased to join a wide coalition of organizations in support of this bill, including conservative organizations like Iowans for Tax Relief and liberal ones like the ACLU!

Critical Race Theory Indoctrination:

TFL was excited to support a bill prohibiting government-paid teachers and trainers from teaching as a fact certain false and divisive doctrines grounded in racism and Critical Race Theory. They included: that one race is inherently superior to another; that an individual should be discriminated against because of their race; that Iowa or the United States are fundamentally racist; etc. This prohibition applies to Iowa public schools, government agencies, and public colleges.

Every bill The FAMiLY Leader opposed at the Iowa Capitol was defeated!

Bad bills introduced this session and defeated included re-funding abortion providers with state money, allowing abortifacients to be sold over-the-counter, legalizing euthanasia, and legalizing gambling on video games.

THE BAD:

Several Pro-Life Bills Failed:

Several pro-life bills were introduced (including Life at Conception) but failed to receive even a subcommittee this year. One pro-life bill that did pass a committee vote but failed to receive a full House vote was the Abortion Pill Reversal Bill, which requires women to be informed of a potentially life-saving treatment that can prevent a chemical abortion from killing her unborn child.

Save Women’s Sports Bill Failed:

A couple bills were introduced that would have banned men who identify as women from participating in women’s sports. Representatives also offered amendments to budget bills on the issue. We were disappointed these bills did not pass this year but are optimistic for the future.

Religious Freedom Restoration Act Failed:

A bill that would protect Iowans who follow their religious beliefs from being punished by an overreaching government passed a subcommittee in the Senate, but it failed to receive even a subcommittee meeting in the House.

Many other good bills failed to pass:

Bills failed that would have doubled the adoption tax credit, recognized the harms caused by pornography, required equal treatment for adoptive parents as far as employer parental leave, offered greater parental oversight of public school sex education and gender identity ideology indoctrination, and offered educational savings accounts to increase school choice.

The FAMiLY Leader team is already working on priorities and opportunities for next year. Further, we expect the General Assembly to reconvene for a special session this fall to re-draw legislative districts (redistricting) based on census data, and our team will be at the Capitol as that process unfolds.

Thank you for making a fantastic legislative session possible!

The Family Leader Team