Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Opinion

March 4, 2013

Heartsill Report: A tale of two budgets

(Continued)

Knoxville —

In other news, Friday, March 8 marks a very important date in both the House and Senate chambers as this is the first “funnel” deadline.  Essentially, what this means is that in order for legislation (outside of tax and spending bills) to be eligible for House Floor consideration, it must be voted out of the full committee it was assigned to by March 8.

There are a couple bills of personal interest that have passed this first legislative hurdle, as they are issues I care about deeply and campaigned on heavily.

The first one, House File 219, regards strengthening our Eminent Domain laws on behalf of Iowa property owners.  Should this bill become law, it would protect private property owners from the egregious precedent set by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo decision.  In other words, government would not be allowed to condemn private property for the purpose of recreation or increased tax revenue.  As a proud co-sponsor of this bill, I was elated to vote it out of the Judiciary Committee in bi-partisan fashion (19-2) and see it come one step closer to reality.

The other bill I was pleased to see move forward this past week was House Study Bill 23, a bill requiring photo identification when voting or registering to vote.  This bill comes from the Secretary of State’s office and has been revised to address concerns and objections raised with a previous voter ID bill brought forth in the last General Assembly.  I was more than happy to assist Secretary of State Matt Schultz in moving this bill along.  Despite what most opponents of this bill say, at its essence, this bill is designed to improve election integrity in our state.  If we are truly concerned about every vote counting in an election, then we must be vigilant in stamping out any potential of voter fraud.

Please feel free to contact me with your issues or concerns as they arise either by phone (515-281-3221), e-mail (greg.heartsill@legis.iowa.gov), or in person when visiting the Capitol.  I appreciate hearing from you and consider it an honor to be your representative in the Iowa Legislature.  Until next time, God bless!

Representative Greg Heartsill (R-Columbia)

Iowa House District 28
 

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