Last week was very interesting in the Iowa House. We addressed issues relating to abortion and education and less exciting issues like trailer parks. It is effectively emotional and intellectual whiplash.
The house voted by a solid majority (including a few conservative Democrats) to outlaw the so-called webcam abortions. These are the type of abortions that occur with a remote controlled release of two types of pills. This release is accomplished using skype and is initiated by a distant doctor. The first pill is taken in the office to kill the infant, while the second pill(s) are taken at home to cause a miscarriage. The mother may then experience complications with hemorrhaging, infection or incomplete abortion at home and therefore, will need immediate medical attention. This method, recognized as a safety hazard, was rejected by the Iowa Board of Medicine, but was overturned by the courts. We can only hope that conservative Senators who have the same concern win.
We passed a bill out of the house to synchronize the requirements on local school boards with the two year budgeting cycle the state uses. This was attempted years ago when the state went from a one year to a two year cycle, but the Senate would not pass it. They probably won’t again, because it makes good talking points for those who want to spend more than the state (that’s you) can afford. Education has the largest piece of the pie with 55 percent of the $7 billion Iowa budget.
Health and Human Services accounts for 24 percent, and the Judiciary with 10 percent. That leaves 11 percent for everything else. Liberals tried to attach an amendment to this bill to require an increase of 6 percent Allowable Growth (Supplemental State Aid). Allowable Growth has never been above 4 percent for the last 23 years – so, you do the math.