Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

May 6, 2014

Sheets Snapshot: House adjourned on May 1

The Daily Iowegian

---- — Dear friends,

The Iowa House officially adjourned on Thursday, May 1. We’ve been debating late into the night to finish the peoples’ business and prevent monkey business. I am against spending your money to subsidize ventures that can’t stand on their own. Solar panels and windmills can’t reduce peak electric demand on an overcast sultry summer day. They do not reduce energy costs for rate payers and provide poor return on investment for their owners. So I voted “no” on SF2340, but it still passed.

A bill to expand the criminal offense for sexual exploitation to include the coaching staff was passed by the house. While, there are good aspects of this law, I do have a major concern. It was brought to my attention that this can cause problems for recent high school graduates who may still have a sweetheart in school. He would have to break up his relationship or choose a different occupation.

The bill applies to all ages with a coaching certificate (even if he doesn’t coach) in all Iowa schools (even if the two parties are in different schools).

The Bully Bill was amended to make it less offensive to 1st Amendment rights and mandated parental notification of bullying situations. Such anti-harassment measures can be, and has already been done as, school policy.

Making a state law for something that is best handled locally is questionable. I think it would be more effective to post the Golden Rule in every classroom!

The house concurred with the Senate to exempt federal retirement pay received for military service from state income tax. House Resolution 127 passed honoring the service and sacrifice of Iowans who served or lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

The House and Senate refused to legalize marijuana like California and Colorado have done. However, we recognize the need that epileptic children have for a non-hallucinogenic derivative.

These children have a high death rate caused by seizures and/or the damaging drugs the FDA has approved. The bill has many restrictions: neurologist approval, patient registration, pill contains less than 3 percent THC and sunsets in three years. Patients and care givers are still at risk of federal prosecution, however the 20 states that have open marijuana have not suffered any federal prosecution.

After two years at this job, I have become more knowledgeable in the way things work here at the Capitol.

So, if you still have faith in me, I hope to serve you even better next year. I did fly a kite with my youngest son recently, and I look forward to being more available for my family this summer.

Rep. Larry Sheets