The final Legislative Coffee of 2014 at Chariton Valley Planning and Development office in Centerville Saturday morning turned out to be the longest, lasting 76 minutes. The 16 in attendance, six of whom were Centerville High School students, listened to Rep. Larry Sheets and Sen. Ken Rozenboom talk about legislative activity taking place at the capitol in Des Moines.
Sheets (R-Moulton) talked about recent events in the House of Representatives.
Sheets said the House on a bipartisan vote outlawed so-called web cam abortions. The Iowa Board of Medicine ruled it was not a very safe practice but it was overturned by the court so the House passed a bill in support of the board’s position, Sheets said.
The bill now goes to the Senate, Sheets said, adding he didn’t think it would go very far.
The Iowa Board of Medicine last year decided to require a physician to be physically present when administering abortion-inducing medicine, essentially stopping the practice.
Sheets said legislation he wrote addressing automatic state prison sentence reductions for defendants would result in longer prison stays for those convicted of certain heinous crimes is now part of a judiciary bill. The legislation was written to prevent what happened to Kathlynn Shepard, who was murdered by a man released early from prison.
Rozenboom (R-Oskaloosa) talked about the web cam abortion bill passed by the House on a 55-42 vote now in the Senate. Rozenboom predicted the bill — also called telemedicine abortions — in the Senate will not go anywhere this year.
He said Senate Republicans plan to hold a press conference this week asking the controlling party to bring it forward for debate. Senate Democrats hold the majority and control the agenda and are stonewalling on the effort to bring the web cam issue up for debate on the floor, he said.