Iowa continues to ease business restrictions over the next few weeks. Starting May 28, bars, wineries, breweries, and distilleries will be able to reopen. On June 1, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skating rinks, outdoor performance venues, and outdoor playgrounds will also be able to reopen. Just like all previous reopenings, these entities must allow for the use of social distancing, they must follow public health guidelines to protect staff and patrons, and may only operate at 50 percent capacity.
As mentioned before, all these proclamations are a step in a plan to slowly and safely reopen our state and continue protecting both the health and livelihoods of Iowans. More and more Iowans are getting tested for the virus daily and providing the information needed to make these decisions. As the weather warms up and people are itching to get outside and enjoy the summer, it is important maintain a balance between moving forward and acting safely.
Easing public health restrictions is the next step in recovering from the economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus. The economic impact of this pandemic has been significant and the recovery will take time. Iowans want to work and they want to provide for their families. One goal of the upcoming legislative session will be to give Iowans confidence to return to work and pursue their career opportunities.
On June 3 the Iowa Senate will be back at the Capitol ready to finish the legislative session for this year. We have all been hard at work during this suspension, ready to hit the ground running when we start back up. During our time leading the Senate, our priorities have always been growing our state, providing sustainable and reliable funding in our budgets, and passing tax reform to enable Iowans to keep more of the money they worked hard to earn. After record unemployment in our state and many families struggling to make ends meet, these priorities are more important now than ever.
When the legislature had to suspend the session, there were still a number of bills to help support these goals and get to the governor’s office for her signature. Even with a shortened timeline, I’m hoping we can pass these important priorities for Iowans and start focusing on what else we can do in the coming months to provide Iowans the help they need.