Iowa House: Thomas Gerhold, May 1, 2021

Thomas Gerhold

We got two very important pieces of legislation done this week.

House File 848<https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF848>: An act relating to broadband service, including matters under the purview of the Office of the Chief Information Officer, the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Fund, and including effective date and applicability provisions.

This is an excellent bill for Iowa. Since before the pandemic, expanding broadband has always been a priority for House Republicans. It essential for business, industry, and the growth of any community. However, it also goes beyond that, it also helps better outcomes of our agriculture industry, through precision agriculture, general crop production, and being up to date on market information. Along with the general need, growing broadband is vital to the health and growth of our rural communities. We will continue to work to make sure we continue to advance and expand broadband across the state.

This bill was signed by Governor Reynolds.

House File 889<https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=hf889>: An act prohibiting the mandatory disclosure of whether a person has received a vaccination for COVID19, disqualifying certain entities from receiving state grants or contracts, and including effective date provisions.

This was a really important bill for the State of Iowa. We are only in session for a few months a year, so it was important we acted fast to ensure both the freedom and privacy of receiving or not receiving the COVID19 vaccine. This bill accomplished the following issues:

– Outright ban of vaccine passports.

– Prohibited state and local government from issuing any sort of identification on a person’s vaccine status.

– Businesses that require proof of vaccination will be ineligible for state contracts or grants while allowing exceptions for health and long-term care facilities.

– Ensures privacy for health care information.

– Protects Iowans’ freedoms to make their own health care decisions.

This bill helps protect Iowans and their individual rights, and even in public health crises, that is still vitally important. We trust Iowans to make the right decisions, but we also want to ensure Iowans’ rights and freedoms are protected.

This bill now heads to the Senate.

April 30th, 2021 is technically the last day of the legislative session, but we will be coming back next week to wrap up budgets.

If you need anything or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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