Iowa House: Thomas Gerhold, March 6, 2023

Hello District 84 from the State Capitol!

Week eight was funnel week to keep bills alive to be considered on the floor for either the House or the Senate. We passed several bills in my committees, such as House Study Bill 139 in Agriculture that updates the state Veterinary Practice Code for the first time in over 25 years. Among other things, it intends to grant a little more freedom for vet techs and vet students by expanding the scope of their duties with animals.

I was fortunate to present HF 586 (formerly called HF214) before the Transportation committee on March 1st and is now eligible for the House floor. This bill grants bicyclists in crosswalks the same protections as pedestrians.

Also in Transportation committee, we passed House Study Bill 212. Currently, seven axle trucks are restricted to a weight limit of 80,000 pounds on interstate highways. The bill increases this to 96,000 pounds, which I believe is the same as Nebraska for example.

I also filed HF 479 (now designated HF 574) which made it through funnel week and is still eligible for floor debate. The bill establishes a veterans recovery pilot program and fund to allow for the treatment of veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT). According to the Oct. 25, 2022 press release, 796,340 veterans have died from DFU and lower limb amputation (LLA) in the past 22 years. This is more than the 623,982 military deaths in all U.S. wars since the start of World War I! Using HBOT, the success rate of healing DFU is 74% when a person gets time critical HBOT treatments. This would save the U.S. over $2 BILLION ANNUALLY if taken full advantage of.

Also advancing out of the State Government committee is HF 265, which creates the licensure of midwifery as a licensed health-related profession. This bill intends to provide options for expecting women in rural areas, especially those living longer distances from health care.

A special thank you to the student council of Central Lutheran School in Newhall for meeting with Senator Charlie McClintock and me on March 1st. They were chaperoned by Principal Frank Parris and Larry Franck.

A big congratulations to both the Benton Community Lady Bobcats and Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes for their participation and wins in the Iowa Girls State Basketball Tournament. You make Benton County very proud!!

I hope this finds you healthy, safe, and please be careful! Have a great week and don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour this weekend!

Central Lutheran School (Newhall) Student Council visits the Iowa State Capitol on March 1st, 2023

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