Iowa House: Thomas Gerhold, March 20, 2023

Thomas Gerhold

Hello District 84 from the State Capitol!

We had a busy 10th week of this session, and hopefully we can finish by the end of April, just six weeks away! Thankfully we haven’t had many major snowstorms across Iowa this year, except for the northwest corner of Iowa.

The Iowa House passed a few important bills, with one being Senate File 514, the reorganization of state agencies which reduces the number from 37 down to 16. This bill will reduce waste by streamlining these agencies, and no state employee will lose their job. There was concern with the Dept. of the Blind’s Director, but the Governor’s office assured me the Director will remain in the position.

Currently, the Governor appoints the 3-person Commission of the Dept. of the Blind, who in turn selects the Director. The new law changes this to have the Governor also appoint the Director. One area where there will be savings is by reducing the redundancies of jobs. It’s been 40 years since Iowa reorganized its state government, so it’s needed.

The House also passed HF 507, which protects the investments of the people of Iowa from being invested in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policies. It requires public funds to act in the best interests of the fund and beneficiaries and not based on a political agenda. The bill also prohibits public entities from entering contracts with companies who participate in economic boycotts. Some companies that have been boycotted are producers of petroleum, gun manufacturers, and the agriculture industry – all three being important to Iowans.

The Iowa House passed SF 482, which protects the privacy of K-12 students in bathrooms. Bathrooms that can accommodate multiple occupants have been designated according to the sex on birth certificates for decades. This has worked well and must continue. This bill intends to protect the privacy of all children and direct schools to provide a separate space for those uncomfortable using a bathroom or locker room that corresponds to their biological sex.

It’s been pointed out in an email from a constituent about my previous column about subjects to be taught in K-12 schools. I neglected to list other subjects that are also very important to preparing students for their future, such as history, the fine arts, social studies, etc. There was no intent to intentionally disregard these subjects, or any other subjects not listed then or now.

I would like to include a few programs that might interest some of you and these have deadlines.  The first is for Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH). This is a program that helps educate and provides grants to youth groups for farm safety-related projects. The grant application deadline is April 15th, and you can get more info here: You can also get ideas from the wide variety of past awards in the “2005-2021 Grant Recipients” link in this website.

The second involves Secretary of State registrations with LLCs and nonprofits:
Every two years LLCs, limited partnerships and nonprofit organizations who are registered in Iowa need to file their biennial reports with the Secretary of State. Currently, there are still approximately 103,000 companies and non-profit organizations who need to file with the Secretary of State prior to the March 31 deadline.

Do you believe your company is one of those who still currently needs to file? Head over to and complete your biennial report today!

I hope this finds you healthy, and please be careful and have a great week! It’s great to have spring – a.k.a. Vernal Equinox arrive on Monday!


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