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School Safety, Gun Laws, Abortions Discussed at Final Legislative Briefing

Posted: Monday, March 19th, 2018 at 6:24 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

State Representatives Dave Heaton, Jarad Klein and State Senators Rich Taylor and Kevin Kinney attended the legislative briefing March 17. Photo by Sam McIntosh.

Gun laws, school safety, the state budget, drunk driving legislation, and abortions were a few of the topics discussed at the final legislative briefing of 2018 held in Washington.

Democratic State Senators Kevin Kinney and Rich Taylor and Republican State Representatives Dave Heaton and Jarad Klein were all in attendance. School shootings and mental health were frequently brought up by attendees. Taylor said he isn’t necessarily for arming teachers, but suggested the state pay for heightened school security, “The only thing that I think we should do in Iowa a little differently is we should make sure that there is armed security at every school.” Kinney said he thinks it is a mental health issue, and that the Department of Human Services needs to take some responsibility and not overlook cases of at-risk individuals.

The fetal tissue bill that includes an amendment to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy was discussed. Kinney said he voted for the 20-week abortion ban last year, but he’s afraid the six-week ban could prompt more women to have abortions in unsanitary situations. Klein said he supports the concept of the fetal heartbeat bill, “However, the bill was not very well written and the very end of that bill gets rid of the 20-week abortion ban, which I was a supporter of because I thought it was a step in the right direction of protecting life. So when they go and undo that knowing that the heartbeat bill will likely go straight to the courts. That will be tied up for a number of years it could be five years it could be more, that I don’t think it’s appropriate to get rid of good legislation.”

Taylor responded, “Why don’t we, you know, if we’re going to affect women’s health rights, why don’t we just pass a law that says 15% or 20% of all males that are born have to be neutered. Do you think we could ever pass that bill?”

Taylor said he thinks a bill to neuter men is as ridiculous as the fetal heartbeat legislation. This briefing was the last for Heaton, as he is not seeking reelection after serving 24 years as state representative.