Klimesh’s Corner: Second funnel week

By Senator Mike Klimesh

This is the week of the second funnel, meaning that by the end of the day Friday, all bills eligible for debate on the House Floor must have been passed by either the House or the Senate. As such, things have been very busy amongst the legislators as we work together to decide which bills to advance. Speaking of bills, some of the bills that passed in the House this week involved the regulation of products containing THC and school safety. But while time has been scarce, it has not been scarce enough to the point where I could not find to meet with visitors to the Capitol. Some of these visitors included members of MiEnergy and Allamakee-Clayton Rural Electric Cooperative, and members of the Iowa State Association of Counties. 

Notable bills

HF 2605: This bill seeks to reduce the THC level in consumable hemp products sold here in Iowa alongside putting in an age requirement to purchase THC products. Legislation passed in previous years inadvertently opened a loophole where products, such as seltzer water, were being infused with unexpected levels of THC.  As such, this bill makes it so no one under the age of 21 is to have access to THC products and lowers the amount of THC in a product to 4 mg per serving and no more than 10 mg per container. 

HF 2652: School safety has been a top priority for the legislature this session. How this bill helps achieve that priority is by providing firearm detection software approved by the Department of Homeland Security. The bill also requires that schools conduct annual safety reviews, possess an emergency radio used to contact law enforcement, and upgrade their safety measures before any athletic upgrades. These new requirements ensure that our schools will place the safety of students and staff as a primary objective, as well as providing them with the means to see said objective carried out. 

HF 2401: This week we passed HF 2401 to protect our local pharmacies facing unfair practices from Pharmacy Benefit Managers, the middlemen known as PBMs. A few years ago, we passed a bill that allowed the Iowa Insurance Division to regulate PBMs. Since then, they have received over 70,000 complaints about PBMs from Iowa pharmacies. Now we are seeing rural pharmacies close down at an alarming rate. Without local pharmacies, Iowa families and older Iowans have a harder time accessing the care they deserve. HF 2401 will help Iowa pharmacies be reimbursed at a fair price for services they perform and drugs they administer.

Guests at the Capitol

I had a lot of fun visiting with the guests that came to the Capitol throughout the week. On Tuesday I met up with Becky Bissell, the County Auditor from Adams County, and members of her family to give them an extended tour of the Capitol Dome. Later that same day I spoke with Hollee McCormick, General Manager of the Allamakee-Clayton REC, and Mike Walton and Shelly Hove from MiEnergy. On Wednesday it was ISAC Day on the Hill, which saw many county officials make their way to the Capitol. There I met with representatives of Clayton County and spoke with them about how we can best support Iowans. 

Visiting the Capitol?

It is always an honor to meet with constituents. If you are visiting the Capitol, kindly notify me of your intent to visit at michael.bergan@legis.iowa.gov. This will greatly assist me in the scheduling process.

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