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Another election bill in Legislature

Agriculture bill begins to help livestock operations

The week after the first funnel is a very busy week. We are voting bills off the House floor and getting them over to the Senate so they can work through the process across the rotunda. I’m guessing we averaged around 30 bills a day passed out of the House this last week.

Agriculture

Most of you will remember I introduced a bill last year making it easer for livestock operations to build anaerobic digesters. The bill passed and was signed into law by the governor.

As of today, there have been several livestock operations that have used the new law to start building anaerobic digesters on their operations. I hope to go visit some of these sites sometime this spring.

In the Ag Committee we continue to follow the avian influenza outbreak.

State government

One of the things I truly believe in is that we must absolutely have a voting process that Iowans believe is fair and transparent. We have passed bills that have strengthened Iowa’s voting laws the past few years and we are continuing that this year with HF 2526/HSB 719 — Election Bill.

This bill:

• Bans the use of outside money to be used by the state or political subdivisions for conducting an election.

• Establishes conformity and minimum standards for recount processes across all 99 counties.

• Establishes set recount standards to ensure the equal review of election results by challenging parties.

• Requires absentee ballot envelopes to include the voter’s signature and ID, completing the circle of ID requirements for the voter.

• Requires the public notice of post-election audits to increase awareness and confidence in elections.

• All county canvasses take place on the following Tuesday, creating more conformity and clarity in the process.

Protecting girls sports

One of the concerns that I have heard in my district is a call to protect our girls and their sports. This call has been answered. Last week, the House Republicans passed a bill that would only allow athletes assigned as female at birth to be allowed to participate in school-sponsored girls athletics. The Iowa Girls Athletic Union has been asking for our legislature’s guidance on the participation of transgender athletes in Iowa, and we have done that with input from girls and parents across the state. I believe that every athlete should have an equal opportunity to play sports, and this protects that.

This bill does not restrict any member of a student body from participating in sports, but it does allow women the level playing field that they fought so hard to secure.

As this bill moves to the Senate, I will continue to support it and the girls that it protects.

State Rep. Mike Sexton, R-Rockwell City, represents Calhoun, Humboldt and Pocahontas counties, plus western Webster County.

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