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State Senate addresses variety of issues

By State Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink

We’ve finished week nine of this legislative session. It’s so nice to have the rotunda filled again with constituents and visitors. I appreciate the opportunity to stand face to face with passionate Iowans as they share their stories with me.

Nicknamed the “Beagle Freedom Bill,” this bill requires a qualified research facility to establish an adoption program for retired animals for placement in a permanent adoptive home, whether it be through an individual interested in adoption or through an animal shelter or rescue organization. This bill ensures dogs and cats used in research can have a chance to be adopted into families. It passed the Senate 47-1.

Senate File 2307 removes the requirement of primary source verification for certain licensing boards, meaning an applicant can upload a copy of their transcript or diploma rather than requesting an official transcript or diploma be mailed from an institution. By implementing this recommendation by the Iowa Department of Public Health, we can improve timely reviews and eliminate a barrier to licensure for some applicants.

Senate File 2357 requires a school board member to vote yay, nay, or abstain on all matters before their board. Iowans expect elected officials to be clear with their opinions on specific issues, even if they don’t agree. Transparency in government bodies, at any level, is expected by Iowans and they deserve to know where their elected officials stand on issues impacting them.

The Senate debated two bills related to the dairy production and marketing in Iowa. The first bill, SF 2309, legalized the sale of fresh milk for very small producers, 10 animals or less, to sell directly to the consumer. This bill ensures clear labeling so consumers know they are buying an unpasteurized product, and maintains strong consumer protections. These very small producers can now access a new business opportunity to sell a niche product directly to consumers.

The Senate also ran SF 2290 to foster and develop innovation in the traditional dairy industry. It creates a Dairy Processing and Milk Production Innovation and Revitalization program in the Iowa Economic Development Authority in coordination with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. An artisanal dairy study is also created to explore establishing an artisanal dairy processing program at a community college or university. The goal of this bill is to help create new career opportunities in the dairy industry and expand economic development in rural Iowa.

State Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, represents Calhoun, Humboldt, and Pocahontas counties, plus most of Webster County.

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