New Iowa laws to take effect this weekend - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New Iowa laws to take effect this weekend

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(KWWL) -

State Representative Bob Kressig wants to remind Iowans about several new laws that will take effect on July 1, 2017, the start of the state's new fiscal year. 

"Iowans should be aware of several changes we made to Iowa law beginning on July 1 that could impact their lives," said Kressig. "This year, we worked together to protect victims of stalking and abuse, help Iowans purchase their first home, crack down on texting while driving, and kept repeat drunk drivers off the roads. We also approved several new laws designed to improve the health of Iowans." 

Jobs & Workforce 

  • Promoted and increased opportunities for local small businesses that make and sell Iowa beer, wine and distilled spirits (HF 607)
  • Streamlined process to expand 5G cell phone service to more Iowans (SF 431)
  • Directed $5 million of the states workforce housing tax credit to go to small communities (SF 488)
  • Expanded the ways Iowans can earn a high school equivalency diploma (HF 473)
  • Created a “Iowa First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Act” to help first time purchasers pay home costs of a qualified home purchase (SF 505)

Public Health 

  • Increased awareness and testing for cytomegalovirus, which can cause long-term health problems, including hearing or vision loss, lack of coordination and seizures (SF 51)
  • Allowed terminally ill patients to use experimental treatments at their own cost (SF 404)
  • Added four new products to the list of controlled substances to keep these dangerous drugs off the streets/protect our kids (HF 296)
  • Safeguarded appropriate treatment for sick and disabled Iowans by allowing a physician to override an insurance company’s step therapy protocol in certain cases (HF 233)

Supporting Iowa's Veterans 

  • Ensured that National Guard members from other states working in Iowa are given the same benefits as those who are citizens of Iowa (SF 373)

Protecting Iowans 

  • Strengthen enforcement of texting while driving that allows law enforcement to pull over a driver and ticket them if they see the driver texting (SF 234)
  • Expanded move over law to protect utility workers along the roadways (HF 314)
  • Broadened definition of child abuse to protect drug endangered children (HF 543)
  • Required background checks for temporary employees at health care facilities (HF 576)
  • Reduced harassment and invasion of privacy by making it illegal to share images of another person in the nude or engaged in a sex act without their consent (HF 526)
  • Expanding the criminal offense of “sexual exploitation by a school employee” to include full-time, part-time and employees, as well as others who have significant contact with students (SF 238)
  • Worked with local officials to assist them in improving 911 services (SF 500)
  • Expedited processing of untested rape kits statewide (SF 516) 
  • Formed new mandatory minimums for certain domestic abuse crimes and provides more protections for victims of stalking (HF 263)
  • Created a new civil sexual abuse protective order to allow victims of sexual abuse to be protected from their abusers (SF 401)
  • Stopped deceitful and damaging adoption practices that harm Iowa’s families by toughening penalties for scamming prospective adoptive parents (SF 433)
  • Reduced drunken driving fatalities and other drug and alcohol-related crimes by establishing 24/7 Sobriety program in counties that want to try this accountability-based program (SF 444)

Agriculture & Natural Resources 

  • Made it safer for Iowa’s hunters by extending the time allowed to tag a deer carcass if it is located in an unsafe area (HF 254)
  • Helped prevent the damaging of crops by putting the Palmer Amaranth on the list of noxious weeds (HF 410)
  • Allowed farmers to do their own electrical work on farm buildings (SF 357)

For a full list of bills that become law on July 1, log on to www.iowa-house.org

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