"Truth is soul or spirit. It is, therefore, known as soul force. It excludes the use of violence because man is not capable of knowing the absolute truth and therefore not competent"
-M. K. Gandhi 'Satyagraha'
The 88th General Assembly for the State of Iowa has adjourned.
Reflecting on my first years in the Iowa House brings great joy and satisfaction.
Life feels magical when expressing your most authentic, truthful feelings.
Freedom is the secret for souls to soar.
That's the recipe for dreams come true.
Or at least my dreams coming true.
Less than two years ago, I set out to present a vision of genuine health and healing.
I asked myself, "how can I strive to be a source of healing in this broken world?"
What's the smallest change the Iowa Legislature could make that has the largest potential for revolutionary change?
I studied up and discovered our criminal code is drastically out of harmony with nature.
I offered an amendment to the budget bill to decriminalize naturally occurring healing tools.
Please take a few moments to watch the video and let me know your thoughts.
Happy to report that I've never felt more loved or supported by my colleagues... and they supported me quite a bit before.
I can now die a happy man, knowing that my voice (extremely satisfying to the ego) at least etched a positive vision of alignment with nature in the annals of the Iowa House journal.
And we took a vote, placing our names against the judgment of history.
It's been nothing short of exhilarating to be a world-leader on this topic. Now that Iowa is first in the nation on having this discussion, I can't wait to see what state next follows our lead.
In the coming days, I will be working to break down an analysis of my complete record as your State Representative.
Not only the incredible forward thinking legislation I've authored..
But also a thorough discussion of any and all controversial or provocative statements for those who are interested.
I can safely say I've p*ssed off every special interest group in the state (except the conservative Christians).
I don't wish to antagonize anyone on purpose or anyone more than I have to. But in the realm of politics, when corporations and activist groups are encroaching on our individual liberty, there are times when confrontation and firm action is appropriate.
Back before I was a self-actualized man, my dharma (duty) as a comedian was to get up in front of people and tell the truth.
The truth had a way of releasing tension and creating beautiful results. Like truth has a consciousness all its own, and it wanted to be told.
The truth is freedom is beauty.
For those that have less than truthful aspects within them, the truth can feel threatening, scary, and uncomfortable.
Let us all set our collective intentions and ask for God's help to untangle the knotted traumas, false truths, half truths, omissions and distortions of humanity.
It's really not so difficult once the light of awareness gets to work...
Much love and appreciation for each and everyone of you.
Dream's don't come true without the faith and support of many, many people, over many long years.
Peace be with you,
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Upsetting special interest groups comes at a price. My voice for genuine healing from the inside out will only be as strong as your support.
Your generosity will go a long way!
More Capitol News from Rep. Holt
House Judiciary Committee Chairman
Great Legislation Passed:
- Balanced Budgets – Thanks to sound budgeting principles and fiscally responsible budgets demanded by House Republicans for the last decade, Iowa stands strong in its ability to weather the economic storm ahead. We passed a status quo budget, with cuts in a few areas. Our reserve and emergency funds of almost $800 million remain full. This is in stark comparison to those states that do not spend wisely and are now crying out to the federal government for assistance.
- Occupational Licensing Reform (HF2470) – Iowa has an onerous licensing system that deters economic growth, particularly when it comes to reciprocity with other states. It also denies licenses for those with a criminal conviction in need of a second chance. This legislation mandates more reciprocity with other states and allows individuals to petition a licensing board to have a determination if their criminal conviction would disqualify them from receiving a license.
- School Telehealth (SF2261) – This bill allows Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to contract with a mental health professional to provide behavioral health screening to students, in person or through telehealth, in a school setting, but only with the parent’s permission.
- Empower Rural Iowa (SF2400 & HF2459) – This legislation improves upon what was passed last year to help bring high speed internet to all parts of Iowa.
- Justice Reform (HF2647) – This legislation gives law enforcement more tools to maintain high professional standards. It creates a process to ensure that those officers convicted of wrongdoing in other states cannot come to Iowa and be hired as a police officer; clarifies that the Iowa Attorney General can investigate cases involving law enforcement and the death of a citizen; mandates additional training related to recognition of bias; and prohibits the use of a chokehold except in life threatening situations, codifying in law what is already standard practice for most law enforcement agencies. I appreciate the conversations I had with law enforcement officials in my district regarding this legislation.
- Criminal Surcharge Reform (SF457) – Senator Dan Dawson and I have worked on this legislation for two years, and it will make Iowa’s criminal fees and fines structure far better than it currently is. These reforms are the largest overhaul of the fees and fines system in the history of Iowa. It lowers the Criminal Services Surcharge from 35% to 15% by moving these costs to the actual fines; creates an Agricultural Theft surcharge of $500 that is given to food banks in Iowa; provides an extra $2 million per year to the Court Technology Fund; eliminates the adoption filing fee; allows judges to establish a payment plan for fines over $100 as opposed to $300; streamlines filing fees for divorce cases; provides $1.1 million for Emergency Medical Services; gives an additional $2 million to the Crime Lab to help reduce the sexual assault kit backlog; eliminates the onerous $200 civil penalty for driver’s license reinstatements; and eliminates the need for over 1,600 Magistrate Court appearances a year. A collaborative effort between Republicans and Democrats, this legislation is a win for smaller, smarter government.
- Jail Medical Costs (HF2547) – This legislation was requested a year ago by Crawford County Sheriff James Steinkuehler to address the problem with county jails (taxpayers) being the first resort for payment of the medical costs of prisoners. This created a situation in which individuals were getting arrested on purpose so they could have a medical procedure at taxpayer expense. After working with hospitals and law enforcement, a solution was crafted that identifies a procedure for payment of medical costs that does not begin with county taxpayers.
- 2nd Amendment Protections (HF2502) – This legislation strengthens preemption, mandating that cities and counties cannot creates laws or ordinances stricter than state law. Without preemption, it would be impossible for law-abiding citizens to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. This legislation also establishes protections for gun ranges.
- Tracking Wounded Deer with a Dog (HF2455) – This legislation allows hunters to track wounded deer with a dog, a humane practice allowed in many states that reduces the suffering of the animal. Thanks Cody Friedrichsen, for years of hard work to get this done.
- Coronavirus Liability Protections (SF2338) – Our small businesses have been profoundly damaged by government mandates in reaction to the Coronavirus. One of the most consequential bills we did this session was in passing this legislation, which helps protect our small businesses acting in good faith from frivolous Coronavirus lawsuits that could put them out of business. Thanks to my dear friend Representative Gary Carlson for his hard work in getting this done.
- Alfie’s Law & 24-Hour Waiting Period (HF594) - This profoundly important legislation mandates that parents, not government or hospitals, must make the decision on the removal of a life sustaining procedure for a child. Additionally, Republicans amended this bill to also include a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed. We added this amendment because the data shows that a waiting period will save lives; that some women contemplating an abortion will reconsider during that 24 hours and choose to have their baby. We also took this action to provide an opportunity for the newly constituted Iowa Supreme Court to reconsider the egregious ruling of the Cady Court a few years ago, when they engaged in judicial activism and struck down our 72-hour waiting period, thus creating a fundamental right to abortion that simply did not exist in the Iowa Constitution. Thanks to Judicial Nomination Reform that I successfully floor-managed into law, Governor Reynolds has placed constructionist judges on the bench. This will have a positive impact on the judiciary for decades to come. Unborn lives matter, and we must continue to fight for our precious unborn children.
What we did not do:
- We did not vote to defund our heroic men and women in law enforcement, nor will we. We did not vote to “de-prioritize” law and order, nor will we. These demands were made by some of the protestors and rioters. There can be no justice and peace without law and order and there can be no law and order without the brave men and women in blue. Those of us who understand that this concept is fundamental to the survival of our Republic, must stand up and vocally support law enforcement. Our men and women in blue get up every day, regardless of the social and political climate, put on their uniform and head into harms way to protect and to serve. God bless them.