Medical Freedom Update
"What they [covid-19 vaccines] can't do anymore is prevent transmission..."
- CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Jan. 2022
I remain thankful for everything the State of Iowa has done to preserve mental health and protect freedom from the covid-19 pandemic response.
However, while everyone is desperate to move on, there are many discomforting questions which remain unanswered:
- the origins of SARS-CoV-2;
- the public funding of overseas ‘gain-of-function’ research;
- and the immense harm of pandemic policy on children;
...just to name a few.
There are also many Iowans who are still being subjected to unfair discrimination and ill-treatment as a result of honoring their conscientious beliefs and declining a covid-19 vaccination.
Worse still, last week House Republicans offered amendment H8187, meant to address covid-19 privacy, but allowed sufficient carveout to eviscerate the last vestiges of freedom that Americans may ever know.
The questions legislators were asked to ponder in amendment H8187 (page 5) are relatively straightforward:
1. Does the federal government need the explicit power in Iowa law to:
exclude, segregate, refuse to serve, require a mask, require testing, otherwise unfairly discriminate against a person based on the person’s covid-19 immunization status
2. Do ‘health carriers’ (meaning any entity which provides health insurance or healthcare services) need the explicit power in Iowa law to:
withhold from, or deny to a person any services, goods, facilities, advantages, privileges, access, transportation or freedom of movement, licensing, educational opportunities, or access to medical care, based on the person’s covid-19 immunization status?
I’ve posed those legislative questions to Iowans, and the answer has been a resounding “NO!”
Instead, I’ve heard from Iowans desperately begging for legal protection from future unlawful federal mandates.
I’ve heard from Iowans who are exceedingly suspicious of the giant insurance companies and the corporate healthcare establishment.
Iowans recognize and reject the woke propaganda of these special interest groups.
How can Iowans ever trust these healthcare groups after witnessing the urging for “pregnant people” to receive a covid-19 vaccine, absent any scientific evidence to support their recommendations?
The more I pray and reflect on the matter, the more concerned I become that this language was ever drafted to be considered.
Legislators must craft laws at the behest of Iowans. There’s never a reason to enact law to appease the federal government or insurance lobbyists.
Legislators must write laws that put the needs of Iowans first, and protect freedom.
While it was a difficult vote to take at the time, with each day that passes it becomes clear that amendment H8187 failed because it only provides the carefully crafted illusion of medical freedom, but reserves the right for that freedom to be erased at any moment.
To the people of Iowa who have endured so much over the course of this ghastly viral pandemic of unknown origin:
I commit to using the full constitutionally prescribed power of my duly elected office to advocate on behalf of your freedom, and the freedom of all Iowans, to live in peace absent undue threat of force or coercion from government or corporate interests.
Thank you to everyone who will hold the sacred line of medical freedom no matter what the future holds.
Sincerely Yours -- At Your Service
Peace & Prosperity Committee
The powerful corporate interests are lining up behind my primary opponent. To keep me fighting in the Iowa House, please urgently rush your most generous contribution of $125, $75, or $35.
Iowa's Peace & Prosperity Report
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."
-often attributed to Albert Einstein (disputed)
Iowa Leads the Nation!!
- emotional health crisis -- destiny, purpose, meaning
- 'Save Women's Sports' bill signed into law
- addressing gender dysphoria and mental illness
- upcoming events
- Governor Reynolds Appreciation
Fellow Iowans, neighbors, and friends:
Life always seems to come down to the same questions...
The most important issues are always those affecting our personal identity -- what does it mean to be human?
Every human being is entitled to live a fulfilling life of meaning, purpose, and destiny...
Mental and emotional health comes naturally when humans have a sense of meaning, and a sense of purpose and direction in their life.
Yet our local communities, and nation as a whole, continue to suffer under a debilitating plague of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
These issues are not new, and have existed for a long time, but it's become woefully apparent that the emotional and mental health challenges facing today's children are unlike anything ever seen before.
The federal government has recently come around to acknowledging the alarming epidemic in children's mental health, but the damage to a generation of a children has already been inflicted.
Ensuring access to mental health treatment is always a bipartisan priority, but in my four years as a legislator, there is rarely any serious effort to prevent the formation of mental illness to begin with.
Sadly, especially during the covid-era, governments have been the cause of deteriorating mental and emotional health.
Our society has gutted the institutions of church, family, and civic engagement. The demand for genuine human connection outpaces supply. Even the idea of friendship can't be taken for granted in today's hollow culture.
Communism and marxist ideology, (and lots of other ideology too) can often be accurately portrayed as mental illness.
It has been said that Native American cultures likely viewed European colonists as mentally ill, and vice versa.
I suspect most of us suffer from mental distress of emotional dis-ease in one dimension or another. Or at least it seems that way at the Iowa Capitol.
I share that assessment because when I use the phrase, "mental illness," I don't associate a stigma with the phrase.
There is nothing inherently wrong with being ill. But being dishonest about illness and rejecting or refusing to seek health becomes a big problem quickly. Mental illness can be absolutely debilitating, not only for the individual afflicted, but for loved ones and the larger community as well.
When you realize that a significant portion of our public institutions are governed by mental illness, then the political problems start to make more sense.
Now we move on to the issue of biological males competing with women... or as I like to call it: debating the difference between cows and bulls...
Save Women's Sports
(Rep. Shipley with national women's track 800m champion and Iowa record holder Ainsley Erzen and fellow Des Moines area student-athletes. photo taken 2/17/22)
After years of prayer and advocacy, Iowa is finally taking steps to address a serious and deeply-rooted problem.
"Truth always wins, God never fails (...) some times I doubted why God put this message on my heart" - Ainsley Erzen, (interview with Iowa Standard)
When 'Gender Identity' was added to the Iowa Civil Rights Act in 2007, it would have been difficult to foresee the extent and real-world impact of such 'progressive' legislation.
I don't think anyone besides the most discerning Christians could have predicted the extreme rapid rise in gender dysphoria diagnoses among children, and the associated demand for all-expenses-paid medical gender transition, accompanied with the evisceration of parental rights.
Interestingly enough, some lawmakers evidently exercised wisdom and saw potential problems in the legal framework, because Iowa Code 216.9a specifically excludes athletic programs.
Despite the letter of the law, transgender women, i.e. biological males are insisting on competing against women in athletic competitions, claiming their professed gender identity entitles them to do so.
Many people rightly observe that men and women enjoy vast biological distinctions, and question the fairness of such an arrangement.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan was among the first to explore this issue on the national stage way back in 2013, expressing concern that female fighters could face serious risk of injury and have a right to know the actual biological disposition of their opponent.
And now after nine long years of waiting, the State of Iowa is taking action to acknowledge and protect women's rights to athletic competition, essentially reaffirming Title IX of US Civil Rights Law.
Trans activists routinely fail to acknowledge that women are also entitled to legal protections on the basis of their biological sex.
However, this is becoming increasingly contentious and efforts to codify civil rights protections for gender identity threaten to erase women's rights completely.
Somehow radical trans activists blatantly dismiss physiology as irrelevant and besides the point of their inclusivity goals.
However, to all honest observers, the differentiation of men and women remains the foundation of this sound, science-based policy.
I'm encouraged to report that as of 12:15pm today, HF 2416, "An Act to Save Women's Sports" is now signed into law and effective upon enactment!
Gender Dysphoria: Mental Illness
and related policy questions
Rep. Jeff Shipley exposes failures of Republicans to more fully address the epidemic of identity orders.
Protecting the civil rights of women in the realm of scholastic athletics is an important achievement.
But just as Governor Reynolds mentioned today, the common consensus among Iowans is, "how on God's green Earth was this bill even necessary in the first place?"
I was deeply disturbed when the young women athletes expressed sadness at the "hate" they've been receiving for daring to express their point of view.
How did so many people get confused on this topic? Why are we debating the differences between cows and bulls?
Why are young women getting attacked for speaking truth when old men legislators sit around and get fat?
House File 2416 protects women's sports by removing liability protections afforded to public entities under Iowa code chapters 669 and 670.
I wrote amendment H8045 because school districts should similarly be denied liability protections if they are offering any instruction or influence which would reasonably lead a child to be confused on their sex or nature of biological sex.
School districts are:
The State of Iowa should not offer legal protections if it's ever found that these actions contribute to the formation of gender dysphoria, and the negative mental health consequences that so often come with it.
So I forced the debate on the Iowa House floor and we took a vote.
There is a lot to learn and explore about gender dysphoria, and it's vitally important we all have this conversation.
Democrats were most triggered by mentioning 'gender dysphoria' as a mental illness.
Of course that's completely ridiculous, because if there was no illness, there would be no need for therapy.
If there was no illness, there would be no professed negative consequence of a transgender child participating in athletics in alignment with their assigned sex.
We must not allow ourselves to be emotionally manipulated by the mentally ill -- thankful for Twitter to help summarize my thoughts.
School Choice -- Education Freedom
Saturday March 5th, 10:30 am
Phoenix Rising Hall + Facebook Live
207 W. Burlington Ave
Fairfield -- coffee & refreshments
followed by: meeting of Jeff Shipley's Committee for Peace and Prosperity, preparing for the June 7th Republican Primary nominating contest.
Governor Reynolds, beloved by Iowans and Americans everywhere, relieves a Troubled Nation
Peace be with you!
It’s an honor to be back in Des Moines working for the people of Iowa.
We have so much to be thankful for living in our great state.
Iowa continues to be a leader for the entire nation.
Respecting the rights and liberties of the people, maintaining sensible health policies. Refusing to comply with criminal medical mandates.
Protecting freedom has been a tremendous battle over this past year.
For the most part, Iowans have survived the battle and live to fight another day. Whereas in many other states, medical freedom has quickly become a politically-incorrect relic of a distant past.
The best way to express our gratitude for all of Iowa’s blessings, is a sober and honest reflection of the real and urgent challenges facing our community.
I urge my fellow Iowans: do not underestimate the chaos that is likely to result from the dreadful and illegitimate leadership of the Biden administration -- or more specifically, his multi-national corporate globalist handlers.
No longer are the big 'potential problems' of yesterday awaiting on the horizon...
After years of ignorance, apathy, and neglect, the atrophy and decay of our political systems, is coming into clear focus.
We must come together as a community and honestly address the issues at hand:
- Rampant inflation with no end in sight
- Parents concerned about their children’s education being slandered as terrorists by the Department of Justice
- Criminal bureaucrats cashing in on new technology to prevent a virus likely created at a lab they funded.
- Diminishing faith in our shared values, system of government, and national heritage -- bitter polarization among community and family.
If these last couple years have taught us anything...
We must be thankful for every day we are given, taking nothing for granted.
No matter what tomorrow brings, let us use this opportunity to grow closer to God and our fellow Iowans today.
I need your help!
Politics is a team sport, and everyone needs to do their part to contribute to effective and honest government.
Please fill out your 2022 Iowa Legislative Survey ASAP so I know where you stand on the urgent issues affecting Iowans.
Completing your survey shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but it will make my job a lot easier for the next few months.
The issues facing the Iowa Legislature are many, and while most problems can be addressed by a straight forward reading of the US and Iowa Constitution, some cannot.
So it is critically important you register opinion and help me guide our collaborative approach on these important topics, please don't delay in completing your 2022 Iowa Legislative Survey.
***trigger warning, the 2022 Iowa Legislative Survey contains questions of a controversial and politically sensitive nature. Please do not attempt to complete a survey unless you feel you have a reasonable proficiency in civics and government.
(Less then 25% of high school graduates are considered proficient in civics)
Thank you for partnering with me to do the very best we can for the State of Iowa.
Sincerely Yours -- At Your Service,
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Iowa House District 82
Fairfield Chamber of Commerce:
January 29th, 7:30am
Fairfield Arts and Convention Center
topics on the agenda:
· Employment/Labor Shortage
· Tax Reform Bill
· Removing Income Tax
· One-Time Funding Requests
· Questions in Regard to the Navigator Pipeline
Link to Live Stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVXXZIznJqs
Peace & Prosperity Anniversary Brunch
January 30th, 12:30pm
Phoenix Rising Hall
207 W. Burlington Ave
The bill passed the House Ways and Means Committee and will now move to the House Floor for further consideration.
Vaccine Passports and Constitutional Law
Iowa House Republicans betray sacred Constitutional freedoms, sell Iowa's privacy rights to Biden administration
I serve in the Iowa House of Representatives to protect and cherish your sacred freedoms.
It's pretty simple and self-evident, really:
I view Iowa as heaven, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.
I am a law maker. I make laws to preserve Liberty allowing heaven to flourish in our state.
Being entranced by the inherent beauty of our heavenly Iowa, I was utterly dumbfounded to see something so seriously ugly advancing in the statehouse.
House Republicans moved the state of Iowa in the complete opposite direction of heaven this past Wednesday with the passage of HF 889.
My heart is still in mourning from witnessing this process unfold...
HF 889 was unveiled to the public Friday April 23rd, and debated on the floor of the Iowa House Wednesday April 28th, suspending the rules to do so.
To perform legislative duties, one must be able to accurately conceptualize, understand, argue for/against, and explain in plain language to the people of Iowa, what and how this bill affects Iowa law and how it would apply to their life.
HF 889, the product of secretive closed door negotiations, is a bill offering minor privacy protections to Iowans who may be facing "vaccine passports" in private colleges or various other cultural institutions.
However, the bill specifically exempts "healthcare facilities" (broadly defined).
First, I connected with the Iowans who are most passionate, and have devoted YEARS AND DECADES of their life to understanding these issues, versus the '3 weeks' others proudly claimed to have committed to the bill.
After several hours of confusion, a dim light of clarity slowly grew --- this is a bad bill. NO VACCINE PASSPORTS, NO EXEMPTIONS!
Exempting healthcare facilities gives a legal justification and impetus to move forward deploying vaccine passport schemes in these broadly defined circumstances.
What does this exemption mean for our precious healthcare workers?
Would a healthcare facility be required to demonstrate a clear and compelling public interest on why they need to violate 4th Amendment rights?
No, the bill gives healthcare facilities these invasive powers, no strings or conditions attached.
The activists hate this bill, the language is scary and confusing. How could we ever pass a bill against the wishes of the Iowans most passionate and devoted to the subject?
What happened to legislation being plainly stated and easy for citizens to comprehend? Why is our judiciary chairman crafting a bill with enough loopholes for an activist judge to totally re-write the statute?
Why would House and Senate legislative leaders drop this end of session constitutional bombshell on an exhausted body of legislators with other major legislative priorities being left undone?
Prayers were answered when 125+ Iowans flooded the statehouse when the Judiciary committee convened at Monday 4/26 1:00pm
Every person testified against the bill as written. Democrats and lobbyists spoke in favor, as did some Republican members.
Rep. Jon Jacobsen's amendment, desperate to provide some meaningful and verifiable protection for the freedom of Iowans, was rejected.
The bill passed the judiciary committee in a bipartisan vote.
Rep. Steve Hansen (D-Sioux City), last seen baselessly comparing constitutional rights with super-spreading transmissible illness, spoke in favor of the bill and voted affirmative.
Again the bright, healthy, freedom loving eyes of Iowans were filled with tears. Hearts wept. The House Judiciary Committee led 125 Iowans into sadness and despair that Monday afternoon.
Tuesday before the vote, I pled with my colleagues. Struggling to find the right words, desperate to explain the jurisprudence to those whose minds were transfixed to their leaders -- I lost my cool.
Scared and confused, my temper raged at a room of conservative colleagues. I apologized within a moment but still my passion had consumed me.
Close legislative friends confided they support my efforts, but leadership had cracked the whip. Orders must be followed.
Like the Russian winter, it doesn't matter if the emperor marches forward against an unconquerable foe. How many soldiers have been sacrificed for the needs of the wealthy few?
How many freedoms have been sacrificed for the fearful demands of covid security theatre?
How many legislators have been misled by legislative leaders misunderstanding legal issues?
Quite a lot I reckon.
I tuned into Mary Holland and Wayne Rodhe's overview of vaccine passports and remembered I wasn't alone. My heart was restored with hope.
I quickly re-examined basic premises from Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the pinnacle case of state emergency powers erasing human liberty.
I refreshed my memory on the grounds for religious vaccine exemptions in Sherr v. Northport
I reviewed research like the Moderna FDA approval document.
Sharpen the sword... deep breaths. Don't cry.
Just show up and tell the truth as best you can. That's all one person can do.
Politics is the arrangement of an infinite set of complex relationships, power dynamics, value judgments, and individual and collective will power, in any particular moment in time.
Often when it comes to difficult problems, a legislator can't provide any meaningful guidance other than a listening ear and empathetic heart.
In very rare occasions, a legislator can use the full power afforded to them by their Constitutionally elected position to serve the people in a meaningful way.
I am still learning and studying the application of the law and relevant jurisprudence. Here is what I've gathered so far:
- HF 889 conforms Iowa code to the Biden administration's new proposed Medicaid Rules, gutting healthcare workers right to medical privacy
- Law must be clear unequivocal, and easily understood. There must not be confusing questions left unanswered.
- HF 889 bill answers some of the Constitutional questions raised by Governor Reynolds last month. Unfortunately, codifying violations of civil rights and medical privacy is not the answer I was hoping for from House Republicans.
The question legislators set forth to answer at the beginning of legislative session is:
What are the legal conditions and parameters in which government can erase the liberty of it's citizens in a health emergency?
Government emergency powers almost always result in tragic erasures of human dignity, such as FDR's Executive Order 9066 in 1942, resulting in the internment of Japanese Americans.
Where are our leaders leading us?
As mentioned in a previous report, Speaker Grassley unilaterally prevented all discussion of these topics this year.
Speaker Grassley also recently revealed he is anticipating the covid shot will become a requirement for travel.
Speaker Grassley's power and prestige is immense. Unfortunate the Speaker would neglect using his privileged position to protect the vulnerable Iowans who would be immensely harmed by such a dystopian nightmare.
The people must gently, yet firmly, demand from their elected leaders, equal and absolute legal protection of their God-given dignity, their rights and freedoms, as well as their sacred health.
We must not settle for any less. Human dignity is at stake. Life is precious, sacred and beautiful. It's worth fighting for.
No one can protect your human dignity but you, it's time for everyone to speak up and have a voice in this discussion. Everyone needs to use your voice when it's your personal health and liberty on the line, your bodily autonomy being violated.
Writing clear and unequivocal laws can be difficult, but not impossible if you give it an honest try.
What would you think of this language being in Iowa Code?
"An Act for the Prizing of Liberties and Maintenance of Rights"
"All Iowa Persons shall be safe and secure in their God-given sacred medical health, freedom, and liberty, at all times, in all places. Narrowly tailored exceptions may apply in times of declared health emergency when the state can clearly illustrate and demonstrate a specific compelling public interest, serious enough to justify on a strict scrutiny basis the override of enshrined Constitutional Protections, using the least restrictive means to achieve said illustrated and demonstrated interest , scientifically proven and verified beyond a shadow of a doubt, with overwhelmingly accurate data that is transparent to the general public."
I promise you, the people of Iowa, to use the full Constitutional Power of my elected office, and every breath in my body, to support and protect your sacred freedoms and cherished Constitutional Liberties.
HF 889 moves to the Senate. (contact your senator)
Freedom loving Iowans express an out-pouring of appreciation for Reps. Boden, Andrews, Cisneros, and Jacobsen for voting against final passage of this horrible legislation.
Additionally, immense gratitude also for Reps. "Freedom Rock" Sorenson, Cherielynn Westrich, and Sandy Salmon for their support on amendments to improve the bill.
Because our human dignity is at stake, we must always uphold ourselves to the highest dignified standards, so that dignity always remains self-evident and indisputable.
Please join me in a week of Prayer, Fasting and Alms-Giving
Excited to speak this coming Saturday at the Mothers for Freedom March!
May 8th, 2021 3:00pm
At Your Service,
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Iowa District 82
Everything I do is only made possible with your support! We are -- IN THE FIGHT -- Your generous donation can make all the difference. www.peaceloveiowa.com/donate
"Spring: A lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be"
The final weeks of the 2021 legislative session are here. Legislators are working to reach agreement on budgets and iron out policy.
As spring time begins to bloom, may we all plant seeds of righteousness in the fertile soil of our world.
"‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love." Hosea 10:12 NLT
Update on so-called "Vaccine-Passports"
Last week, Governor Reynolds indicated she will be consulting with legislative leaders to ensure a vaccine passport, "doesn't move forward in the State of Iowa."
I was pleased to hear our Governor echo the gigantic legal and ethical concerns raised by such a scheme:
- Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
- Americans with Disability Act
- 1st Amendment, 4th Amendment Constitutional Protections
- Caste system / tiered society of marginalized versus included
- Big data systems track and control
I've been working with legislators to analyze and examine various proposals on how to best address this massive corporate totalitarian overreach.
Suffice it to say, any legislative action we take this year will be a small first step, but hardly sufficient to preserve our medical freedom for the long-term.
It's critically important we specifically define the medical freedom and liberty of the people of Iowa. I believe these civil rights exist presently in US and Iowa law, but they're in dire need of clarification and fierce litigation.
The only answer to this increasing totalitarian control is human beings asserting themselves as free and sovereign -- created in the image and likeness of God, and endowed with inalienable rights -- with faith, preparing any sacrifice necessary in claiming this truth.
Together, we are crystalizing our opposition to this atrocious concept of vaccine passports, and any other ideas that denigrate the medical freedom of Iowans -- we will lead the people of Iowa to health and liberty!
Political Science 101
House Republicans have proposed a budget that would not provide any new funding for the state's regent institutions: University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
This budget maneuvering is a response to a widely shared perception that these institutions of higher learning ain't acting right.
Only have to look as far as Twitter to see plenty of examples of university faculty degrading the social fabric of our beautiful state.
Now more than ever we must be exploring our differences and coming to the table to find consensus... it's really not that hard if you make an effort.
All state of Iowa employees should be held to at least some sort of 'Iowa Nice' standard.
Apparently this microbiology and infectious disease professor feels like it's his duty to sit around and insult people on the internet, mostly Republican elected leaders but also parents of children in public schools, or really anyone who thinks differently than him.
This level of unsophistication is difficult to comprehend.
Analyzing his twitter comments, there doesn't seem to be any discernible intelligence or thoughtful contribution whatsoever.
You tax dollars are paying for his pithy insults and uncreative denigrations.
I have no idea how this level of blatant disrespect ever became tolerated in the public sphere.
As long as public universities retain faculty and staff delighting in derogatory comments, name-calling, and denigration of their fellow human beings; I will continue to advocate the necessary budget cuts to defund such appalling and uneducated behavior.
Having earned a bachelors degree in political science from the once prestigious University of Iowa, I have been particularly disheartened by the unraveling of higher learning.
Let us all remember the actual meaning of words.
n. the methodology for discerning truth, verification of truths or realities, systems of knowledge.
As our universities continue to reject the call of intellectual curiosity in favor of rigid indoctrinated conformity, citizens must step forward with ever probing questions and inquiry, so we can all better ascertain truth in our world.
Bubba "Freedom Rock" Sorenson delights Iowans with musings and memes
Rather than “check your privilege”, maybe it should be “check your outrage”.
(Freedom Rock -- Stockport, Iowa)
Rep. Michael Ray Sorenson II (R-Adair), known as Bubba and frequently spotted across Iowa celebrating veterans with beautiful works of art, recently provoked the scorn of the "woke police" for daring to have a sense of humor.
A week ago, Bubba shared the following memes, leading him to be targeted by the outrage mob:
(Rep. Sorenson did confirm to me he is aware these products will be completely immune from legal liability, which neither adds nor detracts from humor therein)
Bubba responded correctly to the ridiculous fake-outrage mob by ignoring them, which hilariously only leads them into further attention demanding convulsions.
Yesterday Rep. Sorenson responded with a rather epic legislative newsletter titled, "The Masked Humorless" you can read here.
"You see, to be a journalist now means you’re an activist for one party or the other, and any little thing they can grab onto for “news” to twist for their loyal echo-chambers to inspire them to send in money, fueled by their “righteous outrage”, deserves ample screen time. For the record, I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but also to be clear, my vaccination record is none of your business.. your vaccination is none of my business. Also, let’s be honest, the vaccination-selfies are cringe worthy at best…stop…just stop.
I believe in science and am grateful for vaccines, but why does the Federal Government continue pressing for restrictions that the vaccines are suppose to eliminate? Here’s my biggest question, if the vaccine prevents you from catching COVID, then why are you wearing a mask, and if it doesn’t prevent you from catching the COVID, why are we taking it in the first place?
Also, enough with the mask/vaccination shaming. I know it makes people feel vindicated and righteous to shame your fellow citizens, but enough. This forced compliance or else, and this idea that “mitigate risk at the expense of literally everything else”, and “no cost is too high” garbage thinking is poisonous to liberty. I got the whole, flattening the curve until we could get this figured out, but to quote Joe Biden; “C’mon man!”
"I’m concerned the modern left want to bring us back to this sort of, subjugating people into different identities and hierarchies, which is a really bad place to be. Maybe we should say, look you can keep dividing people up all day long, eventually you end up at the individual, so maybe we should look at how individuals act, and then have a have a really rational structured conversation about how we define incentives, and does this infringe on rights, life, liberty and property.
Rather than “check your privilege”, maybe it should be “check your outrage”. Be an individual, be a neighbor and friend. Think for yourself, for the love of God, stop relying on headlines and poorly researched news clips and stories to steer your political views, I guarantee there’s a spectrum of ideas you’re blind to because of our “click, like, comment” culture. We should be able to disagree politically, have a discussion, maybe sway each other, and if not, part as friends, agreeing to disagree but work toward a viable compromise.
Sorry, not sorry, you cant take joke or meme… and for all those “tough” keyboard warriors, I’ve seen your pages, you couldn’t fight your way out of a wet paper sack, so chill outRead more
"Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Luke 23:34
The free world is quickly becoming a faded memory.
Once civilized liberal values of free and open discourse have been replaced with censorship and totalitarian conformity.
Scientist after scientist, doctor after doctor, anyone brave enough to voice their own opinion, has been slandered and silenced.
One Of The Lockdowns’ Greatest Casualties Could Be Science
"Politicians, journalists, and scientists have transferred the disease burden onto the working class. They’ve also dangerously undermined scientific inquiry.
"The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns have not only been devastating for society, they have had a chilling effect on the scientific community. For science to thrive, opposing ideas must be openly and vigorously discussed, supported, or countered based on scientific merit.
"Instead, some politicians, journalists, and (alas) scientists have engaged in vicious slander of dissident scientists, spreading damaging conspiracy theories, even with open calls for censorship in place of debate. In many cases, eminent scientific voices have been effectively silenced, often with gutter tactics. People who oppose lockdowns have been accused of having blood on their hands, their university positions threatened, with many of our colleagues choosing to stay quiet rather than face the mob."
Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School, went a step further, and asked the social media censors on Twitter to provide the scientific rationale for labeling his speech as 'misleading'
Of course no one took the offer to discuss the relevant science with Dr. Kulldorff.
Simply put, because there isn't any science.
Let's be perfectly honest...
Our so-called health experts are making things up. Fueled only by the unfounded hysteria and fear they feed the public.... they may as well be called modern day Pharisees.
Every policy is controversial because of either too little supporting data, or the existing data contradicts.
The potential long-term effects of COVID vaccination, the largest mass vaccination deployment in human history, and a totally brand new technological platform of hacking the human physiology, is "virtually unknown."
But that doesn't stop the modern day Pharisees from declaring everyone must receive the experimental jab.
It's with a heavy heart I've been hearing the cries from Israel, which is leading the world in enforcing mandatory vaccination in order to participate in society.
I'm thankful to all the brave voices who are speaking up for their bodily autonomy and human sovereignty.
Especially thankful for the voices still alive today, who lived through the lessons of history and provide a clear warning:
Holocaust survivor Vera Sharav is unequivocal:
"debate is forbidden (...) the virus is being exploited to maintain a state of fear (...) people are being conditioned to passively submit to government dictates."
You can watch her recent testimony to the German Coronavirus Inquiry Committee here:
The holocaust references, while very grim and undeniably dark, are sadly appropriate.
The first tenet of the Nuremberg Code explicitly states a human being's voluntary consent to a medical procedure is "absolutely essential".
We've already seen Joe Biden resort to dehumanizing rhetoric, accusing anyone who steps out of line of "neanderthal (less than human) thinking."
In the coming months, we will see society divided into the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, with privileges and rights being denied to the latter.
Never in history have the censors been the 'good guys'
The fanaticism that's gripped so many, resembles a religious cult more than anything related to science.
Blind faith in health measures is essentially dogma, while any data set demonstrating the ineffectiveness of mandatory masks, lockdowns, or the new gene therapy "vaccines" is viciously attacked as heresy.
Anyone who dares question the self-appointed priest class [Pharisees] of corporate pharmaceuticals or their health bureaucrat lackeys, is immediately subject to inquisition.
Debate and discussion is strictly forbidden. Entertaining a discussion would imply there is another view that is worthy of consideration.
The existence of alternative views is a threat to the cult, so they must be proactively erased.
That's what happened last week in Fairfield when a video of the Fairfield city council was erased from YouTube.
Apparently YouTube, which has not publicly posted any their censorship guidelines, determined the discussion was a threat to the public health.
Didn't matter that health agencies themselves offer conflicting guidance, or even that those voicing the concern were largely over 65 years of age, the same demographic these draconian censorship tactics are meant to protect.
Take notice: your right to express your opinion is dangerous to your health.
Thankfully, censorship is a tool of the weak, and reveals how powerful our voices truly are.
Because if our voices weren't powerful, if our voices weren't a threat to the cult, there would be no need to censor.
Never in history have the censors been the 'good guys'
Part of me wants to apologize for writing this newsletter. I admit it is very difficult to articulate these thoughts, and the last thing I want to do is contribute to fear.
But these are important perspectives and voices that must be heard.
Freedom won is a treasure to forever cherish.
Freedom lost is rarely returned.
There will be no easy solutions or answers to these challenges.
Spiritual battles require spiritual solutions.
Have faith and cultivate joy. If you want to save the world, start by loving your family.
Let us allow the cause of human freedom to unite us.
May we place our faith in the promise of the Resurrection.
At Your Service & Easter Blessings,
Presenting HF 799 / SF 541, a bill for 'smart contracts' and defining 'distributed ledger technology', March 28th, 2021
Phoenix Rising Hall - 207 W. Burlington Ave
Sunday, April 4th
12:00 - 2:00pm
Your support is crucial to voicing freedom -- please consider your most generous donation to ensure we are heard all across Iowa. www.peaceloveiowa.com/donate
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
-Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities (1859)
Our world is quickly changing, often it can feel disorienting.
We're approaching the one year anniversary of the COVID lockdown...
I admit I was among the naive on just how drastically our society can change in one short year.
I was also naive how easily basic freedom can be stripped, and ignorant on how much I had taken for granted.
Who would have guessed that seeing children attend school, play sports, or participate in a graduation ceremony were a luxuries that could be taken away?
Showing your face, sharing a smile with a stranger or offering a hug will likely remain "politically incorrect" for the foreseeable future.
However, I was naive to the volume of friends and neighbors eager to trust government authority, while abdicating any personal responsibility of their own.
It's especially surprising the number of self-professed conservatives and libertarians echoing thoughtless slogans, kneeling before the newly minted woke public health gestapo, demanding your basic freedoms for vague promises of their security.
Our world is changing. The pace of change is accelerating... it will require every ounce of energy to keep up.
The only constant in our universe is change. A new generation of challenges requires a new generation of ideas and leaders.
The process of evolution is always unfolding, in every cell of every organism in every moment.
Our Evolution is merely a function of letting go of what is no longer working, and adapting to new circumstances.
Addressing the challenges of 2021 with a 2020 mindset will not be effective.
I hope Iowans can grasp this concept -- thankfully the new generation of leaders is beginning to emerge.
Honored to work with so many leaders devoted to Iowa and the Land of the Free!
Left to Right: Rep. Cisneros (Muscatine), Speaker Pro Tem. Wills (Dickinson) Rep. Shipley (Van Buren) Rep. Westrich (Wapello) Rep. Boden (Warren) Rep. Osmundson (Clayton) Rep. Andrews (Polk)
Autoimmune illness and long-haul COVID
March is Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month.
The rise of autoimmune illness in the United States is another example of a lurking public health disaster
Common autoimmune conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Multiple sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
One of the medical mysteries surrounding COVID-19 is the manifestation of "long-COVID," where a person survives a moderate case of acute COVID, but never makes a full recovery.
Symptoms of long-haul covid would include never regaining sense of smell, fatigue, aches, reduced lung capacity.
Medical observers have begun comparing the onset of long-COVID to an autoimmune illness.
There are many instances in our community of people experiencing this pathology.
Health is extremely complex and uniquely individualized.
The maintenance of health is equivalent to keeping the various aspects of your physiology in balance.
Testing positive for a virus, is not the same as expressing symptoms of a disease. One theory to explain, is the balancing mechanisms of the body keep the virus in check, preventing the manifestation of illness.
This delicate balance of biological mechanisms in the body, including all helpful and potentially harmful viruses, is called homeostasis.
Think of your body as one gigantic, hyper-complex see-saw with infinite fulcrums and levers... health prevails when all the interlocking pieces balance evenly back and forth.
I think it's vitally important we apply the philosophy of evolution to our own health, ensuring our innate immune system can keep up on the cutting edge and respond to whatever biological, virological contagions are present in our environment.
Our public health is deteriorating for our very eyes.
The foundation of our health has been completely eroded, leaving our entire population vulnerable in our new era of unrestricted biological warfare.
We must get back to mastering the basics.
Rep. Jeff Shipley's Basic Checklist for Abundant Health:
- fresh air
- pure water
- quality nutrition
- deep rest
- laughter and joy
- conscious, living, faithful connection to God, the source of all life
A lot of people have none of these health items. Public health agencies omitting crucial and simple strategies to improve health are demonstrating why they are not to be trusted.
We have our work cut out for us. For more awareness on autoimmune disease, check out Dr. Terry Wahls
Ames Community School District -- House Government Oversight Committee
House Government Oversight Committee, Tuesday March 9th 8:45am
"Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."
-Matthew 10:16 KJV
This week, officials from the Ames Community School District met with Government Oversight after parents had expressed concerns with the controversial curriculum used in their Black Lives Matter at School Week in early February.
The materials uploaded to their website and distributed in their schools contained divisive language, one-sided political arguments and topics that were simply not age appropriate.
Ames School District used public resources for political purposes and may have even violated the civil rights laws.
During the meeting, it became increasingly clear that the officials were careless in their approach to this curriculum. They had not properly vetted the material they uploaded to their website for biased information, and even were unaware of some of the most concerning documents that were distributed in their schools.
The role of our public schools is not to indoctrinate, it's to educate.
The most alarming aspect of the hearing was how oblivious the superintendent claimed to be at the controversy she was causing.
Many educators expressed discomfort with the materials, but a culture of fear, bullying, and intimidation prevent them from speaking up.
Leftists respond to anyone who dares question the wisdom of teaching grade schoolers radical race and gender theories with accusations of racism and transphobia. It's an entirely toxic environment that stifles any potential for civil discourse... demanding conformity and obedience without question.
From my observation, the members of Ames CSD were smug and arrogant precisely because they realize the strength of their position, and the cowardice and incompetence of those who oppose them.
Again, we have our work cut out for us. I admit I often question the capability of my colleagues to confront these extremely difficult and pressing issues, however I'm thankful for Rep. Holly Brink for her steady leadership through the proceedings.
"Our Liberties We Prize and our Rights We Will Maintain"
- Iowa motto
Given everything we've experienced the last year, the most important issue I wish to address as your State Representative is preserving and protecting individual liberty at all times, but especially during a declared emergency like the one we still presently find ourselves.
Iowans and lawmakers alike found out the hard way last year there are few parameters or checks against the governor's office during a declared emergency as outlined in Iowa Code 29C
Exactly what is the boundary between security and freedom, government and personal health decisions?
Right now there appear to be no boundaries. Government retains the right to dominate you completely.
This is best illustrated in Iowa Code 135.144 and 139A.8 4(b) which gives the department of public health complete authority over someone's life during a health emergency, whether they're infected or not.
Under this code section, the State of Iowa can legally require a person to submit to a vaccination during a declared health emergency.
Immediately this legislative session I began collaboration with colleagues on how to best improve the existing laws
Through many rigorous meetings and in-depth conversations, my colleagues and I arrived at a bill draft outlining specific protections for the rights and liberties of Iowans, as well as legislative checks and balances during times of emergencies.
We wanted to improve the laws relating to health emergencies... or at the very least, offer a starting point for this very important conversation.
The second week of February I submitted the bill drafts to the House clerk's office. Normally within 24 hours of submitting a bill draft to the clerk, it's officially 'read in' and introduced to the House.
Sadly, and quite unfortunate in my estimation, the Speaker of the House elected not to introduce these bills.
Some conversations are incredibly difficult, and it's simply more politically convenient not to have them.
I admit I was a bit frustrated, even angry, being stymied from introducing legislation on the topics most essential to human liberty.
But I also do my best to understand and comprehend complex political calculations and a long-term strategy.
As long as Iowans focus their hearts and minds on liberty, then our ultimate success is assured
As the setting-sun world begins to extinguish human freedom, advancing quickly towards mandatory vaccination, totalitarian censorship, and institutionalized sickness and suffering...
A rising-sun world emerges with millions around the world stepping forward into truth, freedom, and genuine health...
...Acknowledging their true power as sovereign human beings, honoring the dignity of humanity and divinity of God... the miraculous splendor of glorious creation.
Thank you for being with me on this journey of human evolution through these most interesting times on planet Earth.
We are beyond blessed to live in Iowa.
Sincerely -- With Gratitude,
Magnificent Seven-Week Anniversary Sunday Brunch, feat. Smoked Salmon!
March 14th 12:00 - 2:00pm
Phoenix Rising Hall - 207 W. Burlington Ave, Fairfield
Legislative Roundtable: Agriculture and International Relations
March 20th 10:30am -12:00pm, followed by Lunch
HyVee Club Room - 1300 W. Burlington on the west side of the store
This week, Iowa House Republicans took additional action on child care by passing our 7th and 8th bills of the session to address the child care crisis.
HF 606 creates additional tax incentives for employers to invest in an onsite daycare option for employees.
HF 712 creates a child care incentive for developers to construct more child care centers.
This session, House Republicans have been aggressive in tackling the child care crisis facing Iowans.
Iowa continues to face a shortage of child care providers while having one of the highest rates of both parents in the workforce.
- These bills are just a piece of a legislative package brought forward by House Republicans to increase the child care workforce, increase provider rates to maintain existing child care facilities, provide incentives to develop new child care facilities, and help hard-working families afford the high cost of child care.
- House Republicans will continue to work hard to increase access to quality, affordable child care for families across the state of Iowa.
Another issue we heard about often on the campaign trail was the need to expand access to mental health in Iowa. This week, the House took action with two bills on the matter.
HF 294 requires health insurers to reimburse for mental health services provided through telehealth at the same rate as services provided in-person. This will be a huge help to all Iowans, especially those in our rural communities.
HF 773 is a bill to create a statewide study of Iowa's mental health services. This information will help identify opportunities to better serve Iowans suffering from mental illness. This is also the first step in requesting an 1115 Waiver from the federal government which would provide additional funds for services to treat mental illness.
This week, the House passed two pieces of legislation to support victims of sexual assault.
House File 426 creates a tracking system for sexual abuse evidence kits in Iowa. Any kit preserving evidence of sexual abuse after a reported victim undergoes a forensic medical exam will be entered into the system the moment of its manufacture and tracked until it is no longer needed. The bill also requires the victim be notified if a DNA match is found for a potential assailant.
House File 603 creates the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Program. This program trains, certifies, and provides technical assistance to certain medical professionals on how to provide medical forensic services, including the sexual assault abuse kits.
Legislative session is racing forward. The first legislative funnel deadline is in two weeks, marking the busiest period of the session.
Each moment of every day, my colleagues and I are contemplating the most important questions facing Iowans.
The delicate boundaries of freedom and liberty, sacredness of personal health, are vital conversations that all Iowans must have together.
I'm deeply thankful for the opportunity to help lead Iowans through these complex and challenging issues, especially grateful for each person coming to the table, charting the future of our state
ABATE PAC advocating for motorcycle safety and registering their opinions on the Governor's blended fuel proposal. Sharing HyVee breakfast burritos with Iowans is among the greatest joys of working at the capitol!
You can keep track of all my legislative initiatives through my legislative portal.
Here are a few of the big picture ideas I feel will really support Iowa's lasting peace and prosperity.
Senate File 193, a bill creating a framework protecting medical freedom, advanced in Senate subcommittee this past Tuesday.
This controversial bill would prevent employers from requiring a vaccine, such as the flu shot or the new experimental mRNA COVID-19 shot, as a condition of employment.
Further, the bill would prevent pediatric practices from refusing to see patients based on vaccination records. Pediatricians have been accused of refusing non-vaccinated kids because of incentives from insurance companies.
You can listen to the full audio of the subcommittee here.
I was thankful for the opportunity to participate in the hearing. I asked about current hospital administration protocols for when an employee refuses a vaccine on religious grounds. It's my understanding that our Iowa Civil Rights Act protects Iowans from discrimination in their employment based on religious creed.
I am still working to assemble more legal resources to ascertain how this very murky area of law currently operates. My companion bill, HF330 has not been scheduled for a hearing and it's expected that SF 193 will need to be tailored down quite a bit to find a path forward through the full Senate Human Resources Committee.
Please be in touch with members of the Senate Human Resources Committee if this is a bill that you'd like to see enacted for Iowa.
Witnessing a whirlwind of unitary executive action at the federal level, states are bracing to maintain their authority and self-government.
The 10th Amendment to the US Constitution declares that powers not explicitly granted to the federal government are reserved to the states.
The Iowa House has numerous bills exploring this concept, how best to protect the sovereignty of Iowa, with HF 481 slated for a hearing next week.
I am also pleased my "Second Amendment Preservation Act" HF 518, which is grounded in the concept of state sovereignty, has received the support of several co-sponsors. Gratitude for Jefferson County GOP chair Kelly Thompson for bringing the issue to my attention back in December.
Vitamin and Minerals -- HF 328
I am convinced many nagging health conditions can be alleviated by proper nutrition and greater focus on key micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) in the human body.
I've lived this in my own life, measuring how my energy improved with a simple magnesium supplement. Now I'm taking regular doses of vitamin D, as guided by the latest research on COVID-19
It's been estimated that over half of Americans are deficient in at least one, but likely multiple, categories of micronutrients.
I authored and submitted HF 328 to place the role of evaluating Iowans for vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and offering the appropriate remediation, on our state and local health departments.
Every Iowan should have easy and ready access to the basic building blocks of health and nutrition.
I pray my legislative initiatives are worthy of the tremendous responsibility of serving our community as State Rep and the immense beauty of our State's capitol.
Thanks for reading!
Come join the Peace & Prosperity Committee for our weekly Sunday brunch celebration:
Phoenix Rising Hall
Sunday, February 21st
12:00pm - 1:30pm
Sunday Brunch Honoring the Service of Jefferson County Supervisor Lee Dimmitt!
Phoenix Rising Hall
Sunday, March 7th
11:00am - 1:00pm
Legislative Roundtable on Agriculture and International Relations
Saturday March 20th
10:00am - 11:30am, lunch to follow
Looking forward to next time our paths cross -- sincerely yours,
P.S. I would love to earn your generous support for our committee. We must endeavor to align our entire community with Peace and Love to share with all of Iowa!!
"I have never let schooling interfere with my education"
- Mark Twain
Our education system represents a majority of the State of Iowa's total budget.
It's also where Iowans entrust their children's future.
Knowing this, I've always made addressing education issues my #1 priority.
As a freshman legislator, I refused to vote for any additional education dollars until we engaged in a serious discussion of our education policies.
In the last ten years, Iowa has added almost $1 billion new dollars to our education system. The money just keeps going up and up.
But all the new money in the world won't help if there are fundamental flaws in our approach.
After first being elected, I was appreciative for the opportunity to tour our local school district in January of 2019.
While it was uplifting to connect with students well on their way to pursuing their dreams, I was also concerned with many other glaring problems.
The first was the "isolation room" at the elementary school, where they place children having behavioral episodes. It was essentially a cold concrete closet.
The superintendent informed me the most recent child confined to the room had a left a puddle of piss for an associate to clean up.
I began to understand why so many teachers are leaving the profession...
I was most anxious to see the lunchroom.
My fondest memories as a student, and still my greatest joy as an adult remains sharing lunch with friends.
I was eyeing for the simplest and tiniest suggestion I could make to leverage the most positive impact for our children...
A bowl full of margarine servings immediately caught my eye -- hydrogenated soybean oil -- for children to compliment their mashed potatoes.
Margarine was initially sold to the public decades ago as a heart-healthier and cheap substitute for butter, but science now knows this is far from true.
Nutritionists now recognize the "trans fat" in margarine, poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) wreaks inflammatory havoc in the human body.
Some people openly question if margarine can even be considered "food."
I expressed these thoughts openly, determined to improve the health of our children and the quality of their school experience with simple and essentially unnoticeable dietary upgrades.
What would it take to replace margarine with butter?
(and/or other vegetable spreads with less toxic effects)
Like every other suggestion ever made to the public school system, my line of inquiry was only met with insurmountable explanations on why my request was impossible.
As expected there are cost restraints, margarine is less than a penny a serving.
Also potential food allergies to dairy, while barely existing when I was a kid, allergy concerns now govern a lot of school policies.
But the biggest hurdle:
Each and every meal served in school is audited by the state to ensure compliance with the federal standards.
Saturated fats, trans fats, and just about every other factor is calibrated to adhere to whatever meaningless standards are agreed upon by bureaucrats and special interests in Washington DC.
These federal standards put an oversized emphasis on carbohydrates and legumes, with very little allowance for protein or healthy fats.
Most everyone recognizes now healthy fat can essentially be seen as "brain food".
Unfortunately, our state and federal laws prevent students from accessing such brain foods in school, instead forcing them to eat toxic margarine and fill themselves with other empty calories.
We make so much delicious bacon in our state. I'd really prefer to see our children eating some of that bacon in our schools rather than selling so much overseas.
Thinking back to my time as a student, I'd be a lot more excited to get to school if there was a sizzling plate of bacon waiting for me.
Right now kids are being met at school with sugary cereals, processed carbs, and other fake ingredients.
Is it really any wonder so many kids can't behave right and are afflicted with diabetes and obesity?
I was thankful to see a salad bar in the middle school cafeteria. But the vegetables weren't palatable, sort of tasted like they'd been sitting on a truck for a few months.
So of course there were generous portions of soybean oil and corn syrup dressing to wash the taste of stale broccoli.
Sorry for being snarky, I'm not blaming anyone. We've created laws and rules that place our schools in an impossible position.
But it's time we call our school lunchrooms what they are: a public health disaster.
I know not everyone will appreciate the importance of this topic or agree with my urgent warnings.
But suffice it to say, there is TREMENDOUS room for improvement, and science has consistently demonstrated small changes can make gigantic impacts.
Bringing Education into the 21st Century
Glad to visit this week with school choice hero Corey DeAngelis, one of today's top education visionaries!
Governor's Education Proposal:
Student First Scholarships
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence"
I'm thankful the Governor is taking the lead on addressing school choice proposals, working to ensure each and every child in Iowa gets the education they deserve.
I'm deeply saddened by the sheer volume of flagrant distortions and unsubstantiated attacks on the Governor's education bill.
Every rambling and incoherent email I get from a so-called "educator" only affirms my commitment to debating these policies in front of all Iowans, and enacting sorely needed education reforms.
As I mentioned before, our school system is very expensive and represents a gigantic share of your overall tax burden. So we better make sure it's working right.
Below are some of the claims being circulated by the special interest groups threatened by reform:
“This bill is going to destroy the public education system in Iowa.”
The Students First Act has the potential to elevate the quality of all Iowa schools. School choice can serve as a motivator for low-performing schools to improve the educational experience they offer, attract and retain students, and empower their communities. When a school is failing a child, a parent should be able to choose a better option for their family. The Students First Act offers the following solutions:
Provides scholarships for children enrolled in or entering Kindergarten at one of Iowa’s 34 failing schools so parents can choose the school that’s best for them
Offers greater flexibility for open enrollment when a student is at risk of serious academic failure
Prevents school districts from prohibiting student transfers based on a family’s income level
“This is just another move by the Republicans to defund education in Iowa.”
Republicans are responsible for record high education investments over the last decade. In fact, the last time funding for public education was actually cut was in 2010, under a Democrat governor and a Democratically-controlled legislature.
54% of the total state budget funds public education, 80% of the funding is for Pre-K-12 education
Since FY 12, education funding has increased $984 million
School aid has increased year over year since FY 12
Since FY 18, under Governor Reynolds and a Republican-controlled legislature, education
funding has increased $360 million
Governor Reynolds has proposed a PreK-12 Education budget of $3.51B for FY 22
In 2018, an initial appropriation of $11.2 million established the transportation equity
program, which has now grown to $26.7 million
Per pupil funding equity has increased from $2.8 million to $5.8 million since 2019
Since 2018, the Teacher Leadership and Compensation system budget increased $9.9 million
Increased investments in STEM education, work-based learning, computer science
“This is nothing more than a voucher program that sends public money to private schools.”
This is a scholarship program, NOT a voucher program. The Students First Scholarship is awarded to a student’s family and used at their discretion to cover a variety of approved educational expenses that can include tutoring, educational therapies or tuition. The scope of the scholarship program is targeted and narrow. It is available ONLY for children currently in or enrolling for Kindergarten at one of Iowa’s 34 failing public schools, and enables families to choose a better option for their children’s education.
- 34 of Iowa’s approximately 1,300 public schools are identified for “comprehensive support and improvement” under the federal Every Student Achieves Act
- 32 of those 34 schools have been on the comprehensive list since 2018 when the ESSA designations began
- These schools score in the lowest 5% of Title I schools on the index score for ALL students and/or have a graduation rate below 67.1%
- 9,000 students currently live within a district that has least one failing school and also includes one or more accredited non-public schools
“This proposal would raid teachers’ salaries.”
There is NO impact to teacher salaries under this bill. Currently, the state provides school districts with funds for teacher salary and leadership supplements to be awarded at a school’s discretion. However, those funds often go unused and are returned to the general fund. Instead, the Students First Act would authorize schools to transfer the unused funds to their flexibility account, where they can be used to implement enhanced educational opportunities to benefit students, such as work-based learning, computer science or STEM programs .
“This proposal would spend $50 million to benefit just 10,000 students.”
The cost of this program has been grossly exaggerated. The Department of Management calculates the cost of the Student First Scholarship program at $1.1M to $2.7M and, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Service Agency (LSA), the program’s net cost is $200,000.
- The scholarship program is highly targeted to students attending or planning to enter Kindergarten at one of Iowa’s 34 failing schools
- Of the approximately 9,000 total students eligible, LSA assumes only 3.5% of students will opt for the scholarship
"Kids who attend voucher schools and charter schools do much worse than kids who stay in public schools.”
Research shows that school choice has a positive impact on academic achievement. The Students First Act has the potential to elevate of all Iowa schools and motivate low-performing schools to better serve their students, families and communities.
A 2009 study found that across all grade and subject levels, charter school students in New York City demonstrated statistically significant achievement gains when compared with their lotteried- out district school peers and these gains were compounded the longer a student spent in a charter school. (Hoxby et al., 2009)
A 2014 study found that being admitted to a high-quality charter school in Los Angeles led to statistically significant increases in math and reading scores and a decreased propensity to engage in very risky behaviors. (Wong et al., 2014)
In urban charter schools, low-income Hispanic students gained 48 additional days in math and 25 additional days in reading. In addition, low-income Black students gained 59 additional days in math and 44 additional days in reading per year. (CREDO, 2015)
Thirty-three empirical studies (including all methods) have examined school choice’s effect on students’ academic outcomes in public schools. Of those, 31 find choice improved public schools. (Forster, 2016)
“Non-public schools are not held to the same standard as public schools.”
Both public and non-public schools in the state of Iowa are accountable to the Iowa State Board of Education and Iowa Code. In order to be approved by the Iowa Department of Education, non-public schools in Iowa must meet or exceed the minimum requirement standards put into place by the Iowa State Board of Education in Iowa Code. School approval can only be executed with a comprehensive on-site visit or through a state-approved independent agency.
“Public funds should require accountability and transparency. The absence of public accountability for public funds could contribute to waste and fraud of tax-payer dollars.”
Student First Scholarships will be created in the state treasury under the control of the Department of Education to maintain checks and balances. Furthermore, the Students First Act also gives the State Board of Education the direction to refer cases of misuse of funds to the Iowa Attorney General.
“This bill is racist and discriminatory towards minorities.”
The Students First Act offers opportunities for all Iowa students, regardless of race, ethnicity or income, by removing barriers such as voluntary diversity plans that prevent families from choosing the school that’s best for them.
Voluntary diversity plans are currently used in five school districts to maintain student diversity by regulating those who can enroll in and out of the district based on socioeconomic status.
Families can be denied their request to transfer out of a school because of their income level.
Schools should retain their students based on their performance, not by force. Resorting to these tactics discriminates against all students.
The Iowa Senate has already passed the Governor's proposal. Our work will be to build consensus among Iowa House Republicans in the week ahead.
Public opinion polling shows broad support for these policies when accurately conveyed to voters:
Parents are literally begging for school choice because so much of what happens in schools resembles indoctrination rather than education.
This was the curriculum for students in Ames Community School District this past week:
Obviously students must be exposed to all viewpoints, but it must be done in a neutral manner.
The role of education is to teach a child how to think, not what to think.
I am quite flummoxed by my Republican colleagues who are not eagerly supporting this idea. Crazy to see Republicans side with the radical and extreme teachers unions, who've hyper politicized our classrooms and used our children as political weapons, versus our beloved Governor Kim Reynolds.
The only conclusion I can come to is they're either ignorant of the real problems in our school system, or how much tax-payer money is truly on the table.
I pray House Republicans can figure it out.
Rep. Cisneros, Rep. Andrews, (me) Rep. Salmon and Rep. Graber after Mr. DeAngelis's presentation.
Rep. Stone and I expressed our excitement over the new frontier of education possibilities by chest bumping.
Sincerely Yours -- At Your Service,
"Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all"
February 6th -- Community Conversation Pt. 5:
Vitamins & Minerals
Phoenix Rising Hall - 207 W. Burlington Ave., Fairfield
1:30pm - 3:00pm
February 7th -- Community Brunch
Phoenix Rising Hall - 207 W. Burlington Ave., Fairfield
12:00 - 1:30pm
Free and open to everyone!
Bring a dish to share, or just your appetite.
USE YOUR BEST JUDGMENT AND ALWAYS BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WITH SNOW AND ICE
Please Support our work!
Organizing Iowans to support peace and freedom is tough! Your generous support will go a long way to advancing our efforts.
Grassroots leadership academy, register now!
For anyone serious about making a difference in our community.
“The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Spencer Roan September 6th, 1819
Legislators do the best they can to write their intentions into law.
But often times, no one really knows for sure what the law really means until it's litigated and appealed in the courts.
This week, The Iowa House took some major legislative action relating to our Iowa Constitution.
As a reminder, the Iowa Constitution can be amended by a resolution passing two subsequent General Assemblies, and then approved by a majority vote of all Iowans.
Thursday night the House debated second amendment "strict scrutiny" language in SJR 7
“The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”
Strict scrutiny is the highest standard of judicial review and requires the government to prove a “compelling governmental interest” and be narrowly tailored to achieve that interest.
Despite the claims of very misleading anti-2nd Amendment groups, in states that have adopted this language, there has been no effect on laws that prevent violent criminals or domestic abusers from owning weapons.
This resolution will now appear on the 2022 Iowa ballot for an up or down vote by all Iowans.
Similarly, the General Assembly is also interested in clarifying the Constitution as it pertains to a 2019 judicial decision striking down the "heartbeat law," which prohibits an abortion once an unborn heartbeat is detected, excepting rape, incest, and health of the mother.
Legislators had passed the heartbeat law a year before, with the logic that life ends when a heartbeat is no longer detected, so that should also be the standard for when life begins.
Chief Justice Mark Cady disagreed, writing, "In making this decision, we recognize the continuing debate in society over abortion and acknowledge the right of government to reasonably regulate the constitutional right of women to terminate a pregnancy,”
If abortion is a 'constitutional right' as Justice Cady claims, then how would that apply to late-term abortion, tax-payer financed abortion, and also the state's law prohibiting abortion past 20 weeks?
In order to clarify these questions, lawmakers offered HJR 5, which was passed through the Iowa House on Wednesday night.
"To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion, or require the public funding of abortion"
This language now needs to be passed by the 90th General Assembly to be eligible for Iowa voters to decide in the 2024 election.
Return to Learn
As promised to voters, last night we passed and sent a bill to the Governor giving each student access to 100% in-person learning.
Now we can shift our attention to the various other proposed education policies and funding levels.
For those who are interested, these are the videos of my comments from the previous week's debate (January 21st) on mandatory masking at the capitol.
Community Conversation Pt 3.:
Great Day Breakfast + Governors Education Proposals
I'm buying breakfast!!
Great Day Cafe - 202 Main St. Keosauqua
Saturday January 30th, 8:45am - 11:00am
Discussion begins at 9:15
Or tune in via FB Live: www.facebook.com/peaceloveiowa/live
Community Conversation pt. 4:
Pandemic Response and Emerging Health Threats
Phoenix Rising Hall - 207 W Burlington Ave - Fairfield
Saturday Jan. 30th 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Join in person for refreshments and genuine human connection, or participate on FB Live
Peace and Prosperity Community Banquet
Announcing the Peace & Prosperity Community Banquet!!
We're serving a potluck brunch of the most nutritious, delicious foods we can find and offering it to the entire community.
Let us all break bread in fellowship, celebrating our common humanity and community.
Sunday, Jan 31st
Phoenix Rising Hall
Prayers and discussion on political engagement to follow!
Lastly, another dream came true as I was given the honor to lead the Iowa House in prayer on Thursday morning.
Life is one continuous miracle! Thank you all for making Iowa happy, healthy, and beautiful!
Sincerely Yours -- Peace & Love always,
Rep. Jeff Shipley
Support the Peace & Prosperity Committee! Your generous support and donation is the only thing driving our work forward.
Please give as if your life and freedom depend on it... because it does.