Senate lawmakers propose expanding medical marijuana program

A bill that could dramatically expand the use of medical marijuana in Iowa is almost ready for debate in the Iowa Senate, but it appears the bill as now written has little chance of winning approval in the House.

"We believe that the bill will not prepare students to be competitive in a very competitive environment", Dr. Elizabeth Allan, a biology professor at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, told the committee.

A tough Texas anti-"sanctuary cities" bill that threatens to throw county sheriffs and small-town constables in jail if they refuse to help enforce federal immigration law looks to be on the fast-track toward passage in the state's Republican-controlled Legislature.

"There seems to be an attempt to try and fix what may be a problem where voters may not have known the full implications of this state question but we're going to live with that", she said. However, if the author does not agree with the changes made by the Senate, the bill will then go to conference committee. "Planned Parenthood strongly opposes bills such as these which really are about shaming women and scaring doctors".

With the first four days of the regular session behind them, House members were the last to leave today for the Legislature's Easter recess. HB2 sets the system's two-year budget about $5 million lower than its current budget.

Nome Democratic Rep. Neal Foster said the combination of bills is needed.

"But it isn't all cash in this bill, there's about $67 million of just authority for different projects around the state", Keane said during debate on the bill in March. I think we've worked together well.

If the governor doesn't bend, some significant changes would have to be made to the budget as it sits now.

But the House version only allows peace officers to ask people about their immigration status if they are arrested and not those who have been exclusively detained for other reasons. Debbie Lesko. "It does not take away any rights". The Senate's version cuts that to $1,000.

Opponents of the House bill say most of those regulations are handled elsewhere in state law and they would only put a damper on solar panel sales.

Senate President Pete Kelly called the House's move an interesting play and stressed the Senate's resolve in opposing an income tax. "It's a matter of how do we get there, because it takes a higher vote threshold".

The session is scheduled to end April 16, but House and Senate leaders expect to miss that deadline.

  • Joanne Flowers