CLEAR LAKE, Iowa - The Iowa Legislative session has reached the halfway point, and two North Iowa representatives are sharing their progress with the people.
During a legislative forum in Clear Lake Friday afternoon, State Senator Amanda Ragan and State House Representative Linda Upmeyer are discussing the work being done in Des Moines. This past week, big strides were made to protect animals from abuse in the state, with the passage of a bill that would crack down on companion animal cruelty. Initially, the bill would make the first offense of animal torture a felony; however, the felony charge was removed, and replaced with an aggravated misdemeanor that would require supervision and counseling.
While the bill didn't accomplish every goal that it set out to do, Senator Ragan says it's a step in the right direction.
"I don't think I've had more emails on that subject. It was something people were really passionate about, and it's great to see that move forward."
In addition to animal abuse, topics discussed included Governor Reynolds' "Invest in Iowa Act", lowering income taxes, and mental health care, as well as access to affordable childcare. State Representative Upmeyer says a bill currently being worked on would help parents who would lose access to childcare assistance due to a promotion or other major life event.
"The bill we are working on would change that into a tiered effect, a gradual effect, so that it wouldn't go away at once. It would ramp down as their wages increase."