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Monday, February 24, 2014

News from the Iowa Legislature: Marijuana Bills are Dead, Fireworks and Drone Bills Survive (For Now)

The Daily Iowan reports:

A number of bills died in Des Moines late last week as a procedural deadline narrowed the spectrum of topics remaining for the session.

The first “funnel,” a rule that requires a majority of bills to pass subcommittee level approval, ended on Feb. 21 after lawmakers spent the beginning of the week pushing for last-minute approval of key issues.
The Daily Iowan lists a number of bills that died, including bills to legalize medical marijuana and to decriminalize the possession of certain amounts of marijuana. The Des Moines register reports on additional bills that died.

Bills that are still alive include a bill to legalize the use and purchasing of fireworks. The Daily Iowan describes the law:

Iowans would be able to buy and use fireworks for the first time in decades if Senate Study Bill 3182 continues its progress. The bill would allow county supervisors and city councils and the state fire marshal to make their own decisions on the issue even if it is passed. The proposal makes selling or letting anyone under 18 use fireworks a simple misdemeanor — punishable for no more than 30 days in jail and at least a $65 fine but not more than $250.
The Gazette reports that proposed legislation for the regulation of drones (which I blogged about here) managed to survive the funnel:

Sen. Rich Taylor, D-Mount Pleasant, said he was pleased to win passage of a bill regulating drones, but committee chairman Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, said the issue stands a good chance of being shot down in its journey to the governor’s desk. 
“I think drone legislation faces a very significant uphill battle to become law,” he said. “It’s so new, it’s novel, there are lots of interest [sic] out there and it’s not like the people are speaking up demanding regulation. I would say the chances are very slim that that will become law, but we’ll see. Things can change in this place.”

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