District 53 Newsletter: May 3, 2024 Edition

State Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour)

We reached the end of the 2024 Legislative Session in the early hours of Saturday, April 20. We were in session for 103 days, including 37 days of voting on the House Floor. We passed 295 bills in the House, and 85% of these bills, 252, were non-partisan votes.

I want to share with you what I feel are some of the top accomplishments for the session. All of these are bills that have made it all the way through the legislative process and have become law or awaiting the Governor’s signature.

We raised beginning teacher pay to the fifth highest in the nation, set the minimum standard salary for 12-year teachers to $62,000, and allocated an additional $14 million to raise pay for paraprofessionals. In total, K-12 education received roughly a 5% increase in funding.

We delivered tax relief for all taxpaying Iowans by speeding up the implementation of the flat tax and lowering the rate to 3.8% in 2025.

We made our students and staff safer in school with investment in school safety infrastructure and by lowering emergency response times with the creation of a new permit program allowing staff to carry firearms if they meet the high standards of training laid out in the bill.

We gave Iowa law enforcement additional policy tools and $2 million of new money to protect Iowans from illegal immigration and related crimes such as drug crimes and human trafficking.

We prioritized history and civics in K-12 education, while directing the Department0 of Education to do a thorough review of all curriculum standards to ensure they are setting teachers and students up for success.

We prohibited Iowa’s regent universities from spending one dime on so-called “diversity, equity and inclusion” (DEI) offices that divide students, silence conservative voices, and impose ideological conformity on campus, outside of what is required by law.

We incentivized businesses of all sizes to choose Iowa as their home and targeted investment in rural Iowa with the creation of a new certified sites program to spur economic development in counties with less than 50,000 people.

We supported law enforcement with additional investment in the Department of Public Safety and Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and with policies such as covering costs for peace officers moving to Iowa and ensuring a person cannot receive bail for the murder of a police or corrections officer.

We protected Freedom of Religion by prohibiting government entities from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless there is a compelling government interest. This law at the state level mirrors the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed into federal law by President Clinton in 1994.

One bill that did not get passed that deserves highlighting was the governor’s “What Is A Woman Act” that would protect our citizens from the abusive practice of so called “Transgender” persons using the bathrooms and shower facilities that don’t correspond to their birth gender. We have passed bills in past years to protect our children while at school from these abuses, but we have yet to protect our citizens of all ages at other public facilities. I have led the charge in the House to strip “Gender Identity” from the Iowa Civil Rights Code, the foundation of these abuses, and I will continue to do so.

As always, I look forward to seeing you out in the district.

Dean Fisher, a Republican from Montour, represents District 53 in the Iowa House of Representatives including the communities of Clutier, Garwin, Gladbrook, and Lincoln.