A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest for Wednesday, June 3, 2020:
FIREARM RESTRICTIONS: The Iowa Senate approved legislation prohibiting local governments from enforcing restrictions that exceed state law on carrying weapons on school grounds, courthouse property and businesses.
Local governments could restrict people from carrying weapons only if they screen people at the entrance or had an armed guard.
The Senate passed House File 2502, 32-17. It now heads to the governor.
Sen. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, introduced an amendment that would have required law enforcement officers receive an equal amount of training for de-escalation techniques as they do for handling firearms. Wahls said the proposal would represent one small step toward addressing the issues raised by protestors who have demonstrated throughout the past weeks over a Minnesota man who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes.
Majority Republican lawmakers ruled the proposal not relevant to the legislation and thus not eligible for consideration.
BIOFUEL TAXES: Both chambers unanimously approved an extension of scheduled sales taxes on biofuels. The proposal would reduce the per-gallon taxes on E-15 ethanol fuel blends. The proposal, Senate File 2403 https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=SF2403, would tax E-15 ethanol between 24 cents and 30 cents per gallon, depending on the blend, starting in 2026.