DES MOINES, Iowa (KCAU) – Earlier this week, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed 15 bills into law. Several of these measures are set to take effect on Wednesday, July 1.
“It makes me sad when I see it on TV how bad some of them get abused. That’s why we come down and adopt them so that they don’t sit in a cage all day,” said Gary Derby of Sioux City.
The governor’s approval of House File 737 comes as good news to Derby.
Under the new law, animal abuse causing serious injury or death becomes a serious misdemeanor with a second offense listed a class D felony.
“We need to make sure that we don’t have bad actors out there doing harm to animals like dogs and cats and this at least helps provide a criminal penalty and counseling to those individuals,” said State Representative Chris Hall, D-Sioux City.
The bill received agreement on both sides after the penalty was reduced.
“The issue that I had with it that I brought up was I don’t want us to start equating animals with a human being under criminal penalties,” said Jim Carlin, Senate District 3.
A 24-hour waiting period on abortion also received the governor’s signature. However, it won’t go into effect after a judge allowed a lawsuit filed against the measure to proceed on Tuesday.
“We believe that if we did this that there is a good chance right now with the composition of the states supreme court and the federal courts that it would be upheld and that’s why we went forward with it,” said Carlin.
“We should trust women to make their own health care decisions and consultations with their doctors and their families, and this is just something that creates an additional barrier to something that we already trust men to be able to make their own decisions,” said Hall.
Lawmakers compromised on change when it comes to the state’s medical-marijuana program. Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe autism can now use the program.
“We’re going to be able to formulate products now that are going to be able to provide a larger group of people with relief and we’re going to be able to hopefully do it more efficiently with that cap gone now,” said Stephen Wilson, a dispensary manager with MedPharm Iowa.
The new law also sets the THC limit at 4.5 grams per 90 days. However, Representative Hall believes more needs to be done.
“It’s so restrictive that it’s going to make it difficult for medical cannabis to remain in the state,” said Hall.
The Woodbury County MedPharm dispensary currently serves 600 people.
“We’re still very far behind other states at this point in their program especially states around us Missouri and Minnesota, so we still have a lot of work to do, but it is a step in the right direction,” said Wilson.
Another law taking effect on Wednesday is lemonade stands will be legal in Iowa. Kids can now operate beverage and food stands under the new law without fear of fines. Of course, this doesn’t come at a better time for kids during their summer break.