SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)– On Saturday, Sioux City residents had the opportunity to discuss current bills in the Iowa legislature with Iowa lawmakers and community leaders in attendance.
While some Siouxlanders slept in this Saturday, others gathered at the Sioux City Public Museum for a chance to discuss and question Iowa lawmakers about bills on capitol hill.
Newly elected Iowa representatives and senate members met at the Sioux City Public Museum for a town hall meeting. This meeting allowed locals to voice concerns and ask questions about laws that have passed and bills that are still in the house and senate.
One of many bills discussed was senate file 542.
“Basically they want to extend the hours of work for our young youth of Iowa and Nebraska. They want them to work later into night, longer hours as well as more dangerous and precarious situations, and work environments,” said Jaylee Hurst, with The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
After the town hall meeting adjourned, a group of concerned citizens gathered for a demonstration outside the public museum about the child labor bills.
Jaylee Hurst with The United Food And Commercial Workers International Union, or UFCW, believes these bills would put children in harm’s way.
“I’m not against work of minors at all, I think instilling good work ethic is a great plan. However, I don’t think we need to change any laws. The Child Labor Laws that we have in place have been fought for, for the last 100 years, in order to make it so that our youth are safe,” said Hurst.
Iowa representative J.D. Scholten was one of many speakers during the demonstration. He says since the bill was first introduced Iowa lawmakers made improvements to the bill.
“The good is they took out the meat packing and a lot like the dangerous aspects of this that other states are doing,” said (D) Iowa Representative J.D. Scholten.
However, Scholten says there are parts of the bill that still concern him.
“The bad is that they’re lowering a lot of this so 14 and 15-year-olds can be working and stuff and then the ugly part is we’ll be the first state in the nation that will allow for kids to be servers and serve alcohol,” said Scholten.
Senate File 542 is currently waiting to be discussed by the Iowa Workforce Committee.