Sanctuary City bill becomes law

CAPITOL LETTERS

BY STATE SENATOR MARK SEGEBART

R-District 6

This week drew us closer to the end of this session. The Human Services budget starts in the Senate this year. The Appropriations Committee continues to work on budget discussions as we look at tax reform for Iowans. I think we will release our budget proposal soon.

The biggest bill for the week was passed Wednesday evening and dealt with sanctuary cities. It only affects a person arrested for criminal activity. It would require law enforcement to extend a hold for up to an extra 48 hours if an Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer is received. I voted for the bill. The bill only applies to cities and counties. The penalty is a withholding of state funds that may be owed by the state to the city or the county. If the individual is released before ICE picks them up, the city or county would be liable for any other crimes committed by the offender.

I supported the idea that a wall should have been built six years ago and that a path to citizenship be established only after we have stopped the flow of illegal immigration in our country. The sooner Congress can fix this problem the better. Federal action is the best way to solve this issue.

The Senate also passed House File 2467, which allows schools to offset school meal debt at the end of every year if the school has made reasonable efforts to collect the debt. Schools will also be required to provide notice twice per school year on how to apply for Free and Reduced Lunch. Under this bill, schools will be encouraged to provide a reimbursable meal and prohibited from any activities publicly identifying students with a lunch debt. This bill will provide schools a mechanism to collect debt while ensuring students with a negative balance are not singled out in front of their peers.

As we work through these final weeks, please contact me by email with any concerns or questions you may have on the issues we’re discussing here at the Capitol. It is an honor to serve as your representative in Des Moines.

I currently serve as the chair on the Human Resources Committee, and serve on the Agriculture, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs Committees. Additionally, I am the vice chair of the Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee. Please feel free to contact me at 515-281-3371 or by email at mark.segebart@ legis.iowa.gov.