SF 140 Extending allowable driving miles for certain minors
SF 140 allows a student between 14 and 18 years old with a special minor’s driver’s license to drive up to 50 miles each way to and from school and school activities. Currently, a special minor’s driver’s license limits student driving to the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. over the most direct and accessible route between home and school for classes and extracurricular activities, and for up to 25 miles one-way. The bill increases this limitation to no more than 50 miles each way. Public school students currently are allowed to drive on a special minor’s licenses within their school district or to participate in extracurricular activities in a bordering school district.
[3/12: 46-3 (No: Celsi, Quirmbach, J. Smith; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 188 – Prohibits regent universities from disallowing the use/carry of stun guns
SF 188 prohibits regent universities from adopting any policy that would disallow the carrying of stun guns. As of last year (and SF 2321), the requirement for a permit to carry a stun gun was eliminated. A person who is at least 18 may go armed with a stun gun (not a Taser). Under this bill, public universities and community colleges cannot adopt or enforce any policy that prohibits carrying, transporting or possessing a stun gun, as long as the weapon is not used in the commission of a public offense.
[3/13: 39-9 (No: Bolkcom, Celsi, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, J. Smith, Wahls; Excused: T. Taylor; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 209 – Requires schools to offer U.S. citizenship tests to high school students
SF 209 requires school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to offer students in grades 9-12 at least one opportunity during their high school career to take the United States citizenship and immigration services naturalization civics test. The Department of Education must develop alternative civics tests that may be administered to students requiring special education or English language learners at an estimated cost of $60,000.
[3/11: 43-3 (No: Celsi, Dotzler, Quirmbach; Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 274 – Public forums, speech at universities and community colleges
SF 274 governs public forums, freedom of expression and freedom of association at community colleges and state universities. It requires Regent universities and community colleges to adopt statements protecting speech; the freedom to discuss, assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activities subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions; and public areas of campuses. Protected activities include all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, speeches (including by invited speakers), distribution of literature and circulating petitions. The bill requires that the outdoor areas of campuses be deemed public forums. Specific areas cannot be deemed free speech zones, and policies cannot otherwise restrict expressive activities to a particular outdoor area of campus.
The bill also prohibits institutions from denying a student organization any benefit that other student groups receive because they require their leaders to agree with and support the student organization’s beliefs. An aggrieved member of the campus community may bring an action against an institution responsible for a violation of this law and may assert such violation as a defense or counterclaim. An amendment was offered that would exclude the portion of the bill that could allow for discrimination by fee-supported student groups. That amendment failed on a party-line vote.
[3/11: 35-11 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Ragan, T. Taylor, Wahls; Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 316 – Special Education Taskforce Request
SF 316 requests an interim study committee regarding special education program requirements and outcomes for students with individualized education programs (commonly known as IEPs). The study committee will review state and federal laws, inclusion requirements and placements, and evidence-based practices, and develop a transfer process for students to go between inclusive general education classrooms and special education classrooms. The study committee will submit a report with its findings and recommendations to the Legislature and to Iowa’s congressional delegation by December 20, 2020. Parents of a special education student and parents of a general education student are required participants on the taskforce.
[3/12: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 319 Peace officers to teach drivers education
SF 319 allows peace officers or retired peace officers to teach driving portion drivers education (not the classroom portion) without authorization from the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). Under current law, to be qualified to provide street or highway driving instruction, a person must be certified by the Department of Transportation and authorized by the BOEE.
This bill means instructors who are peace officer or retired peace officer will not be governed under the BOEE’s professional ethics. The bill limits which peace officers qualify to teach driver’s education by excluding parole officers.
[3/12: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]