First Bills

The Iowa House and Senate are back, and the first bills have been filed. So what are House File 1 and Senate File 1 about this year? Flood relief? Economic stimulus? Banning happy hour?

Nope, both bills require certain group health insurance programs to cover the diagnosis and treatment of “autism spectrum disorders.” They were filed by Sen. Daryl Beall, D-Fort Dodge in the Senate and Rep. Ray Zirkelbach, D-Monticello, in the House.

Important, to be sure, but not exactly high-profile.

Senate File 2, by Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, would exempt clothing from sales taxes. House File 2 expands the list of controlled halucinogenic substances to include “salvia divinorum.” It was filed by Rep. Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown.

House File 6, also by Smith, would ban smoking on casino gaming floors, where it’s currently allowed. Across the rotunda, Senate File 3 would make the blood alcohol threshold for drunken boating 0.08. That was filed by Sen. Johnson, who represents the Iowa Great Lakes.

And that’s just the first day. Thousands more bright ideas on the way.

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