Newsletter | October 28, 2021

To the People of House District 54

The Iowa General Assembly convened on Oct. 28 for a special session called by Gov. Kim Reynolds to vote on Iowa’s proposed new legislative and congressional maps. We passed Senate File 621, the second proposed plan for redrawing Iowa’s congressional and legislative districts.

This plan for redrawing the districts was drafted and submitted to the legislature by the nonpartisan Legislative Service Agency. As required by the Constitutions of the United States and Iowa and the Iowa Code, Iowa’s four congressional districts, 50 Iowa Senate districts, and 100 Iowa House districts were drafted based on ideal populations in accordance with the 2020 Decennial Census Data that was released in August. The “ideal population” for the new congressional districts is 797,592; a state senate district would be 63,807, and a state house district would be 31,904.

In addition to taking action on the maps, House Republicans addressed concerns from constituents related to President Biden’s unconstitutional government overreach with his vaccine mandates. We received thousands of calls and emails from Iowans concerned their civil rights were being violated. Other constituents were concerned the vaccine mandate would exacerbate the lack of workforce after the Biden Administration in September announced that COVID-19 vaccines would become mandatory for many businesses. In fact, businesses with more than 100 employees could be fined egregiously if they do not require vaccines in most cases.

 

House File 902 was created to protect the basic civil rights of employees while allowing employers to make their own decisions about vaccine requirements. In summary, this bill provides that if an employer requires an employee to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the employer must accept a religious or medical exemption from their employee and waive the vaccine requirement if a signed statement is presented by the employee. The bill also makes it clear that if employees are fired for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine, they can still receive unemployment benefits. This bill received bipartisan support and was signed into law on Friday, Oct. 29, by Gov. Reynolds.

 

Thanks to everyone who contacted me regarding this important issue. Your comments helped provide much needed relief to thousands of Iowans. I am proud of the work put into crafting this legislation as well as the effort that went into getting it passed during special session. Iowa legislators will continue to monitor the situation in our state as the federal mandate rolls out as we are committed to protecting all Iowan’s civil liberties from federal government overreach.

 
 
 
Sincerely,  
Rep. Shannon Latham 
Iowa House District 54