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Fisher releases info on new laws

July 7, 2017
Traer Star-Clipper

Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) recently released information on a few notable bills that were passed during the 2017 legislative session which went into effect on July 1, 2017.

"We had a very productive legislative session this past year and addressed a number of issues that are important to Iowans. It's clear that Iowans are getting a better deal now than they were before," said Fisher. "I look forward to meeting with Iowans over the coming months and gathering their input for next year's legislative session."

According to Rep. Fisher, the following is a brief list of bills that took effect July 1:

House File 565 School District Flexibility Fund

This law will give school districts additional flexibility to address the specific needs their schools have. The law allows schools to create a Flexibility Account where the district can transfer unused funds from other sources, if those funds have already been used to fund its designated purpose and has a carry-over balance. The "flex" funds can then be used to enhance local programs and provide more educational opportunities.

Senate File 234 Texting and Driving

This law will improve road safety by expanding Iowa's texting and driving ban to a primary offense. It allows for a peace officer to stop or detain a person solely for texting and driving but makes clear that drivers are allowed to use their phone as a GPS. The fine for violating this new law $30.

Senate File 444 24/7 Sobriety and Distracted Driving

This law also makes our roads safer by addressing impaired driving. The new law implements a 24/7 sobriety program for persons convicted of drunk or drugged driving and requires them to submit to twice daily alcohol or controlled substance testing at set times and implements penalties for failing the tests. The law also makes it class "C" felony if a person is driving distracted (using electronic devices) and kills another.

House File 296 Synthetic Drugs

This law protects Iowa's kids and families by keeping dangerous synthetic drugs off the streets. House File 296 allows the Iowa Board of Pharmacy to temporarily designate certain chemical compounds as Schedule I drugs, to stay ahead of synthetic drug manufacturers and gives the Legislature more time to time to take action. Other changes will make it easier to prosecute those who create and sell synthetic drugs.

House File 410 Palmer Amaranth

This bill, managed by on the House floor by Rep. Fisher, puts Palmer Amaranth on the primary noxious weed list and the list of invasive plants that are prohibited to import, sell, or distribute in Iowa. Palmer Amaranth is an edible flowering plant that crowds out crops such as corn, soybeans, and cotton.

A more detailed list of laws can be found at



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