Common Good Iowa

Capitol Notes: A hopeful step forward for child care — and a potential threat to public education

January 29, 2021

Buckle up — the Iowa legislature is moving fast. 

When the Iowa legislature moved subcommittee and committee hearings online due to coronavirus, it looked like an opportunity to use technology to allow more Iowans to participate in the legislative process, despite the pandemic. The reality, though, has been less than fully open. On the Senate side, subcommittees, the primary place for Iowans to speak on a bill, are held online, and anyone in the public can "raise their hand" and speak — if they have a Zoom account. In House subcommittee hearings, though, only people in the room are allowed to speak and lawmakers are not considering written comments during the meeting. This means only opinions voiced in person are considered by lawmakers before they vote. 

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