A roundup of legislative and Capitol news items of interest from Friday:
TRANS ATHLETES: Legislation to bar transgender students from competing in sports with other students of the same gender with which they identify is under consideration by House Republicans, Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said Friday.
“We want to work with the Senate and with (Gov. Kim Reynolds) to make sure that we're all on the same page before we would move forward to something,” he told reporters.
Grassley said he has been approached by parents of high school athletes at sports events who support restrictions on transgender students’ participation.
“So we're working to see where we can find a level of compromise within the House and Senate because we want to make sure to make a run at this as an issue before we wrap up session.” he said.
One attempt at a ban was offered as an amendment to a House bill earlier in the session, but the sponsor withdrew it. At this point in the session, a bill would have to come from leaders or as an amendment to a bill being debated.
DOT PROMOTION: Ryan Ridout has been promoted to chief of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement, the agency’s law enforcement organization.
He will oversee a team of 99 certified peace officers and three support staff.
Most recently, Ridout served the DOT’s director of the Bureau of Investigations and Identity Protection. He has been with the state 22 years, beginning as a youth services worker with the Iowa State Training School for Girls in Toledo.
He moved to the Iowa DOT in 2003 as a motor vehicle officer. In 2009, he became an investigator. He was promoted to deputy director in 2017 and to director in 2018.
Ridout succeeds David Lorenzen, who has been named director of the Systems Operations Division.
Ridout and his wife live in rural Tama County with their children.
NO HERITAGE: House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said he was never in contact with Heritage for America, which claimed in a video to have written an election bill, SF 413, enacted earlier this year by the Legislature.
In the video, the group’s executive director is heard saying Heritage “got the best practices to them. We helped draft the bills.”
Grassley denied Heritage had any role in the election law changes. The director’s comments call into question Heritage’s credibility, he said.
“The question for them would be they’re either lying to impress their donors or they're in a situation where they're potentially in violation of the House ethic rules” governing lobbyists, Grassley said. “This is now on them.”
For video mentioned in “No Heritage” item: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2021/05/heritage-foundation-dark-money-voter-suppression-laws