OSKALOOSA — In the latest Eggs & Issues session, Sen. Ken Rozenboom, Rep. Dustin Hite, and Rep. Holly Brink were invited once again to discuss legislative efforts as they keep residents informed on what’s happening locally.
Around the beginning of the session, Hite gave his insight on the no-permit gun purchase, carry bill, which is currently sitting on Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk awaiting signature.
In Iowa, there’s currently no permit required for purchasing or carrying long guns. However, there is a permit required to purchase handguns.
The legislation states that a permit isn’t required to conceal carry or purchase handguns. However, Hite said that national background checks are still mandatory. Otherwise, owners can obtain a permit to short circuit the background check.
Hite cited the Second Amendment as a reason on why the legislation moved forward.
“It’s a little bit strange to have to have a permit to exercise that right,” Hite said. “This bill simply said you don’t need that permit, you don’t need that government permission slip to exercise your Second Amendment right.”
Another viewer brought up the 2020 Iowa 2nd congressional district race between Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Rita Hart, asking the state’s position on Hart’s attempt to overturn the results.
All three of the panelists agreed that Miller-Meeks fairly won her seat.
“I think we have a good process in the state of Iowa,” Hite said. “That process showed through three counts that Mariannette Miller-Meeks was the winner, albeit by only six votes, and that’s who I think should be seated in Congress.”
Rozenboom worked with both women in the Iowa Senate, and said Iowa has one of the cleanest processes in the country.
He condemned Rita Hart for ignoring the normal routine of resolving the dispute in Iowa and taking it to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which he viewed as extremely partisan.
“I believe that’s fundamentally wrong, and to the question about how Iowa feels about it, regardless of party, I don’t think Iowa feels good about this at all,” Rozenboom said.
“In my opinion, we need to stick with that, because it was checked three times,” Brink said. “Everything was put out the legal way, I’m sad she skipped the last step here in Iowa.”
In terms of education, the three legislators discussed the Iowa Tuition Grant and how it can help younger people stay in Iowa.
The Iowa College Foundation, over 70 percent of students who study in Iowa private colleges remain in the state after graduation. Wanting to keep more young people in the state, a viewer asked for an update on the grant.
Hite said both the Iowa House and the Iowa Senate have started looking more into the money used towards the three Iowa regent universities versus the money used towards private colleges.
“I do know on our side of the building, there is a concerted effort to focus on the community colleges and the Iowa Tuition Grant for that exact reason,” Hite said. “Both of those tend to educate people who tend to stay in Iowa.”
Rozenboom said the legislators deal with many controversial issues highlighted by newspapers, but the Iowa Tuition Grant is not one of them.
“Everybody at the capitol that I know of has always been supportive of that,” Rozenboom said.
According to Rozenboom, the state of Iowa supports regent universities by providing $10,000 per student. From the Iowa Tuition Grant, private colleges receive around $4,600 per student and community colleges receive around $2,500 per student every year.
“That’s always troubling to me that we support some students at a four times greater level than we do others,” Rozenboom said. “Behind each one of those students is a life, it’s a career. It’s been noted our community college and private college students stay home, stay in Iowa at a far higher rate than our regent university students, so I think as a state we need to wrestle with that moving forward.”