The bills that survived the Iowa Legislature’s funnel week

As of Friday, any bills in the Statehouse that haven’t made it out of their respective committees are effectively dead.


Grace Smith

The Iowa State Capitol is seen before the opening of the 2022 Legislative Session in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Meg Doster, News Reporter

‘Funnel Week’ for the Iowa Legislature has come to a close with some controversial education bills advancing forward, among others.

As of Friday, policy bills that haven’t made it out of their respective committees are effectively dead. Bills pertaining to budget and taxes can still be considered, and measures can be brought back as amendments to other bills or through other special means.


House Bill 706, which would require school districts to publish material used in social studies instruction, passed through a committee this week. The bill requires schools to publish a list of what educational materials will be taught to students, including articles and videos shown in social studies classes, as well as making the school district’s review process public. 

“Providing parents choice in their children’s education is a priority of mine,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said on Iowa Press on Friday

Another bill regulating social studies education, House File 2060, that would require all material taught in social studies classes to be reviewed by the Department of Education, did not survive funnel week.

Senate File 2198, the bill that prohibits “obscene materials” to be distributed in schools, also passed the Senate education committee. “Obscene materials” is defined by the bill as any materials “depicting patently offensive representations” of sexual acts.

Sen. President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, introduced SF 2198. Chapman has been advocating for removing certain books, many that center characters of color or LGBTQ+ characters, from schools for several months, and on the first day of the session said some Iowa teachers have a “sinister agenda.” 

In a Judiciary Committee meeting on Wednesday, Sen. Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, the committee chair, said he thinks the vast majority of teachers in the state do not distribute obscene material, and he’s not trying to put teachers in jail, though jail time could be a punishment for violation of the law.

“What we’re trying to do is empower parents to decide if this material is appropriate,” he said during the meeting. 

The penalty for teachers and librarians found violating the law would be an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $6,250

“Democrats support and trust educators, Republicans continue to vilify them,” Rep. Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor said on a conference call about funnel week on Thursday. “If we want to talk about transparency let’s figure out why it is that Republicans seem to be so intent on vilifying teachers, when teachers are just doing the best they can to teach kids in the best way they can.”

Bills passed committees in both the House and Senate that bar transgender athletes from competing with teams that align with their gender. The Senate version of the bill extends the ban to college sports.

Among the bills not advancing is an abortion trigger law, HF 2289, that would prohibit any sort of abortion to be preformed in the state of Iowa providing that either the U.S. Supreme Court allows states the power to illegalize abortions of all kinds, or if the US adopts an amendment that prohibits abortions. 

One bill has already been signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, a measure providing a 2.5 percent increase in funding to K-12 schools.

COVID-19 and vaccines

Several bills addressing vaccines also moved out of committee. 

House File 2028, a bill that requires parents and guardians to provide written consent for a minor under their care to receive any sort of vaccination or immunization, made it out of the funnel. This bill does mention COVID-19 or any specific kind of immunization. However, another bill that passed, House File 2040, prohibits schools and daycares from requiring vaccination from COVID-19.