This Week in Iowa Politics | Sen. Grassley’s bipartisan bill to prevent child sexual abuse passed the U.S. Senate

Also, Hinson introduces a bill to bring better technology to farmers across the country and an Iowa grant will help employers lower language barriers.


Jerod Ringwald

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, answers questions during a visit to the County Materials Corporation in Iowa City as part of Grassley’s Johnson County stop on his 99 County Tour. “We’ve appropriated money every year for infrastructure,” Grassley said while talking about infrastructure improvements since 1956. “The only thing is we never used the word infrastructure, we always said highway,” Grassley joked.

Liam Halawith, Politics Editor

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s bipartisan bill to prevent child sexual abuse passed a unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate on Thursday.

The bill strengthens a federal sex tourism prevention law and closes loopholes in federal laws that could have allowed the secret recordings of minors.

The Preventing Child Sex Abuse Act was co-sponsored by Grassley and Sen. Jon Ossoff, a Democrat from Georgia.

Grassley introduced the bill after federal prosecutors feared the federal sexual tourism prevention laws were not strong enough to convict former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted hundreds of young athletes.

“Although we can’t undo the past, we have a duty to ensure that our nation’s laws are strengthened to prevent future harm from being done,” Grassley said in a Thursday news release. “I’m proud to have worked across the aisle to seek justice for the survivors of child sex crimes and protect our children from further criminal acts.”

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson introduces a bill to expand access to agriculture technology

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, a Republican representing Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, introduced the Producing Responsible Energy and Conservation Incentives and Solutions for the Environment Act with Representatives Brad Finstad, R-Minn.; Jimmy Panetta, D-Cali.; and Angie Craig, D-Minn.

The bill would increase access to precise agricultural technology through existing U.S. Department of Agriculture grants and change existing administrative procedures for several grants relating to agriculture technology.

“Farmers are the best stewards of their own land and the ultimate conservationists,” Hinson said in a news release on Wednesday. “I’ve seen the benefits of precision agriculture techniques firsthand – this technology is key to increasing crop yields while also lowering input costs and environmental impacts.”

An Iowa Workforce Development Grant would help employers lower language barriers in the workplace

On Wednesday, Iowa Workforce Development announced they would award almost $360,000 in grants to 11 Iowa businesses to teach employees a new language to help lower language barriers in the workplace.

The grants were awarded to 11 businesses around the state including three Iowa city businesses.

  • ALPLA, Inc.
  • Catalyst Project Management
  • Neumann Monson

The new program will sponsor programs teaching English, Spanish, and Mandarin to 465 program participants.

“These state grants are about tackling language barriers so we can help businesses better communicate with employees, serve more of their customers, and expand Iowa’s workforce into new populations,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a news release on Wednesday.