- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Legislature reaches another procedural deadline this week for many bills. A look at legislation that will survive and bills that probably are dead for the session.

ALIVE:

BULLYING

The bill would give school educators in Iowa more authority to respond to cases of student bullying. It would include language that allows administrators and teachers to investigate bullying off school grounds and expands the definition of cyberbullying to include social media.

BROADBAND

The legislation would expand efforts to build up broadband, also known as high-speed Internet, in Iowa. One version of the bill proposes a 10-year property tax relief program for service providers trying to lower the often high price of adding broadband in rural areas.

GUNS

House lawmakers have taken the lead on a bill that would make sweeping changes to Iowa’s gun laws, including allowing children younger than 14 years old to use a handgun with a parent’s supervision. The bill would also set limitations on public access to a database of names of people who own guns.

MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES

Lawmakers unhappy with the planned closing of state mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant are pushing a bill that would require a clear transition plan for affected patients. A commission that includes lawmakers would need to approve the plan.

DISTRACTED DRIVING

The legislation would give law enforcement officials more authority to regulate Iowa’s current ban on texting while driving. The bill would remove a stipulation that an official must stop a person for a different offense to enforce it.

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DEAD:

ABORTION ULTRASOUND

The bill would have required a physician in Iowa to offer a woman seeking an abortion the option of viewing an ultrasound of the fetus. The woman would also be offered the option of hearing a description of the ultrasound and the sound of a heartbeat.

TEACHER ARBITRATION

The legislation, which led to hours of debate on the House floor, would have changed bargaining rules for teacher unions. An arbitrator would have had more flexibility in determining final contract terms for union-represented teachers and school employees.

MINIMUM WAGE

The bill would have increased Iowa’s minimum wage to $8.75, an increase from the current level of $7.25. The increase would have taken place by 2016.

ADOPTION LEAVE

Legislation that passed in the Senate would have required Iowa businesses that offer leave benefits to parents of newborns to do the same for parents of adopted children.

CONVERSION THERAPY

The bill would have banned mental health providers in Iowa from practicing therapy aimed at converting the sexual orientation of a person under 18 years old. Just a handful of states have enacted such bans.

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