New Iowa laws take effect July 1

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s legislative session wrapped up in May, and many of the bills that lawmakers passed go into effect July 1.

According to the Iowa Legislature website, more than 180 bills passed in the 2021 legislative session. Here’s a breakdown of five of those laws.

Iowans no longer need a permit to buy a gun or to carry a concealed weapon. A person trying to buy a gun will still have to pass a background check at the point of sale. People will also be able to carry firearms in most public places without prior safety training.

Iowa’s charter school rules are expanding after education disagreements during the pandemic. The law now allows groups to set up such schools by applying directly to the state and bypassing local school boards. These schools also get taxpayer money for students that switch from public school districts.

Another law would provide requirements for government training and classroom curriculum when it comes to diversity and inclusion efforts. It prevents the teaching of “divisive concepts,” including ideas like systemic racism and white privilege. The Republicans who wrote the new law say it will not outlaw diversity training altogether.

Two more laws address child care costs and access. The first creates a more gradual phase-out of eligibility for child care public assistance. This is a solution to the child care “cliff,” where a worker begins to earn more income and thus loses eligibility. The second increases the number of children who can be served in an unregistered home setting. The law changes it from five to six, as long as at least one is school-aged.

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