When the new fiscal year begins each year in Iowa, on July 1, a number of new laws always come with it. Here are some of my favorites that are about to take effect.

Newborn Safe Haven Act

It's an expansion of Iowa's current law, which allows an infant to be left at a health care facility or hospital, with no risk of prosecution. The current law allows babies to be dropped off until they're two weeks old. The new law will permit infants to be dropped off until they're 30 days old. People will also be able to call 911 to have the baby picked up.

Hopefully, this new law will save even more Iowa babies.

Suicide Prevention

School employees in our state will have to have at least an hour of suicide prevention training each year. Iowa's state Board of Education will be setting regulations that will require Iowa school districts to have procedures in place to help prevent suicides and how to deal with the situation if one occurs. According to the law, the new regulations will also require "identification of adverse childhood experiences and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response."

As the rate of suicide continues to increase, it's vital something be done in our schools. This is a great step.

Possible Sports Concussions

If a health provider, coach, or official sees a student showing concussion-like symptoms, the athlete will be required to be removed immediately. The law states the student cannot return until they're received approval to do so, in writing, from a health care provider.

Winning has to come second to the health of student-athletes. Period.

Credit Card Skimmers

Any person who illegally uses a scanning device or encoding machine will be committing a Class "D" felony. According to the Des Moines Register, a conviction could result in up to five years in jail.

We provided you information recently on how to spot a gas pump that's been tampered with by would-be thieves. You can see that story HERE.

School Lunch Shaming

School districts will be required to give info to parents and guardians twice a year about applying for reduced or free meals. The family would also be notified if a child is more than five meals behind in payment. Students who have lunch debt cannot be identified publicly.

School districts can also now have an account to cover the cost of unpaid meals for kids. According to the law, the school "may deposit in the account moneys received from private sources for purposes of paying student meal debt accrued by individual students."

Ignition Interlock Device

Beginning July 1, anyone with a temporary restricted driver's license will be required to have an ignition interlock in their vehicle. The driver will have to blow into a mouthpiece. If they've been drinking, the vehicle will not start.

Any law aimed at helping lessen the number of drunk drivers on Iowa roads is a good one, and this should definitely help.

There are several other laws that also go into effect Sunday, July 1. The Des Moines Register has published a more comprehensive list here.


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