House File 46, offered by state Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn) this week, declares that Iowans have a right to engage in lawful enterprise, free from any “substantial burden” imposed by regulation. It does offer an exemption, if the government can demonstrate it has a compelling interest in protecting against “present and recognizable harm” to the public health or safety, and the regulation is the least restrictive means of furthering the government’s compelling interest.
The proposed legislation only applies to state government, and any political subdivisions within the state. It does not apply to city zoning regulations, or professional certification requirements.
“The bill is to be liberally construed to protect the right established by the bill. The bill is not to be construed to create a right of action against a private party or to require a private party to do business with an individual who is not licensed, certified, or registered with the government,” the bill’s explanatory statement reads. “The bill is not to be construed to create a right of action against the federal government for its use of a state occupational regulation in federal law.”
HF 46 is opposed by the Iowa State Building and Construction Trades Council and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund. Several other lobbyists have declared they are undecided on the proposed legislation.