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Statehouse updates: Removing taxes from worker bonuses, approving semi-automatic rifles for hunting

From removing sales tax on feminine hygiene products to a change in deer hunting, lawmakers have been busy in their final active days in this session

DES MOINES, Iowa — After weeks of inactivity, Iowa lawmakers returned to the statehouse Monday getting to work on a number of final measures. 

One of those bills to pass was Senate File 2367, a measure to remove sales tax from feminine hygiene products as well as child and adult diapers. Also included in the bill, the removal of income tax on bonuses approved by Gov. Kim Reynolds which were delivered to police officers, teachers, child care workers, and correctional officers. 

Deer hunters will be also able to use semi-automatic rifles during a newly-created antlerless season in January under a bill approved by lawmakers and sent to the governor. 

The measure given final approval Tuesday by the House is designed to help control the deer population and respond to complaints that excess deer eat corn and are hazardous to motorists.

“The purpose of this season is not to hunt for sport but to manage the size of the herd, which is why more efficient and effective firearms are being authorized,” said Republican Sen. Ken Rozenboom, of Oskaloosa.

Rep. Todd Prichard, D-Charles City, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, opposed the bill. He noted the AR-15 type rifles allowed for hunting were similar to those he was trained to use in the military and that ammunition authorized in the bill can travel up to 2½ miles.

He said he had about 200 hours of basic rifle marksmanship training to learn how to handle similar weapons and be combat certified.

Deer hunting with AR-15 rifles is allowed in other states. Many states have restrictions for when they can be used and regulate the type of ammunition allowed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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