Government

Governor Reynolds signs law allowing stun guns on campus

Among other new laws, she approves limit on loan fund

The Iowa State House cupola on Thur. Mar 11, 2016. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
The Iowa State House cupola on Thur. Mar 11, 2016. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday signed a dozen bills into law, including ones that restrict the use of the state’s revolving loan fund for land conservation and that allow stun guns on public university and college campuses.

Senate File 548 prohibits private buyers from tapping into the state loan fund to borrow money to acquire property, except for limited water quality efforts.

In the past, groups such as the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation have obtained loans from the state fund to act quickly in purchasing land desired for conservation, then selling it later to a government agency that wants it but isn’t as agile.

Proponents of the bill said such use of the state fund gave private buyers an unfair advantage over farmers or those wanting to get into farming in acquiring land.

Senate File 188 allows stun guns at Iowa’s public universities and colleges. Before now, the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa — along with community colleges — barred all weapons from campus, including real guns, pellet guns, stun guns and daggers.

The new law allows stun guns by prohibiting governing boards from making rules barring them. Through debate, lawmakers agreed to amend an original version of the bill and allow universities and colleges to continue prohibiting stun guns in stadiums and university-affiliated hospitals.

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