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Newscast 02.02.23: LGBTQ+ bills in Iowa and South Dakota; Help with home heating bills

A bill introduced in the Iowa House (HF 190) would remove gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

State law has made discrimination based on gender identity illegal since in 2007.

But if the bill were to pass, transgender Iowans would no longer be protected from discrimination in areas such as housing, hiring, education and public services.

The bill is sponsored by 12 House Republican lawmakers. A similar bill was introduced two years ago but never went anywhere.

The proposal follows other bills advancing in the legislature that would restrict school lessons from including gender identity (SF 83) and would require schools to have parental consent before affirming a transgender student’s identity (HF 180).

A South Dakota bill that would restrict healthcare to transgender individuals below the age of 18 passed through a House committee on health and human services Tuesday morning. South Dakota joins at least 18 other states with similar legislation.

Applications are being accepted until April 30 for low-income homeowners and renters to receive assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.

The Community Action Agency of Siouxland is taking online, over-the-phone and in-person applications. Assistance is based on several factors, including total household income, number of household members, dwelling type and heating fuel type.

For more information or to apply online, visit www.caasiouxland.org.

Applicants will need to provide identification, a copy of their most recent heating bill and proof of household members' gross income either for the past 30 days or the past calendar year.

Woodbury County residents have an opportunity at meeting on tonight to find out how to deal with an infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer. Signs of an infestation include canopy thinning, leafy sprouts shooting from the trunk or main branches, bark splitting and woodpecker damage.

The invasive insect was recently discovered in Sioux City in Woodbury Councy, and in Monona, Osceola counties.

Woodbury County ISU Extension and Outreach is holding a meeting tonight from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at its Southern Hills Drive location.

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