Iowa Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SF 240)
This law was last updated on Sep 12, 2019
SF 240 would prohibit a government entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a law of general applicability.
The bill states that a government entity shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion unless the government entity demonstrates that application of the burden to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.
A person whose exercise of religion has been burdened by a government entity in violation of this provision may assert that violation as a claim or defense in any judicial or administrative proceeding and may obtain such declaratory relief or monetary damages as may properly be awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.
The bill does not apply to the department of corrections, a district department of correctional services, a county jail, or other detention facility.
The law allows religious freedom to be raised as a defense in lawsuits between private citizens and therefore does not track the federal RFRA.
Companion bill to HF 258.
Nearly identical to SF 508.
2/12/19 – Introduced; referred to Senate Local Government Committee.