The 2010 Iowa legislative session is history and over the past three months lawmakers passed laws that will change every day life for many Iowans. Legislators passed a bill which makes it illegal to read or send text messages while you’re driving.

The new law is even tougher on teenagers. Some say it’s an attempt to get new drivers to keep two hands on the wheel. Once the governor signs the bill into law, it will be illegal for teenagers to use any handheld electronic device while they’re driving — so no texting and no talking on the cell phone either if you’re under the age of 18.

Lawmakers made other changes like raising fines for motorists caught driving too close to bicyclists and imposing new regulations on amateur mixed martial arts fights in Iowa. Another bill imposes new penalties on bar owners who look the other way when there’s an assault, a drug deal or a prostitute in their parking lot.

If you’re steamed about hefty rate hikes on your health insurance policy, legislators moved to require a longer period of time before rate hikes may go into effect on private health insurance policies to give people time to shop around for a cheaper plan. Legislators also passed a bill which may eventually expand the amount of electricity produced in Iowa, but it may mean you’ll pay more on your utility bill soon.

The legislation gives utilities authority to raise rates on customers and use that money to finance a study of where it would make sense to build a new nuclear power plant in the state.