DES MOINES—A controversial bill passed by the Iowa Senate in the wee hours of the morning would loosen child labor laws in the state and allow some manufacturers to employ children under the age of 18 in their facilities. It now awaits a vote in the Iowa House of Representatives.

The legislative action, called SF 542, was ironically passed at 4:52 am by a vote of 32-17. It would enable 15-year-olds to “perform light assembly work as long as the assembly is not performed on machines or in an area with machines.”

Iowa is a leading manufacturing state that boasts a number of facilities operated by companies such as Arconic, CNH Industrial, Deere, HON, Pella, Polaris, Rockwell Collins, Siemens, Toyne, Vermeer, Viking Pump, Whirlpool and Winnebago.