Author: Iowa Senate Democrats

Judiciary Committee Report – Week 7, 2018

SF 2098 – Clerks of Court probate procedures and the electronic data management system
SF 2099 – Small estates
SF 2135 – Failure to wear a motor vehicle safety belt or safety harness
SF 2139 – Powers of an agent under a power of attorney relating to real property
SF 2146 – Reporting of burn injuries
SF 2167 – Interception of wire, oral, or electronic communications by state agents
SF 2175 – Partition of property in kind and by sale
SF 2197 – Vehicle theft enhancements
SF 2229 – Mechanic’s liens and collateral security
SF 2235 – Critical Infrastructure
SF 2254 – Human Trafficking of persons under age 18
SF 2372 – Medical Cannabidiol
SF 2373 – Child Endangerment
SF 2374 – Joint physical care
SF 2375 – No criminal statute of limitations for sex abuse of a child
SF 2378 – Terms for members of corporate boards of directors
SJR 2010– Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

Senate File 2098 updates the probate Code sections to reflect current practice using the electronic document management system.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

Senate File 2099 increases the size of what qualifies as a small estate for probate purposes from $100,000 to $200,000. If a personal representative files to convert the estate administration to or from a small estate based on assets, a court order is not required to make the change. The clerk will make the conversion upon the filing of the personal representative’s statement. The bill makes changes to the requirements for closing the estate by sworn statement, specifies what is necessary to close a small estate and clarifies that clerks of court must close a small estate without a court order upon proof that the closing statement has been served and assets have been distributed. In the alternative, the clerk will close the small estate 60 days after filing of the closing statement and proof of service.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

Senate File 2135 relates to failure to wear a seat belt that results in injuries in an accident. Under current law, if an individual is injured in a motor vehicle accident, and it can be shown that their failure to wear a seatbelt or safety harness contributed to their injuries, the damages awarded in a civil suit may be reduced by up to 5 percent of any award. The bill increases that amount by which damages can be reduced up to 25 percent. There must be substantial evidence that failure to wear the seat belt or safety harness contributed to the injury.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

Senate File 2139 comes from the Iowa State Bar Association and gives specific additional powers relating to real property if an agent (person given power over another’s financial matters) in a financial power of attorney is given general authority over a person’s interests in real property. If the power of attorney does not specifically restrict an agent’s power, the agent could relinquish any and all of the principal’s rights of dower, homestead and elective share. Dower is a spouse’s right to a portion of their deceased spouse’s real property. An elective share is the property that a surviving spouse can choose to receive contrary to a deceased spouse’s will. The bill is effective upon enactment.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

Senate File 2167 purports to fix Code language on expanded circumstances that allow state agents to get a court order for wiretap interception. Over the years, circumstances that would authorize applications for wiretaps have been expanded. Yet there was never an amendment to the Code allowing a court to expand the reasons. The Code currently says a judge can authorize wiretaps for evidence of drug dealing only. Under this bill, the court may authorize wiretaps when there is potential evidence of any of the crimes that would authorize a warrant, including a forcible felony, felony offense involving ongoing criminal conduct, felony offense involving money laundering, a felony fugitive warrant and a felony offense involving human trafficking. These are in addition to the currently authorized warrants for drug dealing.
[2/19: 48-1 (No: McCoy; Absent: Sinclair)]

 

Senate File 2175 is a Bar Association bill relating to partition of property and provides the courts with procedures for partitioning property when co-tenants disagree. The bill sets procedures for partition by sale and for partition in kind (dividing the property between all owners rather than selling it and dividing the proceeds). All partition procedures will be placed in Code Chapter 651. Currently most procedures for partition are included in court rules. There are two distinct divisions in the bill; one provides procedures for all partitions; the other division includes special provisions that would apply only where real estate is “heirs’ property.” Per court rule, the courts have favored partition of property by sale; however, this bill provides a procedure when the property is heirs’ property and some of the heirs request a partition in kind, wanting to keep the property in the family.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

Senate File 2229 deletes Code Section 572.3, which prohibits obtaining a mechanic’s lien when a person who performs labor or supplies materials takes collateral security.
[2/21: 49-1 (No: Taylor; Absent: D. Johnson)]

 

Senate File 2235 creates the crime of “Critical Infrastructure Sabotage”: Any unauthorized act that is intended to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of service rendered to the pubic relating to critical infrastructure property. It does not include an accidental interruption or impairment of service rendered to the public caused by a person in the performance of work duties. Activities related to the production of farm products that cause an interruption or impairment would not be considered critical infrastructure sabotage.

Critical infrastructure property includes essentially any piece of equipment, item, etc., associated with:

  • Electrical infrastructure
  • Gas, oil, petroleum, refined petroleum products or chemical critical infrastructure
  • Telecommunications or broadband critical infrastructure
  • Transportation critical infrastructure
  • Wastewater critical infrastructure
  • Water supply critical infrastructure, including hydrants, meters, etc.

A person who commits critical infrastructure sabotage commits a “B” felony, which is punished by up to 25 years in prison. In addition, the person must pay a fine of $85,000 to $100,000.
[2/21: 33-16 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Danielson, Dotzler, Dvorsky, Hart, Hogg, Horn, Jochum, Lykam, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, Taylor)]

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

Senate File 2146 expands the circumstances under which a health care professional must report a burn injury to law enforcement. However, the bill also says that a health care professional is immune from any liability for reporting a suspicious burn injury or if they fail to report a suspicious burn injury.
[2/15: short form]

 

Senate File 2197 enhances the penalties for theft of a motor vehicle when the stolen vehicle is subsequently used in the commission of a felony or forcible felony. In addition, the bill enhances the penalty for operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent if the vehicle is subsequently used in the commission of a felony or forcible felony.
[2/15: 8-5, party line]

 

Senate File 2199 removes the criminal statute of limitations for sexual abuse in the first, second or third degree when the victim is under 18. Thus, criminal charges can be brought against a perpetrator at any time after the abuse has occurred.
[2/15: short form]

 

Senate File 2254 increases the penalty for human trafficking to a “B” felony when the victim is under 18.
[2/15: short form]

 

Senate Joint Resolution 2010 proposes an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that supporters claim would  protect crime victims.
[2/15: 8-5, party line]

 

Senate Study Bill 3102 says that a person is guilty of child endangerment if they knowingly allow another person who is a registered sex offender or required to be a registered sex offender because of a conviction for an offense against a minor to have unsupervised access to children or  minors. In addition, the bill establishes that a charge of child endangerment can be brought against a sex offender who must register because of an offense against a child if the sex offender knowingly has unsupervised access to a child or minor.
[2/15: short form]

 

Senate Study Bill 3135 amends the definition of debilitating medical conditions for which a health care provider can prescribe medical cannabidiol to include a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (not just MS with severe and persistent muscle spasms); substitutes “severe or chronic pain” for “untreatable pain”; and adds “any other medical condition for which the patient’s health care practitioner determines the use of medical cannabidiol could be medically beneficial.” In addition, the bill alters the definition of medical cannabidiol by removing requirements that it be pharmaceutical grade and less than 3 percent THC.
[2/15: 12-1(No: Dawson)]

 

SSB 3154 creates a rebuttable presumption of joint physical care (50/50) in child custody matters when both parents are awarded joint legal custody. If the court does not award joint physical care, it must cite clear and convincing evidence that joint physical care is unreasonable.
[2/15: 8-5, party line]

 

Senate Study bill 3183 removes the requirement for staggered terms for members of public corporation boards of directors (Casey’s bill).
[2/15: short form]

Commerce Committee Report – week 7, 2018

SF 2169 – Alcoholic beverages licensee liability
SF 2177 – CRA security freezes
SF 2257 – Marketplace contractors
SF 2262 – Final-stage motor vehicle manufacturers 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2177 eliminates fees to place, temporarily lift or remove a credit freeze and creates additional methods other than certified mail that credit reporting agencies (CRAs) must accept, including first-class mail, telephone, secure email and secure Internet connection. The legislation also shortens the time for the CRA to put the freeze in place. The Iowa Attorney General strongly supports the proposal, which is similar to legislation in many other states. The bill would take effect upon enactment.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2257 defines a marketplace contractor as an independent contractor. A marketplace contractor is a person who enters into a written agreement with a marketplace platform (e.g., online booking) to use its digital network to connect with individuals who want to hire a marketplace contractor for services, such as home repairs. The most notable is Handy Technologies, a company that offers a variety of services, including residential cleaning, handyman repair, furniture assembly, and plumbing and electrical work. It exempts real estate brokers and real estate agents, as well as delivery service providers (e.g., UPS, FedEx) who only transport sealed boxes, parcels, freight and envelopes for a fee. Concerns were expressed in committee regarding professions that require an Iowa license, particularly plumbers and electricians, and the contracted work booked online without verification of licensure. The bill was unanimously amended to clarify that when providing services that require an Iowa license, the marketplace contractor is responsible for obtaining the license and making it available to the individuals or entities for which the marketplace contractor is providing services.
[2/19: 48 – 1 (No: Hogg; Absent: Sinclair)]

 

SF 2169 limits the liability of an alcoholic beverage license or permit holder for certain alcohol-related injuries, commonly known as Dram Shop. Currently, the holder, regardless of whether the license or permit was issued by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division or by the licensing authority of any other state, is liable for all damages caused by an intoxicated person if the holder served alcohol to them when the holder knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the holder knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated. Under the bill, damages are available to an innocent third party, and a license or permit holder is liable only if the establishment sold and served beer, wine or intoxicating liquor directly to the intoxicated person, provided the person was visibly intoxicated at the time of sale or service. The damages available to an innocent third party from a licensee or permittee would be limited to $75,000 for claims involving injury to a person or property, and to $100,000 for claims involving loss of means of support or loss of services, companionship, society or consortium resulting from the death or injury of a person.

Amendment S-5029 by Senators Hogg, Boulton, Hart and Lykam would have removed the caps and required the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to conduct a study on Dram Shop liability claims and determine whether the insurance premiums paid by Iowa alcoholic beverage licensees for Dram Shop coverage are appropriate. The study would include the total premiums collected by Dram Shop liability carriers in Iowa and the history of claims, including whether a claim was settled, a lawsuit was filed or a jury verdict was rendered. The Commissioner must report the findings to the Legislature by December 15, 2018. The amendment lost 20-29 on a party-line vote.
[2/21: 29-20 (Yes: Republicans, Danielson; No: Democrats, Carlin; Absent: D. Johnson)]

 

SF 2262 allows a final-stage motor vehicle manufacturer to be licensed as a motor vehicle dealer only of incomplete motor vehicles if it manufactures multi-stage manufactured vehicles. It would streamline the sales process for dealers of special manufactured equipment, such as service trucks, cranes, concrete pumpers, garbage trucks, and other construction and municipal vehicles. Companion bill is HF 2308.
[2/21: 49-0 (Absent: D. Johnson)]

State Government Committee Report – Week 7, 2018

SSB 3138 – State energy conservation building code requirements
SSB 3188 – Statewide elected officials’ communications
SSB 3191 – Condition of election activities
SF 192 – New licenses to practice applied behavior analysis
SF 2155 Public investment maturity limitations in operating funds of cities/counties
SF 2219 – Sale or lease of ICN
SF 2256 – Ethics and campaign electronic filing and foreign agent transparency
SF 2289 – Allows federally recognized Indian to enter into 28E agreements with municipalities
SF 2306 – Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to notify of opponent report changes 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2155 says that a political subdivision (city, county or school district) may invest that portion of their operating funds, in excess of 33 percent, in five-year certificates of deposit. Current law requires investments that mature within 397 days or less for this portion of excess operating funds. This bill will allow cities, counties or school districts to earn more interest on these investments.
[2/20: 48-0 (Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2256 makes changes to provisions of campaign and ethics reports requiring all statements and reports to be filed electronically with the board. Since January 1, 2016, all candidates and committees have been required to do this. The bill codifies that requirement and adds a clarification to the prohibition on people using fictitious names when making a campaign contribution in excess of $25.
[2/21: 49-0 (Excused: D. Johnson)]

 

SF 2289 defines a public agency only for the joint exercise of governmental powers under Code chapter 28E to include any federally recognized Indian tribe.
[2/20: 48-0 (Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2306 requires the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board to notify candidates for the Legislature or statewide office — if they have requested such notifications — if their political opponent files an amended disclosure report in July or October. The notification must include a copy of the disclosure report being amended.

[2/21: SF 2256 makes changes to provisions of campaign and ethics reports requiring all statements and reports to be filed electronically with the board. Since January 1, 2016, all candidates and committees have been required to do this. The bill codifies that requirement and adds a clarification to the prohibition on people using fictitious names when making a campaign contribution in excess of $25.
[2/21: 49-0 (Excused: D. Johnson)]

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SSB 3138 requires new residential construction to comply with the 2018 energy conservation requirements adopted by the state building code commissioner and approved by the state building code advisory council. This effectively means that the Legislature will now have to act to enact new energy building codes in the future as opposed to the state building code commissioner, as was done in the past. The bill takes effect upon enactment.
[2/15: 9-6, party line]

 

SSB 3188 prohibits a statewide or locally elected official from spending public money controlled by the state on designated communications or designated exhibit expenditures within 30 days before a general election. The bill defines designated communication as a public advertisement or direct mailing, a paid radio or a paid television communication if such advertisement or promotion bears the written name, likeness or voice of an official. The bill defines designated exhibit expenditure as a billboard, placard, banner, table skirt, sign, display or other physical structure in excess of 150 square inches at a booth on a fairground or grounds bearing the written name, likeness or voice of the official.

The bill excludes from the definitions of designated communication all of the following: a report, record, letter, memorandum, document, envelope, cover sheet, certificate, constituent correspondence, routine ministerial material, or ceremonial material bearing the name, official logo or official letterhead of the office of a statewide elected official, legislator or local official, provided that it is used for official duties; a depiction of the seal of Iowa approved by the governor; official press releases or advisories issued by the office of a statewide elected official, legislator or a local official in any form; a publication, literature or other medium of communication related to a proclamation of a state of public disorder by the governor; and a payment made by the office of a statewide elected official, legislator or a local official to reserve floor space for a booth or display at fair.

A violation is subject to a civil penalty up to the amount of money withdrawn from a public account for the designated communication. Any additional criminal or civil penalties under Code section 68A.701 or established by the board pursuant to Code section 68B.32A may also be used for violations of the bill.

[2/15: 9-6 (Yes: Republicans, Bowman)]

 

SSB 3191 deals with campaign procedures. Division I of the bill prohibits persons from sending unsolicited political advertisements using text or multimedia messages to mobile electronic devices. Violations would be a civil penalty of $50 for each telephone number contacted without first receiving permission, up to $5,000. Division II specifies that a county commissioner of elections must arrange the ballot so that the candidates of each political party for most partisan offices appear in descending order with the candidates of the political party whose registered voters voted in the greatest number appear first on the ballot. There was discussion that Division I may not be constitutional, and Division II needs work. The committee moved the bill forward without amendment because of time constraints.
[2/15: 9-6, party line]

 

SF 192 creates a licensure process for behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts who practice applied behavior analysis. Under the bill, a license to practice behavior analysis is post-doctoral education accredited by the National Commission on Certifying agencies or the American National Standards Institute.
[2/15: 15-0]

 

SF 2219 directs the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission to implement a request for proposals (RFP) to sell or lease the Iowa Communications Network, with the sale or lease to commence during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018. Additionally, the state auditor must audit and an independent appraisal firm must appraise the network to determine the current market value of its assets. The firm must be selected through a competitive bidding process not associated with the network or any of its vendors. Public funds must not be used for the purchase of the network. If the commission seeks outside assistance to implement the RFP process, such assistance must be provided by an independent professional firm selected through a competitive bidding process. The RFP must allow a bidder to purchase the network’s assets relating to the Iowa National Guard. The RFP must not require a bidder to subsidize the network’s services that are operating at a loss, maintain the network’s billing and procurement system, maintain or employ the network’s employees, or segregate operations. The winning bidder must demonstrate a commitment to serving the citizens of Iowa and facilitating rural broadband service. The commission must submit status reports to the Legislature every three months on progress made toward selling or leasing the network, beginning October 1, 2018.
[2/15: 10-5 (Yes: Republicans, Horn)]

Transportation Committee Report -Week 7, 2018

SF 2037 – Light transmittance through motor vehicle windows
SF 2067 – Motor vehicle headlights from sunset to sunrise
SF 2163 – Snowplows to use blue and white lights
SF 2271 – Taxicab service passenger certificates 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2037 reduces the light transmittance through motor vehicle windows from 70 percent to 35 percent. Violation is a $50 fine. If law enforcement stops a motor vehicle with less than 70 percent light transmittance, the driver must lower their window as far as possible when the an officer approaches.  A violation of this provision is a $20 fine.
[2/20: 35-13 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Dotzler, Dvorsky, Hogg, Jochum, D. Johnson, Kinney, Mathis, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach; Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2067 requires a motor vehicle to display headlights from sunset to sunrise, and when fog, snow, sleet or rain don’t allow a driver to see 500 feet ahead. Factory-installed daytime running headlamps meet the requirements of the bill. A violation is a $30 fine.
[2/19: 48-1 (No: Zaun; Excused: Sinclair)]

 

SF 2163 strikes a sunset provision allowing snowplows to use blue and white lights when operating. This would make use of the lights a permanent provision of Iowa Code.
[2/20: 45-4 (No: Danielson, D. Johnson, McCoy, Taylor; Excused: Sinclair)]

 

SF 2271 prohibits taxicabs from transporting passengers without a taxicab service passenger certificate from the Iowa Department of Transportation. However, a certificate does not authorize a taxicab service to transport passengers within the boundaries of a local authority that licenses or regulates taxis, pursuant to Code section 321.236(7), unless the taxicab service complies with all local regulations. This applies to for-hire transportation in vehicles that seat fewer than seven passengers and don’t operate on a regular route.
[2/19: 47-2 (No: Danielson, McCoy; Excused: Sinclair)]

Natural Resources Committee Report – Week 7, 2018

SF 2020 – State park or preserve campsites available for reservation
SF 2118 – Youth deer hunting licenses – use across other seasons 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2020 would allow the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) to designate up to 100 percent of the campsites in a state park or preserve as reservable through the centralized reservation system administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The DNR’s reservation system allows people to reserve a campsite in advance, instead of waiting until they arrive to see if a site is available. Reservations can be made online or over the phone.

When the DNR established the reservation system, the portion of reservable campsites was limited to 50 percent as a way to balance concerns among some park users that the reservation system would change how campsites were used at their local parks. Under current rules, the Commission allows up to 75 percent of campsites to be reserved through the system.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

SF 2118 allows a person issued a youth deer-hunting license with an unused tag to hunt in other deer-hunting seasons. A youth hunter can only use the approved “method of take” or weapon during that season.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

Democrats denounce secret meeting on Medicaid problems

News Release
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2018

 

DES MOINES — Four key Democratic state legislators today denounced plans by officials with Governor Kim Reynolds’s Administration to have a closed-door meeting to discuss the failed Medicaid privatization experiment.

The four legislators – Senators Amanda Ragan and Liz Mathis and Representatives Lisa Heddens and Beth Wessel-Kroeschell – were reacting to plans by Iowa Medicaid Director Michael Randol to hold a closed-door meeting with Medicaid providers on Thursday, February 22.

The stated purpose of the meeting is to identify and discuss payment issues that Iowa health care providers are having with privatized Medicaid.

Here’s a joint statement from the four Democratic legislators:

“This meeting should be open to the public because problems with Medicaid affect all Iowa taxpayers, more than 600,000 Medicaid members and healthcare providers across the state.

“Hundreds of hospitals, nursing homes and other Iowa healthcare providers face financial jeopardy because of Medicaid privatization. This issue affects Iowans in every county.

“If there’s going to be a bipartisan solution to this problem, more – not fewer – Iowans should be at the table for the discussion.”

 Requests by legislators to attend the meeting have been denied.

The four legislators also renewed their concerns about a proposal by the Reynolds Administration to eliminate much of the oversight for the privatized Medicaid program.

Sen. Ragan and Rep. Heddens are ranking members of their respective Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittees, and Sen. Mathis and Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell are ranking members of their respective Human Resources committees.

-end-

Veterans Affairs Committee Report – week 7, 2018

SF 2200 – Veterans benefits services, events disclosure
SF 2201 – Public Defense omnibus technical updates
SF 2365 – Misrepresentation of service dogs
SF 2366 – IDVA omnibus
SF 2367 – School residency for children of parents on active-duty 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2200 is a recommendation by the Iowa Attorney General to strengthen laws applicable to for-profit veterans’ benefits services that provide advice or assistance for a fee. A person who advertises or promotes an event, presentation, seminar, workshop or other public gathering on veterans’ benefits or entitlements must include a disclosure and disseminate it verbally and in writing at the beginning of the event. The written disclosure must be in the same type size and font as the term “veteran” or any variation of that term used in promotional materials or at the event. The disclosure must be in this format: “This event is not sponsored by, or affiliated with, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, or any other congressionally-chartered or recognized organization of honorably discharged  members of the Armed Forces of the United States or any of their auxiliaries; products or services that may be discussed at this event are not necessarily endorsed by those organizations; you may qualify for benefits other than or in addition to the benefits discussed at this event.”

The disclosure is not required if a government agency for veterans or an officially-recognized organization of veterans has given permission to use the agency’s or organization’s name for the event, or if the event is part of an accredited continuing legal education course. The provisions do not apply to government employees or volunteers acting in their official capacity. The legislation authorizes the Attorney General to obtain injunctive relief for unfair practices and to recover a civil penalty of up to $40,000 per violation. Any civil penalty recovered will go to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2201 is a recommendation by the Department of Public Defense. It authorizes the Adjutant General to establish and manage self-funded Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and activities for the Iowa National Guard, similar to those operated by the U.S. Armed Forces on military reservations and air bases, and designate suitable buildings and land on National Guard properties. For example, this would allow food trucks to offer services at Camp Dodge in Johnston. The bill also requires law enforcement officers to assign a case number to a sexual assault allegation and initiate an investigation. This more closely mirrors federal military requirements while preserving the discretion of local law enforcement to close a case that does not meet evidentiary requirements for prosecution. The Iowa State Bar Association supports this change.
[2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SF 2365 (SSB 3148) relates to assistance animals, assistive animals and service dogs, and provides penalties for misrepresenting  oneself as entitled to such an animal in housing and for misrepresenting an animal as an assistive animal or a service dog. The bill creates new Code section 216.8B, “Assistance Animals, Assistive Animals, and Service Dogs in Housing,” that defines the animals and provides that a landlord must waive lease restrictions for the assistance animal, service dog, or assistive animal of a person with a disability. It also states that a tenant is liable for damage done by such an animal. The bill requires the Iowa Civil Rights Commission to adopt rules regarding a written finding by licensees. Committee members agreed that the bill needs further work but want to keep the proposal open for continued suggestions and recommendations by stakeholders. A similar bill, HF 2396 by Judiciary, is on the House calendar.
[2/15: short form]

 

SF 2366 (SSB 3021) is based on recommendations by the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs and the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs. It increases the number of members on the Commission from nine to 11. The new members will represent the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Iowa Association of County Commissioners and Veteran Service Officers. The appointees are selected from names submitted by the organizations. The bill increases the amount that may be spent each fiscal year from the Veterans Trust Fund from $300,000 to $500,000, transferred to the fund from the Iowa Lottery Authority from lottery revenues. It also authorizes that the Trust Fund may grant up to $1,000 to a qualified individual for rental housing assistance (e.g., application fees) or one-time monetary assistance to prevent homelessness. This does not include rent payments, which is under Housing and Urban Development and other federal programs. HF 2346 is the companion bill.
[2/15: short form]

 

SF 2367 (SSB 3149) allows a child who lives with a parent or guardian who is on active duty, and stationed and domiciled at certain federal military installations (Rock Island Arsenal, Offutt Air Force Base), to be considered an Iowa resident. They may enroll tuition-free in a school district located in a county contiguous to that in which the military installation is located. A school district must include the student in its actual enrollment count for calculating state foundation aid. The parent or guardian must transport the child without reimbursement to and from a point on a regular school bus route.
[2/15: short form]

Local Government Committee Report – Week 7, 2018

SF 2059 – Assessor notices
SF 2227 – County resolution publication

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2059 gives counties and property owners another option for providing assessor notices. If an assessor is required or authorized by Iowa Code to send an assessment, notice or other information by regular mail, the assessor may instead provide the information electronically. The assessor still has the option to send by mail. Private information and addresses are protected in the bill.
[2/19: 49-0 (Excused: Sinclair)]

 

SF 2227 requires the county auditor to print either a summary of all resolutions or the complete text of resolutions adopted by the board of supervisors. Currently, the entire text of the resolution must be printed.
[2/17: 49-0 (Excused: Sinclair)]

Labor & Business Relations Committee Report – Week 7, 2018

SF 2353/SSB 3189WIOA Federal Conformity
SF 2370/SSB 3193—DHS Public Assistance Programs 

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SF 2353/SSB 3189 brings Iowa Code into conformity with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA). The bill adds definitions; makes changes to the conflict of interest policy for State Workforce Board members; makes changes to the political and gender balance of the State Board; and requires electronic posting of certain State Board information.

The bill makes changes to the membership of the local workforce boards; requires a majority of members representing business; makes the Chief Elected Officials responsible for appointees to the local boards, instead of the Governor; provides a list of functions to be carried out by the local workforce board; and makes changes to the political and gender balance of the local boards.

The bill makes Iowa Workforce Development the lead agency for developing industry and sector partnerships. Currently, the Iowa Department of Education administers sector partnerships along with community colleges.
[2/15: 8-3 (No: Bisignano, Boulton, Taylor)]

 

SF 2370/SSB 3193 relates to public assistance program oversight and eligibility, including for Medicaid, the Family Investment Program (FIP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The changes include:

Verification of an applicant’s eligibility – The Department of Human Services (DHS) must implement a system for public assistance programs to verify the eligibility of an applicant. DHS may contract with a third-party vendor. Contracts will ensure that annualized savings exceed the contract’s cost to the state. DHS will require applicants to prove residence in the state for at least one year.

Real-time Eligibility Monitoring – DHS, at least quarterly, must obtain and review specified information to determine ongoing eligibility for public assistance. The bill authorizes DHS to contract with a third party. The contract must specify that annualized savings exceed the contract’s cost to the state. If information indicates a potential change or discrepancy in circumstances that may affect eligibility, DHS will review and respond. The bill delineates the appropriate action based on the response of the recipient following the notice.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Work Requirements – The bill prohibits DHS from establishing resource limits for SNAP that exceed those in federal law. Categorical eligibility will not exempt households from limits for non-cash, in-kind or other benefits, unless expressly required by federal law. DHS cannot go above the bare minimum to help more people get a critical safety net, even though federal law allows it. The bill prohibits DHS from seeking a waiver of work requirements applicable to an individual eligible for SNAP.

Medicaid Work Requirements – To be eligible for Medicaid, the recipient will do one of the following:

  • Work 20 hours or more per week, averaged on a monthly basis.
  • Participate in and comply with the requirements of a work program for 20 hours or more per week, as determined by DHS.
  • Volunteer 20 hours or more per week, as determined by DHS.
  • Meet a combination of work and work program participation requirements for 20 hours or more per week, as determined by DHS.

Individuals exempt from work requirements for Medicaid include:

  • Those under 19.
  • Those over 64.
  • Those medically certified as physically or mentally unfit for employment.
  • Those who are pregnant.
  • A parent or caretaker responsible for a dependent child under age one.
  • A parent or caretaker personally providing the care for a dependent child with a serious medical condition or disability, as determined by DHS.
  • Those receiving unemployment compensation and complying with work requirements of the federal or state unemployment compensation system.
  • Those participating in a drug or alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program.

The work requirements seem to be aimed at the Iowa Health and Wellness (ACA Medicaid expansion) population (about 150,000 Iowans).

Drug Testing for Applicants (Medicaid, FIP, SNAP) – To receive benefits under a public assistance program, the applicant must take a drug test. Dependent children under 18 are exempt from drug testing. Those who don’t participate in required drug testing are ineligible for benefits. If an individual test positive for a Schedule I (124.204), Substance II, III or IV (124.204) substance that was not prescribed:

  • They must pay for the drug test.
  • They have a right to retake the drug test. DHS will adopt rules specifying the circumstances in which the individual may retake the test.

They may not reply for assistance for one year after the positive test unless they can show successful completion of a licensed substance abuse treatment program. They may then reapply after six months of the positive test result. Cost of any drug testing or substance abuse treatment will be the responsibility of the individual being tested or receiving treatment. Those with a confirmed positive test result after undergoing the substance abuse treatment may reapply for assistance only once.

  • Those who have a subsequent positive test result (after the one year wait period) are ineligible to receive assistance for three years after the subsequent result (unless the individual seeks the substance abuse treatment).
  • If a parent is deemed ineligible for assistance because of the positive test result, the dependent child remains eligible for assistance. A “protective payee” will be designated by the parent to receive assistance on behalf of the child. The protective payee is subject to drug testing.

If the drug test does NOT result in a confirmed positive test result, the cost of the drug test will be reimbursed by being added to the benefits.

Reporting and Reporting of fraud – DHS will report fraud to the Attorney General for review.

Eligible food items – DHS will maintain a list of eligible food and food items for the food assistance program with a numeric-based code assigned to food items. A retailer will not allow a recipient to use a benefit transfer instrument to purchase food and food items that are not include on the list. DHS will assess a civil penalty against a retailer who sells ineligible food items to a recipient: $1,000 for first violation; $2,000 for a second violation occurring within five years of the first violation; and $5,000 for subsequent violations.

Food Assistance Program—Authority to Restrict Use of Benefits – The bill requires DHS to seek a waiver from the USDA so that Iowa can restrict purchases made with food assistance benefits more strictly that federal regulations allow. Under federal regulations, food assistance can only be used to purchase unprepared food and non-alcoholic beverages. The bill would restrict purchases of foods with a low nutritional value that cost more than $8 per pound, or that purport to have health benefits not available in lower-cost foods.

Administration, Implementation, Effective Date – The bill directs DHS to request a waiver, pilot project or other approach restricting the use of certain food assistance benefits.

The bill takes effect upon enactment.
[2/15: 7-4. party line (No: Democrats)]

Human Resources Committee Report – week 7, 2018

SF 2368 – Insurance Coverage for Mammograms
SF 2369 – County of Residence 

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SF 2368 defines mammogram, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional images. Currently, insurance coverage is required for one mammogram every two years for women age 40 through 49. The bill changes the requirement to coverage for an annual mammogram for women age 40 and over.
[2/15: short form]

 

SF 2369 changes the term “legal settlement” to “county of residence” for services such as general assistance and veterans assistance to bring consistency to the Code.Legal settlement” was changed to “county of residence” for mental health and disability services several years ago. County of residence is the county where a person lives when they apply for or receives services. The person should have established an ongoing presence with the declared, good-faith intention of living in the county permanently or indefinitely. The county of residence of a person who is homeless is the county where they usually sleep.
[2/15: short form]