Tag: Blog

Two new laws will help protect your credit

1. Credit reporting agencies cannot charge fees when you freeze checks on your credit reports 

In the Equifax security breach last year, hackers stole Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and other personal information from 1.1 million Iowans.

Wary of identity theft, many consumers requested a freeze on their credit reports. They then learned that they had to pay a fee to get the freeze and pay again if they wanted to lift the freeze. Iowans have been paying some of the highest freeze-related fees in the nation, according to the state Attorney General.

This year, we banned Equifax, Experian, TransUnion and other credit reporting agencies from charging fees when Iowans freeze checks on their credit reports (SF 2177). Freezing prevents anyone, including an identity thief, from opening a new line of credit in your name. If you need to apply for a credit card, loan or job that requires a background check, you can have the freeze lifted, even temporarily.

 

2. Tougher penalties for criminals who use technology to steal your credit card

We’re also cracking down on illegally using technology to steal payment card information (HF 2199).

Criminals can access your credit and debit cards remotely through your clothes, wallet or purse, or place nearly undetectable “skimming devices” on gas pumps and other card readers that steal your information. Your card information can even be transferred to another card for the thieves to use later.

It is now a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison to use a scanning device to take payment card information without authorization, or to use an encoding machine to transfer information from one card to another. In addition, it will be an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison to possess a scanning device intended to obtain payment card information without authorization.

 

Find helpful tips to avoid credit card fraud and identity theft on the Iowa Attorney General’s website. 

Proposal to close UI Labor Center is “latest gut punch” to Iowa workers

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  July 10, 2018  

 

Senator Joe Bolkcom statement on University of Iowa’s announcement of center closures and furloughs

“I am disappointed in the news about the center closures and furloughs.

“I am deeply disappointed at the proposed closure the UI Labor Center. This proposal is the latest gut punch to Iowa workers and their families. This is a terrible time to even consider closing the UI Labor Center.

“Since 1950, the Labor Center has helped make Iowa a better place to live and do business. It has helped workers and Iowa employers meet the changing workforce needs of the state. As an interdisciplinary educational and research center, it has helped educate students and advance the public’s understanding of work during a time of rapid change.

“It has also has leveraged its state appropriation in securing competitive federal grants for the university.

“While there is no doubt that the University of Iowa is under financial pressure because of the bad budget priorities of Governor Reynolds and the Republican Legislature, I hope that President Harreld will change his mind and reconsider this ill-advised decision that would only worsen Iowa’s efforts to build a strong, modern economy that rewards hard work.”

-end-

 

 

Dem Leaders: Labor Center will close because of misplaced GOP priorities

Iowa Legislative News Release
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2018   

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen and House Democratic Leader Mark Smith
on plans to close Labor Center and other centers at University of Iowa because of GOP budget cuts and priorities

“This afternoon, we sent separate letters to (a) Governor Reynolds, Leader Whitver and Speaker Upmeyer and (b) University of Iowa President Harreld and Board of Regent President Richards to object to plans to close the Labor Center and other centers at the University of Iowa.

“We encouraged Republican leaders to contact University officials and the Board of Regents to encourage them to reverse course.

“Our letter stated: ‘This is not the first negative consequence of your fiscal mismanagement and Iowans know it won’t be the last. The budgets you have approved for our three universities have already raised tuition on working families and this decision to close the Labor Center is another attack on Iowa workers.’

“We added: ‘At a time when Iowa’s income growth and job creation efforts have failed to meet expectations, the Labor Center has the potential to provide policymakers with timely information about today’s rapidly changing economic and legal environment, about how best to create and preserve quality jobs, and about how to strengthen workers’ rights.’

-end-

Senate Dem Leader on passing of former Governor Bob Ray

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: July 9, 2018   

 

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen
on the passing of former Governor Bob Ray 

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of former Governor Bob Ray.

“Governor Ray was a model leader who served with style, courage and humility to make our state a better place.

“By listening and working with Democrats and Republicans in the Capitol, Governor Ray was able to accomplish amazing things, including strengthening the rights of workers, making Iowa a welcoming state for immigrants and refugees, expanding the rights of voters, cleaning up the environment, and increasing opportunities for working Iowa families to improve their lives.

“Rest in peace, Governor Ray.”

-end-

More Medicaid mess: Iowans lose access to dental care

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  June 29, 2018  

Statement from Sen. Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City
on latest evidence that Medicaid privatization is a disaster 

“The Medicaid privatization disaster just got much, much worse with the decision by the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry to stop taking new adult Medicaid patients starting July 1.

“Oral health is the number one unmet need in Iowa adults. The College of Dentistry has stepped up to meet this need by being the provider of dental care to more than 8,000 adult Medicaid patients.

“The decision by Governor Reynolds and her profit-making, out-of-state MCOs to lower reimbursements, delay payments and create mounds of red tape has made it extremely difficult for dentists and the College of Dentistry to continue to serve patients in need of dental care.

“Governor Reynolds, Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver and House Speaker Linda Upmeyer need to show leadership by pulling the plug on a privatization effort that has failed Medicaid members, health care providers and taxpayers.”

– end –

Supreme Court decision is good for women’s health care

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 29, 2018  

Statement from Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

“The decision today by the Iowa Supreme Court is a victory for the constitutional rights of Iowa women.

“It’s a shame that Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans are working overtime to prevent women from accessing health care. That’s wrong. They are politicians, not doctors.

“It’s time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to increase access to health care for more Iowa women, not set up new barriers, hurdles and hoops.”

– end –

Still no answers on Medicaid mess

Iowa Senate News Release
For Immediate Release:  June 18, 2018   

 

A Statement from Senator Pam Jochum

“The presentation by Iowa Medicaid Director Mike Randol last week was an embarrassing disservice to Iowa taxpayers.

“The Reynolds Administration has still not provided any solid evidence that Medicaid privatization is saving Iowa taxpayers one dime. They also failed to address ongoing problems with the quality of service provided to Medicaid members and the failure to provide Iowa health care providers with adequate and timely reimbursements.

“The failure by the Reynolds Administration to come clean with Iowa taxpayers is even more reason for the State Auditor to comply with my request to conduct a comprehensive audit of Medicaid privatization that explains why it isn’t working.”

-end –

Judiciary Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

SF 385 – Uniform Athlete Agents Act
SF 2098 – Updating probate code for electronic document management system
SF 2099 – Administration of small estates
SF 2135 – Comparative fault for not wearing seatbelt
SF 2139 – Waiver of spousal share in power of attorney
SF 2165 – Crime victim compensation
SF 2175 – Real estate partitions
SF 2229 – Mechanics’ liens and collateral
SF 2230 – Kidnapping of those under 18
SF 2235 – Sabotage of critical infrastructure
SF 2241 – Parole violations
SF 2303 – Deferred inheritance taxes
SF 2314 – Business corporations fixes
SF 2321 – Stun guns do not require a permit to carry
SF 2378 – Terms for members of boards of directors (Casey’s)
SJR 2007 – No license suspension for drug offenses (Does not require Governor’s signature)
HF 2125 – Distribution of assets by affidavit
HF 2199 – Illegal use of a scanning device or encoding machine
HF 2232 – Mortgage releases
HF 2233 – Mechanics’ liens and claims on public-improvement project retainage
HF 2238 – Insurance fraud
HF 2255 – Contraband in Community Based Corrections facilities
HF 2300 – Mental health professionals creating business entities
HF 2318 – Redemption of parcels sold at tax sales
HF 2338 – Temporary restricted licenses for OWI offenders
HF 2342 – Property and weapons seized by DNR as a public nuisance
HF 2343 – Rules, guidance and standards requiring clear authority
HF 2348 – Non-substantive Code editor’s bill
HF 2381 – Disposition of a child found to have committed a delinquent act
HF 2392 – Mechanical eavesdropping
HF 2402 – Agent’s termination under a power of attorney
HF 2404 – Restitution paid to an estate or heirs of a crime victim
HF 2443 – Confidentiality of juvenile records
HF 2457 – Substantive Code editor’s bill
HJR 2009 – Right to bear arms constitutional amendment (Does not require Governor’s signature)

 

SF 385 makes changes to Iowa’s Uniform Athlete Agents Act. The original Act was passed to ensure that athlete agents adhere to certain requirements when recruiting athletes. The bill:

  • Expands the definition of “athlete agent” to include financial advisors, brokers and business services people who may contact student athletes.
  • Requires athlete agents to register with the Secretary of State, who is given authority to write rules to implement the Chapter.
  • Expands disclosure requirements for agents so that students and their parents know exactly who they are dealing with.
  • Strengthens the requirement that agents give notice of their involvement to education institutions.
  • Increases penalties for an agent who violates the law.
  • Enhances remedies available to the student-athlete and education institutions aggrieved by agent non-compliance.
    [3/3/17: 50-0]

 

SF 2098 updates the probate Code sections to reflect current practice using the electronic document management system. The bill:

  • Removes a reference to clerks keeping a “book” in which to record probate proceedings and removes a reference to a requirement for a written notation in a hard copy record of real estate transactions in probate. These records will be kept electronically.
  • Removes the ability of the clerks of court relating to probate matters:
  • To appoint personal representatives, guardians and conservators for minors, determine the amount of a bond, or waive or approve of bonds provided by fiduciaries in probate.
  • To admit wills to probate when not contested and make orders related to them, including orders for the issuance of commissions to take depositions.
  • To make orders in relation to the personal effects of a decedent where no objection is filed.
  • To approve petitions and reports in respect to the sale, mortgage, pledge, lease or exchange of property when notice has been waived by all persons.
  • Repeals Code section 633.72, which relates to notice to nonresident fiduciaries.
    [2/19: 49-0 (Absent: Sinclair)]

 

SF 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 when a personal representative’s statement is filed. 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 distributed. In the alternative, the clerk will close the small estate 60 days after filing of the closing statement and proof of service. The bill adds a definition of “probate assets” to the probate code. “Probate assets” means a decedent’s property subject to administration by a personal representative and requires attorneys for a small estate to clearly specify which assets are probate assets and their gross value. The section of the bill increasing the size of an estate that qualifies as a small estate is effective July 1, 2020. The remaining sections of the bill take effect July 1, 2018.
[3/28: 46-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Lykam, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

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

 

SF 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)]

 

SF 2165 relates to the Victim Compensation Fund. Payments are made to victims of certain crimes for expenses incurred because of the crime. The fund is made up of criminal surcharge monies and other sources and has no impact on the General Fund. The bill:

  • Adds a definition of “survivor of a deceased victim” so that there is a consistent definition throughout the Code for providing compensation.
  • Adds the ability to receive compensation for loss of income incurred by a survivor of a deceased victim for a funeral, memorial or burial service.
  • Allows compensation for cleaning a crime scene, regardless of where the crime occurs. In the past, compensation was limited to cleaning a residence.
  • Provides for compensation for dependent care expenses when a survivor attends a funeral, burial or memorial service.
  • Provides for replacing or installing new locks and other residential security items.
  • Provides for additional compensation to a victim, a secondary victim or survivor for charges, expenses or loss of income if the expenses were not authorized at the time of the initial application for benefits.
  • Says a “new event” (e.g., a retrial, a change in offender custody status or a new appellate court decision) will allow for additional compensation.
    [3/6: 50-0]

 

SF 2175 is a Bar Association bill. It provides the courts with procedures for partitioning property when co-tenants disagree on the disposition of property owned by the co-tenants. The bill sets procedures for partition by sale and for partition in kind (i.e., dividing the property between all owners rather than selling it and dividing the proceeds). All partition procedures will be placed in Code Chapter 651. In the past, most procedures for partition were included in court rules. There are two distinct divisions in the bill: one provides procedures for all partitions; the other includes special provisions that apply only where real estate is heirs’ property as defined in the bill. To be considered heirs’ property, at least 20 percent must be owned by relatives. 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)]

 

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

 

SF 2230 adds kidnapping someone under the age of 18 to the definition of second-degree kidnapping. Previously, second-degree kidnapping occurred when the purpose was to hold the victim for ransom or when the kidnapper was armed with a dangerous weapon. Second-degree kidnapping is a “B” felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. If a judge or jury determines a second-degree kidnapping was sexually motivated, the kidnapper must register as a sex offender.
[2/27: 50-0]

 

SF 2235 is the “sabotage of critical infrastructure” bill, which creates a new crime relating to damaging critical infrastructure. The penalty is a “B” felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a fine of between $85,000 and $100,000. “Critical infrastructure sabotage” is defined as “an unauthorized and overt act intended to cause and having the means to cause, and in substantial furtherance of causing, a substantial and widespread interruption or impairment of a fundamental service rendered by the critical infrastructure.” However, it does not include an accidental interruption or impairment of service caused by a person performing their work or caused by lawful activity. In addition, critical infrastructure sabotage does not include any condition or activity related to producing farm products as defined in section 554.9102, including, but not limited to, discharging agricultural storm water; constructing or using soil or water-quality conservation practices or structures; preparing agricultural land and raising, harvesting, drying or storing agricultural crops; applying fertilizer as defined in section 200.3, pesticides as defined in section 206.2 or manure  as defined in section 459.102; installing and using  agricultural drainage tile and systems; constructing, operating or managing an animal feeding operation as defined in section 459.102; and caring for, feeding or watering livestock.

These  categories are considered critical infrastructure:

  • Electrical infrastructure
  • Gas, oil, petroleum, refined petroleum products or chemical critical infrastructure
  • Telecommunications or broadband critical infrastructure
  • Wastewater critical infrastructure
  • Water supply critical infrastructure

The bill limits infrastructure in these categories to infrastructure used for generating, transmission, delivery, transportation, collection or storage systems. In addition, the bill includes in the definition any “land, building, conveyance, or other temporary or permanent structure whether publicly or privately owned, that contains, houses, supports, or is appurtenant to any critical infrastructure.”
[4/3: 35-13 (Yes: Republicans, Allen, Bowman, Danielson, Hart, Horn, Kinney, Mathis Ragan; Absent: Dawson; 1 vacancy)]

 

SF 2241 allows a parole officer to make a complaint to any magistrate in the judicial district where a parolee is being supervised if the parole officer believes a parolee has violated parole. If there is probable cause to believe the parolee has violated parole, the magistrate will issue a warrant for their arrest. In addition, the bill removes Code language that allows an individual to waive their parole-revocation hearing.
[3/12: 49-0 (1 vacancy)]

 

SF 2303 relates to deferred inheritance taxes when a person is given a life estate in a decedent’s property. At times when people die, they leave what is called a “life estate” to a survivor who may use the decedent’s property while the survivor is alive. An example would be the use of a home until the survivor’s death or for a number of years. After the survivor dies, the property is inherited by another person that the decedent named, generally in the decedent’s will. As a result, inheritance taxes are deferred until the death of the survivor with the life estate. This bill provides several methods for securing the inheritance taxes upon the death of the survivor with a life estate. According to the Bar Association, bonds to secure payment of the inheritance taxes are difficult to obtain. This bill is intended to help solve that issue. It adds that inheritance tax payment can be secured through an irrevocable payable-on-death or transfer-on-death account, payable to the Department of Revenue and approved by the Department of Revenue; or through an escrow agreement with the Department of Revenue with a private attorney acting as escrow agent holding the funds in the attorney’s trust account.
[3/5: 49-0 (Absent: Hart)]

 

SF 2314 makes technical changes to several Code Chapters relating to corporations. Some references were inadvertently omitted from previous legislation relating to corporate entities.

  • The changes to Chapter 9H relating to corporate farming ensure that all prior and current versions of Iowa’s Nonprofit Corporations Act are clearly referenced in the definition of “nonprofit corporation” relating to nonprofit corporations acquiring agricultural land.
  • The bill provides that in the case of a corporation organized under Code Chapter 491 – Corporations for Pecuniary Profit — a director’s “conflict of interest transaction” is subject to the same requirements as directors of a corporation organized under Code Chapter 490 – Business Corporations. It allows a director of a corporation organized under Chapter 491 to take advantage of a safe harbor provision known as the “business opportunity” exception, which applies to a director of a corporation organized under Chapter 490.
  • The bill also makes changes to Chapter 504, Iowa’s Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act, relating to standards of liability for directors.
    [3/5: 50-0]

 

SF 2321 removes the requirement that a person obtain a permit to carry a dangerous weapon if the weapon in question is a stun gun. A person carrying a Taser must still obtain a permit because  Tasers and stun guns are different weapons. Stun guns will continue to be considered dangerous weapons if used in the commission of a crime. A person under 18 is prohibited from carrying a stun gun.
[3/12: 49-0 (1 vacancy)]

 

SF 2378 removes the requirement for staggered terms for members of public corporation boards of directors.
[2/27: 50-0]

 

SJR 2007 establishes that the Legislature does not want to enforce federal law requiring drivers’ license suspensions for drug offenses because the law is an obstacle to mobility, employability and rehabilitation.

To obtain federal highway funding, Iowa must certify every year that it is complying with federal law requiring drivers’ license suspensions for drug offenses that have no relationship to driving. However, if a legislature passes a resolution indicating the state does not want to comply with the federal requirement and if the Governor submits a written certification to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation that the governor is also opposed to enforcing the requirement, the state can continue to receive its federal funding. Iowa has 5,000 license revocations for drug offenses each year. More than 350 people are arrested and charged with driving while suspended/revoked each year after having their license suspended or revoked for a drug offense.
[2/27: 50-0]

 

HF 2125 relates to distribution of property by affidavit. Under Iowa law, if a person dies owning $25,000 or less in personal property to be distributed to heirs, the property can be distributed through an affidavit, thus avoiding probate. This bill increases the amount of property that can be distributed by affidavit up to $50,000. In addition, the bill adds three requirements that must be included in the affidavit: (1) That no money is due Medicaid or, if due, Medicaid is to be paid; (2) That no inheritance taxes are due or, if due, will be paid; and (3) That creditors will be paid to the extent of funds received. Distribution by affidavit does not apply when real property is involved.
[3/19: 47-0 (Absent: Sinclair, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2199 updates criminal law relating to unauthorized use of scanning devices or encoding machines to obtain information encoded on a payment card. The update is intended to keep abreast of technology used to steal information from payment cards. Under the bill, if someone directly or indirectly uses a scanning device to access, read, obtain, memorize or store information encoded on a payment card without authorization, it is a “D” felony. In addition, it is a “D” felony if someone directly or indirectly uses an encoding machine to place information from a payment card onto a different payment card without authorization.

It will be an aggravated misdemeanor if a person possesses a scanning device with the intent to use it to obtain information encoded on a payment card without authorization, or possesses a scanning device with knowledge that a person other than an authorized user intends to use the scanning device to obtain information encoded on a payment card without authorization.
[3/1: 49-0 (Absent: Bertrand)]

 

HF 2232 provides one procedure for releasing and satisfying a mortgage in Chapter 655 – Satisfaction of Mortgages, removing Code language in Chapter 535B that provides another remedy to secure a release and satisfaction of a mortgage. Highlights include:

  • Clarifying that a mortgagee must acknowledge satisfaction in writing no more than 30 days after the mortgage is paid off.
  • If a revolving line of credit is secured through the mortgage, the mortgagee only must file a release and satisfaction upon payment in full, as long as the mortgagor makes a written request to the mortgagee that the mortgage be released.
  • If a mortgagee fails to discharge within 30 days of the request, the mortgagee is liable for all actual damages, plus reasonable attorney fees. The mortgagee is subject to a $500 penalty.
  • Adding a new Code section requested by the Bankers Association, which limits liability of a mortgagee if the mortgagee has reasonable procedures to achieve compliance with the requirements of filing mortgage releases; the mortgagee complied with the procedures in good faith; and the mortgagee was unable to comply with its obligations because of circumstances beyond its control.
    [3/21: 49-0 (1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2233 has two key parts. One relates to amending liens filed by subcontractors for work done on private construction projects. The other relates to retention funds required in public construction projects to be reserved until the end of the project to be available to subcontractors who have not been paid for their work.

Under the bill, a lien statement may be amended by the claimant without court involvement to decrease the amount demanded in the lien. This can be done through the mechanics’ notice and lien registry. A lien statement may only be amended by leave of court to further justice, and no lien statement can be amended to increase the amount demanded.

The bill also makes significant changes to Chapter 573 (labor and materials on public improvements) regarding who is entitled to make claims against a retainage and the requirements to make a claim. The bill requires a furnisher of labor, materials, service or transportation to a subcontractor on a public improvement project to provide a one-time notice in writing within 30 days of starting work or first supplying materials to the principal contractor, along with detailed contact information for the furnisher and subcontractor. However, the 30-day notice requirement will not apply to subcontractors working on highway, bridge or culvert projects. Any person making a claim against the retainage must provide a certified statement that the principal contractor received the required notice. Previously, there was no 30-day notice requirement on public improvement projects, and those who supplied labor, materials, service or transportation that have not been paid could make a claim against the retainage at the end of the project. Code section 26.13 (early release of retained funds in public construction projects) is deleted. The language is placed in Chapter 573 (labor and materials in public construction projects).
[3/27: 26-21, party line (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2238 specifies that an insurer can be a victim for purposes of restitution if insurance fraud has been committed against the insurer. The bill clarifies that when an insurer pays a victim’s insurance claim, the insurer is not the victim and has no right of subrogation.
[3/14: 48-0 (Absent: Bertrand; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2255 makes it a crime to introduce contraband into or onto a community based correctional facility; convey contraband to anyone confined in a community based correctional facility; or knowingly make, obtain or possess contraband while confined in a community based correctional facility. Contraband includes, but is not limited to:

  • A controlled substance or a simulated or counterfeit controlled substance, hypodermic syringe or intoxicating beverage.
  • A dangerous weapon, offensive weapon, pneumatic gun, stun gun, firearm ammunition, knife or other cutting device, explosive or incendiary material, instrument, device or other material fashioned to be capable of inflicting death or injury.
  • Rope, ladder components, key or key pattern, metal file, instrument, device, or other material designed or intended to facilitate escape of an inmate.

Failure to report a known violation or attempted violation to a community based correctional officer or official is an aggravated misdemeanor. Possession of contraband that is a controlled substance or materials intended to facilitate escape is a “D” felony. Possession of contraband, such as a dangerous weapon, offensive weapon, stun gun or knife, is a “C” felony.
[3/13: 49-0 (1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2300 adds licensed mental health counselors and licensed social workers to the list of professionals who can form a professional limited liability company. In addition, the bill specifies that marital and family therapy counselors, mental health counselors, and psychologists and licensed social workers will be considered professionals that can lawfully practice in partnership and form a professional limited liability company. The bill also adds marital and family therapy, mental health counseling and licensed social work to the list of professions permitted to form a professional corporation, and allows marital and family therapy counselors, mental health counselors, and psychologists and licensed social workers to practice in combination as licensed individuals or as a partnership of licensed individuals in a professional corporation.
[3/26: 47-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2318 creates a process for minors and those with a legal disability to redeem real property held in their name after it has been sold at a tax sale and the county treasurer has delivered the treasurer’s deed. Under Code section 447.7, a minor or person with a legal disability may redeem property sold at a tax sale at any time up until age 19 for minors or a year after the legal disability has expired. However, the Code section (447.8) that delineates how property sold at a tax sale is to be redeemed does not describe how minors or those with a legal disability who are the initial titleholders of the property are to redeem after the 90-day redemption period expires and the treasurer has issued the treasurer’s deed to the tax sale purchaser. This gap in the law has allowed some properties to remain with uncertain title for extended periods.
[3/19: 47-0 (Absent: Sinclair, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2338 allows persons subject to a hard suspension of driving privileges after operating a vehicle while intoxicated to apply for a temporary restricted license and avoid the hard suspension. To obtain a temporary restricted license, the applicant must install an ignition interlock device. In addition, the bill removes the limitations on driving that are imposed on those with temporary restricted licenses. Previously, a person with a temporary restricted license could only drive to and from home and specified places relating to employment, health care, education, substance abuse treatment, court-ordered community service, and parole and probation appointments. In addition, those with temporary restricted licenses who are participating in a sobriety and drug monitoring program (24/7) could drive to and from the drug monitoring appointments. Under the bill, first-time OWI offenders who test between .08 and .10 must install an ignition interlock device to obtain a temporary restricted license. Previously, they did not have to install an ignition interlock. The suspension of driving privileges for those with a commercial licenses or who drive school buses remains unchanged. Those who cause the death of another due to driving while intoxicated are still subject to a hard suspension of their driving privileges and cannot obtain a temporary restricted license for two years.
[3/26: 47-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2342 prohibits the state from confiscating fish, furs, birds or animals, or mussels, clams or frogs seized because it was suspected that they were illegally possessed, taken, transported, etc., if the person suspected of and charged with illegal possession, etc., is not convicted. If there is no conviction, seized property must be returned within 30 days of a “not guilty” verdict, within 30 days of dismissal or within 30 days of the statute of limitations. However, no fish or wildlife can be returned if it is illegal to possess, including those taken, possessed or transported unlawfully.

“Convicted” means a finding of guilt, payment of a scheduled fine, plea of guilty, deferred judgment, deferred or suspended sentence or delinquency adjudication, or when no charge is filed because the person agrees to provide information about another person’s criminal activity.

In addition, the state may only condemn property seized as a public nuisance (e.g., property used to illegally capture, kill, etc., wildlife, such as illegally shooting a bald eagle with a gun) if the person from whom the property was seized is convicted. If there is no conviction, the property must be returned.

Previously, if property seized as a public nuisance was condemned pursuant to Chapter 483A, proceeds from the sale of the property go to the Fish and Game Protection Fund.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will report to the Oversight Committees how much is deposited in the fund each year. In addition, the seizing public agency must adopt a policy for keeping detailed records on acquired property, the date it was acquired, how and when it was disposed, and financial records for property sold. Employees or family members of employees of the seizing agency cannot  purchase condemned property, including weapons. A purchaser at a sale of seized and confiscated property (held by the DNR) must sign a declaration that they are not an employee or a family member of an employee of the seizing agency.
[4/16: 30-18 (Yes: Republicans, Bowman, Kinney, Taylor; Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]

 

HF 2343 prohibits all state agencies from implementing or enforcing any standard, requirement or threshold unless it is clearly required or clearly permitted by statute, rule or federal law or regulation, or is required by a court ruling, a state or federal executive order or a state or federal directive that would result in the gain or loss of funding, or a federal waiver.
[3/20: 46-3 (No: Hogg, Petersen, Taylor; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2348 is the Non-Substantive Code Editor’s Bill, which makes minor, non-substantive and non-controversial changes to Iowa Code. The bill consists of 129 sections and includes 20 numerical updates, 26 terminology or name changes, 23 grammatical changes, five corrections of clerical errors, eight standardizations of Iowa Code and federal citations, and 84 updates to Code section style or format.
[3/14: 48-0 (Absent: Bertrand; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2381 relates to custody of juveniles who are sent to the State Training School for Boys in Eldora or another facility after committing a delinquent act. Previously, when a juvenile age 12 or above committed a forcible felony, a drug-related felony or a homicide, the court could transfer guardianship to the Iowa Department of Human Services for purposes of transferring the juvenile to the State Training School or another facility. The bill removes the court’s ability to transfer guardianship and inserts that the court may transfer custody of the juvenile to the Department of Human Services.
[4/5: 46-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Bisignano, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2392 relates to recording or intercepting communications. Previously, it was a serious misdemeanor to record or intercept a conversation without authority to do so. A person could only legally record or intercept a communication when the sender or recipient of a message or a person openly present and participating in or listening to a communication records the communication. In addition, the law allowed the use of any radio or television receiver to receive any communication transmitted by radio or wireless signal.

HF 2392 creates another exception allowing people to legally record or intercept communications. This exception is “use of a monitoring device,” which will allow people to listen to, record or intercept a conversation or communication by electronic or mechanical means, if the electronic or mechanical device is “placed outside a person’s dwelling or other structure that is not in a shared hallway and is on real property owned or leased by the person.” These are seen as anti-theft and security devices, and the law specifies that the purpose of the monitoring device must be to detect or prevent criminal activity.

In addition, the bill amends Section 808B.2 under the Interception of Communications Chapter to authorize the owner or lessee of real property to intercept an oral communication when a surveillance system is placed in or on the real property owned or leased by the person, and the system is installed with the knowledge and consent of all lawful owners or lessees of the real property, and the surveillance system is used to detect or prevent criminal activity in or on property owned or in an area accessible to the public in the immediate vicinity of the property.
[3/20: 48-1 (No: McCoy; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2402 addresses instances when a person who has power of attorney regarding financial decision-making for another commits or is accused of committing dependent adult abuse of the person whose finances they control.

In a power of attorney governed by Chapter 633B, the person with authority to make financial decisions for another is called the agent. The person who has ceded their decision-making authority is the principal.

Under the legislation, an agent’s authority under a power of attorney automatically terminates if the agent commits dependent adult abuse of the principal per a dependent adult abuse report, or the agent is convicted of dependent adult abuse of the principal. Those who become aware of pending criminal charges of dependent adult abuse against an agent or become aware of an investigation of dependent adult abuse relating to the agent can file a petition with the court for review of the agent’s conduct.

The court can suspend an agent’s authority and appoint a guardian ad litem, who must be a practicing attorney, to represent the principal when someone petitions the court pursuant to pending criminal charges of dependent adult abuse or there is an investigation of potential dependent adult abuse.
[3/27: 47-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2404 relates to restitution under criminal law for a felony that caused the death of another person. Under Code section 910.3B, the offender must pay $150,000 to the victim’s heirs or the victim’s estate. This bill ensures any restitution required under 910.3B will not be reduced by a third-party payment, including an insurance payment, unless the offender is covered by the insurance.
[4/3: 48-0 (Absent: Dawson; 1 vacancy)]

 

HF 2443 relates to the delinquency jurisdiction of juvenile court and the confidentiality and disclosure of certain juvenile court records. The bill:

  • Expands the definition of a delinquent act to include trespass violations.
  • Provides that a hearing for a child alleged to have committed a delinquent act must be held within two working days of the child’s admission to a shelter care facility and within one working day of admission to a detention facility. Previously, the law required that hearings be held within 48 hours and 24 hours respectively.
  • Creates a new Code section requiring official juvenile court records, except those alleging delinquency, to be confidential and not accessible as public records. However, such confidential records must be disclosed without a court order to judges and professional court staff, the child and the child’s counsel, the child’s parent, guardian ad litem and members of a reviewing child advocacy board or a local citizen foster care review board, county attorney or designees, and other entities and individuals whose duties require access to the information.
  • Expands the list of those who may receive juvenile court records online or in an electronic customized data report prior to delinquency adjudication when the records pertain to an act that would be a forcible felony if committed by an adult. This includes those operating a juvenile diversion program. Those operating a juvenile diversion program may also receive police reports and related information that assist in the operation of the juvenile detention program.
  • Provides that rules for maintaining or destroying sealed juvenile records will be prescribed by the state court administrator.
  • Requires the district court to dismiss charges and the clerk to seal any records if the charges were erroneously filed in district court, and juvenile court has exclusive jurisdiction.
  • Requires records for cases that were initially filed in district court but transferred to juvenile court be sealed after they have been forwarded to the juvenile court.
  • Provides that, without an order making juvenile court records public, the Department of Public Safety must not release the records.
    [4/16: 48-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Zumbach)]

 

HF 2457 is the substantive Code Editor’s Bill, which adjusts language reflecting current practices or changes made through past legislation; corrects manifest errors; clarifies ambiguities; eliminates conflicts; and deletes obsolete or temporary provisions.
[3/6: 50-0]

 

HJR 2009 proposes an amendment to the Iowa Constitution conferring the right of the people to keep and bear arms. In addition, the resolution states that “(t)he sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.” Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. To pass strict scrutiny, the legislature must have passed the law to further a “compelling governmental interest,” and must have narrowly tailored the law to achieve that interest.
[3/21: 34-15 (Yes: Republicans, Allen, Bowman, Horn, D. Johnson, Kinney, Taylor; 1 vacancy)]

Education Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

SF 455 – District cost per pupil and transportation equity
SF 475 – Education omnibus bill
SF 2113 – Suicide awareness training for school employees
SF 2114 – Department of Education Code corrections
SF 2131 – Expanding Iowa learning online to homeschool students
SF 2274 Department of Education must put law, rule, code on data report requests
SF 2318 – Successful high school credit mandatory awarding
SF 2360Dyslexia Taskforce
SF 2364 – Requiring all schools to develop a security plan
HF 633 – Sharing incentives/Shared operational weighting extension (via Approps)
HF 648 – Career and Technical Education clean up (via Approps)
HF 2230 – FY19 State Supplemental Aid (SSA)
HF 2235 – Codifies the Next Generation Iowa Tests as the Iowa assessment
HF 2283 – Board of Education Examiners (BOEE) license expiration
HF 2354 – Student data privacy
HF 2390 – World language and sign language
HF 2441 – Flexibility Fund: at-risk funds and expanding lease property
HF 2442 – School athletic concussion/brain injury protocols
HF 2458 – Future Ready Iowa (via Commerce)
HF 2467 – Food shaming

SF 455 addresses two inequities in the school finance formula: the district cost per pupil and transportation funding. This $14.2 million effort buys down the highest inequity districts in per-pupil and transportation funding for one year.

For FY19, $5 will be added to state cost per pupil. All districts receive either property tax replacement or an increase in spending authority. School districts with the highest transportation costs get transportation assistance. If a school district exceeds the statewide adjusted transportation cost per pupil, a portion of $11.2 million in one-time money will be distributed. Transportation funding will go to 140 districts (42 percent of all Iowa school districts).
[2/26: 45-4 (No: Bisignano, D. Johnson, McCoy, Petersen; Absent: Chelgren)]

 

SF 475, as approved by the Legislature and sent to the Governor, includes these elements:

Division 1: Online Education

  • Eliminates an online pilot project for two school districts, allowing any school district to hire a private provider for an online program or develop their own.
  • Eliminates the cap on students that can open enroll (18 one-hundredths of 1 percent of statewide enrollment). For 2018, that cap is 873 students. There is a 1 percent cap of the population of individual school districts allowed to open enroll through online learning.
  • Eliminates the one-year waiver for schools to participate in online learning.

Any Iowa school district can now develop an online program or hire a private provider to market their program and recruit students to open enroll in their online program. An online provider cannot offer a rebate for tuition or fees paid to enroll a child in an online learning class.

The “offer and teach” requirements for a school district or accredited nonpublic school will not apply for two specified subjects in the case of any of the following:

  • The school district or school makes every reasonable good faith effort to employ a licensed teacher, but is unable to.
  • Fewer than 10 students typically register for instruction in the specified subject at the school district or school.

The Department of Education can waive offer and teach requirements for one school year to additional subjects for a school district that makes the effort to meet the requirements, but is unable to.

Division 2: Career Technical Education (CTE) Concurrent Enrollment

In the past, concurrent enrollment classes were courses that supplemented, not supplanted, high school courses that must be offered. This legislation also allows concurrent enrollment for CTE courses, and allows community college instructors to teach one or more classes in one of the six CTE service areas.

Division 3: Student Health Working Group

A workgroup will study dental and vision screenings, blood lead testing and immunizations. Existing health screening requirements remain in place while the work groups develop their recommendations, which are due to the Legislature by December 31, 2018.

Division 4: Open Enrollment Extracurricular Fee

If an online student participates in curricular or extracurricular activities, the school district of residence may deduct up to $200 per activity for up to two activities from the amount provided to the sending district. This includes interscholastic athletics, music and any other activity with a general fund expenditure exceeding $5,000 annually.

Division 5: Biliteracy Seal

The director of the Department of Education must develop and administer a biliteracy seal program to recognize students graduating from high school with demonstrated proficiency in two world languages, one of which must be English. Participation by the school, school district or non-public school is voluntary.

Division 6: Limitation on Department of Education “Guidance”

Forbids the Department of Education from issuing guidance or rules inconsistent with statutes, or imposing binding obligations. Per the bill, guidance issued by the department is not legally binding.

Division 7: Financial Literacy

A new one-half unit of personal financial literacy is required to graduate. The curriculum must address:

  • Savings, including an emergency fund
  • Understanding investments
  • Wealth building and college planning
  • Credit cards and pay-day lending
  • The power of marketing on buying decisions, including zero-percent interest offers
  • Financial responsibility and money management
  • Insurance, risk management, income and career decisions
  • Different types of insurance coverage
  • Advantages and disadvantages of buying, selling and renting real estate
    [4/2: 28-19 (Yes: Republicans, Bowman, Quirmbach; Excused: Dawson, Zumbach; 49 senators seated)]

 

SF 2113 requires training for educators on suicide awareness and prevention. Local school boards will integrate one hour annually of evidenced-based training on suicide prevention and “postvention” as part of a licensed educator’s professional development. An additional hour yearly of evidence-based training on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and strategies to mitigate their impact is required for licensed school personnel who have regular contact with students.
[3/21: 49-0 (49 senators seated)]

 

SF 2131 expands the Iowa Learning Online (ILO) to allow a student receiving home schooling to participate and complete coursework under if the parent/guardian pays current market rate for the instruction. The fee will be established by the Department of Education and is the same for public schools, private schools and home schools. Previously, only school districts and accredited nonpublic schools could partner with ILO for distance education to high school students. ILO is not a school, but an initiative that partners with schools at their invitation to provide supplemental online course instruction. Upon successful completion of a course, ILO provides the school with the student’s percentage score. Grades and credit are awarded by the school.

An AEA workgroup will study ways students may access educational instruction and content online and submit a report to the Legislature by October 15, 2018. The workgroup will also identify partnerships between existing providers of rigorous and high-quality online coursework.
[3/5: Final Passage 50-0]

 

SF 2114 is the Iowa Department of Education’s technical clean-up bill. It makes non-controversial changes to Iowa Code. Highlights include:

  • Eliminating work-based learning technical fixes in HF 648, which passed the House 98-0 in 2017.
  • Changing Iowa Code locations on the Department of Education’s approval process for practitioner preparation programs. Previously, approval was in Code chapters 256 (Department of Education) and 272 (Educational Examiners Board). The language in Code chapter 272 is now in Code section 256.16 (specific criteria for teacher prep and certain educators) and removes redundancies.
  • Striking unnecessary district-level reporting for the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which has been replaced with the Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA).
  • Repealing before and after school grant programs, which were established to provide competitive funding to expand before and after school programs and summer schools. The program has not received state funding since 2008.
    [2/20: 48-0 (Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2274 requires the Department of Education to cite the state or federal statute, rule or regulation that makes it necessary to include information in reports of a school district, area education agency and accredited nonpublic school, or their officers or employees. The Board of Regents and the Department spoke against this bill because they have collaborated in data gathering on student career paths, retention and workforce. None of these are required by Iowa Code or Rule, but are useful to many entities, including the Legislature and Governor.
[2/20: 37-11 (No: Bisignano, Boulton, Bolkcom, Danielson, Dotzler, Hogg, Jochum, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor; Excused: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

SF 2318 requires a school district or accredited nonpublic school to award high school credit to any student who satisfactorily completes a high school-level unit of instruction. School districts only have to award credit if the credit hours were taken within their district and taught by a certified teacher. A school district may determine if a course meets their educational standards before awarding credit and may deny graduation credit for any course taken outside their district.
[4/2: 47-0 (Excused: Dawson, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]

 

SF 2360 creates a dyslexia task force, which will be staffed by the Department of Education. The task force will include a representative of higher education and must report its findings and recommendations by November 15, 2019.
[4/3: 48-0 (Excused: Dawson; 49 senators seated)]

 

SF 2364 requires school districts and state accredited non-public schools to establish security plans for individual school buildings. Plans must include responses to active shooter scenarios and natural disasters and are not subject to open record requests. The bill requires plans to be reviewed and updated yearly; requires school officials and teachers to conduct a drill of the plan at least once per school year; requires an alert to be sent to the employers of those regularly in the building but not school officials if an emergency occurs (these people will not know the plan, but in the case of contractors, construction workers, Area Education Agency officials or others, they will be altered not to report to the building); requires schools to consult with local emergency management coordinators; and requires schools to publish threat-reporting procedures for school officials, parents and guardians.

Those participating in drills include administrators, teachers, secretaries, receptionists, school support staff and custodians. The drill may also include students. The drill may include a table top demonstration, partial drill or full drill. Prior to the drill, the authorities must provide a written plan, listing equipment and personnel to be used. A drill cannot be conducted unless the plan is approved by the participating school board or authorities from a non-public school.
[3/26: 47-0 (Bertrand, Zumbach excused; 49 seated senators)]

 

HF 2230 sets the basic school funding for the 2018-2019 school year at 1 percent for regular state aid to schools and categorical state aid. This bill establishes a cost per pupil of $6,731, an increase of $67 per pupil. The 1 percent allowable growth rate will cost the state $3.222 billion, an increase of $32 million over last year.

Categorical State Aid: The FY19 allowable growth rate for the State Categorical Supplements (Teacher Leadership and Compensation, Teacher Salary Supplement, Professional Development and Early Intervention) is $527.2 million, an increase of $6.7 million. Funding amounts for each initiative include:

  • Teacher Salary Supplement at $298.9 million, an increase of $3.7 million.
  • Professional Development Supplement at $33.9 million, an increase of $0.4 million.
  • Early Intervention Supplement (class-size) at $34.9 million, an increase of $0.4 million.
  • Teacher Leadership and Compensation at $159.5 million, an increase of $2.1 million.

Property Taxes: For the last few years, the Legislature has decided whether to pay for the incremental increase in property taxes associated with an increase in the percentage growth for schools. The total funding for this effort is now $51.5 million, an increase of $4.7 million over last year.
[2/26: 28-21, party-line (No: D. Johnson, Democrats)]

 

HF 2235 requires that the statewide assessment of student progress be the assessment developed by the Iowa testing program within the University of Iowa’s College of Education and administered by the Iowa testing program’s designee.
[3/13: 39-10 (No: Boulton, Danielson, Dotzler, Hart, Horn, D. Johnson, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor; only 49 senators seated)]

 

HF 2283 changes the expiration of an initial teacher license from the educator’s birthday month to the end of the academic year so that they don’t have to pay for an extension to cover the time lapse.
[3/13: 49-0 (only 49 senators seated)]

 

HF 2354 places restrictions on third parties that receive student data from school districts. The bill outlines specific advertising targeting that these operators can and cannot do in an effort to protect student privacy while maintaining ongoing relationships between school districts and third-party technology providers.
[3/21: 49-0 (49 senators seated)]

 

HF 2390 allows school districts to use American Sign Language as an option to meet “offer and teach” requirements for foreign/world language, and changes the term “foreign language” to “world language.”
[3/26: 47-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]

 

HF 2441 is the 2018 school district flexibility fund bill. It also restricts the Department of Education from issuing guidance that imposes a legal obligation or duty unless it is required or reasonably implied by law, rule or other legal authority. The provision does not apply to administrative rules, declaratory orders, a document or statement required by federal law or a court, or a document or statement issued in the course of an administrative or judicial proceeding. The bill mainly provides additional flexibility to various programs and funds at the school district level.

Modifications in the bill include:

  • Class Size Reduction/Early Intervention – The categorical funding and program had required school districts to spend funds for class-size reduction for grades K-3 or increased reading programming. This program was set to expire this year, but the bill authorizes districts to continue to use the funding for any general purpose.
  • At-Risk/Dropout Prevention Funds – Instead of submitting a plan to the School Budget Review Committee, requests for a modified supplemental amount for at-risk students can be approved by resolution of a school board. The school district must provide a comprehensive plan, but the plan doesn’t have to be a part of the comprehensive school improvement plan. The cap limit of 5 percent of a school district’s budgeted enrollment that can be spent on such programs was removed. Funding may be used for additional staff, salary and benefits for those working with at-risk or dropout prevention. Dates for School Budget Review Committee meetings are aligned to deadlines for plan submission.
  • Leased Portions of a School Building – Allows school property to be leased and strikes a five-year lease duration limitation.
  • Sports Equipment – The 2017 flexibility bill allowed, by resolution, a school district to transfer from their general fund to their student activity fund an amount necessary to purchase protective and safety equipment. This bill adds the reconditioning of such protective and safety equipment.
    [3/28: 46-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Lykam, Zumbach; 49 senators seated)]

 

HF 2442 requires the Department of Public Health, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union to develop training materials and courses on concussions, brain injuries and return-to-play protocols. A coach or contest official must complete the training at least every two years. A student removed from sports participation cannot recommence until they are evaluated by a license health care provider. School are not legal liable for the actions or non-actions of a licensed health care provider at an extracurricular interscholastic activity so long as the provider acts reasonably, in good faith and in the best interest of student athletes.
[4/12: 46-0 (Excused: Bisignano, Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]

 

HF 2458, which went through the Senate Commerce Committee, is an initiative known as “Future Ready Iowa,” which aims to build the state’s “talent pipeline.” It was created after Iowa received a National Governor’s Association grant, and a “Future Ready Iowa Alliance” developed and recommended a plan to ensure 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce has education or training beyond high school by 2025. Currently, 55 percent of jobs available in Iowa are “middle-skill” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree: an associate’s degree, a training certificate or an apprenticeship. Only 32 percent of Iowa workers meet this skill level.

The legislation creates a new program under the Economic Development Authority to encourage more small- and medium-sized apprenticeship programs. It also creates a volunteer mentor program; a summer youth intern pilot program for at-risk youth; an Iowa Employer Innovation Program focused on training for high-demand jobs; and a Skilled Workforce Grant Program for state universities or accredited private colleges. The Department of Workforce Development and community colleges will identify and create a list of high-demand jobs for these programs.
[3/19: 47-0 (Absent: Sinclair, Zumbach; Vacant: Dix)]

 

HF 2467 prohibits lunch shaming and allows schools to pay the costs of student lunch/meal debt with a flexibility fund. Schools must notify parents at least twice a year if the student has five or more unpaid lunches. Schools are encouraged to offer reimbursable lunches unless the parent authorizes withholding lunches from a student. A reimbursable meal cannot be an alternative (e.g.,  a cold cheese sandwich) because that would identify the student as having school meal debt. Schools cannot publicly identify or stigmatize a student for being delinquent in their meal account. This would include sitting at a separate table, doing chores for food, or wearing a wrist band, hand stamp or other identifying mark. Schools are prohibited from posting lists of students who cannot pay for lunch and denying students participation in various school activities. School districts may set up a private fund within their nutrition fund to accept donations to offset school lunch debt, or use their flexibility fund. Schools may work with the Department of Revenue to collect unpaid school meal debt though offsets in tax returns, lottery winnings, etc.
[4/3: 48-0 (Excused: Dawson; 49 senators seated)]

———————————————————————–

Education policies enacted in other committees or bills:

HF 633 – Sharing Incentives – extends the policy to provide incentives for school districts and AEAs to share certain administrative positions. In addition, the bill adds social workers to the eligible functions for sharing incentives. A school district that shares one or more operational functions of a curriculum director, school counselor, superintendent management, business management, human resources, transportation, or operation and maintenance for at least 20 percent of the school year gets a supplementary weighting for each shared function.

Supplementary weighting generated an estimated total of $16 million per year. This bill extends the program until 2024 and lifts the five year max years sharing. The maximum level of weighting any district could generate totals 21 and the statewide funding level could total $46.5 million if all districts are at the maximum weighting level. HF 633 is estimated to cost an additional $13 million per year by 2024.

Sharing Incentive Weightings include:

  • Superintendent management functions at a weighting factor of 8.
  • Business management, human resources, transportation, and operation and maintenance functions at a weighting factor of 5 per function.
  • Curriculum director and guidance counselor functions at a weighting factor of 3 per function.
  • Social workers functions at a weighting factor of 3.
    [5/5: 47-0 (Absent: Chelgren Hart, Sweeney)]

 

HF 648 makes changes to Career and Technical Education. A 2016 bill added a work-based learning program to workers’ compensation so that students are protected in case of injury. Because workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for an injured worker, businesses are exempt from lawsuits. For purposes of work-based learning, accredited nonpublic schools, community colleges, and directors, officers and authorities in charge of a school are also exempt. This bill changes “school district” references to “corporation” to reflect group of schools involved work-based learning programs.

In addition, the way funds are distributed to Regional Planning Partnerships is changed from reimbursement to disbursement; federal Perkins dollars are permitted to flow through to FFA programs; and some consumable supplies may be purchased with partnership funds, such as feed for livestock.
[4/12: 47-0 (Excused: Bertrand, Zumbach; 49 seated senators)]

 

SF 2415  – FY19 Education Budget

  • Increases the salary range for the executive director of the College Student Aid Commission.
  • Puts an $80,000 limit on the appropriation for barber and cosmetology students who get the For-Profit Iowa Tuition Grant.
  • Eliminates the Rural Iowa Registered Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Loan Repayment Program and establishes (a smaller) Health Care Loan Repayment Program to provide repayment of qualified loans of registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse educators who practice full-time in a service commitment area or teach in Iowa. The maximum payment is $6,000.
  • Modifies SF 475 (Financial Literacy) by outlining nine curriculum requirements, but allowing for the curriculum to be incorporated into other courses and counted toward meeting graduation requirements. It also allows the required 1/2 unit of financial literacy to be taken in place of a 1/2 unit of social studies.
  • Clarifies (SF 475 – Online Learning) that all teachers must be Iowa certified and that the Department of Education must evaluate and approve private online providers operating in state.
    [5/2: 26-21 (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Excused: Bertrand, Chelgren, Sinclair)]

 

HF 2502 – Standings Bill

  • Instructional Support Program: Suspends the standing appropriation of $14.8 million to the Department of Education for the Instructional Support Program. School districts may use local propriety taxes and income surtaxes for their portion of the Program. State funding has not been provided since FY11.
  • State School Aid and AEA: Reduces FY19 State School Aid funding to Area Education Agencies (AEAs) by an additional $15 million, for a total reduction of $22.5 million.
  • Division XVIII – Priority/preference for scholarships to children of those killed in line of duty: Scholarship benefits under the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Fund for children of peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. Foster children would still be given first priority.
  • Division XX – Rock Island Arsenal: Allows students who live on the Rock Island Arsenal, to attend public schools in Scott County. The student would be counted as a resident for purpose of school aid funding.
  • Division XXII – Iowa Energy Center: Scoops the remittance that goes to the Iowa Energy Center and moves it to the General Fund. The General Fund will receive $1.28 million in FY20, $2.91 million in FY21, and $3.53 million in FY22. The Iowa Energy Center would then get $2.85 million in FY20, $1.22 million in FY21, and $632,301 in FY22.
    [5/5: 30-17 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano, Bowman, Kinney, Taylor; No: Democrats, Greene, D. Johnson; Excused: Bertrand, Chelgren, Hart)]