Tag: Votes

Judiciary Committee – All-Bill Summary 2019

SJR 18 – Constitutional amendment on right to keep, bear arms

SF 112 – Certification of trust requirements

SF 113 – Operating while intoxicated third offense and habitual offenders

SF 158 – Post conviction relief and the underlying trial court record

SF 267 – Criminal penalty for illegal practice of massage therapy

SF 333 – Non-substantive code editor’s bill

SF 346 – Criminal offense of female genital cutting

SF 364 – 24/7 sobriety update

SF 377 – Municipal tort liability for not-for-profits that provide emergency services

SF 379 – Qualifications to practice law in Iowa

SF 532 – Notice and opportunity to repair construction defects

SF 569 – Series limited liability companies

SF 570 – Immunity from civil liability for volunteers during disasters

SF 589 – Criminal omnibus

SF 590 – Payments from indigent defense fund for privately retained attorneys

HF 224 – Lascivious conduct with a minor

HF 266 – Civil commitment of sexually violent predators

HF 323 – Exploitation of a dependent adult by a caretaker

HF 328 – Definition of vulnerable elder

HF 391 – Increased amount of surety bond for travel trailer dealer license

HF 421 – Transfer of mental health patients to the Iowa Medical Classification Center

HF 569 – Personal degradation of a dependent adult is dependent adult abuse

HF 591 – Minor guardianships in juvenile court

HF 610 – Adult guardianships and conservatorships

HF 679 – Substantive code editor’s bill

HF 681 –Criminal history checks for work with children, elderly, disabled

HF 707 – Juvenile delinquency proceedings, termination of parental rights notice

HF 719 – Conciliation related to dissolution of marriage

HF 732 – Medical cannabidiol—BILL VETOED

HF 734 – Changes to Iowa’s DNA profiling laws

 

SJR 18 – Constitutional amendment on right to keep, bear arms (Does not require Governor’s signature)

SJR 18 proposes an amendment to Iowa’s Constitution relating to the right “to bear arms.” Iowa’s Constitution currently does not have any language relating to the right to possess firearms. The proposed amendment in SJR 18 confers the right of the people to keep and bear arms. In addition, the proposed language says: “The sovereign state of Iowa affirms and recognizes this right to be a fundamental individual right. Any and all restrictions of this right will be subject to strict scrutiny.” To change Iowa’s Constitution, a proposed amendment must pass two consecutive General Assemblies (GA). This proposed amendment will need to pass during the 89th GA as well. If  it does, it will be put to a vote of the people of Iowa.
[3/13: 33-16 (Yes: Republicans, R. Taylor; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 112 – Certification of trust requirements

SF 112 is a Bar Association proposal that allows any current trustee or an attorney for a current trustee to sign off on and execute certification of trust documents in lieu of the requirement that all trustees sign off on the certification of trust documents. A certification generally is a summary or quotation from selected parts of the trust documents and allows a person or entity, such as a bank, to know the correct name of the trust and to be sure that the trust has power over its assets. Under the bill, the trustee or attorney for the trustee who signs the certification of trust must be sworn under penalty of perjury. A certification usually does not identify the beneficiaries or the assets; that information is kept confidential. This legislation will streamline legal processes and facilitate transactions while maintaining privacy.
[3/21: 46-0 (Absent: Bisignano, Celsi, R. Taylor; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 113 – Operating while intoxicated third offense and habitual offenders

SF 113 provides that a person charged with a third or subsequent Operating While Intoxicated (OWI, a class “D” felony) can also be charged as a habitual offender if the person has previously been convicted of at least two felonies. The maximum sentence for a habitual offender is up to 15 years with a three-year mandatory minimum. This bill is in response to a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court decision, Noll v. Iowa Dist. Court for Muscatine County, which held that a person convicted of a third or subsequent OWI could not be sentenced as a habitual offender under Code section 902.8, even though the person may have been previously convicted of two felonies.
[2/18: 48-0 (Absent: Miller-Meeks; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 158 – Post conviction relief and the underlying trial court record

SF 158 is an Iowa Bar Association proposal that addresses access to underlying criminal court files in applications for post-conviction relief (PCR). The bill deletes current Code language, which reads that if an “application for post-conviction relief is not accompanied by the record of the proceedings then the respondent shall file with its answer the record or portions thereof that are material to the questions raised in the application.”

The bill inserts new Code language requiring the underlying trial court record and any previous application for PCR to automatically become part of the record in a PCR claim. The bill further requires clerks of court to make the underlying trial court record accessible to the applicant’s attorney, the county attorney and the Attorney General. If the court record is not available in electronic format, the clerk must convert it to electronic format and make it available. In addition, any previous application for PCR must be converted to electronic format if necessary and made available.

In PCR cases, no court order will be required for the applicant’s attorney, the county attorney and the Attorney General to get access to the underlying trial court record. In addition, the bill prohibits the Judicial Branch from charging applicants, county attorneys and the Attorney General for access to the court record.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 267 – Criminal penalty for illegal practice of massage therapy

SF 267 provides a criminal penalty when unlicensed individuals practice massage therapy or hold themselves out as massage therapists. Current Iowa law requires massage therapists to be licensed. Unlicensed individuals cannot engage in massage therapy or hold themselves out as a massage therapist or masseuse, or use any other word or title that implies the person is a massage therapist. However, a violation is a civil penalty, not a crime. This bill makes it a serious misdemeanor for an unlicensed person to engage in or hold themselves out at a massage therapist. A serious misdemeanor is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine. The bill allows for an affirmative defense to a charge of practicing massage therapy without a license if the defendant claims to be a victim of human trafficking.
[4/22: 49-0 (Absent: Segebart)]

 

SF 333 – Non-substantive code editor’s bill

SF 333 is the non-substantive code editor’s bill. This bill is submitted each year by the Iowa Code Editor to the Judiciary Committee to make Code changes that exceed the Code Editor’s editorial authority but are non-substantive and non-controversial. In some cases, the changes are within the Code Editor’s authority but are significant enough that public notice of the changes is important. Examples of non-substantive changes include separating paragraphs into subparagraphs but not altering the language, or fixing grammatical mistakes.
[3/28: 48-0 (Absent: Breitbach, Nunn)]

 

SF 346 – Criminal offense of female genital cutting

SF 346 makes “female genital cutting” of anyone under 18 a crime. Under the bill, a person who performs female genital cutting of a minor commits a “D” felony. It will not be a violation of the law when a licensed medical professional in Iowa performs the surgical procedure when necessary to protect the health of the minor, or when the procedure is performed on a minor who is in labor or who has just given birth and the procedure is related to the labor or birth. The bill also makes it a “D” felony to knowingly transport a minor for female genital cutting. In November 2018, a U.S. District Judge found that the federal law banning female genital cutting was unconstitutional. As a result, states have begun to criminalize it.

The bill requires the Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Attorney General’s office to conduct an education campaign to increase awareness about the health risks of, the prohibitions against and the criminal penalties associated with female genital cutting. In addition, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics must develop educational programming for physicians to provide safe health care and treatment to women who are victims of female genital cutting.
[4/16: 49-0 (Absent: Shipley)]

 

SF 364 – 24/7 sobriety update

SF 364 is intended to fix issues with the 24/7 Sobriety pilot program that passed in 2017 (SF 444). The bill sets a minimum of 90 days that a person must participate in the program. Current law does not set a minimum. The last 30 days of participation must be without a failed test. The bill also extends the sunset date for the pilot program by two years to July 1, 2024, because it has taken more time than anticipated to get the program up and running. Woodbury County is the first pilot county and that program is scheduled to begin this spring.
[3/25: 50-0]

 

SF 377 – Municipal tort liability for not-for-profits that provide emergency services

SF 377 extends immunity from tort liability that is currently granted to municipalities for claims based upon or arising out of an act or omission in connection with emergency response services, to nonprofit corporations providing the same services pursuant to a written contract with a city, county, township or benefitted fire district.
[3/12: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 379 – Qualifications to practice law in Iowa

SF 379 is a Judicial Branch proposal that eliminates provisions in the Iowa Code that limit attorney admissions to practice law in Iowa to applicants who are residents of Iowa. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that this requirement is unconstitutional and that nonresidents of Iowa are eligible to apply to practice law in this state. The bill also authorizes an attorney who has been admitted to practice law in a territory of the U.S. to be admitted to practice law in Iowa without an examination. Thus, an attorney from a U.S. territory would be treated just like an attorney from another state or the District of Columbia. The bill also allows an out-of-state attorney from the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory to apply to appear pro hac vice (for this event) in an Iowa case with a local attorney. The local attorney does not need to be a resident of Iowa, but must be admitted to practice law in Iowa.
[4/9: 48-0 (Absent: Bisignano, Feenstra)]

 

SF 532 – Notice and opportunity to repair construction defects

SF 532 sets up a required process to resolve construction disputes before a class-action lawsuit can be filed for construction defects causing injury to property, real or personal. The bill sets out time limits for the process and conditions to be met before claimants go to court. No court action is allowed until claimants comply with the requirements of this bill. These requirements apply only to new construction and class actions. The general contractor and any subcontractors must be given notice of claims prior to court filing and must get an opportunity to inspect the property to determine the nature and cause of defects, as well as the repairs necessary to remedy them.
[3/20: 42-7 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Jochum, Petersen; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 569 – Series limited liability companies

SF 569 creates the Uniform Protected Series Act relating to limited liability companies (LLCs). Iowa law currently provides for business entities called “series limited liability companies” but has few details on how they function. A series is like an unincorporated division or “cell” established within a limited liability company by its operating agreement. This legislation is a product of the Uniform Law Commission and has been developed over several years of study. It expands Iowa law, and provides creation, filing, reporting and recordkeeping provisions for series limited liability companies.

In addition to “vertical liability shield,” which shields shareholders of corporations and members of limited liability companies from personal liability for debts and obligations of the corporation or LLC, a series established by an LLC in conformity with the law will qualify for “horizontal liability shield” that shields the series’ assets from debts and liabilities of the LLC and other series it has established.

The Bar Association indicates that the benefits of the bill will include:

  • Requiring a filing to establish a protected series to ensure accurate and available information at the Secretary of State’s office on how many series LLCs have established protected series. Currently, there is no way of knowing how many have been established in Iowa.
  • Requiring a more specific description of what records must be created, maintained and preserved for the series to be a protected series.
  • Allowing for disregarding of the liability shields under certain conditions.
  • Providing a more thorough definition and description of the nature of a protected series, which will facilitate business transactions.
    [3/26: 49-0 (Absent: Breitbach)]

 

SF 570 – Immunity from civil liability for volunteers during disasters

SF 570 provides immunity from civil liability to Iowa licensed architects and engineers who in good faith and at the request of or with the approval of a national, state or local public official, a law enforcement official, a public safety official or a building inspection official, voluntarily and without compensation provide architectural, engineering, structural, electrical, mechanical or other design professional services related to a disaster emergency. This immunity applies during a disaster emergency proclaimed by the governor or declared by the president. In addition, the architect or engineer must believe the request or approval has been made by the official in their official capacity. The bill was effective upon enactment.
[4/23: 49-1 (No: Bisignano)]

 

SF 589 – Criminal omnibus

SF 589 makes changes to multiple areas of criminal law, including penalties and procedures. A number of changes pertain to criminal appeals and appear to be in response to court decisions that favored defendants. Parts of the bill are advantageous to criminal defendants and some are not. This extensive bill touches multiple areas of the criminal law.

This bill makes changes to:

  • Expungement – allows for expungement of various misdemeanor convictions.
  • Robbery – makes various changes to the robbery chapter.
  • Theft, fraud, forgery and other property crimes – increases the value of property stolen that qualifies for specific criminal charges.
  • Criminal proceedings.
  • Criminal penalties.

 

Division I- Expungements:

Section 1 allows those convicted of public intoxication, simulated public intoxication or public consumption under state law or a local ordinance, to have the conviction expunged after two years if they have no other criminal convictions, other than traffic violations, in that two-year period.

Section 2 allows those convicted of misdemeanor offenses to apply to the county where the conviction occurred to have the record expunged. The conviction will be expunged if:

  • Eight or more years have passed since the conviction.
  • There are no pending criminal charges against the defendant.
  • All court costs, fees, fines and restitution have been paid.

The following misdemeanors cannot be expunged:

  • Public intoxication or underage possession.
  • Dependent adult abuse.
  • Any driving without a license offense.
  • Any sex offense that is registerable.
  • Involuntary manslaughter.
  • Assault using or displaying a dangerous weapon.
  • Any domestic abuse assault.
  • Removal of an officer’s communication device.
  • Trespass with intent to commit a hate crime.
  • Any obstruction of justice.
  • Interference with judicial process.
  • Misconduct in office.
  • Misuse of public records and files.
  • Any weapons offense.
  • Any protection of family crimes, such as bigamy or child endangerment.
  • Any misdemeanor violations of the obscenity chapter (e.g., dissemination of obscene material to a minor).
  • Any sexually predatory offenses.
  • Certain offenses comparable to federal motor carrier violations.
  • Convictions under prior law comparable to any of those listed above.

The application will be denied if:

  • The defendant is the subject of a protective order or a no-contact order.
  • The defendant has subsequently been convicted of or granted a deferred judgment for any criminal offense other than a traffic offense under Chapter 321 or a similar local ordinance.
  • The defendant has previously been granted two deferred judgments.

A defendant can only apply for one expungement in a lifetime. However, an application may request expungement of more than one misdemeanor offense if the offenses arose from the same occurrence. The expunged record is confidential but will be made available upon court order. The Department of Public Safety must remove the record of conviction from its criminal history data files.

The fiscal note estimates an annual cost to the Judicial Branch of between $57,453 and $184,953. In addition, although it will be beneficial for defendants to have their misdemeanor record expunged, it can only be done eight years or more after the date of the conviction. In that time, the criminal record will be captured by information mining businesses and may still be found via an Internet search.

 

Division II – Robbery:

  • Removes robbery in the third degree from the Code. Robbery in the third degree is theft accompanied by simple misdemeanor assault.
  • Changes the mandatory minimum for robbery in the first degree from 70% to between 50% and 70%, as determined by the court at the time of sentencing.

The fiscal note shows a correctional impact and a minority impact from these changes, in particular removing robbery in the third degree from the Code. Fifty-two percent of those convicted in Iowa of robbery in the first, second or third degree are African-American. The robbery changes will bring an estimated 34 additional Class C felony convictions per year; about 17 of them will be African-Americans, thus increasing Iowa’s disproportionate minority incarceration. The robbery changes are estimated to cost the justice system $423,800 annually, starting in 2021.

 

Division III – Property crimes:

  • Arson – Increases the amount of personal property damaged by arson from $500 or above to $750 or above to qualify as arson in the 2nd degree, a Class “C” felony.
  • Degrees of theft – raises the value of the property stolen to qualify for certain degrees of theft:
    • To qualify as theft in the 2nd degree, the theft amount increases from between $1,000 and $10,000 to between $1,500 and $10,000. It is a “D” felony.
    • Theft 3rd degree increases from between $500 and $1,000 to between $750 and $1,500. It is an aggravated misdemeanor.
    • Theft 4th degree increases from between $200 and $500 to between $300 and $750.
    • Theft 5th would be any theft up to $300. It is a simple misdemeanor.
  • Aggravated theft (theft with a simple assault) – Increases from up to $200 to up to $300.
  • Removing a Theft Detection Device:
    • Simple misdemeanor charge if merchandise stolen does not exceed $300. Currently, it’s a simply misdemeanor for theft up to $200 when a theft detection device is removed.
    • Serious misdemeanor charge if the merchandise stolen exceeds $300. Currently, it’s a serious misdemeanor if the value exceeds $200.

Fraudulent practices:

  • Fraudulent practice in the 2nd degree, a “D” felony:
    • Currently $1,000 up to $10,000.
    • Bill changes it to $1,500 up to $10,000.
  • Fraudulent practice in the 3rd degree, an aggravated misdemeanor:
    • Currently between $500 and $1,000.
    • Bill changes it to between $750 and $1,500.
  • Fraudulent practice in the 4th degree, a serious misdemeanor:
    • Currently $200 up to $500.
    • Bill changes it to between $300 and $750.
  • Fraudulent practice in the 5th degree, a simple misdemeanor:
    • Currently up to $200.
    • Bill changes it to up to $300.

Use of a stolen, forged or revoked credit card:

  • Class “D” felony:
    • Currently $1,000 up to $10,000.
    • Bill changes it to $1,500 up to $10,000.
  • Aggravated misdemeanor:
    • Currently up to $1,000.
    • Bill increases it up to $1,500.

Identity theft:

  • Class “D” felony:
    • Currently $1,000 up to $10,000.
    • Bill changes it to $1,500 up to $10,000.
  • Aggravated misdemeanor
    • Currently up to $1,000.
    • Bill changes it to up to $1,500.

Criminal mischief:

  • 2nd degree a Class “D” felony:
    • Currently, damage must be $1,000 to $10,000.
    • Bill increases it to between $1,500 and $10,000.
  • 3rd degree – an aggravated misdemeanor:
    • Currently, damage must be $500 to $1,000
    • Bill increases it to between $750 and $1,500
  • 4th degree – a serious misdemeanor:
    • Currently, damage must be $200 to $500.
    • Bill increases it to between $300 and $750.

Trespass that results in damage to property or injury to a person:

  • Increases the amount to qualify as a serious misdemeanor from $200 to $300.
  • Increases the amount to qualify as an aggravated misdemeanor for the crime of intent to commit a hate crime from greater than $200 to greater than $300.

Railroad vandalism:

  • Increases the amount of damage to railroad property to qualify as 4th degree railroad vandalism, a “D” felony, from between $1,000 and $10,000 to between $1,500 and $10,000.
  • 5th degree railroad vandalism, an aggravated misdemeanor, is increased from between $500 and $1,000 to between $750 and $1,500.
  • Amounts for 6th and 7th are increased as well.

Transmission of Unsolicited Bulk Electronic Mail:

  • Increases the amount to qualify as a “D” felony from greater than $1,000 to greater than $1,500.

Increasing the amounts/value of property necessary to commit certain levels of theft will increase the number of lower-level convictions and decrease the higher-level convictions. The fiscal note cannot determine costs related the justice system. However, the percentage of African-Americans who are convicted of the various theft offenses ranges from 18% to 24%.

 

DIVISION IV –Theft, Fraud and Forgery Revisions

  • Can consolidate multiple theft charges under 714.1 (1-10) into one accusation of theft.
  • Adds state-issued documents to the list of documents that can be forged. Possession of a forged state document is a class D felony. Employers may be subject to a civil penalty relating to accommodation of forgery if they know that state documents presented by an employee have been forged.
  • This seems to mean that anyone, including young people under 21 who have fake IDs would be guilty of possessing a forged document, a class D felony. That may not be the intent of this language, but it can be read this way.
  • “Lottery Scam” section – Extends the statute of limitations from three years to five years for fraud or breach of fiduciary obligation.

 

Division V – Criminal Proceedings

  • Defendant cannot file a direct appeal from a guilty plea, except for class “A” felonies and for good cause. (This may reduce the number of guilty pleas.)
  • Discretionary review is available from an order denying a motion in arrest of judgment on grounds other than ineffective assistance of counsel.
  • There can be no ineffective assistance of counsel claim on direct appeal.
  • A defendant who is represented by counsel on appeal or in post-conviction relief proceedings cannot file a pro se (by himself or herself) filing, and the court cannot consider a pro se filing by the defendant.
  • Jury can return a “general verdict” when the prosecution relies on multiple theories of guilt, and an appeals court cannot set aside or reverse the verdict if one of the theories is sufficient.
  • If a defendant challenges a guilty plea based on an alleged defect in the plea proceedings, the plea cannot be vacated unless the defendant demonstrates that they more than likely would have pled guilty if the defect had not occurred.
  • A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel must be brought within the three-year period allowed for post- conviction relief claims.
  • Before imposing a sentence, the court must verify that the defendant and the defendant’s lawyer have read and discussed the presentence investigation report; provide the defendant’s attorney an opportunity to speak on the defendant’s behalf; address the defendant personally to permit them to make a statement or present mitigating information; provide the prosecuting attorney an opportunity to speak; address any victim of the crime who is present at the sentencing; and allow them to be heard.

 

Division VI – Arson

  • Requires a mandatory minimum sentence of between 50% and 70% for arson in the 1st degree, a “B” felony (25 years).
  • The fiscal note estimates that prison costs will increase as the length of prison stays for those convicted of arson increases. Beginning in FY22, the increased cost will be $21,822, and by FY29, the annual cost will be $276,000. This will also tend to have a negative effect on Iowa’s minority prison population, as African-Americans account for 15% of arson convictions.

 

Division VII – Limitation of Criminal Actions

  • Increases the criminal statute of limitations for sex abuse committed on or with a minor from 10 years after the minor turns 18 to 15 years after the minor turn 18.
  • Increases the criminal statute of limitations for sexual exploitation by a counselor therapist, or school employee committed against a minor from 10 years after the victim turns 18 to 15 years after the victim turn 18.

 

Division VIII – Second and Subsequent Public Intoxication Convictions

This division removes enhanced penalties for multiple public intoxication convictions. Under current law, a first offense for public intoxication is punishable as a simple misdemeanor; a second conviction is punishable as a serious misdemeanor; and a third or subsequent conviction is considered an aggravated misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine. This bill will make all public intoxication convictions simple misdemeanors with no enhanced penalties for second or subsequent convictions.
[4/25: 49-0 (Absent: Chapman)]

 

SF 590 – Payments from indigent defense fund for privately retained attorneys

SF 590 sets out requirements for indigent defense funds to be paid to privately retained attorneys in criminal cases. There are times when a criminal defendant will hire a private attorney to represent him or her, and the defendant will give the attorney a retainer. However, the defendant may not have the money to continue paying the private attorney as the case progresses, so an application is made to the court to have the state pay for the costs of the privately retained attorney. For the state to grant an application and authorize payment, the court must find:

  • That the defendant is indigent.
  • The costs are reasonable and necessary for the representation of the indigent person in a case for which counsel could have been appointed.
  • The moneys paid or to be paid to the privately retained attorney by or on behalf of the indigent person are insufficient to pay all or a portion of the costs.

The calculations to be used by the court must be the hourly rate that is currently authorized by Code for indigent defense cases, not the privately retained attorney’s hourly rate. If the court finds that the costs incurred by the privately retained attorney are reasonable and that the state should pay some or all of the fees, the state public defender will review the amount that the court has authorized. This requirement will apply to payments to witnesses, evaluators, investigators and certified shorthand reporters, and other costs incurred by a privately retained attorney in the legal representation.
[3/26: 32-17 (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Giddens, Hogg, Jochum, Lykam, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, J. Smith, R. Taylor, T. Taylor, Wahls; Absent: Breitbach)]

 

HF 224 – Lascivious conduct with a minor

HF 224 expands the crime of Lascivious Conduct with a Minor. Under current Iowa law, “lascivious conduct” is when an adult who is in a position of authority over a minor (anyone under 18) forces, persuades or coerces a minor, with or without consent, to disrobe or partially disrobe for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them. It is punished as a serious misdemeanor.

For purposes of the new subsections, “minor” is defined as any person 14 or 15 years of age. Those under 14 are already covered by current law. The bill will make it a lascivious act for any adult who is in a position of authority over a minor (age 14 or 15) to do any of the behaviors listed below with or without consent for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them. There is a “hole” in current Iowa law when certain behaviors are perpetrated against 14 and 15 year olds and these behaviors can only be charged as assault, not as a sex offense or lascivious act.

  • Fondle or touch the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the minor.
  • Touch the clothing covering the immediate area of the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the minor.
  • Solicit or permit the minor to fondle or touch the inner thigh, groin, buttock, anus or breast of the person.
  • Solicit the minor to do any of the following: fondle or touch the pubes or genitals of the minor; permit or cause the minor to fondle or touch the person’s genitals or pubes; or cause the touching of the person’s genitals to any part of the body of the minor.

This bill will ensure that these behaviors perpetrated against a 14 or 15 year old by a person who is in a position of authority over them will be punished appropriately.

Under the legislation, the behaviors are punishable as serious misdemeanors.

The bill also makes the following behaviors lascivious conduct punishable as aggravated misdemeanors if done for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of either of them. Under current law, these behaviors are only considered indecent contact when committed with a child under 14. The bill will ensure that if these behaviors are perpetrated by an adult with authority over 14 and 15 year olds, the penalty will be appropriate.

  • Fondling or touching the pubes or genitals of the minor.
  • Permitting or causing the minor to fondle or touch the person’s genitals or pubes.
  • Causing the touching of the person’s genitals to any part of the body of the minor.
  • Soliciting the minor to engage in a sex act or solicit a person to arrange a sex act with the minor.
  • Inflicting pain or discomfort upon the minor or permitting the minor to inflict pain or discomfort of the person.
    [4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 266 – Civil commitment of sexually violent predators

HF 266 makes changes to Iowa’s sexually violent predator law in Chapter 229A. Sexually violent predators are those who have been convicted of more than one sexually violent crime as defined in Chapter 229A, and through a process set out in Code, it has been determined that they are highly likely to engage in repeated acts of predatory sexual violence, and that the existing involuntary commitment procedure under chapter 229 is inadequate to address the risk they pose to society. Consequently, after serving any criminal sentence, these individuals are civilly committed to the sexually violent predator unit administered by the Department of Human Services for rehabilitation. The bill:

  • Defines the term “presently confined,” which currently lacks a definition in the Code. Presently confined will include those who are incarcerated, detained, or placed in a correctional facility, jail or comparable facility.
  • Provides that all forms of sexual exploitation of a minor, including possessing child pornography, are “sexually violent offenses.” Under current law, possessing child pornography is not considered a sexually violent offense.
  • Clarifies that the notice provisions relating to sexually violent predators do not limit who may be subject to commitment as sexually violent predators.
  • Provides that fact-findings made by an administrative law judge may be admitted into evidence at a sexually violent predator trial.
    [3/26: 49-0 (Absent: Breitbach)]

 

HF 323 – Exploitation of a dependent adult by a caretaker

HF 323 changes the definition of exploitation of a dependent adult by a caretaker in Code Chapter 235B relating to Dependent Adult Abuse Services administered by the Department of Human Services. Current law requires that exploitation by taking unfair advantage of a dependent adult or the adult’s physical or financial resources by a caretaker must be done for “one’s own personal or pecuniary profit.” The bill removes the requirement that the exploitation be done for one’s own personal or pecuniary profit.
[4/10: 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 328 – Definition of vulnerable elder

HF 328 amends the definition of “vulnerable elder” in Chapter 235F relating to elder abuse. In the Chapman case, the Iowa Supreme Court interpreted the Code definition of vulnerable elder to be a person 60 or older. The bill changes the definition to require more than age to be considered in determining if someone is a vulnerable elder. Under this bill, the Code will read:  “Vulnerable elder means a person sixty years of age or older who is unable to protect himself or herself from elder abuse as a result of a mental or physical condition or because of a personal circumstance which results in an increased risk of harm to the person.”
[4/25: 49-0 (Absent: Chapman)]

 

HF 391 – Increased amount of surety bond for travel trailer dealer license

HF 391 increases the required amount for a surety bond for a travel trailer dealer’s license issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The bond amount is increased from $25,000 to $75,000. This change will apply to applications for licenses submitted on or after July 1, 2019. The cost of travel trailers has risen significantly. This bill is intended to protect consumers who purchase them.
[4/11: 49-0 (Absent: Brown)]

 

HF 421 – Transfer of mental health patients to the Iowa Medical Classification Center

HF 421 addresses when a state mental health institute (MHI) patient may be transferred to the Iowa Medical Classification Center (IMCC) at Coralville, a Department of Corrections facility. Under current law, when a patient at a state mental health institute becomes a danger to others at the facility, the administrator may apply for a court order to transfer the patient to the IMCC to be housed in the forensic hospital inside the prison. The forensic hospital is a 14-bed hospital where certain defendants who have been charged with a crime are court ordered to undergo competency (to stand trial) evaluations, and if found not competent, defendants undergo treatment intended to restore competency. In addition, some patients at the forensic hospital have been found not guilty by reason of insanity and have been court ordered to the IMCC. Under this bill, the MHI administrator would need the consent of the director of the Department of Corrections to apply for a court order to transfer a patient to the IMCC. There is a constant waiting list for beds at the forensic hospital. Although the forensic hospital at IMCC is inside the prison, it is not considered a prison facility.

The bill also removes references in the Code to the mental health institutes in Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant and to the Iowa Juvenile Home. These facilities were closed by Governor Branstad without input from the Legislature.
[4/27: 31-16, party-line (Absent: Dawson, Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 569 – Personal degradation of a dependent adult is dependent adult abuse

HF 569 adds a new category, Personal Degradation, to the definition of dependent adult abuse in Chapter 235B. There is currently a definition of dependent adult abuse that includes Personal Degradation in Chapter 235E, relating to caretakers who are staff members of a facility or program that provides care, protection or services to a dependent adult.

This new definition of abuse applies to a caretaker with responsibility for protecting, caring for or having custody of a dependent adult as a result of assuming the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, through employment or by court order. Thus, a person who fits that definition of caretaker could commit personal degradation of a dependent adult under this bill. Personal degradation is defined as a “willful act or statement by a caretaker intended to shame, degrade, humiliate or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a dependent adult, or where the caretaker knew or reasonably should have known the act or statement would cause shame, degradation, humiliation, or harm to the personal dignity of a reasonable person.” This includes taking, transmitting or displaying an electronic image of a dependent adult by a caretaker with the intent to harm the personal dignity of the dependent adult. However, personal degradation does not include taking, transmitting or displaying an electronic image of a dependent adult for reports to law enforcement, the Department of Human Services or another regulatory agency.

The bill allows the department to determine if the abuse is a minor, isolated incident that is unlikely to reoccur and therefore not included in the central dependent adult abuse registry and not considered to be founded dependent adult abuse. However, the department will maintain the assessment record for five years. Also, if there is a subsequent report of dependent adult abuse that meets the new definition and occurs within the five-year record retention period and is committed by the same caretaker, it will not be considered a minor, isolated occurrence unlikely to reoccur.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 591 – Minor guardianships in juvenile court

HF 591 creates a new Code Chapter, 232D, the Iowa Minor Guardianship Proceedings Act, relating to minor guardianships and requiring that they be under the jurisdiction of juvenile court. A minor is defined as anyone under the age of 18. Thus, all current minor guardianships will be transferred from probate court to juvenile court, and going forward, all new minor guardianships will be filed in juvenile court. The bill:

  • Sets out requirements for a minor guardianship with parental consent as well as for a minor guardianship without parental consent, including requirements for the petition for guardianship and the required notice to interested parties.
  • Requires that guardianships with parental consent include an agreement between the parents and guardian to be filed with the court outlining the responsibilities of the guardian, the responsibilities of the parents and the expected duration of the guardianship.
  • Requires that guardianships without parental consent must be evidenced by clear and convincing evidence that no parent is willing or able to care for the child and appointment of the guardian would be in the best interests of the child.
  • Authorizes minor guardianships in termination of parental rights cases and child in need of assistance cases.
  • Requires that all proposed guardians have background checks, which would include a criminal history check, child abuse registry check, dependent adult abuse registry check and sex offender registry check.
  • Allows the court to appoint an attorney for the minor and an attorney for the parents if the parents object to the appointment of a guardian and request an attorney but are unable to pay for an attorney.
  • Allows the court to appoint a court visitor (formerly referred to as a guardian ad litem) who cannot be the attorney for the minor and who must file a report with the court after an investigation regarding the potential appointment of a guardian.
  • Sets out the responsibilities and duties of a guardian and requires the guardian to file reports, including an initial care plan for the minor and annual reports thereafter. The required reports may not be waived.
  • Sets out procedures for removal of a guardian, as well as for termination and modification of guardianships.
    [4/10: 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 610 – Adult guardianships and conservatorships

HF 610 changes Iowa’s adult guardianship and conservatorship laws, which will apply to minor conservatorships as well. The bill is based on recommendations from the Judicial Branch Guardianship and Conservatorship Task Force. The bill:

  • Requires criminal background checks for proposed guardians and conservators, as well as checks of the dependent adult abuse, sex offender and child abuse registries.
  • Requires a conservator surety bond or a similar alternative to protect the assets of the person under conservatorship.
  • Requires stronger requirements for court monitoring of guardians and conservators to ensure they perform their duties and that those under guardianship receive needed care and protection.
  • Requires a hearing on the proposed guardianship or conservatorship and that a record of the hearing be made.
  • Authorizes a “court visitor” to provide the court with information on whether a conservatorship or guardianship is appropriate.
  • Requires the court to consider less drastic alternatives to guardianships and conservatorships that might be appropriate, and requires the court to consider limited guardianships or conservatorships.
    [4/10: 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 679 – Substantive code editor’s bill

HF 679 is submitted annually by the Iowa Code Editor to the Judiciary Committee pursuant to Iowa Code Section 2B.6 and Joint Rule 11. The substantive Code Editor’s bill makes various changes throughout the Code, including, but not limited to, correcting language to conform to other Code language or current practices, eliminating conflicting language or ambiguous language, and repealing or striking redundant language.
[4/9: 48-0 (Absent: Bisignano, Feenstra)]

 

HF 681 –Criminal history checks for work with children, elderly, disabled

HF 681 permits entities that provide care for children, the elderly or those with disabilities, or care placement services to request a national criminal history record check by the FBI on covered individuals through the Department of Public Safety whose authority to do the criminal history checks is derived from authority it has pursuant to the National Child Protection Act. Covered individuals include those who may have access to children, the elderly or individuals with disabilities served by a qualified entity and who are employed by, volunteer with or seek to volunteer with a qualified entity. Qualified entities can include a business or organization, whether public private, for-profit, nonprofit or voluntary that provides care or placement services. The covered individual will provide fingerprints, which will be submitted to the Division of Criminal Investigation to complete the criminal history check. The Department of Public Safety will adopt rules to administer this Chapter.
[4/23: 49-0 (Absent: Petersen)]

 

HF 707 – Juvenile delinquency proceedings, termination of parental rights notice

HF 707 provides that in juvenile delinquency proceedings and termination of parental rights proceedings, the service of summons or notice may be sent by email or other electronic means with the consent of the party to be served. Current law allows in-person service or service by certified mail. In the juvenile delinquency cases, notice will go to the juvenile and the parent or guardian. In termination of parental rights proceedings, notice will go to living parents of the child, a guardian of the child, custodian of the child, a guardian ad litem, the petitioner or the person standing in the place of the parents of the child. Notice by electronic means in termination of parental rights proceedings must be sent at least seven days prior to the hearing.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 719 – Conciliation related to dissolution of marriage

HF 719 provides that the court, on its own motion or upon the motion of a party, may decide whether the parties to a divorce must participate in conciliation. Under current law, a court must order conciliation, and parties are required to participate in conciliation upon the application of either party. Conciliation can only be waived upon a showing of elder abuse or domestic abuse. This bill would make any conciliation requirement solely up to the discretion of the court.
[4/18: 49-0 (Absent: Mathis)]

 

HF 732 – Medical cannabidiolBILL VETOED

HF 732 makes these changes to the current medical cannabidiol program:

  • Amends “debilitating medical condition” under Code definitions by replacing “untreatable pain” with “severe or chronic pain.”
  • Allows licensed physician assistants and registered nurse practitioners to provide written certification attesting to patients’ eligibility for the medical cannabis program.
  • Removes the current 3% THC cap and replaces it with 25 grams over 90 days maximum disbursement.
  • Removes the prohibition on certain felons applying for medical cannabidiol registration card.
  • Allows medical cannabidiol dispensaries to employ licensed pharmacists or pharmacy technicians.
  • Creates a waiver process that allows a provider to certify a qualified patient to receive more than 25 grams of THC over a 90-day period if the health care practitioner determines 25 grams is not adequate or the patient’s debilitating condition is a terminal illness with life expectancy of less than one year.
  • Directs the Iowa Department of Public Health to adopt rules for collecting and evaluating data relating to patient demographics, effective treatment options, clinical outcomes and quality-of-life outcomes for reporting on benefits, risks and outcomes for patients participating in the program.
    [4/27: 40-7 (No: Behn, Breitbach, Carlin, Costello, Feenstra, Garrett, Whiting; Absent: Dawson, Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 734 – Changes to Iowa’s DNA profiling laws

HF 734 updates Iowa’s law for a defendant to pursue DNA testing after a conviction. Dozens of convicted individuals across the country have been exonerated through DNA testing. With technology improvements, DNA evidence can be tested with smaller evidentiary samples. Iowa’s law is written in such a way that it prohibits convicted defendants from obtaining updated DNA testing. This bill will allow defendants, under specified conditions, to apply for post-conviction DNA testing.
[4/24: 50-0]

Transportation Committee Report – All-Bill Summary 2019

HF 387 – Motor truck distances

HF 390 – Required notices of certain aircraft

HF 418 – Commercial Driver’s Licenses

HF 482 – Traffic Enforcement Officer duties

HF 499 – School bus exemptions

HF 643 – Driver’s licenses for the deaf

HF 767 – Alternative-fueled vehicles

HF 769 – Gross weight of special trucks

SF 208 – Increased length for car haulers

SF 302 – Automated driving systems

SF 303 – Replacement drivers’ license

SF 435 –Towable recreation vehicles

SF 629 – Excessive-weight vehicle permit updates

 

HF 387 – Motor truck distances

HF 387 repeals two sections of the Code relating to following distance of certain vehicles. Under current law, motor trucks and motor vehicles drawing another vehicle are prohibited from following within 300 feet of another motor truck or motor vehicle drawing another vehicle. This bill strikes these requirements and the related penalties.
[4/18: 49-0 (Excused: Guth)]

 

HF 390 – Required notices of certain aircraft

HF 390 eliminates the requirement for aircraft owners to keep current paper registration certificates on aircraft that have been junked or destroyed by fire or accident. The change was made because aircraft registrations are now checked electronically. The bill removes outdated references to paper aircraft certificates and changes references from “returning certificates” to “providing notice” to the Department of Transportation (DOT).
[4/8: 50-0]

 

HF 418 – Commercial Driver’s Licenses

HF 418 requires Iowa to comply with federal regulations for commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) or face loss of federal highway funding. Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) must check the national drug and alcohol clearinghouse to determine if an applicant qualifies for issuance, renewal or upgrade. In addition, an Iowa nonprofit corporation that serves as a trade association for Iowa-based motor carriers may be a third-party tester.
[4/8: 50-0]

 

HF 482 – Traffic Enforcement Officer duties

HF 482 repeals the July 1, 2019, sunset of provisions that allow traffic enforcement officers at the Iowa Department of Transportation to act as peace officers, and specifies their powers, duties and limitations.
[3/14: 43-5 (No: Bisignano, Celsi, Dotzler, R. Taylor, T. Taylor; Absent: Miller-Meeks; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

HF 499 – School bus exemptions

HF 499 allows new or used vehicles designed to carry 10 passengers, including the driver, and used passenger vans designed to carry 12 passengers, including the driver, to be used as school buses. In addition, pick-up trucks designed to carry nine or fewer passengers, including the driver, may be used as school buses.
[4/25: 50-0]

 

HF 643 – Driver’s licenses for the deaf

HF 643 allows a deaf or hard-of-hearing person to request that their driver’s license reflect that status on the face of the license when they apply for issuance or renewal. The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) will adopt related rules. Once marked, the licenses must be noted in the electronic database used by the DOT and law enforcement. The bill also instructs the DOT to work with the Commission of Deaf Services to raise awareness about the ability to request such a mark on a license.
[4/18: 49-0 (Excused: Mathis)]

 

HF 767 – Alternative-fueled vehicles

HF 767 creates new registration fees for electric and hybrid vehicles and a new excise tax on hydrogen and electric fuel. In light of the increasing use of these vehicles, the Legislature directed the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to estimate the impact of increased usage of electric, hybrid and other high-efficiency motor vehicles on future revenues to the Road Use Tax Fund. It also required the DOT to evaluate and recommend alternative funding mechanisms or the alteration of existing funding mechanisms to offset decreases in future revenues due to the increased use of these vehicles. DOT produced recommendations with the goal of no net change in revenue, equity and administrative costs. HF 767 is based on recommendations from a DOT report.

Registration Fees – Battery electric vehicles have no internal combustion engine and are propelled exclusively by electricity. Under the bill, battery electric motors will pay an additional registration fee of $65 in 2020, increasing to $130 after January 1, 2022. Plug-in hybrid vehicles will pay a $32 fee beginning in 2020, increasing to a fee of $65 after January 1, 2022. Motorcycles that have a battery electric or hybrid motor will pay an additional $4.50 fee beginning in 2020, with the fee increasing to $9 by January 1, 2022.

Excise Tax – A gallon of hydrogen is 249 pounds. The excise tax will be 65 cents per gallon. Vehicles using hydrogen fuel will have a special fuel sticker from the county treasurer noting that the vehicle takes special fuel. Electric fuel means electrical energy delivered or placed into a battery or other energy source outside the motor vehicle to propel it. An excise tax of two and six-tenths cents per kilowatt hour of electric fuel delivered into the battery will attach at the time of delivery. A person cannot sell or dispense electric fuel unless they hold an electric fuel license.
[4/27: 34-14 (Yes: Republicans, Kinney, Quirmbach; Excused: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 769 – Gross weight of special trucks

HF 769 allows a special truck used for certain farming purposes to increase to a gross maximum weight of 39 tons from the current maximum of 32 tons. The registration fee is an additional $25 per ton between 32 and 38 tons, and an additional $10 per ton between 38 and 39 tons.
[4/26: 49-0 (Excused: Feenstra)]

 

SF 208 – Increased length for car haulers

SF 208 allows stinger-steered transporters (car hauls) to have an overall length of 80 feet, which brings Iowa into compliance with federal code. Current Iowa law is 75 feet.
[3/18: 48-1 (Absent: Dawson; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 302 – Automated driving systems

SF 302 allows driverless-capable vehicles to operate on public highways without a human driver physically present in the vehicle if it meets these conditions:

  • It is capable of achieving minimal risk conditions if a malfunction occurs that renders it unable to perform any dynamic driving task.
  • It is capable of operating in compliance with the applicable traffic and motor vehicle safety laws that govern dynamic driving tasks.
  • It is in compliance with all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • The owner maintains proof-of-financial-liability coverage and carries it in the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must remain at the scene of an accident, and failure to comply may result in the owner being charged with related code violations.

The bill also authorizes a person to operate an on-demand driverless-capable vehicle network to transport goods and people. Automated driving systems will be governed and regulated by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
[4/17: 48-1 (No: Hogg)]

 

SF 303 – Replacement drivers’ license

SF 303 – Iowans under 21 carry a vertical driver’s license. Upon turning 21, they are not required to get a new horizontal license until it’s due for a renewal. The bill makes the person eligible to apply electronically for a replacement horizontal license for the unexpired months. The Iowa Department of Transportation will notify the individual prior to their 21st birthday of their eligibility for the replacement license.
[3/11: 46-0 (Excused: Edler, J. Smith, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 435 –Towable recreation vehicles

SF 435 creates a manufacturer-dealer agreement for non-motorized towable recreation vehicles and is outside the auto franchise section of the Code. It clarifies that both manufacturers and dealers are responsible when consumers have problems or need repairs or replacement.
[3/21: 46-0 (Absent: Bisignano, Celsi, R. Taylor; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 629 – Excessive-weight vehicle permit updates

SF 629 requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop and implement a single statewide system to receive applications for and issue permits that allow vehicles of excessive size or weight on state and local highways or streets. The DOT will determine, in consultation with local authorities, appropriate routes on which these vehicles can operate. DOT will set a permit fee by rule. Fees must be proportionate to those in Code section 321E.14. DOT must allocate a portion of the fees to local authorities.

The DOT must submit a report to the Legislature by December 31, 2021, on development and implementation of the system.

DOT may issue annual permits authorizing a vehicle or combination of vehicles to transport divisible loads of raw forest products from fields to storage, processing or other commercial facilities. The annual permit fee is $175. A vehicle or combination of vehicles for which a permit is issued may exceed the maximum weights in Code section 321.463 if the gross weight on any one axle does not exceed the limits in Code section 321E.7 (gross weight on any one axle: 20,000 pounds; gross weight on any one tandem axle with at least four tires: 46,000 pounds). Vehicles are prohibited from exceeding size limits in Code sections 321.454 through 321.457. Vehicles are prohibited from traveling on interstates. Permits are valid on non-primary highways if the local authority has approved the route within its jurisdiction.
[4/22: 37-12 (No: Celsi, Greene, Hogg, Miller-Meeks, Nunn, Quirmbach, Schultz, Segebart, Sinclair, J. Smith, R. Taylor, Zaun; Excused: Petersen)]

 

Education – All Bill Summary 2019

SF 139 – Financial literacy graduation requirement delayed

SF 140 – Extending allowable driving miles for certain minors

SF 159 – Setting new teacher prep assessment score requirements

SF 188 – Prohibits regent universities from disallowing the use/carry of stun guns

SF 245 – Eligibility and reporting for Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant

SF 246 – Eligibility for All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships

SF 274 – Public forums, speech at universities and community colleges

SF 319 – Peace officers to teach drivers education

SF 394 – Online classes to count for required course offerings

SF 603 – Funding for dual enrollment, allowing it to replace required courses

HF 306 – FY20 state supplemental aid at 2.06 percent

HF 307 – Transportation and DCPP Equity Funding

HF 546 – SAVE extension, property tax reduction payments

HF 596 – Whole grade sharing incentives extension

HF 598 – Sibling classroom placements

HF 609 – Legalizing act for Bennett CSD

HF 637 – Reporting timeframe to BOEE

HF 758 – Education Budget

 

SF 139 – Financial literacy graduation requirement delayed

SF 139 extends the requirement that all high school students enrolled public or nonpublic schools take a one-half unit course in personal financial literacy as a condition of graduation through the 2022-2023 graduating class. In 2018, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed a new graduation requirement for a half course in financial literacy. In Code, the Legislature spelled out that the curriculum, at a minimum, cover nine areas of financial literacy as outlined by the Department of Education. When first enacted, the financial literacy requirement for graduation was to go into effect July 1, 2019, for the 2019-20 school year. Because many high school students have their coursework planned out several years in advance, this put current high school students in danger of not completing graduation requirements due to lack of space in their schedules to accommodate another required class.

While there is not a state fiscal impact associated with SF 139, there may still be costs to school districts related to the financial literacy course requirements. The original costs were estimated to be between $1.6 million to $2.2 million annually and were largely based on the probability that school districts would need to hire additional teaching staff. The course requirements were later amended and expanded how the financial literacy coursework could be incorporated into existing classes. The changes are expected to reduce the estimated costs.
[2/18: 48-0 (Excused: Miller-Meeks; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 140 – Extending allowable driving miles for certain minors

SF 140 allows a student between 14 and 18 years old with a special minor’s driver’s license to drive up to 50 miles each way to and from school and school activities. Previously, a special minor’s driver’s license limits student driving to the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. over the most direct and accessible route between home and school for classes and extracurricular activities, and for up to 25 miles one way. This bill increases the limit to no more than 50 miles each way. Public school students can drive on a special minor’s licenses within their school district or to participate in extracurricular activities in a bordering school district.
[3/12: 46-3 (No: Celsi, Quirmbach, J. Smith; Vacant: Danielson)]

SF 159 – Setting new teacher prep assessment score requirements

SF 159 authorizes the Department of Education to set the minimum passing scores necessary for a student to successfully complete a practitioner preparation program and receive an initial teaching license. Previously, students must achieve scores above the 25th percentile nationally on certain subject and performance-based assessments.

The bill eliminates the requirement to use the assessment provider recommended scores because of the potential consequences of disqualifying 400 new teachers a year. Instead, the Department will use a comparison of set scores from neighboring states.

The bill also establishes a one-year waiver procedure for students who do not attain the minimum assessment score. This one-year waiver is available for both in-state students and out-of-state teacher prep students who can show proof of a job offer in Iowa. It is only good for a temporary one-year license so that the beginning teacher can re-take the Praxis assessment during that year.
[3/27: 48-0 (Excused: Breitbach, Nunn]

 

SF 188 – Prohibits regent universities from disallowing the use/carry of stun guns

SF 188 – Public universities and community colleges cannot adopt or enforce any policy that prohibits carrying, transporting or possessing a stun gun, as long as the weapon is not used in the commission of a public offense. However, there is an exception for university stadiums and university hospitals, and the Board of Regents may prohibit felons from carrying a dangerous weapon/stun gun on campus. In 2018, SF 2321 eliminated the requirement for a permit to carry a stun gun (not a Taser), making it permissible for those 18 and older to go armed with a stun gun.
[4/22: 38-11 (No: Bolkcom, Celsi, Giddens, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, J. Smith, Wahls)]

 

SF 245 – Eligibility and reporting for Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant

SF 245 contains a technical correction to eliminate the Iowa Workforce Development reference in the Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant and ensures that students enrolled in programs of study aligned with statewide high-demand jobs continue to qualify for funding. The bill grandfathers in students receiving grants who are enrolled in a program of study that later on is removed from eligibility.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]

SF 246 – Eligibility for All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships

SF 246 strikes the age provisions to ensure all applicants are held to the same eligibility criteria under the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship. Over the course of the past two years, two new student populations have been granted access to the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship: House File 642 granted eligible foster care students first priority for funding; and House File 2502 granted students whose parent was a public safety worker killed in the line of duty second priority for funding. The defining language for each of these student populations contains an age threshold that would cause them to lose eligibility prior to receiving the maximum benefit under the program. There is no such age threshold for the general student population.
[3/18: 48-0 (Excused: Dawson; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 274 – Public forums, speech at universities and community colleges

SF 274 governs public forums, freedom of expression and freedom of association at community colleges and state universities. Regent universities and community colleges must adopt statements protecting speech; the freedom to discuss, assemble and engage in spontaneous expressive activities subject to reasonable time, place and manner restrictions; and public areas of campuses. Protected activities include all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, speeches (including by invited speakers), distribution of literature and circulating petitions. The outdoor areas of campuses must be deemed public forums. Specific areas cannot be deemed free speech zones, and policies cannot otherwise restrict expressive activities to a particular outdoor area of campus.

Institutions cannot deny a student organization any benefit that other student groups receive because they require their leaders to agree with and support the student organization’s beliefs. An aggrieved member of the campus community may bring an action against an institution responsible for a violation of this law and may assert such violation as a defense or counterclaim.
[3/11: 35-11 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Ragan, T. Taylor, Wahls; Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 319 – Peace officers to teach drivers education

SF 319 allows peace officers or retired peace officers (other than parole officers) to teach the driving portion drivers education (not the classroom portion) without authorization from the Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE). Previously, to be qualified to provide street or highway driving instruction, a person had to be certified by the Department of Transportation and authorized by the BOEE.

Now, peace officers or retired peace officers will not be governed under the BOEE’s professional ethics.
[3/12: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 394 – Online classes to count for required course offerings

SF 394 permits public school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to offer online classes to meet up to two “offer and teach” course requirements. Schools can use Iowa Learning Online (ILO) or offer such a course through any online platform that meets standards specified under the Online School Code chapter and is approved by the Department of Education.

Previously, Iowa Code allowed up to two “offer and teach” requirements to be waived by the Department of Education if a school district or accredited nonpublic school is unable to employ an appropriately licensed teacher for the specified course, or too few students typically enroll in the specified course.

Previously, the specified course had to be provided by the ILO. Now, courses can be offered through a private provider that meets Iowa teacher and curriculum standards. Schools must offer these classes either in person or online and that two or more schools could go into a partnership to offer online options.
[4/22: 49-0 (Excused: Segebart)]

 

SF 603 – Funding for dual enrollment, allowing it to replace required courses

SF 603 has three main provisions and is estimated to cost between $1 million and $3 million. It also requires $108,000 for a new FTE at Iowa Department of Education.

First, SF 603 increases supplementary weighting for liberal arts concurrent/dual enrollment from .46 to .50.

Second, the bill allows concurrent enrollment programs to supplant, rather than supplement, two high school courses currently required to be “offered and taught” under the state’s educational standards. The bill allows one of the required science or math units to be taught under dual enrollment if the number of pupils enrolled exceeds five and the school district’s total enrollment does not exceed 600 pupils. Public schools with more than 600 students may use college classes to count for one existing “offer and teach” requirement for science or math, but they will not receive additional/weighted funding. This is estimated to increase the school aid amount by $2 million.

Before schools can use the program, they must show a “good faith effort” to hire a certified high school teacher for the courses. Additionally, the bill adds requirements before a high school course can be supplanted:

  • Enrollment of the unit must exceed five students.
  • The unit must be offered during the regular school day.
  • The unit is made accessible by the school district to all eligible students.

The bill expands the Chapter 709 sexual exploitation language to provide additional protects for high school students when taking community colleges courses. Community college instructors previously were not considered school employees for purposes of sexual misconduct/assault on a minor by a school employee. This closes that loophole.

Third, the bill provides new state funding to pay for concurrent community college enrollment of private school students. Like new student population thresholds for public schools, accredited private schools can use concurrent enrollment to supplant one science or math course. They can get “extra funding” if they have fewer than 200 students. If a nonpublic school has more than 200 enrolled students, they can still use community colleges to cover offer and teach requirements, but no extra/weighted funding is provided. This provision has an appropriation of $1 million in the Higher Education budget. If the nonpublic schools exceed this, funding will be pro-rated to the community colleges.
[4/26: 48-0 (Excused: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 306 – FY20 state supplemental aid at 2.06 percent

HF 306 is the FY20 state supplemental aid or basic school funding for the 2019-20 school year.

General State Aid: HF 306 establishes a total cost per pupil of $6,875; an increase of $139 per pupil over last year. The 2.06 percent increase will cost the state $78.6 million more than last year. This includes a $22.5 million cut to the Area Education Agencies in the Standings bill. If there was no additional cut to AEAs, 2.06 percent would provide an increase of $93.6 million.

Categorical State Aid: The FY20 allowable growth rate for each of the State Categorical Supplements (Teacher Leadership and Compensation; Teacher Salary Supplement; and Professional Development and Early Intervention) totals $537.9 million, an increase of $10.7 million.

  • Teacher Salary Supplement: $304.9 million (increase of $6 million)
  • Professional Development Supplement: $34.6 million (increase of $680,000)
  • Early Intervention: $35.6 million (increase of $700,000)
  • Teacher Leadership Supplement: $162.7 million (increase of $3.3 million)

Budget Guarantee: This is the amount made up entirely of local property taxes to guarantee a school district receives 101 percent of the previous year’s funding level. It only occurs when a district’s enrollment decline is greater than the basic state funding percentage increase. It’s estimated that 117 districts will be on budget guarantee under 2.06 percent.

Property Taxes: Since 2013, the Legislature makes a determination on whether it will pay for the incremental increase in property taxes associated with the percentage growth for schools. The total funding for this effort is now $62.1 million, an increase of $10 million over last year. This is not new money for schools, just shifting dollars from local property taxes to state funding.
[2/13: 35-13, party-line (Bisignano, Danielson, Kinney, Mathis voting “yes” with Republicans; Excused: Jochum, Nunn)]

 

HF 307 – Transportation and DCPP Equity Funding

HF 307 contains two funding provisions for school districts: transportation and District Cost Per Pupil. First, the bill establishes the Transportation Equity Fund created in 2018 as a permanent Categorical fund, subject to Categorical Supplemental State Aid (SSA) increases. It also appropriates $19 million into the fund for FY20. This is an increase of $7.8 million over FY19. One-hundred-ninety districts will receive transportation aid, up from 136 in FY19 (54 increase).

Second, the bill adds $5 to the State Cost Per Pupil (SCPP) for those districts that have a District Cost Per Pupil (DCPP) equal to the SCPP. This effectively narrows the gap between the highest and lowest DCPP districts from $170 to $165. This takes the SCPP from $6875 to $6880, a $2.9 million increase in the school funding formula. One-hundred-seventy-nine districts will receive some funding.
[2/13: 48-0 (Excused: Jochum, Nunn)]

 

HF 546 – SAVE extension, property tax reduction payments

HF 546 extends the 6% sales tax rate to January 1, 2051, as well as the allocation to the SAVE fund. The sales tax rate of 6% was to be reduced to 5% on January 1, 2030, and Code chapter 423F, along with other corresponding provisions, would be repealed on December 31, 2029. This sunset is extended because schools need to use their SAVE fund dollars to secure 20-year bonds, which go beyond the program.

HF 546 increases property tax relief in two main ways. The bill increases the amount in the Property Tax Equity Relief fund (PTER) from a 2.1% SAVE allocation to 30% total, assuming there is at least 2% growth in sales tax receipts after 2020. The increase in distribution grows by 1% every year to the 30% max. A new Foundation Base Supplement Fund (FBSF) will supplement the other property tax relief programs by providing property tax relief to all districts by buying up the school foundation aid level of 87.5%.

Other provisions in the bill include:

  • Career Academy Fund Grant: The bill creates a Career Academy Fund. In FY20, the SAVE fund would transfer $1 million to the Career Academy Fund. Subsequent transfers will be the equivalent of the prior year’s transfer, plus 0.5% of the sales tax growth in the fund, if the growth rate is at or exceeds 2.5%. The amount to be transferred is capped at $5 million per fiscal year. A single grant cannot exceed $1 million to a school district. The grants would go toward infrastructure and equipment and to further the goals of establishing and operating the center.
  • Revenue Purpose Statements: Existing statements expire on January 2031 and require school boards to seek voter approval for new revenue purpose statements (RPS). The statements must include that failure to approve the RPS will result in those funds being used for property tax reduction.
  • Bonding: Previous law authorized a school district to anticipate its share of SAVE fund revenues by issuing bonds without voter approval. Under the bill, they must hold a public hearing on the project and how it will be funded. The public must be notified at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. Voters have a 14-day window following the public hearing to petition for a special election. Petitions require the signatures of 100 eligible voters or 30% of the voters in the last regular school election. The bond issuance requirements are tied to the July 1, 2019 cut off and not the timing of the district’s RPS.
  • Athletic Facilities: Puts in place enhanced public engagement processes surrounding the use of SAVE funds for the construction of athletic facilities.
  • School Safety – Legislative Intent: SAVE funds are prioritized for school safety and security infrastructure, before sports facilities. This would include safe rooms, remote entry technology and equipment, security camera systems, and communication systems with access to fire and police frequencies.
  • Certificate of Need Threshold and Cost Benefit Analysis: Currently, a school district with a certified enrollment of fewer than 250 pupils must apply to the Department of Education for a certificate of need before the school district can expend supplemental school infrastructure monies. The criteria in the bill is modified to include the cost-benefit analysis of remodeling, reconstructing or repairing existing buildings versus new construction and consideration of the benefit of the new construction on student learning.
    [4/24: 48-2 (No: Chapman, Zaun)]

 

HF 596 – Whole grade sharing incentives extension

HF 596 extends the state’s school district reorganization incentives that are set to expire at the end of FY20. Previously, school districts that participated in whole grade sharing were eligible for supplementary weighting for three years. If the school districts reorganize, they may be eligible to receive supplementary weighting for six years. In addition to supplementary weighting, school districts that reorganize may be eligible for a uniform levy rate reduction for three years. HF 596 extends these reorganization provisions authorized on or before July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2024. State aid costs associated with each of these supplementary weightings vary due to the size and number of districts that are eligible to receive supplementary weighting. In recent years, the minimum total state aid generated from whole grade sharing and reorganization incentives was $2.9 million and the maximum was $5.6 million.
[4/25: 50-0]

HF 598 – Sibling classroom placements

HF 598 allows a parent or guardian of siblings in K-5 to request that their children be placed in the same classroom or different classrooms if they are in the same grade. Siblings that may fall under this bill would be twins, triplets or other multiples. It could also apply to foster kid, children from blended families, or children of different ages who are in the same grade. Exceptions may be made if the classroom teacher and parents determine that the siblings’ placement is “disruptive to the class.” The school district is not required to place siblings in separate classrooms if the request would require the school district to add an additional class at the siblings’ grade level.
[4/16: 44-5 (No: Celsi, Giddens, Hogg, J. Smith, R. Taylor; Excused: Shipley)]

 

HF 609 – Legalizing act for Bennett CSD

HF 609 legalizes the action of the Bennett Community School District to participate in an instructional support program, notwithstanding that the school district did not wait the required 28 days before certifying its board’s action to the Department of Management.
[4/26: 48-0 (Excused: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 637 – Reporting timeframe to BOEE

HF 637 requires reporting of misconduct of school employees to the Board of Educational Examiners within 30 days. School districts must report any action taken against a licensed employee for misconduct, including soliciting or consummating a romantic relationship with student; falsifying grades or test scores; using public property for personal use; or being at school or school activities in possession or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
[4/17: 50-0]

 

Reference:  Education Budget bill

HF 758 – Education Budget

HF 758 is the FY20 budgets of the Department of Blind, College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education and the Board of Regents. It appropriates $952.7 million, which is $40 million more than last year.

 

FY20 Senate GOP Recommendation                        $ 952,733,479
FY19 Appropriation                                                         $ 912,675,487
Difference                                                                          $ 40 million
Percent Increase                                                              4.4 percent increase
Original House GOP Target                                          $960,883,480
Original Governor’s Target                                           $963,275,618

 

Department for the Blind: $80,000 over FY19. The department provides services to educate and train blind and visually impaired people. The increase will place a sixth Independent Living teacher in the field for more frequent visits.

 

College Student Aid Commission: $14.6 million over FY19. Key changes include:

  • Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG): $1 million increase, for a total of $47.7million.
  • ITG For-Profit: $50,000 increase.
  • All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships: $159,000 increase/$3 million.
  • Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program: Status quo funding.
  • NEWFuture Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship: $13 million. This is similar to the GAP program and is tuition assistance for students to finish their targeted training. Credentials include postsecondary certificates, diplomas and associate degrees.
  • NEWFuture Ready Iowa Grant Program: Funding in the Econ Dev Budget (SF 608): $1 million to establish a grant that would allow Iowans who left college with at least half the required credits for a bachelor’s degree in a high-demand field of study to enroll in a public or private four-year institution in Iowa to complete the degree. This program was established in the Future Ready Iowa Act (2018).

 

Department of Education: $11.8 million over FY19.

  • NEW: Children’s Mental Health: $2.1 million for this bipartisan priority.
    • Train teachers to detect mental health issues in students and determine appropriate follow-up.
  • NEW: Nonpublic School Concurrent Enrollment (HF 603): $1 million (caps max standing unlimited appropriation).
  • Nonpublic Textbook Services: Status Quo.
  • Student Achievement and Teacher Quality Program: Status Quo.
  • Iowa Assessment: $300,000 increase, which is $3 million total. Increase of $300,000 is designated for nonpublic schools only.
  • IJAG: $1 million increase, total of $2.7 million.
  • NEW: Best Buddies = $25,000.
  • Iowa Learning Online (ILO): $0.
  • Career Technical Education (CTE) Secondary: $320,000 increase to $2.9 million.
  • Early Childhood Iowa (ECI): $500,000 increase.

 

Vocational Rehabilitation Division: Status quo funding of $5.9 million.

 

Iowa Public Television (IPTV): $50,000 increase over FY19, for a total of $7.7 million in FY20.

 

Community Colleges: $4.7 million increase/$207 million.

  • New: ESL Adult Basic Literacy = $500,000. This new appropriation will work with the adult basic literacy, which is part of the Skilled Worker and Job Creation. $1.1 million solves the ESL adult education waiting list statewide.
  • The Skilled Workforce Training Fund includes most of the community college job training and tuition assistance. Funding comes from gaming dollars. The bill provides status quo funding for FY20 of $40.3 million.

 

Regent Institutions: $12 million increase/total $575.4 million. It is estimated the regents will raise tuition by almost 4%. That is a $300 annual increase for in-state students.

  • Schools for the Blind and Deaf: 2.06% increase (SSA rate).
  • STEM: $1 million increase (18% increase).

 

Policy and Statute Changes

  • National Guard Educational Assistance: Name change to “scholarship” and allows an additional 10 semester hours of undergraduate study for those pursuing a degree in a STEM field.
  • Future Ready: High Demand Jobs definition/criteria in Code.
  • 260E New Jobs Training: One-year language to help Lennox workers in Marshalltown.
  • 260I – GAP Program: Changes the criteria for determining financial need eligibility for assistance by reducing the time for which family income is considered and allows two certificate attainments in one career pathway.
  • High-Need Schools: Appropriation is pushed back to FY21. The $10 million never has been funded.
    [4/23: 32-18, party-line]

Appropriations Committee – All-Bill Summary 2019

SF 600 – Transportation Budget

SF 603 – Funding for dual enrollment, allowing it to replace required courses

SF 608 – Economic Development Budget

SF 609  – Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget

SF 615– Justice Budget – ITEM VETO

SF 616 – Judicial Branch Budget

SF 632—Gambling Treatment Appropriation

SF 638—Standings

HF 307 – Transportation and DCPP Equity Funding

HF 756 – Federal Block Grant

HF 758 – Education Budget

HF 759 – Administration and Regulation Budget

HF 765 – RIIF Budget

HF 766– Health and Human Services Budget

SF 600 – Transportation Budget

SF 600 makes a supplemental appropriation for FY18-19. It also makes FY19-20 appropriations from the Road Use Tax Fund and the Primary Road Fund to the Department of Transportation.

FY 2018-2019 Supplemental appropriations
SF 600 makes a supplemental appropriation of $8.7 million from the Primary Road Fund for salt, effective upon enactment.

Department of Transportation

Road Use Tax Fund
FY20 Appropriation                         $51,488,498
FY19 Appropriation                         $51,036,884
Difference                                          $451,614
Percent                                                0.9% increase

Primary Road Fund
FY20 Appropriation                         $353,199,194
FY19 Appropriation                         $338,492,899 *includes FY19 supplemental
Difference                                          $14,706,295
Percent                                             4.34% increase

Total FY20 Increase:                       $15.2 million

 

Highlights:

Road Use Tax Fund 

DOT provides driver and identification service centers in the most populous areas of the state, and county treasurers provide services in counties that do not have a service center. There are 17 service centers in 16 counties – two in Polk County. County treasurers provide services in the other 83 counties, working as DOT agents via 28E intergovernmental agreements.

Dallas County started offering services in 2002, but its population has more than doubled and is projected to grow another 20 percent in the next five years (to 107,000 in 2023). This has created service demands that exceed the county treasurer model. The current annual issuance volume is 26,000 licenses and IDs per year, compared to the average county volume of 3,500. Dallas County issuance is now comparable to centers in Ames, Council Bluffs and Dubuque.

The DOT budget request includes an adjustment for an additional eight FTEs (full-time equivalents), $515,000 in operational funds for positions to staff the service center, and $350,000 in capital funds to establish a new leased facility. The service center will open in January 2020.

Primary Road Fund

Appropriations include $26,951,000 for a Sioux City facility that will combine the services and uses of five existing DOT facilities.

Sale of the existing facilities will return those properties to taxable use and will return an estimated $1,376,000 to the Primary Road Fund. It also should avoid an estimated $3,798,000 in major maintenance to existing facilities over the next 15 years, which will also benefit the Primary Road Fund.

Consistent with steps to reduce the physical footprint in other districts, the DOT proposes to consolidate five facilities into a single facility – the current District 3 main office, the Leeds and Hamilton garages, and the Leeds resident construction engineer’s office.

These facilities are 40 to 60 years old. Consolidating avoids duplication of facilities and common spaces, improves coordination of staff, moves the facilities out of what are now residential areas to an area with better access to the highway system, and creates garage space large enough to accommodate modern DOT equipment.
[4/2: 46-0) Absent: Brown, Kinney, Mathis, Zaun)]

SF 603 – Funding for dual enrollment, allowing it to replace required courses

SF 603 has three main provisions and is estimated to cost between $1 million and $3 million. It also requires $108,000 for a new FTE at Iowa Department of Education.

First, SF 603 increases supplementary weighting for liberal arts concurrent/dual enrollment from .46 to .50.

Second, the bill allows concurrent enrollment programs to supplant, rather than supplement, two high school courses currently required to be “offered and taught” under the state’s educational standards. The bill allows one of the required science or math units to be taught under dual enrollment if the number of pupils enrolled exceeds five and the school district’s total enrollment does not exceed 600 pupils. Public schools with more than 600 students may use college classes to count for one existing “offer and teach” requirement for science or math, but they will not receive additional/weighted funding. This is estimated to increase the school aid amount by $2 million.

Before schools can use the program, they must show a “good faith effort” to hire a certified high school teacher for the courses. Additionally, the bill adds requirements before a high school course can be supplanted:

  • Enrollment of the unit must exceed five students.
  • The unit must be offered during the regular school day.
  • The unit is made accessible by the school district to all eligible students.

The bill expands the Chapter 709 sexual exploitation language to provide additional protects for high school students when taking community colleges courses. Community college instructors previously were not considered school employees for purposes of sexual misconduct/assault on a minor by a school employee. This closes that loophole.

Third, the bill provides new state funding to pay for concurrent community college enrollment of private school students. Like new student population thresholds for public schools, accredited private schools can use concurrent enrollment to supplant one science or math course. They can get “extra funding” if they have fewer than 200 students. If a nonpublic school has more than 200 enrolled students, they can still use community colleges to cover offer and teach requirements, but no extra/weighted funding is provided. This provision has an appropriation of $1 million in the Higher Education budget. If the nonpublic schools exceed this, funding will be pro-rated to the community colleges.
[4/26: 48-0 (Excused: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

SF 608 – Economic Development Budget

SF 608 is the Economic Development Budget. It appropriates $41.9 million from the General Fund to the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD). This is an increase of $1.68 million over the FY19 budget. This budget is $1.19 million less than FY17 before the mid-year cuts.

The bill appropriates $28.1 million from other funds. This is an increase of $1.25 million from FY19 budget. Other funds include Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund, IWD’s Special Contingency Fund and the Unemployment Insurance Reserve Interest.

General Fund Changes from FY19 budget

Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA): increase of $275,000 over FY19.

  • Historical Division: increase of $100,000 over FY19.
  • Arts Division: increase of $100,000 over FY19.
  • Cultural Trust Grants: increase of $75,000 over FY19. Cultural Trust Grants go to Iowa nonprofit arts, history, sciences and humanities organizations for education programs and support local endowment building.

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA): decrease of $50,000 compared to FY19.

  • The World Food Prize is reduced by $25,000 from FY19 ($375,000).
  • The Council of Governments receives an increase of $75,000 over FY19 ($275,000).

Iowa Finance Authority (IFA): IFA receives status quo funding ($658,000) for the Home and Community-Based Services Rent Subsidy Program that provides rent assistance to individuals on one of the Medicaid Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers.

Public Employment Relations Board (PERB): status quo funding.

 

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD): $138,000 less than FY19.

  • $12,000 increase to Workers’ Compensation Division.
  • $1.25 million General Fund decrease to workforce field offices.
  • $50,000 general increase to the Offender Reentry Program.
  • $150,000 decrease for the Future Ready Iowa Coordinator (now funded out of the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund).
  • New Appropriation/FUTURE READY IOWA line item: $1.2 million for the Iowa Employer Innovation Fund, which was established in the Future Ready Iowa Act (2018). The funding will be used to match eligible employer moneys to expand opportunities for education and training that lead to high-demand jobs and to encourage Iowa employers, community leaders and others to provide leadership and support for regional workforce talent pools throughout the state, and for Future Ready Iowa Education and outreach.
  • $1.7 million less to Iowa Workforce Development than FY17 before the mid-year budget cuts. Specifically, funding has been reduced to Workforce Field Offices and the Labor Division (OSHA inspectors, wage and hour investigators, child labor investigators, etc.).

 

Board of Regents—General Fund

  • NEW Appropriation: $825,000 to Iowa State University for Biosciences Innovation Ecosystem and $275,000 to University of Iowa Biosciences Innovation Ecosystem. This is a total of $1.1 million. The money will be used to establish a nationally renowned innovation ecosystem in Iowa bioscience platforms (bio-based chemicals, precision and digital agriculture, vaccines and immunotherapeutics, and medical devices) to grow and diversify Iowa’s economy. The universities look to hire individuals, creating a funding program focused on early-stage technologies and creating an “Iowa Innovates” program to attract young innovators to Iowa.
  • NEW Appropriation: $400,000 to University of Northern Iowa for equipment, technology and salaries to expand UNI’s additive manufacturing capabilities.

Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund Appropriations (non-General Fund): $23.45 million

  • IEDA
    • NEW Appropriation/FUTURE READY IOWA line item: $400,000 (from the Skilled Workers and Job Creation Fund) to the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Services to establish a volunteer mentor program to support implementation of the Future Ready Iowa Skilled Workforce Last-Dollar Scholarship program. The program was established in the Future Ready Iowa Act (2018).
    • NEW Appropriation: $100,000 (from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund) to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for a Housing Needs Assessment Grant Program. IEDA will develop rules. The program is intended to provide small communities with hard data and housing-related information specific to the community being analyzed.
    • NEW Appropriation: $300,000 (from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund) to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for Rural Innovation Grants Program. IEDA will develop rules.
    • High Quality Jobs: $1.95 million less to the High Quality Jobs Program. This funding is from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund (total: $11.7 million). This is $4.2 million less than FY17 before mid-year cuts ($15.9 million).
      • New: IEDA may allocate up to $300,000 for supporting statewide worker education (will go to the Labor Center at University of Iowa.).
  • IWD: Future Ready Iowa Coordinator: $150,000 (this was previously funded out of General Fund in FY19).
  • ISU, UI and UNI: status quo from the Skilled Worker Job Creation Fund for their economic development initiatives.
  • College Student Aid Commission: New Appropriation/Future Ready Iowa line item: $1 million for grant to help Iowans who left college with at least half the required credits for a bachelor’s degree in a high-demand field to enroll in a public or private four-year institution in Iowa to complete the degree. This program was established in the Future Ready Iowa Act (2018).

Other Funds

  • IWD: increase of $1.25 million from other funds (Unemployment Insurance Reserve Interest) from FY19 budget, for field office operations. With this increase in other funds and the decrease in the General Fund appropriation, the field offices are at status quo from FY19.
  • Tourism Marketing (from Adjusted Gross Gaming Receipts): status quo from FY19 ($900,000), which is $224,000 less than FY17.

New Policy: Adds four legislators as ex-officio members on the Iowa Finance Board.
[4/24: 37-13 (Yes: Republicans, Dotzler, Giddens, Mathis, Quirmbach, J. Smith)]

SF 609  – Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget

SF 609 is the FY20 budget for the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and for the Department of Natural Resources.

FY19 Appropriation                         $39.4 million
FY20 Appropriation                         $42.7 million
Difference                                          $3.3 million
Percent Increase                              8.3 percent

Significant Funding Increases

Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS): $304,000 increase for operations over FY19, to establish the industrial hemp program and implement the Iowa Hemp Act (SF 599/HF 733).

Farmers with Disabilities: $50,000 increase over FY19, increasing the appropriation to $180,000. This money provides support to Easter Seals to administer the Rural Solutions program that assists farmers with physical or mental disabilities. The program offers agricultural worksite and home modification consultations, peer support, services for the family, information and referrals, and medical equipment loan services.

 

Foreign Animal Disease Response Fund: increases funding by $250,000, doubling the appropriation to $500,000. This funding assists IDALS in developing response and preparedness efforts for future outbreaks of infectious animal diseases. IDALS, in cooperation with farm groups and the Livestock Health Advisory Council at Iowa State University, will develop measures to prepare for, prevent, control or eradicate the transmission and incidence of foreign animal diseases for livestock in the state.

 

Department of Natural Resources (DNR): increases funding by $366,000, which is $1 million less than the department received from the General Fund in FY16.

Iowa State University – Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory: increases funding by $300,000.

University of Iowa – Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH)

  • $130,000 to fund the director position. I-CASH was established by the Legislature in 1990 to coordinate prevention and education programs provided by UI, ISU, IDALS and the Iowa Department of Public Health to Iowa’s agricultural community.
  • UI has reduced funding for a number of legislatively-established centers at the university. I-CASH is required by Code to have a full-time director employed by the university. The bill includes additional language that UI cannot further reduce support for I-CASH, similar to language in this budget regarding funding support for the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at ISU.

Allocations of remaining WIRB funds

  • The Watershed Improvement program ended in 2017 and remaining funds in its account were appropriated to IDALS for water quality improvements.
  • This bill allocates $100,000 of that money for a farm demonstration program, with $1.7 million being allocated to the Water Quality Initiative.
  • This one-time funding can be used for salaries, providing more “boots on the ground” to help establish more locally-led watershed projects.

Other Significant Funding Issues

Resource Enhancement and Protection program (REAP)

  • $12 million, which is $4 million below FY17 and $6 million below the highest funding levels for the program in FY10.
  • REAP funding is allocated under the formula to these separate accounts:
  • Open Spaces – Open spaces is used to permanently protect and develop Iowa’s public lands and waters. DNR also uses funds in this account to pay property taxes owed to counties for land that has been acquired by DNR.
  • County conservation boards – County conservation boards compete for grants that they can use to develop programing and public areas under their control.
  • Soil and water conservation – This money is divided between projects and practices funding. IDALS has used funding from this area in the past to support urban soil conservation and water quality projects.
  • City parks and open spaces – Cities compete for grants that they can use to develop public areas and amenities to promote outdoor recreation and natural habitat.
  • DNR Land Management – DNR uses these funds to manage state conservation lands and facilities.
  • Cultural Affairs – Grants for historical preservation and country schools.
  • REAP is a stand-alone program that brings together a broad coalition of hunting, fishing, conservation, recreation and environmental organizations to push for projects that improve quality of life.

 

Major Language Changes/Budget Concerns: The bill does include some changes to Code language:

  • Technical fixes to reflect the transfer of the Geological Survey from DNR to UI.
  • Codifying past appropriations bill language providing that IDALS will administer biofuels auditing and administration programs to ensure motor fuel quality sold by retailers and renewable fuels producers.
  • Sunset language regarding the mandated collection program for mercury-containing thermostats after June 30, 2022.
  • Authorizing the use of REAP funds available to DNR under the Open Spaces account for repairing, restoring or rehabilitating flood-damaged property under the jurisdiction of DNR.
  • The bill will prohibit the use of the Agricultural Drainage Well program funding for the closure of wells that weren’t registered with the DNR prior to January 1, 2019. Existing known wells are permitted through the DNR. The planned closure of all known wells is projected to be accomplished with the funding provided in this year’s budget and what was proposed in the Governor’s FY21 budget. Future wells or improved sinkholes would be eligible for financial assistance through other water quality programs. The final wells to be closed are being done in conjunction with other water quality improvement projects because the design for closure necessitates additional work.

Reduced funding has led to the elimination of successful programs and a large number of unfilled positions that should be providing services to Iowans. This budget pits agriculture and natural resources against each other.
[4/22: 33-16 (Yes: Republicans, Kinney, Quirmbach; Absent: Segebart)]

SF 615– Justice Budget – ITEM VETO

SF 615 is the Justice System appropriations bill. It appropriates $583,791,690 from the state’s General Fund for FY20. That is $12,980,505 over estimated FY19 ($570,811,185). Almost all departments and agencies get an increase over FY19, which is intended for salary adjustments.

Justice system departments and agencies include:

  • Attorney General
  • Civil Rights Commission
  • Department of Corrections and Community Based Corrections
  • The Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning of the Department of Human Rights
  • Public Defender Office, which includes Indigent Defense
  • Iowa Law Enforcement Academy
  • Board of Parole
  • Department of Public Defense (Iowa Guard)
  • Department of Public Safety (this includes the Iowa State Patrol and multiple other divisions)
  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management

FY19 Supplemental Appropriations in this bill:

  • $2.5 million for indigent defense
  • $295,982 for the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy for relocation expenses

Appropriations:

  • Attorney General – General Office – increase of $77,768
    • Legal Services Poverty Grants (Legal Aid)– increase of $330,000
    • No increase for victim assistance grants.
  • Department of Corrections – increase of $4,138,534
    • Central office: $2,742,850
    • Ft. Madison – Iowa State Penitentiary: No increase
    • Anamosa: No increase
    • Iowa Medical and Classification Center (known as Oakdale, but located Coralville): $504,000 for pharmaceuticals
    • Newton Correctional Facility: $65,938 for a “revocation correctional counselor”
    • Mt. Pleasant: No increase
    • Rockwell City: No increase
    • Clarinda: No increase
    • Mitchellville: No increase
    • Ft. Dodge: No increase
    • Community Based Corrections District 1 (Northeast Iowa): $125,090 to fund a community treatment coordinator FTE
    • CBC District 2 (North Central Iowa): $70,351 to fund a community treatment coordinator FTE
    • CBC District 3 (Northwest Iowa ): $70,351 for community treatment coordinator FTE
    • CBC District 4 (Southwest Iowa): $70,351 for community treatment coordinator FTE
    • CBC District 5 (Polk County, surrounding counties and south central counties): $140,702 for two community treatment coordinator FTEs
    • CBC District 6: No increase
    • CBC District 7 (Eastern Iowa, including Scott County): $70,351 for community treatment coordinator FTE
    • CBC District 8 (Southeast Iowa): $278,550 for community treatment coordinator FTE and two probation and parole officer FTE positions previously funded by a grant.
  • Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning: increase of $16,989
    • Receives a new, separate line item of $140,000 for “a single grant to a program located in a city with a higher than average juvenile crime rate as determined by CJJP with a population greater than 80,000” (Davenport).
  • Iowa Law Enforcement Academy: general increase of $9,426
    • Increase of $729,460 for relocation expenses while the Academy building is renovated or replaced. ILEA is renting apartments for cadets during the renovation, and they may use Upper Iowa University classroom space.
  • Public Defender: $449,840 increase
  • Indigent Defense: $3,116,000 increase, on top of the $2.5 million increase for FY19.
  • Board of Parole: $13,313 increase.
  • Department of Public Defense (Guard): $70,584 increase.
  • Homeland Security: $1,267 increase.
  • Department of Public Safety: increase of $3,847,834
  • Division of Criminal Investigation: $350,000 increase and five FTEs
  • Crime Lab: No increase
  • Narcotics Enforcement: $200,000 increase
  • Undercover Funds: No increase
  • Iowa State Patrol: $1.7 million and 10 FTEs increase
  • Firefighter training: No increase
  • Office to Combat Human Trafficking: No increase
  • Department-wide duties – New appropriation of $1,597,834. Intended for salary adjustment.

New language and language changes in the bill:

  • Requires the Attorney General to report all money settlement awards and court money awards made to the state. The AG must report which funds are designated to receive the moneys and under what legal authority the designation is being made.
  • Handcuffing the Attorney General: Prohibits the Attorney General from prosecuting actions and proceedings in a court, including filing amicus briefs outside of Iowa unless requested by the Governor, the Executive Council or the Legislature. The AG may defend in any court other than Iowa when in the AG’s judgment, the interest of the State requires, or when requested by the Governor, Executive Council or the Legislature. – ITEM VETO
  • Indigent Defense Hourly Rate Increase: increases the hourly rate for court appointed attorneys in criminal cases by $3 for each case type.
  • Public Safety Assessment: prohibits the use of Public Safety Assessments in pretrial hearings. They may not be used until specifically authorized by the Legislature.
  • Sets up a fire service training revolving fund under the control of the Department of Public Safety. These monies come from fees paid for Fire Service Training classes. Iowa State University previously did the accounting, etc. relating to these fees.
  • OSHA settle agreement: Authorizes the Department of Corrections to use any FY19 appropriations to resolve a settlement agreement with Iowa OSHA relating to inadequate communication devices for staff at the Iowa State Penitentiary. The radios are estimated to cost about $1.5 million. The DOC has $700,000 savings from FY19 county confinement and federal prisoner appropriations that they will use to purchase new radios. Perhaps the general office appropriation will supplement the purchase.
  • Public Defender Pilot Project: Allows the Public Defender Indigent Defense Division to continue its pilot project allowing indigent defendants to choose an eligible attorney to represent them. The pilot project is limited to four counties.
  • Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund: Sets up a Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund under the Department of Public Safety to provide help to survivors of peace officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty with the costs of accident or health care coverage. Each year, $100,000 of lottery revenues will be transferred to the Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund prior to deposit in the General Fund.
    [4/24: 32-18, party-line]

SF 616 – Judicial Branch Budget

SF 616 says that “an office of the clerk of the district court shall be open regular courthouse hours.”

Estimated FY19       SF 616SF 616 v. FY19
Judicial Branch – general$177,574,797$181,126,293$3,551,496
Jury Witness Fee Revolving fund      3,100,000      3,100,000                 0
Total Judicial$180,674,797$184,226,293 $3,551,496

 

Percentage Increase: 1.96%

The total Judicial Branch request was $7,271,627, which includes a 4% salary increase for judges.

Salaries for Judicial Officers: 

  • Establishes annual salary rates for all judicial officers. Salaries provided for in this section will be paid from funds allocated to the Judicial Branch from the salary adjustment fund. If that isn’t sufficient, then from funds appropriated in this bill.
    [4/24: 35-15 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano, Kinney, Mathis)]

SF 632—Gambling Treatment Appropriation

SF 632 makes an appropriation of $300,000 (for FY20) to the Department of Public Health for a gambling treatment program established in Iowa Code 135.150. This appropriation is contingent upon the enactment of Iowa Code section 8.57, subsection 6 (relating to sports betting).
[4/23: 47-2 (No: Hogg, R. Taylor; Absent: Petersen)]

SF 638—Standings

SF 638 makes adjustments to various General Fund standing appropriations and results in a decrease of $31.7 million for FY20. Total standings appropriation for FY20 is $3.84 billion.

Division I–Standing appropriations and related matters

  • Nonpublic school transportation: Limits the FY20 General Fund appropriation to the Department of Education for nonpublic school transportation to $8,197,091.
  • Instructional Support Program: Suspends the standing appropriation of $14.8 million to the Department of Education. School districts may use local property taxes and income surtaxes to fund their portion of the Program. State funding for this program has not been provided since FY11.
  • State School Aid and AEA funding: Reduces FY20 State School Aid to Area Education Agencies (AEAs) by an additional $15 million, for a total reduction of $22.5 million.
  • Special Funds-Salary Adjustments: Salary adjustments may be funded (as determined by Department of Management) using unappropriated moneys remaining in special funds for which the Legislature has not made an operating budget appropriation.

Division II–Miscellaneous Appropriations: Volunteer Fire Fighters: $50,000 FY20 General Fund appropriation to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) for volunteer fire fighter training and related equipment needs. DPS may reallocate funds as necessary to best fulfill the needs provided for in the appropriation. The Department must notify LSA and DOM of any reallocation and the rationale for reallocating moneys.

Division III–Miscellaneous Provisions

  • Ombudsman Annual Report due date change: Changes the due date of the Ombudsman’s report to the Legislature from April 1 to December 31 of each year. The report is about the ombudsman’s functions during the preceding fiscal year instead of the preceding calendar year.
  • Groundwater Hazard Statement: Prohibits county recorders from charging/collecting a fee for submitting or filing a groundwater statement. Historically, county recorders have not collected fees for groundwater hazard statements in real estate property transactions. In September 2018, the County Recorders Association determined that this was an error and that starting on July 1, 2019, county recorders would start collecting fees as prescribed by law.

Division IV—Corrective Provisions: Makes corrective changes identified by LSA to numerous bills passed and signed by the Governor this year. Corrective provisions for SF 570 (Immunity from civil liability for volunteers during disasters); HF 634 (merging various juvenile justice and human rights boards); HF 690 (Children’s Mental Health), SF 274 (campus “free speech”); SF 435 (towable recreational vehicles); HF 765 (RIIF); HF 679 (Substantive Code Editor’s Bill); SF 558 (Domestic Surplus Lines); SF 559 (electronic insurance notices); HF 610 (adult guardianships and conservatorships); and SF 333 (non-substantive Code Editor’s bill).

Division V—Flood Recovery: Creates a new Flood Recovery Fund under the control of the Flood Mitigation Board. A political subdivision of Iowa is eligible to receive moneys from the fund if the political subdivision is located in a Presidential Disaster Area from the severe storms and flooding from March 12, 2019, and is also located in a county where the federal emergency management agency’s individual assistance program has been activated. At time of passage, the applicable counties were Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, Shelby and Woodbury. For a project to be eligible for funding, it must support flood response, flood recovery or flood mitigation. The bill appropriates $15 million from the General Fund from FY19 to the Flood Recovery Fund. The funds do not revert. The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency management may adopt emergency rules. These sections of the bill take effect upon enactment.

Division VI—State Budget Process

  • Codifies provisions relating to the salary model administrator, which appeared annually in standings appropriation bills. In the past, the language required the five institutions under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Regents to provide salary data to the Department of Management (DOM) and Legislative Services Agency (LSA). The new language no longer references five institutions. It instead references 262.7: the University of Iowa, including the university of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics; Iowa State University, including the Agricultural Experiment Station; University of Northern Iowa; the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School; the State School for the Deaf; the Oakdale Campus; and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics’ Center for Disabilities and Development.
  • Codifies provisions relating to the state budget process that appear biennially and apply annually in the standings appropriations bill; requires State agencies to submit budget information each year to the DOM and include all proposed expenditures, supporting data and explanations; requires state agencies to consult with LSA prior to submitting expenditure estimates to DOM; and requires expenditures to be prioritized by program or by expected results, including performance measures.

Division VII—Blackout Special Registration Plates: Allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to issue a $35 blackout special registration plate. The plate’s background must be black and the numbering white. The vehicle owner must not place a frame that blocks plate number, state or county name, or validation/registration sticker. Monies collected will be deposited into the Road Use Tax Fund. In addition to the initial $35 fee, there is a $10 annual fee for blackout license plates and a $5 fee, if applicable, for personalized plates.

Division VIII—Gambling Regulation

  • Sports Wagering: Amends SF 617, Sports Wagering bill. The language prohibits a person from selling, granting, assigning or turning over to another person the operation of an individually branded Internet site to conduct advanced deposit wagering for the licensee.
  • Annual Audit of licensee operations: Allows multi-county casinos to have just one audit of the parent company.

Division IX—Public Utilities: It modifies energy efficiency and demand response plan filing requirements for certain public utilities. This portion of the bill amends the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) approval process for energy efficiency program budgets to not allow IUB to approve a plan that has a budget exceeding the 2%/1.5% thresholds established in 2018’s SF 2311. Previous language said IUB couldn’t require a utility to have a budget exceeding the cap. Three gas utilities did have program budgets above the cap limit when the Energy Center/CGREER assessment was included in the program budget. The language does not mandate the Energy Center/CGREER assessment be included in program budgets or that noncompliant plans be resubmitted to the board for approval. Under the bill, IUB will not require or allow an electric utility to adopt an energy efficiency plan that results in projected cumulative average annual costs that exceed the 2%/1.5% thresholds.

Division X—Board of Regents Capital Projects

  • Board of Regents Capital Projects Report: The Board of Regents must submit a report to the Legislature by December 13, 2019, on financing for capital projects at Regent institutions. The report will go back to capital projects initiated by the Regents since January 1, 2004, and will include recommendations to the Legislature on the type of projects that should be eligible for state funding; the share of state-funded capital projects that should be funded with non-state dollars; and how the fundraising plan will be developed for state-funded projects.
  • Repeal Regents Match Requirement in RIIF budget: Repeals the section of the RIIF budget that required matching dollars for Regents construction projects.

Division XI—Watershed Management Authorities: Allows areas in the Geological Survey Hydrologic Unit Code 8 Watershed outside of Iowa to participate in any 28E Watershed Management Authority. This will allow Hamburg to be eligible for certain disaster funding.

Division XII—Elections: Changes an effective date for HF 692 (elections bill) from effective upon enactment to July 1.

 

Division XIII—Judicial Nominating Commission

The bill makes significant changes to Iowa’s judicial nominating commission process and undoes a system for choosing judges that was voted on and adopted by the people of Iowa in the 1960s. The changes include:

  • The governor will appoint nine members to the state judicial nominating commission, rather than eight. They will still be subject to Senate confirmation.
  • Commissioners are limited to one six-year term on the commission.
  • If an appointed member misses a meeting where the commission conducts interviews or selects nominees, the commissioner is considered to have submitted a resignation.
  • Members of the state judicial nominating commission will choose the chairperson of the commission.
  • All judicial nominating commissioners are subject to removal by the executive council.
  • Nominating petitions for commissioners will need only 10 signatures.
  • The governor will be notified of judicial officer vacancies, rather than the chair of each commission receiving notification.
  • The governor will call the meetings of the judicial nominating commissions when a judicial vacancy occurs.
  • The commissioners can do individual interviews with nominees prior to commission meetings.
  • The state judicial nominating commission will adopt uniform rules for all the judicial nominating commissions to use, for consistency.
  • If any part of the law is found unconstitutional, the invalidity does not affect other provisions.
  • If any provision is preliminarily enjoined, no judicial nominating commission will meet to nominate someone to serve as a judge or justice while the injunction is in effect or while any appeal of the preliminary injunction or a related permanent injunction is pending.
  • The chief justice will be elected by a majority vote of the justices on the Supreme Court for a two-year term, with the term of the current chief justice expiring on January 15, 2021. The chief justice is eligible for re-selection.
  • This division is effective upon enactment.
    [4/27: 32-16, party-line (Absent: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

HF 307 – Transportation and DCPP Equity Funding

HF 307 contains two funding provisions for school districts: transportation and District Cost Per Pupil. First, the bill establishes the Transportation Equity Fund created in 2018 as a permanent Categorical fund, subject to Categorical Supplemental State Aid (SSA) increases. It also appropriates $19 million into the fund for FY20. This is an increase of $7.8 million over FY19. One-hundred-ninety districts will receive transportation aid, up from 136 in FY19 (54 increase).

Second, the bill adds $5 to the State Cost Per Pupil (SCPP) for those districts that have a District Cost Per Pupil (DCPP) equal to the SCPP. This effectively narrows the gap between the highest and lowest DCPP districts from $170 to $165. This takes the SCPP from $6875 to $6880, a $2.9 million increase in the school funding formula. One-hundred-seventy-nine districts will receive some funding.
[2/13: 48-0 (Excused: Jochum, Nunn)]

HF 756 – Federal Block Grant

HF 756 appropriates funds made available from federal block grants and other non-state sources, totaling $360.9 million for FFY20 and $361.1 million for FFY21. The levels specified in the bill are based on projected spending authority yet to be authorized by Congress. Departments and agencies to receive funding include the Department of Public Health, Department of Human Services, Department of Justice, Governor’s Office of Drug Control, Division of Community Action Agencies in the Department of Human Rights, Iowa Economic Development Authority and Department of Transportation. The bill specifies procedures for prorating funds to various programs if the funding received is less or more than the amount appropriated.
[4/22: 49-0 (Absent: Segebart)]

HF 758 – Education Budget

HF 758 is the FY20 budgets of the Department of Blind, College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education and the Board of Regents. It appropriates $952.7 million, which is $40 million more than last year.

FY20 Senate GOP Recommendation                        $ 952,733,479
FY19 Appropriation                                                         $ 912,675,487
Difference                                                                          $ 40 million
Percent Increase                                                              4.4 percent increase
Original House GOP Target                                          $960,883,480
Original Governor’s Target                                           $963,275,618

Department for the Blind: $80,000 over FY19. The department provides services to educate and train blind and visually impaired people. The increase will place a sixth Independent Living teacher in the field for more frequent visits.

College Student Aid Commission: $14.6 million over FY19. Key changes include:

  • Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG): $1 million increase, for a total of $47.7million.
  • ITG For-Profit: $50,000 increase.
  • All Iowa Opportunity Scholarships: $159,000 increase/$3 million.
  • Rural Primary Care Loan Repayment Program: Status quo funding.
  • NEWFuture Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship: $13 million. This is similar to the GAP program and is tuition assistance for students to finish their targeted training. Credentials include postsecondary certificates, diplomas and associate degrees.
  • NEWFuture Ready Iowa Grant Program: Funding in the Econ Dev Budget (SF 608): $1 million to establish a grant that would allow Iowans who left college with at least half the required credits for a bachelor’s degree in a high-demand field of study to enroll in a public or private four-year institution in Iowa to complete the degree. This program was established in the Future Ready Iowa Act (2018).

Department of Education: $11.8 million over FY19.

  • NEW: Children’s Mental Health: $2.1 million for this bipartisan priority.
    • Train teachers to detect mental health issues in students and determine appropriate follow-up.
  • NEW: Nonpublic School Concurrent Enrollment (HF 603): $1 million (caps max standing unlimited appropriation).
  • Nonpublic Textbook Services: Status Quo.
  • Student Achievement and Teacher Quality Program: Status Quo.
  • Iowa Assessment: $300,000 increase, which is $3 million total. Increase of $300,000 is designated for nonpublic schools only.
  • IJAG: $1 million increase, total of $2.7 million.
  • NEW: Best Buddies = $25,000.
  • Iowa Learning Online (ILO): $0.
  • Career Technical Education (CTE) Secondary: $320,000 increase to $2.9 million.
  • Early Childhood Iowa (ECI): $500,000 increase.

Vocational Rehabilitation Division: Status quo funding of $5.9 million.

 

Iowa Public Television (IPTV): $50,000 increase over FY19, for a total of $7.7 million in FY20.

Community Colleges: $4.7 million increase/$207 million.

  • New: ESL Adult Basic Literacy = $500,000. This new appropriation will work with the adult basic literacy, which is part of the Skilled Worker and Job Creation. $1.1 million solves the ESL adult education waiting list statewide.
  • The Skilled Workforce Training Fund includes most of the community college job training and tuition assistance. Funding comes from gaming dollars. The bill provides status quo funding for FY20 of $40.3 million.

 

Regent Institutions: $12 million increase/total $575.4 million. It is estimated the regents will raise tuition by almost 4%. That is a $300 annual increase for in-state students.

  • Schools for the Blind and Deaf: 2.06% increase (SSA rate).
  • STEM: $1 million increase (18% increase).

 

Policy and Statute Changes

  • National Guard Educational Assistance: Name change to “scholarship” and allows an additional 10 semester hours of undergraduate study for those pursuing a degree in a STEM field.
  • Future Ready: High Demand Jobs definition/criteria in Code.
  • 260E New Jobs Training: One-year language to help Lennox workers in Marshalltown.
  • 260I – GAP Program: Changes the criteria for determining financial need eligibility for assistance by reducing the time for which family income is considered and allows two certificate attainments in one career pathway.
  • High-Need Schools: Appropriation is pushed back to FY21. The $10 million never has been funded.
    [4/23: 32-18, party-line]

HF 759 – Administration and Regulation Budget

HF 759 appropriates $56.54 million from the General Fund, which is an $8 million increase over estimated net FY19 budget.

FY19 Supplemental: DAS: $3,524,611 for utilities shortfall for FY19.

 

Notable recommended increase – FY20

  • Ethics and Campaign Disclosure: $68,500 (additional staff attorney)
  • Governor’s office: $200,000 (for salaries, adds two FTEs: tax policy analyst and health care policy assistant)
  • Terrace Hill Quarters: $140,070.
  • Department of Management: $125,000 (retirements and one new FTE).
  • Department of Revenue: $1.07 million for processing system upgrade.
  • Department of Administrative Services: $168,000 for future utility expenses.

 

NEW:

  • OCIO: $1.3 million – Owe feds $ 1.3 million for receiving and spending too much grant money.
  • OCIO: Broadband Grants: $5 million – Creating a consistent source of funding for the broadband grant program.
  • DAS: $50,000 for new State Properties Information Project – Establishes a listing of real property owned/leased by the state.

Non-General Fund Info:

  • Secretary of State Address Confidentially Program – Due to popularity, authorization granted to increase spending by $75,000 to $195,000.
  • Racing and Gaming Commission – Contingent on adoption of sports betting, additional $275,000 and three FTEs (generated from sports betting income).
  • Insurance Division: $220,000 for Insurance Fraud Investigation (down from $675,000) – The division must use two FTEs to hire two investigators within the Insurance Fraud Bureau.

 

New policy language:

  • Department of Administrative Services
    • Requires DAS to submit a report on property owned/leased by the State. The Department must submit its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 31, 2019, and every year after.
    • Requires the OCIO to submit a quarterly report to the Legislature and to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House Appropriations committees, detailing the status of technology upgrades or enhancements for State agencies. The report must include a list of State agencies coordinating or working with the OCIO and a list of State agencies not coordinating or working with the OCIO.
  • Hotel licensing fee – Fixes a drafting mistake by changing the cutoff for the hotel licensing fee increase from “more than one hundred one guest rooms” to “one hundred one guest rooms or more.”
    [4/26: 34-15 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano, Boulton, Kinney; Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 765 – RIIF Budget

HF 765, the Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations, fully funds $42 million to the Environment First Fund and $3 million to the State Housing Trust Fund. It also appropriates $94.7 million for FY20 and $9.6 million FY21 from the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) and the Technology Reinvestment Fund (TRF) as follows:

RIIF

Agriculture

  • Water Quality: $5,200,000
  • Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Fund: $3,000,000

 

Corrections – Community Based Corrections 6th District Fire Suppression System: $150,000

 

Cultural Affairs

  • Great Places: $1,000,000
  • Strengthening Communities Grants: $250,000

 

Iowa Economic Development Authority

  • Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grants: $5,000,000
  • Regional Sports Authorities: $500,000
  • World Food Prize Borlaug/Ruan Scholars: $300,000
  • Easter Seals of Iowa Independence Innovation Center: FY20 – $200,000; FY21 – $800,000
  • Vacant State Buildings Demolition Fund: $1,000,000; $1,000,000 in FY21 and FY 22
  • Vacant State Buildings Remediation Fund: $1,000,000; $1,000,000 in FY21 and FY 22

 

Human Services – Nursing Home Improvements: $500,000

 

Iowa Finance Authority – State Housing Trust Fund additional funding: $50,000

 

Judicial Branch – Justice Centers: Courthouse furniture, equipment (Johnson, Dallas and Floyd counties): $193,620

 

Natural Resources

  • Lake Restoration and Water Quality: $9,600,000
  • Water Trails and Low Head Dam Grants: $500,000
  • State Park Infrastructure: $2,000,000

Public Defense

  • Facility, Armory Maintenance: $1,000,000
  • Readiness Centers modernization of operational and support facilities: $1,000,000
  • Camp Dodge infrastructure improvements: $250,000

 

Public Safety

  • Statewide Interoperable Communications System lease purchase payment: $3,719,355
  • Lab Liquid Chromatograph toxicology analysis equipment: $325,000
  • Explosives Trace Detector portable device: $29,000

 

Regents

  • Tuition Replacement: $28,098,870
  • Iowa School for the Deaf renovation of Long Hall: $3,000,000; FY21 – $1,325,000
  • University of Northern Iowa Industrial Technology Center: FY21 – $1,000,000

 

State Fair Authority

  • 4-H Building remodeling on the Iowa State Fairgrounds: $500,000; FY21 – $4,500,000
  • Historical Building Task Force: $500,000

 

Transportation

  • Recreational Trails: $1,500,000
  • Public Transit Vertical Infrastructure: $1,500,000
  • Railroad Revolving Loan Grant: $1,000,000
  • Commercial Service Air Vertical Infrastructure: $1,900,000
  • General Aviation Vertical Infrastructure Grants: $1,000,000

 

Treasurer – County Fairs infrastructure improvements (divided equally, $10,095 each): $1,060,000

Veterans Home – Iowa Veterans Home replacement of mechanical and electric systems: $6,134,840

TRF

Chief Information Officer – IT Consolidation: $1,000,000

 

Corrections – Technology projects: $629,000

 

Education

  • Statewide Ed Data Warehouse: $600,000
  • ICN Part III Maintenance/Leases: $2,727,000
  • IPTV Equipment replacement, tower, facility maintenance: $500,000

 

Homeland Security – Alert Iowa messaging system: $400,000

 

Human Rights

  • Criminal Justice Information System: $1,200,000
  • Justice Data Warehouse: $157,980

 

Human Services – Family and Children Services System: $5,525,660

 

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy – Technical upgrades: $15,000

 

Management

  • Transparency Project: $45,000
  • Local Government Budget and Property Tax System: $120,000
  • Electronic Grant Management System: $50,000

 

Public Defender – State Public Defender technical projects: $50,000

 

Public Health – AMANDA Licensing System: $796,800

 

Public Safety

  • Virtual Archive Storage System: $290,000
  • Iowa State Patrol Post 16 Technology Upgrade: $250,000
  • Lab Management replacement of case management system: $300,000
  • Lab Digital Evidence management and comparison system: $80,000

 

Veterans Home – Computer equipment: $5,000

HF 765 establishes the Historical Building Task Force to consider the feasibility, costs and possible options relative to construction of a new State Historical Museum on the State Fairgrounds, options for relocating the collections stored in the current building and creating increased access to the collections to Iowans. The task force must submit an interim report to the Legislature by December 20, 2019, and a final report with its findings and recommendations by January 1, 2021.

The task force includes:

  • One member appointed by the Iowa State Fair Board;
  • One member appointed by the Iowa State Fair Foundation;
  • One member appointed by the Department of Administrative Services;
  • One member designated as the facilities manager for facilities under control of the General Assembly;
  • One member appointed by the Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs;
  • One member appointed by the Governor.
  • Four legislators serving as ex officio members, appointed from each caucus.

All State buildings (except Board of Regents, Department of Transportation, Department of Public Defense and Department of Natural Resources facilities) are eligible for moneys in the Routine Maintenance Fund. Currently, expenditures apply to facilities under the control of the Department of Administrative Services.

Establishes a Vacant State Buildings Demolition Fund for grants to demolish vacant buildings owned by the State but no longer used for State purposes, and a Vacant State Buildings Rehabilitation Fund for loans to rehabilitate and redevelop vacant buildings owned by the State but not used for State purposes. These programs are administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

The bill also creates an On-Stream Impoundment Restoration Fund (new Iowa Code section 456A.33 — Watershed Projects), sets the eligibility criteria and goals, and requires the Department of Natural Resources to use funding criteria that favor projects that include at least a dollar-for-dollar match.

NOTE: HF 765 includes a *new Code section (262.67) that sets matching fund requirements for RIIF appropriations to the Board of Regents: University of Iowa — for every $3 appropriated, $2 must be provided from various funding sources by the University; Iowa State University — for every $3 appropriated, $2 must be provided from various funding sources by the University; University of Northern Iowa — for every $4 appropriated, $1 must be provided from various funding sources by the University. *Language replaced/requires review — see SF 638 Standings.
[4/22: 36-13 (Yes: Republicans, Boulton, Celsi, Lykam, Mathis, Ragan; Absent: Segebart)]

HF 766– Health and Human Services Budget

HF 766 provides funding for the Department of Aging (IDA), including the Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Office; Department of Human Services (DHS), including Medicaid; Department of Public Health (IDPH); and Veteran’s Affairs (VA), including the Veteran’s Home.

 

General FundActual    

FY18

 

Net FY19

 (includes Supp)

FY20

HF 766

Diff

Net 19

vs. FY20

   Aging$12,092,745$12,192,74512,341,262$148,517
   IDPH$50,714,559$54,871,99555,492,262$620,267
   VA$11,216,581$11,303,47611,378,476$75,000
   DHS$1,687,256,980$1,893,701,1591,857,974,761-$35,726,398
TOTAL$1,761,239,648$1,972,069,3751,937,186,761-$34,882,614

 

The bill appropriates $1.937 billion, an increase of $115.4 million compared to FY19. The budget includes a $150.3 million supplemental increase in the FY19 appropriation to cover the Medicaid shortfall.

Significant Policy

  • Requires the director of IDPH to hire and supervise the executive directors of the Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Dental Board and Pharmacy Board.
  • Combines and eliminates boards and councils and eliminates reimbursement for public members, EXCEPT the final agreement leaves the Tobacco Commission status quo.
  • Provides Medicaid coverage for legal permanent resident pregnant women.
  • No state or local government unit or tax-supported district must provide sex reassignment surgery or any other cosmetic, reconstructive or plastic surgery related to transsexualism, hermaphroditism, gender identity disorder or body dysmorphic disorder. If services are not provided, it is not a violation of the Civil Rights Code.
  • Adds two items for which DHS can collect liquidated damages from MCOs: if an MCO reports that system issues are fixed and the problem recurs within 60 days; and failure of an MCO to complete provider credentialing or to accurately load provider rosters as required in the contract.
  • Terminates contract between IDPH and Iowa Hospital Association for data collection and issues an RFP.
  • Allows the State Training School in Eldora to refuse to accept a child at the facility if the Superintendent notifies the court that it is unable to accept placement.
  • Restricts funding for the following programs from a provider who promotes or provides abortions, EXCEPT Unity Point can still get the grants: Title 10; PREP; SRAE (Sex Ed Grants).
  • Requests that DHS submit a CMS waiver to implement an intergovernmental transfer for nursing homes owned by non-state governmental entities. This would draw down additional federal dollars.
  • Mandates that any pass-through funds appropriated by IDPH or DHS to other third-party organizations cannot be used for lobbying activities.
  • The FY20 budget is $35 million less than the FY19 budget that includes the supplemental appropriation. The FY20 budget is $115 million more than was appropriated in 2018 for FY19 when you subtract the supplemental appropriation.
  • The supplemental was needed for FY19 due to negotiated increases with the MCOs.
  • The FY20 appropriation does NOT include any increases that might be negotiated with the MCOs for FY20, which means a supplemental will be necessary in 2020 as well.

Department on Aging

  • $150,000 increase to IDA for the Pre-Medicaid Pilot Project that assists non-Medicaid patients who wish to return to their community after a nursing home stay. The total for the project is now $250,000.
  • The Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman is status quo.

Department of Public Health

  • NEW ITEM: Increase of $550,000 to IDPH for rural psychiatry residency and training; $400,000 for rural psychiatry residencies and $150,000 for psychiatric training for nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Appropriates money through IDPH to UI.
  • $338,000 for Your Life Iowa hotline expansion to include children’s mental health.
  • $58,000 increase to the Drug Donation Depository Program.
  • $20,000 increase to Specialty Health Care.
  • Tobacco Use and Prevention remains status quo at $4 million in both House and Senate.

Veteran’s Affairs

  • $75,000 increase to Veteran’s Affairs general department operations.
  • Veterans Home is status quo.
  • Home Ownership Assistance program is status quo ($2 million).
  • County VA grants remain status quo ($990,000).

Department of Human Services

  • Overall increase to Field Operations of $6.3 million.
    • Increase of $1.5 million to DHS field operations for more staff positions to lower caseloads. DHS must hire 29 FTEs).
    • $4.4 million increase for Field Operations to maintain current staffing at 1,438 FTEs (salaries).
    • $409,223 to hire six FTEs to work on the ELIAS project.
  • $1.2 million increase for Eldora State Training School.
  • $4.1 million increase to Child and Family Services for core services and program growth.
  • Child Care Assistance includes an increase of $3 million to annualize FY19 provider rate increases; an increase of $4 million to reflect the forecasted need; and an increase of $1.1 million to meet the federal quality set-aside requirements. This is status quo from the general fund but is funded with $8.1 million from the Child Care Development Fund received previously.
  • $345,896 increase to Cherokee Mental Health Institute; $1.65 million increase to Independence Mental Health Institute; and Glenwood and Woodward receive net reductions ($1.3 million) due to FMAP changes that bring in more federal funds.
  • $1.2 million to Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders (CCUSO) replaces one-time funding and funds additional staff.
  • $1.4 million increase for medical contracts (IME).
  • Family Investment Program (FIP) status quo.
  • $12.3 million increase to the State’s Children’s Health Insurance plan (Hawki) to account for the phase down of the 23% enhanced ACA FMAP rate to 11.5%.
  • $150.3 million FY19 supplemental appropriation.
  • $62.4 million general increase for Medicaid for FY20.
  • $23.4 million for nursing facility rebasing.
  • $1.5 million increase for Critical Access Hospitals (rural hospitals). A reimbursement rate adjustment will be developed by DHS to distribute the increased funding for Medicaid services provided by Critical Access Hospitals.
  • $1.2 million increase to eliminate the waiting list for the Children’s Mental Health HCBS waiver. As of March 1, there were 1,051 children on the waiting list (Children’s Board recommendation).
  • $1 million increase for the tiered rates to increase supported community living provider daily rate cells for all tiers, effective July 1, 2019.
  • A decrease of $195,000 due to a veto of a durable medical equipment project.
  • This is an overall net decrease of $56.8 million compared to the FY19 total that includes the supplemental.
  • HF 690 (Children’s Mental Health) fiscal note indicated a need for $423,110 in additional state dollars for Medicaid in FY20. This is now built into the Medicaid balance sheet. No specific appropriation is included in the bill so it just adds to the underfunded amount.
  • Medicaid is underfunded by $9.1 million.
  • This FY20 HHS budget does NOT include funds for any negotiated increases for the MCOs in FY20 so the need for a supplemental during the 2020 session is expected.
  • Provides an additional FTE for work on Your Life Iowa.
  • Provides an additional FTE for the First Five Program to focus on local agency contract management.
  • Specifies $861,000 to be spent on contract with Brain Injury Alliance.
  • Adds the option of “grade level” to the program reporting metrics that Prevent Blindness must track.
  • Requires DHS to review the costs associated with expanding the Medical Assistance Management Information System (MMIS) to integrate a single, statewide system to serve as a central portal to submit all prior-authorization requests. Study is due March 31, 2020.
  • Requires DHS and IDPH to develop recommendations for the enhanced delivery of services for co-occurring conditions across provider types and payers. A five-year plan is to be developed.
  • Allows Polk County to transfer funds from any other county fund to the County Mental Health and Disability Services Fund in FY20.
  • Extends the repeal of the Hospital Health Care Access Assessment to the end of FY21.
  • DHS is required to notify chairs and ranking members of the HHS budget subcommittee, LSA and caucus staff within 30 days of the execution or amendment of an MCO contract, and within 30 days of determining the incentive payment withhold amount.
  • Requires DHS and IDA to continue to collaborate to develop a cost allocation plan requesting federal financial participation (matching federal funds) for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
  • Uses general terms instead of “continue to contract with an existing independent statewide direct care worker organization for the purpose of health care and public health workforce initiatives.”
  • Requires a dollar-for-dollar match for funds to Epilepsy Foundation over $50,000.
  • Reorganizes MAAC by eliminating the executive committee and limits the voting membership of the Council to 10 members.
  • Requires the Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning at the Dept. of Human Rights to convene a workgroup to review and develop a plan for transferring graduated sanctions and court-ordered services funding, and oversight of group foster care placements from DHS to the Office State Court Administrator. Report due December 15, 2019.
  • Requires DHS to adopt rules to require that both managed care and fee-for-service use a uniform process for prior authorizations beginning October 1, 2019.
  • Mandates that any pass-through funds appropriated by IDPH or DHS to other third-party organizations cannot be used for lobbying activities.
  • Director of the Department of Public Health is to hire and supervise the executive directors of the Board of Medicine, Board of Pharmacy, Dental Board and Nursing Board.
  • Combines and eliminates some health-related boards. Eliminates reimbursement costs for some boards. Tobacco Commission stays status quo.
  • IDPH must work with stakeholders to develop a proposal for distributing funds in a manner closely aligned with IDPH priorities and goals. Report due December 15, 2019.
    [4/27: 31-17 (No: Democrats, Greene; Excused: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

Agriculture Committee – All-Bill Summary 2019

HF 750 – IDALS departmental bill

SF 170 – Agricultural extension council report deadlines & special elections

SF 265 – Wild golden oyster mushroom sales

SF 519 – Agricultural production facility trespass

SF 555 – Weight limits for implements of husbandry

SF 599 – Creating industrial hemp commodity

 

HF 750 – IDALS departmental bill

HF 750 makes changes within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Changes include:

  • The name of the Weather Bureau is changed to the Climatology Bureau to reflect current practice.
  • IDALS rather than DNR may award demonstration grants to those who purchase motor vehicles that use alternative fuels. DNR has not issued a grant in the past 10 years.
  • Eliminating a provision authorizing IDALS and DNR to create one or more watershed demonstration projects.
  • Authorizing IDALS to use money from the Agriculture Management Account of the Groundwater Protection Fund to support programs, projects and activities to improve surface or ground water.
    [4/23: 49-0 (Absent: Petersen)]

 

SF 170 – Agricultural extension council report deadlines & special elections

SF 170 moves the deadline for county agricultural extension councils to submit annual financial reports from August 1 to September 1. The bill also changes special elections to fill a vacancy on the county agricultural extension council to the next general election.
[3/28: 48-0 (Absent: Breitbach, Nunn)]

 

SF 265 – Wild golden oyster mushroom sales

SF 265 allows the sale of wild golden oyster mushrooms at farmers markets under authority of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.
[2/20:48-0 (Absent: Miller-Meeks; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 519 – Agricultural production facility trespass

SF 519 creates a criminal offense of “agricultural production facility trespass” for a person who, through an act of deception:

  1. Obtains access to an agricultural production facility that is not open to the public, with the intent to cause physical or economic harm.
  2. Obtains employment at an agricultural production facility with the intent to cause physical or economic harm.

A person who commits agricultural production facility trespass is guilty of a serious misdemeanor for the first offense and an aggravated misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. A person who conspires with another to commit agricultural production facility trespass is guilty of a serious misdemeanor for the first offense and an aggravated misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. The bill is effective upon enactment.

In 2012, the new crime of “agricultural production facility fraud” was created by the Legislature after several industrial farm investigations brought national attention to Iowa’s agricultural industry. Lawmakers described the bill—commonly known as the “ag gag” law—as responsive to two primary concerns of the agricultural industry: facility security (biosecurity/security of private property) and harms that accompany investigative reporting.

The 2012 law outlaws (a) obtaining access to an agricultural production facility by false pretenses, and (b) making a false statement or representation as part of a job application at such facility, if the person knows the statement to be false, and making the statement with intent to commit an act not authorized by the owner of the facility, knowing the action is not authorized. A collection of groups, including the ACLU, challenged the 2012 law in court. A January 2019 ruling by a federal judge  overturned the 2012 law.
[3/12: 41-8 (No: Bolkcom, Celsi, Hogg, Jochum, Lykam, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 555 – Weight limits for implements of husbandry

SF 555 increases the weight limit to 25,000 pounds for self-propelled implements of husbandry on roads and bridges. This mirrors weight limits for other agricultural equipment.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 599 – Creating industrial hemp commodity

SF 599 creates an industrial hemp commodity within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Department will oversee production, regulation and enforcement of industrial hemp, along with establishing fees. The department must conduct an annual inspection of crop sites to ensure hemp tests register less than 0.3% THC.
[4/24: 49-1 (No: Whiting)]

Ways & Means Committee – All-Bill Summary 2019

SF 220 – Increased expensing for corporations for tax year 2018

SF 306 – Pilot project for park user fees at Lake Manawa and Waubonsie

SF 597 – Sales tax exemption for nonprofit blood centers

SF 605 – Child Support Recovery fees

SF 629 – Excessive weights for raw forest products

SF 634 – Limits on property tax revenues; city/county budget growth cap

HF 389 – Boat, ATV and snowmobile registration process improvements

HF 741- Extends bond from 20 to 30 years for flood purposes

HF 767 – Electric vehicles

HF 768 – Beginning farmer tax credit program

HF 769 – Gross weight of special trucks

HF 772 – Empower Rural Iowa

HF 778 – Capital gains deduction for sale of real estate involved in farming

HF 779 – Omnibus tax administration bill

 

SF 220 – Increased expensing for corporations for tax year 2018

SF 220 relates to Section 179 expensing for S-corporations, C-corporations and other entities taxed as corporations. The bill also impacts individuals filing K-1 returns (members of LLCs, S-Corp and partnerships) for income earned through those entities. In 2018, SF 2417 (GOP tax bill) raised the Section 179 expensing limit to $70,000/$280,000 annually for individual income taxes only, not for corporate taxpayers. The bill also instituted a K-1 tax form “fix” so that the limit on expensing is extended to every member of the business rather than having all partners cumulatively limited to the expensing threshold.

During rulemaking to implement SF 2417, the Iowa Department of Revenue determined that, because Section 179 expensing was not raised for corporate taxpayers, the individual taxpayers filing K-1s as a part of an S-corporation (and other corporate taxes entities) were not eligible for the expanded Section 179 limit that individual income taxpayers were given in SF 2417. Those individuals could only claim up to the previous $25,000/$200,000.

The bill resolves this issue by changing the corporate expensing levels for tax year 2018. Changes for other years are fully addressed in SF 2417. Section 179 expensing levels are increased to $100,000/$250,000 for individual and corporate returns for tax year 2019. Section 179 and other coupling issues are resolved in tax year 2020 because we established “rolling conformity” from then on; applicable federal tax changes on expenses, credits and deductions allowed under Iowa law will automatically be incorporated into Iowa tax code, without further legislative action.
[2/18: 48-0 (Absent: Miller-Meeks; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 306 – Pilot project for park user fees at Lake Manawa and Waubonsie

SF 306 establishes a pilot program for park user fees at Lake Manawa State Park in Council Bluffs. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will collect fees from nonresidents who access the state park, and DNR can charge different rates for facility rentals to residents and nonresidents. This system mirrors how Nebraska charges for nonresidents to use their state parks. Lake Manawa is a busy state park that attracts many nonresident visitors because the park does not charge fees for access, unlike similar parks in the area. This has led to high use, a need for infrastructure repairs and demands on local law enforcement responding to illegal activity. The fees are designed to cover park needs and discourage illegal activities. The pilot program will be repealed on July 1, 2022. The bill was amended to create a similar program for Waubonsie State Park in Fremont County.
[4/25: 49-0 (Absent: Chapman)]

 

SF 597 – Sales tax exemption for nonprofit blood centers

SF 597 provides a sales tax exemption for tangible property sold or laboratory test services furnished to a nonprofit blood center, as long as the property or testing are directly and primarily used in the processing of human blood. The nonprofit blood centers must be registered with the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This exemption is needed because tax legislation passed in 2018 (SF 2417) redefined the term “manufacturing” to apply to a narrower scope of activity. This change subjected tangible property and laboratory testing services used by nonprofit blood centers to the sales tax. SF 597 replaces the sales tax exemption the nonprofit blood centers had operated under.
[4/26: 48-0 (Absent: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

SF 605 – Child Support Recovery fees

SF 605 is a Department of Human Services bill regarding Child Support Recovery fees. The bill eliminates the application fee of $25. It changes the annual fee to what is required by federal law. The fee will be collected from the obligee after $550 in support has been distributed to the family. The fee is only charged if the obligee has never received cash assistance. The bill amends Iowa Code Chapter 252B to remove the specific amount of the fee and cites directly to federal law. This means that the state will not have to pass legislation each time the federal government makes changes.
[4/22: 49-0 (Absent: Segebart)]

 

SF 629 – Excessive weights for raw forest products

SF 629 requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop and implement a single statewide system to receive applications for and issue permits to allow vehicles of excessive size or weight to operate on roads under state or local jurisdiction. DOT will determine, in consultation with local authorities, the network of highways and streets under local jurisdiction, including the appropriate routes, on which the vehicles may operate. DOT will issue permits for a fee set by DOT rule and proportionate to the fees in Code section 321E.14. DOT will allocate a portion of the fees to local authorities. DOT must submit a report to the Legislature by December 31, 2021, regarding the development and implementation of the system.

The bill allows DOT to issue annual permits for $175, authorizing a vehicle or combination of vehicles to transport divisible loads of raw forest products from fields to storage, processing or other commercial facilities. A vehicle or combination of vehicles for which a permit is issued may exceed the maximum weights in Code section 321.463 if the gross weight does not exceed the limits in Code section 321E.7 (20,000 pounds on any one axle and 46,000 pounds on any one tandem axle having at least four tires). The bill prohibits a vehicle or combination of vehicles issued such a permit from traveling on the interstate or exceeding the size limits set in Code sections 321.454 through 321.457. The permit is valid for operation on non-primary highways if local authorities approved the route within their jurisdictions.
[4/23: 37-12 (No: Celsi, Greene, Hogg, Miller-Meeks, Nunn, Quirmbach, Schultz, Segebart, Sinclair, J. Smith, R. Taylor, Zaun)]

 

SF 634 – Limits on property tax revenues; city/county budget growth cap

SF 634 establishes a new public hearing process before local governments assembles their budgets. As part of this process, the local board will establish a total maximum property tax revenue limit for the city or county budget process. This includes taxes available through existing levies for general services, rural services, trust and agency, and supplemental levies.

The proposal does not eliminate any levy authority or any specific levies. The local board must publish the maximum property tax revenues within that group for the current budget year, and calculate an effective levy rate that shows what the effective rate would have been if total maximum property tax revenues were not increased. This would provide the public with information on how much property tax revenues are generated by new valuations and revaluations of existing property.

The proposal establishes a “soft cap” of 2% growth in total maximum property tax revenues over the previous year. If a local board proposes to increase the total maximum property tax revenue by more than 2%, the resolution must be approved by a two-thirds majority vote.

For counties, the levies included under the total maximum property tax calculation include:

  • The sum of property tax dollars certified for general county services: ($3.50) basic levy, general county services supplemental levies and additions to basic levies (unusual circumstances), but excluding additions approved at election under current Code (special levy elections).
  • The sum of property tax dollars certified for levy for rural county services: ($3.95) basic levy, rural county services supplemental levies and additions to basic levies (unusual circumstances), but excluding additions approved at election under current Code.

For cities, the levies included under the total maximum property tax revenue calculation include:

  • The sum of property tax dollars certified for city government purposes under the following levies: the city basic levy ($8.10), city trust and agency fund, emergency fund and various additional taxes, under additional taxes, including emergency management commission and insurance.

The bill establishes new requirements for publication of information prior to the budget process. The bill allows an additional two weeks to complete local budgets that must be submitted to the state. The bill requires that local governments include information on the current budget protest process as part of their budget approval.

The bill does not include a reverse referendum process or “hard caps” on local budget growth. The bill maintains existing levies. The changes are effective for local budgets after July 1, 2020.
[4/23: 33-17 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano)]

 

HF 389 – Boat, ATV and snowmobile registration process improvements

HF 389 updates the Iowa Code regarding the process for registering and titling boats and other vessels. Boat and vessel registration is now done using an electronic licensing system. These changes will improve the process:

  • Allowing an owner to register their vessel with any county recorder rather than the county where the vessel was initially registered.
  • Allowing a 60-day grace period for renewal of a boat registration. Boat registrations expire on April 30, prior to the time most owners take their vessel onto the water. Owners could renew prior to June 1 without a $5 late fee.
  • Allowing an owner to initially register their vessel for shorter than the three-year registration period so as to prorate the fee and align the registration with the timeline for renewal.
  • Allowing a title to be used to sell or transfer a vessel. Currently, the transfer or sale requires completing a form on the original registration certificate.
  • Removing the requirement for a notarial to witness the application for a title after acquiring a vessel.

The bill also increases from 15 to 30 the number of days a snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle or vessel dealer has to send fees and applications to transfer a vehicle requiring a title.
[4/18: 48-1 (No: Celsi; Absent: Mathis)]

 

HF 741– Extends bond from 20 to 30 years for flood purposes

HF 741 would allow general obligation bonds issued to finance a flood-control project that was approved by the state flood mitigation board to be financed over a 30-year period instead of 20 years under current law. This is the same time frame that currently exists for cities and counties to issue bonds for essential purposes. At time of passage, one flood-control project in Cedar Rapids met the terms outlined in the bill.
[4/26: 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 767 – Electric vehicles

HF 767 creates new registration fees for Electric and Hybrid Vehicles and a new excise tax on hydrogen and electric fuel. In light of the increasing use of these vehicles, the Legislature directed the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) to estimate the impact of increased usage of electric, hybrid and other high-efficiency motor vehicles on future revenues to the Road Use Tax Fund. It also required DOT to evaluate and recommend alternative funding mechanisms or the alteration of existing funding mechanisms to offset decreases in future revenues due to the increased use of electric, hybrid and other high-efficiency motor vehicles. DOT produced recommendations with the goal of no net change in revenue, equity and low administrative costs. HF 767 is based on the recommendations from the DOT report.

Registration Fees – Battery electric vehicles are vehicles that have no internal combustion engine and are propelled exclusively by electricity. Under the bill, battery electric motors will pay an additional registration fee of $65 in 2020, increasing to $130 after January 1, 2022. Plug-in hybrid vehicles will pay a $32 fee beginning in 2020, increasing to a fee of $65 after January 1, 2022. Motorcycles that have a battery electric or hybrid motor will pay an additional $4.50 fee beginning in 2020, with the fee increasing to $9 by January 1, 2022.

Excise Tax – A gallon of hydrogen is 249 pounds and will pay an excise tax of 65 cents per gallon. Vehicles using hydrogen fuel will have a special fuel sticker from the County Treasurer designating that the vehicle takes special fuel. Electric fuel means electrical energy delivered or placed into a battery or other energy source outside the motor vehicle to propel it. An excise tax of two and six-tenths cents per kilowatt hour of electric fuel delivered into the battery will attach at the time of delivery. A person cannot sell or dispense electric fuel unless they hold an electric fuel license.
[4/27: 34-14 (Yes: Republicans, Kinney, Quirmbach; Absent: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

 

HF 768 – Beginning farmer tax credit program

HF 768 amends the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program, which had allowed up to $12 million in tax credits for the last five years. The legislation that increased the maximum tax credits allowed per year included a sunset of that increase after a five-year period to review the program to ensure the increase remained necessary and that the credit was targeted to the right type of situation. After the sunset, that income tax credit was reduced to a maximum of $6 million for tax years 2019 and after.

Under this legislation, the tax credit limit for the beginning farmer program is again raised to $12 million for tax years 2019 and beyond. The tax credit is reorganized as a single program rather than reverting to the Agricultural Asset Transfer Tax Credit and Custom Contract Farming Tax Credit. The bill maintains existing income and asset limitations for qualifying farmers and restricts the cost of the lease a beginning farmer can be charged by someone who claims the tax credit. The tax credit no longer covers custom contract farming operations.
[4/25: 49-0 (Absent: Chapman)]

HF 769 – Gross weight of special trucks

HF 769 allows a special truck used for certain farming purposes to increase to a gross maximum weight of 39 tons. The registration fee is an additional $25 per ton between 32 and 38 tons, and an additional $10 between 38 and 39 tons.
[4/26: 49-0 (Absent: Feenstra)]

 

HF 772 – Empower Rural Iowa

HF 772 changes the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program and the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program. Under the bill, qualifying broadband projects eligible for grant assistance must meet upload/download speeds established by the Office of the Chief Information Officer. Currently, the speeds are outlined in Code at 25mbps/3mbps. The bill also extends the grant program by five years, and proposes a $5 million increase in tax credits available through the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program. This $5 million is set aside for projects located within the 88 lowest population counties in the 2010 census. The Workforce Housing Tax Credit Program has a tax credit cap of $20 million, with $5 million reserved for projects in smaller communities.

The bill changes the application process from first-come, first-served to a competitive process that scored by IEDA. Additionally, the bill allocates the entire cap for the program for FY20 to small city projects that were registered priority to July 1, 2019.

HF 772 also provides $10 million in Workforce Housing tax credits for projects in counties designated disaster areas because of flooding along the Missouri River. Housing projects in disaster areas can receive a tax credit of up to 20% of new investment in the project, in addition to sales tax refunds. This is in addition to the credits available under the Workforce Housing Program.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 778 – Capital gains deduction for sale of real estate involved in farming

HF 778 amends the contingent capital gains for farm property that will happen for tax year 2023 if the revenue triggers in 2018’s SF 2417 are met. SF 2417 changed the capital gains exemption for farm real estate to a new standard under the contingent tax system in that bill. The capital gains deduction under the contingent tax system was narrower, reducing the value of the capital gains deduction.

The capital gains deduction is allowed for sales of six types of qualifying assets:

  • Cattle, horses or breeding livestock
  • Real property used in a farm business
  • Real property used in a non-farm business
  • Timber
  • A business
  • Employer securities to a qualified Iowa employee stock ownership plan.

The future (contingent) capital gain deduction is limited to:

  • The taxpayer “materially participated” in the farming business for at least 10 years and held the real property for at least 10 years; and sold the real property to a relative.
  • The deduction would be revoked if the relative sells or transfers the real property used in a farming business to a non-relative on the taxpayer within five years of the original sale.

The bill would amend the future (contingent) capital gains deduction so that it would apply in the following cases:

  • The taxpayer “materially participated” in the farming business for at least 10 years and held the real property for at least 10 years; or the taxpayer sold the real property to a relative.
  • This bill expands the definition of relative to include an entity in which a relative of the taxpayer has a legal or equitable interest in the entity as an owner, member, partner or beneficiary.
  • This bill strikes provisions related to restricting the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a farming business if the relative sells or transfers the real property used in a farming business within five years of the original sale.
    [4/25: 49-0 (Absent: Chapman)]

 

HF 779 – Omnibus tax administration bill

Division I – Income and franchise tax changes:

  • Technical changes to the new qualified business income deduction to incorporate the “cooperative” fix. This addresses the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) that had inadvertently created a tax equity issue for people who sold their grain or other agricultural products through a cooperative.
  • Changes the administration of the school tuition organization (STO) so that the amounts are calculated on a calendar year basis rather than tax year. This is how the program is currently administered, but the change is necessary because corporate tax years vary.
  • Clarifies the allocation of the early childhood development tax credit among married taxpayers who filed joint federal tax returns.
  • Provides for the coupling of the state franchise tax to the federal tax code.
  • Technical changes to the treatment of like/kind exchanges to couple with federal changes made after the TCJA.

Division II – Administrative changes: The Department of Revenue may adopt rules allowing taxpayers to designate another person to receive tax information.

Division III – Sales and Use tax changes:

  • Clarifies the existing definition of “affiliate” to aid in collecting sales and use taxes from affiliated businesses.
  • Changes the amount of service or warranty contract subject to sales or use tax to the full price of the service contract.
  • Clarifies that carpentry repair and installation services are taxable. This relates to an Iowa Supreme Court case that involved construction services provided by Lowe’s. This mirrors administrative rules for electric or plumbing services. The administrative rules for carpentry did not include the two terms, creating uncertainty that the court ultimately decided.
  • Creates a new sales and use tax exemption for grain bins, including construction materials and replacement parts.
  • Clarifies the type of equipment not exempt from sales and use tax on sales or rentals of industrial machinery, equipment and computers. This change relates to telecommunications companies and prevents refund claims that could arise from other legislative changes that were not meant to create a new exemption for machinery and equipment used for manufacturing purposes.
  • Extends the sales tax exemption on digital products sold for commercial purposes to include digital service contracts.
  • Eliminates language creating a 200-transaction threshold for determining if a retailer is subject to the requirements for remote sellers to collect and remit sales tax. This leaves one test ($100,000 or more in sales) for determining whether or not a remote seller must comply with Iowa’s sales tax requirements. The transaction threshold is being eliminated in other states as well.
  • Reduces the frequency of required reports that must be filed by a “referrer” of online sales. A “referrer” is distinct from a marketplace facilitator. Under the bill, DOR cannot collect tax or require filings for referrers until administrative rules are in place to establish the responsibilities of a referrer.
  • Directs the Department of Revenue to establish a task force to review and provide clarity regarding the definition of “computer” as used throughout the Code and administrative rules.

Division IV – Automobile Rental Excise Tax: Streamlines the process for collecting and administering the automobile rental excise tax to eliminate issues where online platforms don’t collect the full rental sales price at time of transaction.

Division V – Telephone company property: Addresses conflicting legislative language in bills enacted following the 2018 session. SF 2388 and another bill both amended the same Code section. The changes included in those bills created uncertainty in how to implement them.

Division VI – Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit: Extends the targeted jobs withholding tax credit program by two years so that it ends after June 30, 2021, and restricts it to jobs created (not retained). The program is available for specified jobs located in a pilot project city. Pilot project cities include Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Burlington and Keokuk/Fort Madison. Sioux City is the most active participant in this program.

Division VII – School Tuition Organization tax credits – Increases the amount of tax credits that can be issued under the School Tuition Organization (STO) tax credit program by $2 million to $15 million annually for tax year 2020. STOs provide scholarship assistance to students from families with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Division VIII–Income tax checkoffs: Re-authorizes the state fair and combined volunteer firefighter/veterans income tax checkoffs, and establishes a process to notify the Legislature of which checkoffs are scheduled to be eliminated from the state income tax form.

There is a two-year cycle for established income tax checkoffs. After those two years, the two checkoffs that received the lowest amounts are eliminated from the state income tax return. For this cycle, the two lowest returns were the state fair and the combined volunteer firefighter/veterans checkoffs. The highest two checkoffs support wildlife habitat and child abuse prevention.

The state income tax return has a maximum of four slots available for income tax checkoffs. The current system allows an opportunity to consider which checkoffs are included on the state income tax return and provides an opportunity to add new checkoffs to the form.

Division IX– Powers and duties of director of Revenue: Adds a new item to the Code section outlining the powers and duties of the director of the Department of Revenue. This change clarifies that the director can audit or examine all taxes collected or administered by the department. This will extend audit and examination authority to the moneys and credits tax for credit unions. Because of a law change in 2018, the department now administers this tax. It previously had been administered through counties.

Division X – Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Manufacturers: Clarifies changes from SF 2417 that had restricted who qualified for the sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing processes. Under that bill, anyone engaged in a designated business was unable to qualify for the manufacturing exemption. The bill allows the exemption for a company that is primarily engaged in manufacturing but also engaged in the listed activities. This is a minor adjustment to the change in definition of manufacturer in SF 2417, not a full-scale reversal.

Division XI – State Research Activities Tax Credit (RAC): Amends the industries eligible to claim the state RAC to include agriscience. In 2018, SF 2417 reigned in the types of companies claiming the credit, and restored the credit to the activities intended under the legislation as passed in 2010. SF 2417 also prohibited those engaged in agricultural production, commercial and residential repair and installation, including HVAC, plumbing, security and electrical systems, from claiming the credit.

Recent rulemaking by the Department of Revenue to enact SF 2417 has already included agrisciences as an eligible industry because it is difficult to separate it from “life sciences” that are allowed under the legislation. The bill does not extend the RAC to agricultural animal production.

Division XII – Adoption tax credit; timing of eligible expenses: Allows adoption expenses to be included when claiming the adoption tax credit. Previously, expenses only could be claimed during the year the adoption is completed. That meant eligible expenses claimed in years before the adoption is completed can’t be included and requires the taxpayer to file amended returns for previous years to claim the credit for eligible expenses incurred during those years.

Division XIII – Utility Replacement Tax Task Force: Extends the utility replacement task force by five years to January 1, 2024. This task force reviews the implementation and operation of the utility replacement tax created to replace the previous property tax on utilities.

Division XIV – Repealing the alternative minimum tax for franchise taxes: Repeals the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for franchise taxes beginning in tax year 2021. A one-year transition allows the use of the AMT credit in tax year 2021 for those who have to pay the AMT in tax year 2020. This repeal mirrors the repeal of the corporate AMT in 2018’s SF 2417.

Division XV – Geothermal system tax credit: Reinstates the state geothermal system tax credit that was eliminated in 2018’s SF 2417. The state credit is based off of the federal geothermal tax credit. The state credit will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The amount of credits issued in any one year is limited to $1 million.

Division XVI – Moneys and Credits Taxes: Makes a technical fix to a legislative change in 2018 that put the Department of Revenue in charge of collecting and assessing the moneys and credits tax on credit unions. The bill removes the county boards of supervisors and county treasurers in the levying and collection process.
[4/27: 44-4 (No: Bolkcom, Celsi, Quirmbach, R. Taylor; Absent: Lykam, T. Taylor)]

Natural Resources & Environment Committee – All-Bill Summary 2019

SF 86 – Anatomical donor info for DNR licenses and education

SF 282 – Repeal of Honey Creek Premier Destination Park bond program

SF 409– Administrative procedures by DNR

SF 548 – Prohibits revolving loan funds to acquire land

HF 325 – Legal weapons for non-ambulatory hunters

HF 604 – DNR contracts with out-of-state companies removing rough fish

 

SF 86 – Anatomical donor info for DNR licenses and education

SF 86 would establish hunting, fishing and trapping licenses issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as accepted records for a person to record their registration as an organ donor under the anatomical gift law. The bill makes a number of conforming changes to the anatomical gift law to add these documents as accepted records, including:

  • Allowing a minor who is at least 14 to register their anatomical gift on a hunting, fishing or fur harvester license, with the signed approval of a parent or guardian;
  • Authorizing a symbol to be placed on the license indicating the anatomical gift;
  • Providing that the revocation of the hunting, fishing or fur harvester license does not invalidate the gift on the Iowa donor registry;
  • Including the DNR as a resource for hospitals and organ procurement agencies to determine if an individual has made an anatomical gift.

DNR must include a section on applications for hunting, fishing or fur harvester licenses for the applicant to request placement of the anatomical gift symbol. The DNR will also include information on becoming an organ donor as part of its hunter education and safety certificate program.

The legislation is known as “Logan’s Law” in memory of Logan Luft, who died as a result of an all-terrain vehicle accident. His family was able to donate his organs and tissue. Logan was made aware of the organ donation option when he applied for a motor vehicle operator’s permit. His family advocated for expanding anatomical gift donor information and education to memorialize Logan’s life and broaden the reach of organ and tissue donation programs.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

SF 282 – Repeal of Honey Creek Premier Destination Park bond program

SF 282 repeals Code language regarding the Honey Creek Premier Destination Park bond program. The bond program was established to finance construction and development of the Honey Creek Destination Resort State Park. The Legislature appropriated money for defeasement of the bonds in 2013, and the bonds were redeemed on June 1, 2016. By function of the Code language establishing the bond authority, the authority was dissolved two years after the redemption of the bonds on June 1, 2018.

The bill makes a technical change to preserve existing Code language regarding competitive bidding requirements for the resort. The Code language that established the bond authority included an exemption for purchases related to operation of the resort, but not to development or construction of facilities at the resort. Because the park remains in operation (even though the bond authority has been dissolved), the competitive bidding language will be maintained in a new Code section.
[3/11: 46-0 (Absent: Edler, J. Smith, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 409– Administrative procedures by DNR

SF 409 is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) proposal that makes a number of changes to administrative procedures. Changes include:

  • Standardizing administrative appeal procedures. Existing laws provide 30 days to appeal or do not establish a timeframe. Additionally, the start of an appeal period is variously defined or not defined. The proposed revisions establish a consistent period of 60 days from when DNR mails the order.
  • Clarifying that a rural water utility can construct extensions of sewer or water supply systems under existing permitting authority in certain circumstances.
  • Allowing for waiver of certain requirements for written permits. Under the bill, the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) may allow exemptions for a class of disposal systems or the DNR director may allow exemptions for individual systems.
  • Exempting DNR from having to publish notices for public water supply permits in a local newspaper, although public notice is still required.
  • Directing DNR to send information on an administrative order to the attorney representing the party in the matter.
    [4/23: 50-0]

 

SF 548 – Prohibits revolving loan funds to acquire land

SF 548 prohibits the use of non-point source water pollution control projects that receive funding through the state’s revolving loan fund to be used to acquire property for future donation or sale to the state, a political subdivision or the federal government. It also prohibits the state or political subdivisions from acquiring land that was purchased using assistance from the state’s revolving loan fund. The bill exempts land purchases to accommodate edge of field practices.

Non-point source water quality projects can include:

  • Restoration of wildlife habitat
  • Stream bank stabilization
  • Wetland flood prevention areas
  • Detention basins
  • Grassed waterways
  • Ponds or wetland systems
  • Soil quality restoration
  • Other practices that are shown to improve or protect water quality

Placing restrictions on projects that use state revolving loan fund assistance addresses concerns that these types of purchases make it more expensive or more difficult for famers to acquire farmland. Farmers wishing to buy the land get loans through a financial institution at rates higher than those offered under the state’s revolving loan fund. However, the private entities that use the revolving loan fund generally work with willing landowners to acquire the property and often want restrictions on the future development of the land.
[4/23: 33-17 (Yes: Republicans, Kinney)]

 

HF 325 – Legal weapons for non-ambulatory hunters

HF 325 would allow a non-ambulatory hunter who was issued a deer license for one hunting season to use an unfilled deer license in a following season using the approved method of take for that season. Currently, the individual is limited to being issued a license for use during shotgun or muzzle loading rifle seasons only.
[4/15: 50-0]

 

HF 604 – DNR contracts with out-of-state companies removing rough fish

HF 604 restricts DNR from awarding contracts to commercial operators for the removal of rough, undesirable or injurious fish from inland waterways. The bill prohibits DNR from awarding contracts to entities from states that do not allow Iowa companies to apply for these types of contracts. This bill is meant to address a situation that has arisen when other states eliminate contracts for the harvesting of rough fish. Companies from those states come to Iowa and underbid Iowa companies on contracts. The bill allows DNR to restrict commercial harvester licenses to entities from states that also allow the commercial harvesting of rough fish.

Laborers hired by contractors or subcontractors may work without a license. This will allow companies applying for licenses and contracts to employ individuals from other states.
[4/24: 49-1 (No: R. Taylor)]

 

State Government – All Bill Summary 2019

SJR 17 – Resolution to allow sale of merchandise by ABATE on Capitol grounds

SF 323 – Canned cocktails

SF 367 – Eliminates Education and Regional Telecommunication councils

SF 447 – Reversal of local control for residential rental living caps

SF 475 – Allows remote, electronic notarial signatures

SF 617 – Sports betting and fantasy sports

SF 618 – ABD Omnibus Departmental Bill

HF 303 – Statewide welcome center program technical changes

HF 392 – Competitive bid process not required for professional services

HF 393 – Gifts received by Executive Branch

HF 485 – Purchasing for targeted small business procurement goals

HF 486 – Building remediation grants for emergency projects

HF 590 – Tax return preparers and providing penalties

HF 634 – Combining juvenile justice boards

HF 692 – Elections Bill

HF 694 – EMS licensure & interstate compact

HF 701 – Prohibits a city or county from adopting or enforcing an ordinance

HF 743 – Uniform electronic storage of official documents

 

SJR 17 – Resolution to allow sale of merchandise by ABATE on Capitol grounds

SJR 17 is a resolution to allow sale of merchandise by A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) on the Capitol grounds. ABATE holds a motorcycle rally and toy run each year to collect toys for Iowa children and sells commemorative merchandise at this event to help pay for police escort. The Department of Administrative Services requires the Legislature to approve requests by outside entities to sell things on the Capitol grounds. This resolution is in effect for the current two-year General Assembly.
[3/11: 46-0 (Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 323 – Canned cocktails

SF 323 allows for the sale of “canned cocktails” and “mixed drink or cocktails.” These beverages may contain between 6.25 and 15 percent alcohol by volume. The Code provisions applicable to beer will also apply to canned cocktails (redemption, etc.). The bill takes effect upon enactment.
[3/12: 45-4 (No: Celsi, Costello, Guth, Hogg; Vacant: Danielson)]

 

SF 367 – Eliminates Education and Regional Telecommunication councils

SF 367 eliminates the Education Telecommunication Council and Regional Telecommunications Councils (RTCs). In 1994, the Legislature established an 18-member Education Telecommunications Council to assist in scheduling and site-usage policies for educational users of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). The council also recommended long-range plans for enhancements to educational applications. At the same time, Regional Telecommunications Councils were established in each of the 15 community college districts. The RTCs provide advice on local educational needs and coordinate program activities, including technical assistance for network classrooms in community centers and schools. General Fund dollars went to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission for distribution to the RTCs based on usage by the region. In previous years, funding has been approximately $993,000 annually. This budget unit has not been funded since FY17.
[3/11: 46-0 (Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

SF 447 – Reversal of local control for residential rental living caps

SF 447 prohibits a city from adopting or enforcing a regulation, restriction or other ordinance related to residential property rental caps on single-family homes or duplexes after January 1, 2019. This removes a city’s ability to put a cap on the percentage of rentals in a neighborhood. The bill is effective upon enactment.
[3/11: 35-11 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, R. Taylor, Wahls; Excused: Edler, J. Smith, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]

SF 475 – Allows remote, electronic notarial signatures

SF 475 will allow a notary public to perform remotely through audio-visual technology. The bill strikes a provision that defines the phrase “personal appearance” to exclude an appearance that uses video or optical technology. Under the bill, a public notary who performs a notarial act remotely must comply with certain standards, including rules adopted by the Secretary of State. This includes keeping the audio-video recording of the notarization for at least 10 years. If a public notary complies with these standards, the personal appearance requirement is deemed satisfied. The bill also provides that a county recorder may accept a tangible copy of the electronic record, if a notarial officer certifies that the copy is accurate. This bill includes all notary acts, not just those involving real-estate transactions, effective July 1, 2020.
[4/1: 48-0 (Excused: Breitbach, Zaun)]

 

SF 617 – Sports betting and fantasy sports

SF 617 establishes legalized sports betting and fantasy sports by establishing program outlines, licensing fees and tax rates. For sports betting, an initial license will be $45,000 with an annual renewal of $10,000. For fantasy sports, an initial license will be $5,000 if the annual revenue is more than $150,000 and $1,000 if less than $150,000. The tax rate is set at 6.75 percent for both sports betting and fantasy sports. For sports betting, the tax rate of 6.75 percent is designated as follows:

  • The tax revenue will be deposited in the newly created fund in 8.57, subsection 6. This fund will pay for $300,000 in gambling treatment efforts, as outline in a separate appropriations bill.
  • The licensing fee will be deposited in the general fund, but money will be held for a year with the Legislature directing appropriations, which may include additional monies to county endowments.
  • As of now, there is no new dedicated funding from sports betting or fantasy sports to the community endowments.
  • Qualified sponsoring organizations (QSO) will get 0.75 percent of the sports betting net receipts from their operator(s). This is 0.75 percent on top of the 6.75 percent the casinos will be taxed.

Sports betting or “sports wagering” is authorized by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). Provisions include:

  • Bettors must be 21 or older and can place a bet at a “sports wagering area” in a casino or on a mobile device.
  • To bet on a mobile/electronic device, one must establish an account at a casino and set up an “advance deposit” system before January 2021. After 2021, bettors can set up an advance deposit system completely online.
  • No minor leagues allowed.
  • No in-game betting on individual Iowa college players or their opponent players.
  • Horses: Sports betting net receipts are added to the current purse disbursement of 11 percent on the first $200 million of net receipts and 6 percent of net receipts above $200 million at casinos with horse racing.

Provisions include:

  • Service providers can be an online fantasy sports platform, a Racetrack (99D) or Gaming/Casino (99F).
  • Changing the definition of authorized sporting event to include only professional, collegiate, international and motor race events.
  • Sports betting does not include placing bets on individual performances of an Iowa collegiate sporting event or an international Olympic event where any contestant is under 18.

Fantasy sports are simulated games in which prizes are established and made known in advance to all contestants. Prize winnings reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined by statistical results of the performance of individuals. College fantasy sports are delayed one year to make sure Iowa colleges and universities are prepared for these new potential outside activities.

Miscellaneous provisions:

  • Qualified Sponsoring Organization (QSO) Boards will include one county supervisor and one member of a city council for each county and city that has a licensed gambling games facility. Anyone serving on a QSO board must be a resident of the state.
  • Adds to the Iowa Code a new sports gambling section concerning social gambling between individuals, to authorize social gambling on fantasy sports contests and to specify that a participant may not win or lose more than $1,000 during any 24 consecutive hours or over that entire period. Previously, wins or losses on social gambling were limited to $200.
  • Racetracks are explicitly allowed to apply for endowment grants.
  • Mobile apps must cite the 800-Bets-Off number and include extensive responsible gambling features (i.e., limit time of play, allow a time out, etc.).
  • The bill takes effect upon enactment, and must be implemented no later than July 4, 2019. The Racing and Gaming Commission will develop rules to implement the program.
    [4/17: 31-18 (Excused: Guth)]

 

SF 618 – ABD Omnibus Departmental Bill

SF 618 is the Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) departmental bill. It makes changes that will create clarity, improve readability and make the law easier for regulators to apply and enforce with consistency. This is largely a technical cleanup bill.

This bill removes references to percentage of alcohol by weight from the definitions for alcoholic liquor, beer, high-alcoholic content beer and wine. The definition for wine is further amended to provide for percentage of alcohol by volume.

It allows ABD to prescribe a uniform fee against certain licensees when they fail to maintain dram shop liability insurance and to assess a capped fee to recover administrative costs related to contested case proceedings through the administrative rules process.

The bill will allow confidentiality of records collected by the Division from licensees or permittees in conjunction with investigations, inspections and audits before administrative or criminal charges are filed. This proposed change will assist the regulator and protect the rights of businesses it regulates.

The bill will require liquor, wine and beer manufacturers to share with the Division the records they must submit to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury (TTB). This ensures that the Division has the information it needs to validate taxes owed to the state. Reciprocal language for class “A” native distilled spirits license holders was passed in 2017.

Other key changes in the bill include:

  • Authorizing the Division to adopt rules to recover operational costs arising from the failure of licensees or permittees to remain in compliance with the law.
  • Establishing uniform language regarding the types of action that may be taken because of a violation of the rules of the Division. Conforming changes are made throughout the chapter.
  • Eliminating the additional tax imposed on airlines for Sunday sales of liquor.
  • Relocating provisions in §123.144(2) and §123.146 that relate to how homemade beer can be used and how beer may be imported for personal use. These changes are intended to assist the reader by consolidating several related provisions into one section.
  • Allowing Hy-Vee and other stores to have a distribution center carry alcohol and deliver it to homes.
  • Adding “investigative” entities to those with access to investigative records.
    [4/23: 48-2 (No: Celsi, Hogg)]

 

HF 303 – Statewide welcome center program technical changes

HF 303 updates Code references to the statewide welcome center program; changes references from “agency” to “authority” to reflect that the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDEA) is no longer an agency; removes references to a pilot project because welcome centers are no longer in a pilot phase; and requires the IDEA to collaborate with other state agencies as necessary to operate the welcome centers and provide information to travelers.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 392 – Competitive bid process not required for professional services

HF 392 says the competitive bid process is not required for professional services rendered by certain public employees. Previously, an official, a state employee, a member of the Legislature, or a legislative employee could not sell goods or services in excess of $2,000 to any state agency unless the sale is made pursuant to an award or contract  made after public notice and competitive bidding. This does not apply to a contract for professional services that is exempt from competitive bidding requirements in the Code or Administrative Code.
[4/11:  49-0 (Excused: Brown)]

HF 393 – Gifts received by Executive Branch

HF 393 modifies the procedure for reporting gifts. Previously, all gifts received by a department or the governor must be reported to the Iowa Campaign Ethics Board and the Government Oversight Committee. The bill limits the reporting requirement to gifts with a value of $50 or more. The report must be made within 20 days.
[4/10: 49-0 (Excused: Feenstra)]

HF 485 – Purchasing for targeted small business procurement goals

HF 485 — State agencies could previously purchase goods and services from Targeted Small Businesses (TSBs) without going through the RFP process, as long as the amount was under $10,000. The bill removes the dollar amount from Code and allows the Department of Administrative Services to set the dollar amount through the Administrative Rules process. However, the amount cannot exceed $25,000.
[4/25: 49-0 (Excused: Chapman)]

HF 486 – Building remediation grants for emergency projects

HF 486 allows an emergency project to be eligible for a grant from the Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program Fund (without regard for application deadlines and the required percentage that is set aside for cities with small populations). An emergency project is defined as a remediation of an underused building that may present a unique and immediate opportunity or threat. This bill codifies what was previously in the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Administrative Rules. Tornado damage to Marshalltown in 2018 was the impetus for the bill.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 590 – Tax return preparers and providing penalties

HF 590 defines a tax return preparer as an individual who, for a fee or other consideration, prepares 10 or more tax returns or claims for refund under Ch. 422 during a calendar year, or who assumes final responsibility for completed work on such tax returns or claims for refund under Ch. 422 on which preliminary work has been done by another individual. On or after January 1, 2020, a tax preparer must place their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) on any tax return or claim for a refund that they prepare under Ch. 422.

The bill provides reasons for the Department of Revenue to seek a temporary or permanent injunction if a tax preparer engages certain bad actions. The bill also requires a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education on subjects prescribed by the Department of Revenue. Two of these hours will involve professional ethics. Continuing education hours must be taken from an IRS-approved provider.
[4/24: 50-0]

 

HF 634 – Combining juvenile justice boards

HF 634 eliminates the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council, the Public Safety Advisory Board and the Sex Offender Research Council, and replaces them with the Justice Advisory Board. These boards have overlapping members and missions. The new 28-member board will have 22 voting members and six ex-officio nonvoting members.

Members will include nine appointed by the governor with confirmation by the Senate and a member representing each of these organizations/agencies: Coalition Against Sexual Assault, American Civil Liberties Union, Iowa County Attorney’s, Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Health, Courts, a Judicial District, Department of Correctional Services, Office of the Status of African Americans, Board of Parole, State Public Defender, Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The ex-officio members will be two district judges designated by the Chief Justice, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the chair and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee or House Public Safety Committee.
[4/2: 50-0]

 

HF 692 – Elections Bill

HF 692 implements the statewide use of postal service barcodes to determine the date that an absentee ballot was placed into the federal postal service. If the postmark or postal service barcode indicates that the ballot was mailed by the day before Election Day, the ballot must be counted. If there is a discrepancy between the date indicated by the postmark and the postal service barcode, the earlier date will be used to determine the “mailed by” date of the ballot. The bill also includes these  provisions:

  • Hospital Board of Trustees Elections – Establishes off-setting term limits for hospital boards of trustees.
  • City/School elections – Two dates in odd years, March and September. Three dates in even years. Strikes December.
  • Makes the fraudulent signing of nomination papers and the misuse of voter registration information election misconduct in the second degree, an aggravated misdemeanor.
  • Requires a person circulating a petition for nomination to include their contact information. The bill also specifies that a signature line must contain a signer’s residential address.
  • Permits objections to be filed to certificates of nomination for candidates to replace candidates who have died or withdrawn their nomination.
  • Allows the SOS to require a written explanation from a county commissioner who has been issued a notice of technical infraction. Such an explanation must contain measures the county commissioner took to redress the issues in the notice.
  • Precinct caucus participation – Cannot have participated in a different party caucus within the same year.
  • County auditors cannot participate in absentee ballot drives, unless they are on doing it for themselves only.
  • County auditors must remove or obscure any published material displaying auditors name, except on ballot or envelop. An auditor’s signature on a ballot is replaced with the county seal.
  • Prohibits distribution of sample ballots, per debacle caused by Linn County Auditor.
  • Conflicts of Interest (AGC Language) – Repeals the prohibition on elected or appointed county employees holding an interest in a contract for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of any highway, bridge or culvert. Requires a state or county official who is a voting member of a government entity responsible for awarding a contract pursuant to competitive bidding procedures and is the apparent low bidder for the contract to abstain from voting to award the contract and include an explanation of the official’s conflict in the resolution.
  • Ballot order – The two political parties receiving the highest number of votes will each appear first on the ballot for one gubernatorial election and one presidential election in an eight-year period. The candidates of a party appearing first on the ballot in half of the counties in Iowa will appear second on the ballot in the other half of the counties.
  • Municipal Elections
    • School Board Candidate name withdrawals – goes from 35 to 42 days before an election.
    • Various requirements for canvasing deadlines for city, county, school elections.
    • City elections – if in more than one county, auditor with the largest tax base does the canvas.
    • Terms of office – school boards, various technical changes for transition provisions.
      [4/25: 50-0]

 

HF 694 – EMS licensure & interstate compact

HF 694 establishes an Emergency Medical Service Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact to allow EMTs and paramedics licensed in Iowa to practice in other states. Participating states must meet standards set by the compact, including registration requirements, training requirements, investigation procedures and notification procedures. The compact allows a person to work within the same scope of practice in any compact state. The home state has sole authority to discipline a licensee. Member states in the compact participate in the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.

The bill aligns Iowa Department of Public Health licensing authority language for EMS with language in the bill that establishes a multistate commission. It also establishes authority for IDPH to keep and retain new license application fees, which will include the required background check fee. Current law requires all licensing fees to be deposited into the EMS System Development Fund, which cannot be used by IDPH for administrative expenses. The bill will only affect new licensing applications. Renewal fees (which are the majority of the fees collected) will continue to be deposited into the EMS System Development Fund.
[4/25: 50-0]

HF 701 – Prohibits a city or county from adopting or enforcing an ordinance

HF 701 prohibits a city or county from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, regulation or restriction that would prevent a nonconforming use from continuing if the use was legal before for preexisting manufactured, modular and mobile homes, and site-built dwelling units. This local control reversal applies unless a discontinuance is necessary for the safety of life or property; the nonconforming use is legally abandoned; or the nonconforming use is enlarged or extended.
[4/9: 35-13 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Giddens, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, J. Smith, Wahls; Excused: Bisignano, Feenstra)]

HF 743 – Uniform electronic storage of official documents

HF 743 sets up a process for the electronic storage of official documents. This is largely a technical bill based on the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), prepared by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws in 2011. The bill requires the Legislative Services Agency (LSA), when acting as custodian of information, to provide for the publication of legal material. LSA must also provide methods of authentication and preservation of electronic records. The bill makes a number of other conforming and miscellaneous changes to the same Code chapter to implement the UELMA and to codify current publication practice.
[4/23: 49-0 (Excused: Petersen)]