Tag: Votes

Judiciary Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

SF 2099 increases the size of what qualifies as a small estate for probate purposes from $100,000 to $200,000. If a personal representative files to convert the estate administration to or from a small estate based on assets, a court order is not required to make the change. The clerk will make the conversion when a personal representative’s statement is filed. The bill makes changes to the requirements for closing the estate by sworn statement, specifies what is necessary to close a small estate, and clarifies that clerks of court must close a small estate without a court order upon proof that the closing statement has been served and assets distributed. In the alternative, the clerk will close the small estate 60 days after filing of the closing statement and proof of service. The bill adds a definition of “probate assets” to the probate code. “Probate assets” means a decedent’s property subject to administration by a personal representative and requires attorneys for a small estate to clearly specify which assets are probate assets and their gross value. The section of the bill increasing the size of an estate that qualifies as a small estate is effective July 1, 2020. The remaining sections of the bill take effect July 1, 2018.
[3/28: 46-0 (Absent: Bertrand, Lykam, Zumbach; 1 vacancy)]

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

SF 2175 is a Bar Association bill. It provides the courts with procedures for partitioning property when co-tenants disagree on the disposition of property owned by the co-tenants. The bill sets procedures for partition by sale and for partition in kind (i.e., dividing the property between all owners rather than selling it and dividing the proceeds). All partition procedures will be placed in Code Chapter 651. In the past, most procedures for partition were included in court rules. There are two distinct divisions in the bill: one provides procedures for all partitions; the other includes special provisions that apply only where real estate is heirs’ property as defined in the bill. To be considered heirs’ property, at least 20 percent must be owned by relatives. Per court rule, the courts have favored partition of property by sale; however, this bill provides a procedure when the property is heirs’ property and some of the heirs request a partition in kind, wanting to keep the property in the family.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]

 

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

 

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

 

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

These  categories are considered critical infrastructure:

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

Education Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

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

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

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

 

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

Division 1: Online Education

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

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

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

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

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

Division 2: Career Technical Education (CTE) Concurrent Enrollment

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

Division 3: Student Health Working Group

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

Division 4: Open Enrollment Extracurricular Fee

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

Division 5: Biliteracy Seal

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

Division 6: Limitation on Department of Education “Guidance”

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

Division 7: Financial Literacy

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Modifications in the bill include:

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

———————————————————————–

Education policies enacted in other committees or bills:

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

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

Sharing Incentive Weightings include:

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

 

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

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

 

SF 2415  – FY19 Education Budget

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

 

HF 2502 – Standings Bill

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

Appropriations Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

SF 2117—FY18 budget cuts
SF 2414—Infrastructure Budget FY19
SF 2415—Education Budget FY19
SF 2416—Administration and Regulation Budget FY19
SF 2418—Health and Human Services Budget FY19 – ITEM VETO
HF 633—School shared operational functions
HF 637—Background checks with CIO and Credit Union Division
HF 648—Career and Technical Education
HF 2480—Manufactured Housing Program and Fund
HF 2491—Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget FY19
HF 2492—Justice System Budget FY19 – ITEM VETO
HF 2493—Economic Development Budget FY19
HF 2494—Transportation Budget FY19
HF 2495—Judicial Branch Budget FY19
HF 2502—Standings FY19 – ITEM VETO

 

SF 2117 is the Republican mid-year cut in appropriations to various departments and state agencies for FY18. The bill also transferred money from the General Fund to the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund, and made supplemental appropriations.

As passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, the bill:

  • Reduced FY18 General Fund appropriations by $25.5 million;
  • Transferred $10 million from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund to the General Fund;
  • Made supplemental appropriations to the State Public Defender’s Office for Indigent Defense ($1.7 million) and to the Department of Administrative Services for utilities costs ($451,871).

The estimated ending balance is $31.84 million. The bill is effective upon enactment.

DIVISION I–APPROPRIATION REDUCTIONS

Significant General Fund budget reductions include:

  • -$10.9 million from the Regents (University of Iowa and Iowa State University only)
  • -$4.3 million from the Department of Human Services
  • -$3.4 million from the Department of Corrections
  • -$1.6 million from the Judicial Branch
  • -$784,830 from the Department of Education
  • -$662,871 from the Department of Public Health
  • -$528,271 from the Department of Revenue
  • -$500,000 from Community Colleges General Aid

Authority to implement: Department directors may implement the reductions within their departments as they see appropriate, in consultation with the Department of Management (DOM).

Restrictions on reductions:

  • Department of Education cannot reduce the standing appropriation to non-public school transportation.
  • Department of Human Services cannot reduce benefits under the Medicaid state plan and approved waivers.
  • Department of Justice (Attorney General’s Office) cannot reduce expenditures for victim assistance grants.
  • Department of Public Safety cannot apply reductions to the State Patrol.
  • DOM, in consultation with the departments and Judicial Branch, must identify and implement reductions, and file a report with the Legislature within 15 days of the effective date of the bill.

Transfer of Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund and the Reduction of High Quality Jobs: The bill transfers $10 million from the Iowa Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund to the General Fund. The appropriation for the High Quality Jobs Program, which receives funding from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund, is reduced from $15.9 million to $5.9 million.

Graduate Medical Education and Disproportionate Share Hospital Fund: Starting May 1, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Broadlawns must transfer the non-federal share of Graduate Medical Education (GME) and Disproportionate Share Hospital payments (DSH) to the Medicaid program. Increased costs for UIHC and Broadlawns for the rest of FY18:

  • UIHC: $1,142,525 (GME) + $146,437 (DSH) = $1,288,962
  • Broadlawns: $112,556 (GME) + 11,806 (DSH) = $124,362
  • Total: $1,413,324

Repeal Gubernatorial Transition Funding: The bill repeals an appropriation of $150,000 to the Offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor for FY18 expenses incurred for the gubernatorial transition.

DIVISION II–SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS

  • $1.7 million to the State Public Defender’s Office for the Indigent Defense Fund for eligible adults and juvenile criminal cases.
  • $451,871 to the Department of Administrative Services for the utilities costs.
  • $64,257 to the Pharmaceutical Settlement Account. Not a General Fund supplemental.

DIVISION III–Economic Emergency Fund Changes

The Republican proposal makes significant changes to the Governor’s ability to transfer funds from the Economic Emergency Fund to the General Fund. The maximum had been $50 million. It is changed to 1 percent of the adjusted revenue estimate for the fiscal year in which the appropriation is made.

To make the transfer, the General Fund balance must be negative at the end of the fiscal year, and the Governor must issue a proclamation, notify the Legislative Fiscal Committee and the Legislative Services Agency of the negative balance, and bring the General Fund into balance with the transfer.

The bill eliminates two of the four requirements for the Governor to make the transfer, including that accruals be at least one-half of 1 percent less than the estimate of the fiscal year’s third quarter.

Retroactive to September 28, 2017, the bill transferred $13 million from the Economic Emergency Fund to the General Fund.

DIVISION IV – EFFECTIVE DATE

The bill is effective upon enactment.
[3/21:28-21 (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Vacant: Dix)]

 

SF 2414 is the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Appropriations. It appropriates $115.9 million in FY19 and includes these sources: Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF); Technology Reinvestment Fund (TRF); State Bond Repayment Fund; and Revenue Bond Capitals Fund (RBC). The legislation fully funds the $42 million to the Environment First Fund and the $3 million to the State Housing Trust Fund.

Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund

Department of Administrative Services

  • Major Maintenance: FY19 $25 million and $20 million annually FY20 thru FY23. Priority must be given to Historical Building roof repairs. The bill authorizes $3.3 million this year and next for associated costs.
  • Routine Maintenance Fund (standing): $2 million
  • State Capitol Maintenance Fund (standing): $500,000 annually under control of the Legislative Council for Capitol and Ola Babcock Miller Building projects.

Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship

  • Iowa Water Quality Initiative: $5.2 million
  • Ag Drainage Wells: $1.9 million (Floyd, Grundy, Butler, Humboldt counties)
  • Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Fund: $3 million

Chief Information Officer

  • Broadband grants program: $1.3 million

Cultural Affairs 

  • Iowa Great Places: $1 million
  • Strengthening Communities grants (Rural YMCAs): $250,000

Economic Development Authority

  • Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants: $5 million
  • Regional Sports Authority districts: $500,000
  • World Food Prize Borlaug/Ruan Scholarship program: $300,000
  • AAU Junior Olympics: $250,000
  • Natural Gas Pipeline: $250,000 (between Worth and Mitchell counties, to engineer and construct pipeline for a Regional Port Authority)

Human Services

  • ChildServe Expansion: $500,000
  • Nursing Home Facility Improvements: $500,000

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

  • Academy Building renovation model: FY19 – $1.5 million; FY20 – $10.8 million

Judicial

  • Polk County Justice Center: $1.5 million

Natural Resources

  • State Park Infrastructure: $2 million
  • Lake Restoration Plan: $9.6 million
  • Water Trails and Low Head Dams: $500,000

Public Defense

  • Facility/Armory Major Maintenance: $1 million
  • Readiness Centers: $1 million
  • Camp Dodge Improvement projects: $250,000 (sanitary and storm sewers)

Public Safety

  • State Communications System lease payments: $1.4 million
  • Tasers: $740,000 (to replace 600 Tasers purchased in FY14)

Regents

  • Tuition Replacement: $31.5 million
  • ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (new construction): FY19: $1 million; $12.5 million for the subsequent five fiscal years. The Governor recommended $20 million.

Transportation

  • Railroad Revolving Loan and Grant Fund: $1 million
  • Public Transit Vertical Infrastructure Grants: $1.5 million
  • Commercial Air Service Vertical Infrastructure Grants: $1.5 million
  • Recreational Trails: $1 million
  • General Aviation Vertical Infrastructure Grants: $700,000. Grants must be for public use general aviation. Eligible airports apply to DOT. Transportation Commission reviews and approves applications.

Treasurer

  • County Fair Infrastructure: $1.1 million distributed equally among 105 county fairs in the Association.

Technology Reinvestment Fund

Chief Information Office

  • $1 million to transfer archived e-mail data to Google and improve e-mail encryption. The Governor recommended $3.3 million.

Education

  • IPTV Equipment replacement: $500,000
  • Statewide Ed Data Warehouse: $600,000
  • ICN Part III maintenance/leases: $2.8 million

Homeland Security and Emergency Management

  • Alert Iowa Messaging System: $400,000

Human Rights

  • Criminal Justice Information System: $1.2 million
  • Justice Data Warehouse: $157,980

Human Services

  • Medicaid Management Information System: FY19 – $636,000; FY20 – $1,228,535

Inspections and Appeals

  • State Public Defender: $88,800

Judicial Branch

  • $3 million for cybersecurity management, improvements to software and the electronic document system, a specialty courts study and digital audio recording equipment improvements. The Governor recommended $7 million.

Management

  • Transparency Project: $45,000
  • Local Government Budget and Property Tax System: $600,000
  • Electronic Grant Management System: $70,000

Natural Resources

  • Air Quality Permit System: $954,000

Parole Board

  • Record Digitization: $50,000

Public Health

  • Medical Cannabidiol Registry: $350,000

Public Safety

  • Crime Scene Processing equipment: $125,000
  • Radio upgrades: $860,000

Secretary of State

  • IVOTERS: 7.4 million to replace the IVOTERS application and implement 2017 Iowa Acts, chapter 110 (Regulation of Elections and Voting Act), which authorized 17-year-olds to vote in a primary election if they will be 18 at the time of a general or regular city election (FY19: $1.1 million; FY20: $2.1 million; and $1.4 million annually the following three fiscal years).
    [5/2: 45-3 (No: Bolkcom, Dotzler, Hogg; Absent: Chelgren, Sinclair)]

 

SF 2415, the FY19 Education Budget, appropriates $912.6 million and 11,940 FTE positions to the Department for the Blind, the College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education and the Board of Regents. This is an increase of $4 million over original FY18 and an increase of $16.5 million compared to final FY18. However, the FY19 Education Budget is $47 million less than the original FY17 budget. Public higher education has absorbed $33 million of that cut.

College Student Aid Commission (CSAC): An increase of $476,000 compared to revised FY18.

  • National Guard Educational Assistance Program: An increase of $1.6 million to meet anticipated demand.
  • Iowa Tuition Grant Program (nonprofit): Status quo funding at $46.6 million
  • For-Profit Iowa Tuition Grant: Cut $1,123,780 (was $1.5 million, now $376,220). Of this amount, Barber/Cosmetologist funding is capped at $80,000 (old program was $37,000).

Department of Education: An increase of $7.6 million compared to revised FY18.

  • General Aid for Community Colleges: An increase of $2 million.
  • Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates program (iJAG): An increase of $1 million.
  • Iowa Reading Research Center: An increase of $345,000.

New Programs/Funding – Department of Education:

  • Statewide Student Assessments: $2.7 million
  • Work-Based Learning Clearing House (Future Ready Initiative): $250,000
  • Summer Joint Enrollment for High School Students (Future Ready Initiative): $600,000
  • Computer Science Professional Development Fund: $500,000
  • Iowa Learning Online: $500,000

Board of Regents: An increase of $8.4 million compared to revised FY18.

  • State universities: A general increase of $8.3 million, allocated by Board of Regents.
  • A 1 percent increase for School for the Deaf ($99,000) and for the Braille and Sight Saving School ($41,000).

Worker Training: $40.3 million (status quo funding). This Fund was created in FY14 by transferring $66 million in gambling receipts off budget. $40.3 million was appropriated in the Education Budget.

  • Workforce Training and Economic Development Funds (260C.18A): $15.1 million
  • Workforce Preparation Reporting System: $200,000
  • Adult Literacy for the Workforce: $5.5 million
  • Pace and Regional Sectors: $5 million
  • GAP Tuition Assistance: $2 million
  • Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grants: $5 million
  • Work-Based Learning Intermediary Network: $1.5 million
  • ACE Infrastructure: $6 million

Significant Language/Policy Changes: 

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

 

SF 2416 is the FY19 Administration and Regulation budget, which appropriates $48 million from the General Fund and 1,144.27 FTEs. This is an increase of $925,000.

Department Specifics:

Department of Administrative Services – $6.9 million and 56.44 FTEs

  • A decrease of $12,560 for DAS operations.
  • An increase for $451,871 for utilities.

Auditor – $986,193 and 103 FTEs, a decrease of $8,062 and 1 FTE position.

Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board – $597,501 ($50,000 increase, as requested) and 6 FTEs.

Department of Commerce – $1.3 million from the General Fund, $27.4 million from the Commerce Revolving Fund and 305.75 FTEs; a decrease of $202,231 from the General Fund.

Governor’s Office – $2.1 million and 22.48 FTEs

  • Status quo for the Governor’s Office
  • Status quo Terrace Hill Quarters

Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy – $226,247 (status quo) and 4 FTEs

Department of Human Rights – $1.166 million and 12 FTEs

  • Central Administration (status quo from mid-year cut level)
  • Community Advocacy and Services (status quo from mid-year cut level)

Department of Inspections and Appeals – $11.5 million, which restores $158,374 from the mid-year cuts, and 266.03 FTEs. This is below FY17 funding levels.

Department of Management – $2.527 million from the General Fund, $56,000 from other funds and 20 FTEs

Public Information Board –$339,343 ($16,145 increase) and 3 FTEs

Department of Revenue – $15.6 million from the General Fund, $1.3 million from other funds, and 152.54 FTEs

Office of the Secretary of State – $3.5 million and 25 FTEs

Office of Treasurer – $1 million and 28.80 FTEs, a decrease of 0.02

IPERS Administration – Appropriates $17.9 million from other funds and 88.13 FTEs

Gaming Regulatory Revolving Fund – $6.419 million and 51.1 FTEs (a decrease of 11) to the Racing and Gaming Commission for regulating casinos. This is an increase of $225,000 for salaries and maintenance related to website construction.

New Policy Language

Purchasing – Purchase of passenger vehicles, light, medium-duty, and heavy-duty trucks, passenger and cargo vans, and sport utility vehicles. A purchase contract must be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder based solely on bid price. According to DAS, Iowa Code is outdated and must be updated for modern products.
[5/2: 28-20 (No: Democrats; Absent: Chelgren, D. Johnson, Sinclair)]

 

SF 2418 is the Republican Health and Human Services budget, which is $10 million less than the Governor’s proposed FY19 budget; $60 million more than revised FY18; $55 million more than original FY18; but $15 million less than the original FY17 budget and $80 million less than FY16.

Department on Aging

  • FY18 de-appropriation of $99,552 is continued.
  • $100,000 increase for a Pre-Medicaid Pilot Project. The department will submit a plan in December to keep individuals in their communities and out of long-term care facilities following a nursing facility stay.
  • Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman: status quo with FY18 revised
  • Aging is directed to apply for federal matching funds (claiming) for the Aging and Disability Resource Centers
  • Life Long Links is restored to $1 million (it was $750,000 for FY18)

Department of Public Health – A $4.16 million increase over revised FY18 ($4.6 lower than FY17):

  • $300,000 for childhood obesity prevention, for a total of $494,993
  • $2 million to reinstate the Medical Residency Program, which was not funded in FY18
  • $250,000 for the DMU psychiatric training for physicians (NEW PROGRAM)
  • Authority in the FY18 budget to make transfers and reductions to meet funding levels. Reductions are restored for FY19 for:
    • Hearing Aids for Kids: $156,482
    • Dental Services at U of I: $23,000
    • ACEs: $15,511
    • Child Health Specialty Clinics: $64,387
    • Epilepsy Foundation: $144,097
    • Melanoma Research: $150,000
    • Autism Assistance Program: $384,552
    • PKU food: $153,755
    • Brain Injury Alliance: $20,850
    • Prevent Blindness Iowa: $96,138
    • Free Clinics: $86,548
    • Safety Net Rx: $105,000
  • IDPH, DHS and a stakeholder workgroup will review reimbursement provisions related to dual diagnosis for substance abuse and mental illness, with a report due December 15, 2018.
  • Tobacco prevention funding stays at FY18 level of $4.021 million

Veterans Affairs – $86,895 increase:

  • Restores FY18 deappropriations
  • $10,000 for director’s salary increase
  • Restores a $42,075 Veterans County grants de-appropriation to return to FY17 funding levels of $990,000 ($10,000 per county)

Department of Human Services

  • $10,000 increase (total $70,000) for Parenthood Program (formerly called Fatherhood Program)
  • Child Care Assistance: overall general fund increase of $1.4 million
  • Sets Child Care Assistance reimbursement rates for FY19 as follows:
    • Maintains the FY18 child care provider reimbursement rate from July 1 to December 31, 2018.
    • Effective January 1, 2019, reimbursement rates for providers will increase, with $3 million available. Starting at the rate furthest from the 50th percentile of the 2014 Market Rate Survey (MRS) up to the relative percentage of the second-lowest rate as compared to the 50th percentile of the 2014 MRS.
    • If funds are projected to remain available, the lowest rates will continue to increase in a similar manner.
    • Effective January 1, 2019, the infant and toddler care reimbursement rate for providers in the Quality Rating System will move to the 75th percentile of the 2014 MRS, to the extent that the expenditures fit within the expected increase of funding in the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 for the Program.
  • No improvements to the eligibility side of Child Care Assistance; Republicans allowed $13 million of the federal child care funds to flow into the General Fund.
  • $212,000 for substance abuse program at Eldora (NEW)
  • $1.2 million increase for Eldora for staffing
  • $1.4 million for additional offenders at CCUSO
  • $300,000 (status quo) for children’s well-being collaboratives
  • Field Operations are funded at the FY18 level (status quo)
  • Refugee Rise stays at FY18 level of $200,000 (was $300,000 in FY17)
  • Decat carryforward funding is scooped and transferred to Medicaid
  • DHS will convene workgroup to review opportunities to increase engagement in SNAP employment and training program.
  • Non-reversion language for DHS institutions

Medicaid – $55 million increase:

  • Funds Medicaid at the March 2018 Forecast level but does not take FY19 capitation rate increases into consideration
  • $3 million increase for tiered rates and a review of the rates by the new actuary
  • $876,015 to implement HF 2456 (Mental Health Complex Needs). Fiscal note: legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/FN/925205.pdf
  • $1,545,530 to implement HF 2483 (Medicaid Oversight, included in this HHS bill). Fiscal note: legis.iowa.gov/docs/publications/FN/963210.pdf
  • $1 million LUPA increase (home health services)
  • $488,033 for ChildServe, up to age 30 (NEW)
  • $195,000 for new Durable Medical Equipment refurbishing company NEW – ITEM VETO
  • Savings of $8.17 million by forcing UIHC and Broadlawns to pay for GME and DSH
  • $140,314 to restore retroactive eligibility for nursing facilities only
  • No new cost-containment initiatives for FY19, but FY18 initiatives continue (with the exception of the retro eligibility for nursing homes)

Policy

  • No general reductions were included for FY19, so authority for departments to transfer or reduce allocations is eliminated
  • UnityPoint allowed into State Family Planning Program (Planned Parenthood and UIHC still out)
  • Only Polk County is allowed to be a single-county MHDS Region
  • Authorizes CSS to split and form a new MHDS region. This is a one-time authorization.
  • Mandatory reporter training and certification workgroup and report
  • Nursing Facility Quality Assurance Assessment: 3 percent cap is removed to generate additional funds for nursing homes. Will apply to CMS to raise it to $4 million.
  • Supervised release of sex offenders: Eliminates language that permitted unsupervised release.
  • Definition of child abuse to include significant others of child care providers
  • Retro eligibility for nursing homes only reinstated
  • Allows Polk County to use non-mental health funds for mental health services for one year, then issue a report
  • Eldora clarifications updates: only court-committed males
  • Geriatric sex offender housing workgroup and report
  • Prohibits a cause of action due to wrongful birth, based on the Plowman Supreme Court case. This was HF 2405, which did not pass a Senate Judiciary subcommittee of Schultz, Sinclair and Petersen.
  • IDPH Medical cannabidiol fees (SF 2397)
  • Medicaid Oversight (HF 2483)
    • Requires MCOs to make timely payments
    • MCOs should correct system errors within 30 days
    • MCOs must provide written notice of system changes
    • Requires DHS to work on billing conflicts, etc., with MCOs
    • DHS must adopt rules to include ARNPs and PAs as primary care providers
    • Requires DHS to use standardized provider enrollment and credentialing forms
    • Review of health homes
    • MAAC to review data required for quarterly and annual reports
    • Adjusts TCM reimbursement rates
  • Judicial Branch fix on complex needs relating to pre-application screening
  • Language to require Wellmark and other insurers to reimburse temporarily licensed mental health providers
  • PBM transparency and requirements
  • Requires DHS to ensure all foster kids go to the doctor annually and requires DHS to request HHS rule changes requiring foster kids adopted by parents who receive an adoption subsidy to also go to the doctor annually.
    [5/5: 26-21 (No: Democrats, Chapman, D. Johnson; Absent: Bertrand, Chelgren, Hart)]

 

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

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

Sharing Incentive Weightings include:

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

 

HF 637 provides for optional background checks for applicants with the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO). This includes all technology staff in state agencies. The investigation may include a work-history review, financial review and a background check through the FBI. To comply with federal guidelines, a contractor, vendor, employee or anyone performing work for the CIO may be subject to a national criminal history check at least once every 10 years. The CIO will bill the appropriate state agency for the criminal check. The estimated cost is nominal (no fiscal note). The bill also repeals the Technology Advisory Council in 8B.8. This Council does not meet often, has poor participation and only represents six agencies. The CIO will consult all agencies and address the duties of the Technology Advisory Council.

The bill adds that a person convicted of theft, burglary, robbery, larceny, embezzlement or other crime involving breach of trust is forever disqualified from holding a position in the Credit Union Division. This is already law for the Superintendent or an employee of the Credit Union Division. The bill also adds a crime involving moral turpitude to the list that disqualifies an individual for a position, and clarifies when an applicant must provide fingerprints to the Credit Union Division. The Credit Union Division may conduct a criminal history check through the FBI every five years or whenever circumstances give reason to believe the employee has been arrested, charged or indicted for a crime listed in 533.106, subsection 6. The Credit Union Division will pay for the background checks.

The bill is effective upon enactment.
[4/4: 49-0 (Vacant: Dix)]

 

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

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

 

HF 2480 creates a Manufactured Housing Program Fund within the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). The fund will be used for mobile and manufactured homes on leased land (mobile home parks). Mobile homes on leased land will qualify for the Home Ownership Assistance Program for Military Members. The Fund will provide money to financial institutions to finance the purchase of manufactured homes by individuals. The bill authorizes IFA to transfer unobligated money from the Senior Living Revolving Loan Program Fund, Home and Community-Based Services Revolving Loan Program Fund, Transitional Housing Revolving Loan Program Fund, and Community Housing and Services for Persons with Disabilities Revolving Loan Program Fund from the prior fiscal year to this new fund. However, the maximum amount that may be transferred for any fiscal year must not exceed $1 million.
[4/11: 41-7 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Chelgren, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen; Excused: Zumbach; Vacant: Dix)]

 

HF 2491 appropriates $38.8 million from the General Fund to the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Iowa State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL). This is an increase of $812,000 over the FY18 budget after the mid-year cuts, and $513,000 more than the original FY18 budget. It also appropriates $42 million from the Environment First Fund and more than $43.7 million from the Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund for conservation programs through the DNR.

Significant Funding Increases

Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – There is a $382,763 increase for IDALS operations in the Republicans’ proposed Agriculture and Natural Resources budget over original FY18 appropriations. The bill also restores the $188,688 cut from de-appropriations earlier this year. This amount is $367,847 more than what IDALS was appropriated in FY 17 before the mid-year budget cuts passed last session.

Department of Natural Resources – $255,176 increase for operations over original FY18 appropriations. The bill also restores the $123,373 in de-appropriations earlier this year. This amount is still more than $1.3 million less than what DNR was appropriated in FY17 before the mid-year budget cuts passed in 2017.

Foreign Animal Disease Response Fund – The budget increases funding for Foreign Animal Disease response by $150,000, for a total of $250,000. This funding helps IDALS develop response and preparedness efforts for outbreaks of infectious animal diseases. IDALS, in cooperation with farm groups and the Livestock Health Advisory Council at Iowa State University, must develop measures to prepare for, prevent, control or eradicate foreign animal diseases for livestock in the state.

ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory – $100,000 increase for operations (not for needed infrastructure improvements).

Significant Cuts in Funding

Department of Natural Resources – $375,000 reduction from the revised FY17 funding level for floodplains management. However, this funding is backfilled by a new appropriation in the Environment First Fund.

Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) – The budget effectively reduces REAP by $2 million, a 16 percent cut over the previous year. Combined with the FY18 cut to REAP, the program has been reduced by 37.5 percent since FY17.

The impact of these reductions for the separate accounts under REAP since FY17 are:

  • Open spaces – $1.66 million (plus another $1 million diversion). Open spaces protects and develops Iowa’s public lands and waters. This account also pays property taxes owed to counties for land acquired by DNR.
  • County conservation boards – $1.2 million. County conservation boards compete for grants to develop programming and public areas under their control.
  • Soil and water conservation – $1.2 million. This money is divided between projects and practices. IDALS has used funding from this area in the past to support urban soil conservation and water quality projects.
  • City parks and open spaces – $891,000. Cities compete for grants to develop public areas and amenities that promote outdoor recreation and natural habitat.
  • DNR land management – $534,600. DNR uses these funds to manage state conservation lands and facilities.
  • Cultural Affairs – $297,000. Grants for historical preservation and country schools.
  • $3 million cut from REAP to pay for state park maintenance, repair and operations. REAP is a stand-alone program and should not be weakened so Republicans can minimize the damaging cuts in their budget. The program has brought together a broad coalition of hunting, fishing, conservation, recreation and environmental organizations committed to projects that improve Iowa’s quality of life. Diverting money from one portion of the program weakens its effectiveness as a way to invest in Iowa’s future.

Farm Management Demonstration program/Iowa Soybean Association – The budget eliminates a $375,000 appropriation in the Environment First Fund for the on-farm management demonstration program. The bill provides one-time funding of $100,000 from the Watershed Improvement fund to support current efforts. This money is allocated to the Iowa Soybean Association to support research on nutrient management and water quality. This helps drive policy decisions and assists farmers in making decisions for their own operations. Without this support the Soybean Association will need to reduce support for research into water quality practices that cannot be covered by checkoff funding, which is limited to research on soybeans only and does not allow them to explore how nutrient management decisions with other crops systems impact water quality.

Major Language Changes/Budget Concerns

Last year, this budget eliminated funding for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and severely curtailed its work. The center is widely known and a valuable tool to Iowans who want to develop local products and agriculture. The Leopold Center has helped establish local food networks and develop Iowa’s wine industry. The center also educates farmers on the importance of conservation practices and benefits of sustainable production.

Under this budget, support for agriculture and natural resources is $3.8 million less than originally appropriated for FY17 and has eliminated successful programs. Cooperation between agriculture and natural resources is needed to move our state forward. This budget continues to pit them against each other.

Finally, the bill contains Code language that completes the transfer of Geologic Survey responsibilities from DNR to the University of Iowa.
[5/1: 28-21 (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Absent: Zumbach)]

 

HF 2492 is the Justice System appropriation bill, which appropriates $568,025,203 from the General Fund. This is $11,438,272 million over the adjusted estimated FY18 appropriation. The bill includes significant policy language, primarily from unsuccessful policy bills.

General Fund Appropriations

Attorney General

  • $13,615,145 for FY19. This is $480,533 less than the adjusted FY18 appropriation. The reduction is to the Attorney General’s office appropriation.
  • Victim Assistance Grants and Legal Services receive status quo funding.

Civil Rights

  • $1,198,266 appropriated for FY19. This is $51,635 over FY18.

Department of Corrections

  • $381,778,738 to the Department of Corrections, including Community Based Corrections for FY19. This is $7,483,271 over the adjusted (reduced) FY18 appropriation.
  • Money appropriated to DOC administration may be used for salary adjustment.
  • The line-item appropriations for the institutions and the Community Based Corrections Districts match the original FY18 appropriations.

Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning (Division of the Department of Human Rights)

  • $1,209,410 for FY19. This is an increase of $32,267 over FY18.

State Public Defender

  • $26,505,299 to the State Public Defender’s Office. This is $559,097 above FY18.
  • $35,144,448 to Indigent Defense (monies paid to private attorneys who contract with the Public Defender’s office to do criminal defense work for indigent defendants.) This is status quo funding.

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

  • $971,341 for FY19. This is $25,192 over FY18.
  • 1 additional FTE to work in the area of community outreach and be funded through tuition from the increased number of classes. Subject areas would include Blue Courage and Officer Resilience, Crisis Intervention and Mental Health Training, Community Outreach and Executive Leadership Training, Cyber Crimes Training, and Technology and Computer Training.

Board of Parole

  • $1,221,374 for FY19. This is $29,643 over FY18.

Department of Public Defense

  • $6,334,961 for FY19. This is an increase of $170,830 over FY18.

Department of Public Safety

  • $98,304,742 for FY19. This is $3,447,655 over FY18. The increase is divided between these divisions:
    • Public Safety Administration – $400,000 increase. The money can be used for salary adjustment.
    • Department of Criminal Investigation – $400,000 increase. DCI will use up to $200,000 of the FY19 appropriation to employ 3 FTEs to assist in processing and analyzing DNA evidence.
    • Crime Lab – $347,655 increase
    • Narcotics Enforcement – $200,000 increase
    • Undercover Funds – $100,000 increase
    • Fire Marshal – $200,000 increase. Requires the DPS Commissioner to appoint an administrator for the Fire Service Training Bureau.
    • State Patrol – $1.8 million increase, which allows them to conduct an academy.

Homeland Security

  • $2,123,610 for FY19. This is $20,813 over FY18.

New Miscellaneous Non-General Fund Appropriations

  • $300,000 from the AG’s Consumer Education and Litigation Fund for farm mediation services and $1.5 million from the fund for AG salaries, support, maintenance and miscellaneous purposes for criminal prosecutions, appeals and defending tort claims against the state.

Language Changes and Additions

  • The state auditor will identify sources and uses of the AG’s discretionary funds, including settlement funds.
  • Adds 3 FTEs for DCI to assist in expediting DNA analyses.
  • Creates a Public Safety Support Trust Fund so that DPS may accept donations, grants, loans and contributions from any public or private source.
  • Requires the Public Safety Commissioner to appoint an administrator of the Fire Service Training Bureau.
  • Prohibits DOC from using any appropriated funds to distribute or make available to offenders any sexually explicit material or material featuring nudity. The language replaces the Code language establishing prison reading rooms.
  • Increases small claims court jurisdiction from $5,000 to $6,500.
  • Prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) in, on or above any county jail, municipal holding facility, juvenile detention facility, CBC facility, DOC institution or grounds surrounding any of those facilities. The criminal penalty is a “D” felony. From HF 2154, which did not come out of the House.
  • Requires the Judicial Branch along with CJJP, CBCs and DOC to study the effectiveness of specialty courts and recidivism rates for participants.
  • Pre-trial Risk Assessment. Prohibits the use of the Public Safety Assessment and this section is effective upon enactment. – ITEM VETO
    [5/4: 27-20 (No: Democrats; Absent: Chelgren, D. Johnson, Sinclair)]

 

HF 2493 appropriates $40.2 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 $2.1 million over FY18 after mid-year cuts, $1.8 million more than the original FY18 budget, but $2.9 million LESS than original FY17.

The bill also appropriates $26.8 million from other funds. The biggest difference is in the amount of Skilled Worker and Job Creation funds appropriated to the High Quality Jobs Program at IEDA. The Iowa Board of Regents receives appropriations from Skilled Workers and Job Creation Fund.

General Fund Details

Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) – DCC is increased $156,000 over revised FY18.

  • DCA did not receive a mid-year cut in FY18.
  • Biggest increases:
    • A general increase of $50,000 to the Historical Division.
    • A general increase of $50,000 for Cultural Trust Grants.

Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) – An increase of $1.2 million over revised FY18. Of that, $1 million is for a new program.

  • New Appropriation/Future Ready Iowa line item: $1 million for a new Registered Apprenticeship Development Program to encourage small to mid-sized businesses to start or expand registered apprenticeships. The policy was approved in HF 2458, the Future Ready Iowa bill.
  • The general line item for Economic Development is increased by $171,339 over revised FY18, $13,379 over original FY18.

Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) – Status quo funding ($658,000) for the Home and Community-Based Services Rent Subsidy Program that provides rent assistance to those on one of the Medicaid Home and Community-based Services (HCBS) Waivers. Language is updated to conform to HF 586, which was enacted in 2017, and Iowa Code section 16.55.

Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) – $1.5 million and 11 FTEs, and an increase of $150,000 and 1 FTE. PERB has needed funding and staff since implementation of HF 291, which gutted Collective Bargaining rights and increased PERB’s workload.

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) – $596,960 more than estimated net FY18. There are two new line items for IWD.

  • New Appropriation/Future Ready Iowa line item: $250,000 for a new Summer Youth Intern Pilot Program to help young people at risk of not graduating from high school explore and prepare for high-demand careers through summer work experience and developing soft skills. The policy was approved in HF 2458, the Future Ready Iowa bill. This was in the Governor’s budget proposal.
  • New Appropriation/Future Ready Iowa line item: $150,000 and 1 FTE for a Future Ready Iowa Coordinator who has already hired at IWD. The position has been funded out of IWD’s Special Employment Security Contingency Fund (sometimes known as “P and I” fund). This was in the Governor’s budget proposal.
  • $50,000 increase to the Offender Reentry Program and 1 FTE. IWD will use some of the state funds along with federal funds for a workforce advisor in the Fort Dodge correctional facility. Workforce advisors are already onsite at Mitchellville, Newton and Rockwell City prisons.
  • Labor Services, Workers’ Compensation and field offices receive some increases.

Other Funds – $26.8 million, $1.2 million less than FY17.

  • $1.8 million from the Special Employment Security Contingency Fund (P and I) to IWD field offices. Status quo.
  • $1.6 million from the UI Reserve Interest for IWD field offices, an increase of $540,000 over FY18, reflecting higher interest rates.
  • $23.5 million from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund (SWJCF) to various departments. SF 2117, FY18 mid-year cuts, transferred $10 million from the High Quality Jobs Program to the General Fund.
  • $13.65 million for the High Quality Jobs Program at IEDA, $2.25 million less than original FY18, and $1 million to STEM scholarships.
  • $100,000 to AMOs Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy, working training for Central Iowa.
  • $8.7 million to Iowa State, University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa for their various economic development programs (status quo). This includes funding to the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.

Unemployment Insurance Modernization

Allows IWD to use $39.2 million from the federal Assistance for Unemployment Workers and Struggling Families Act of 2009 for a new integrated Unemployment Insurance System. Of that, $9.6 million was authorized in 2017. This will implement the system and cover costs throughout the vender contract. The federal funds can be used only for three purposes:

  • Modernizing unemployment insurance systems.
  • Administering costs for unemployment insurance programs and field offices.
  • Unemployment insurance benefits.

Other New Language

  • Requires IEDA and the Department of Revenue to submit a joint annual report by November 1 on all financial assistance awards, including loans, forgivable loans, tax credits, tax exemptions, tax refunds and grants (page 7, line 30 to page 8, line 14 of the bill).
  • Permanently reduces gambling receipts that go into the Skilled Worker Job Creation Fund, taking it from $66 million to $63.75 million. The $2.25 million is permanently diverted into the General Fund.
  • Disqualifies an individual from receiving employment benefits until full repayment has been made for any benefits they received due to misrepresentation, as requested by IWD. This was inadvertently left out of HF 2321.
  • Defines “insurance” and “insurer” for the purposes of insurance fraud. “Insurer” includes an insurer that issues a self-insured business for purposes of workers’ compensation liability.
  • Requires an independent financial investigation and sexual harassment investigation of IFA. Investigators must submit reports summarizing findings to the Legislature by December 1, 2019.
    [5/4: 27-20 (No: Democrats; Absent: Chelgren, D. Johnson, Sinclair)]

 

HF 2494 appropriates $380.8 million for FY19 to the Department of Transportation (DOT). This includes $51 million from the Road Use Tax Fund (RUTF) and $329.8 million from the Primary Road Fund (PRF) within RUTF. The RUTF is funded from motor vehicle fuel taxes on gasoline, ethanol and diesel; motor vehicle registration fees; title and driver’s license fees; and taxes on motor vehicle sales. The fund is constitutionally protected and can only be spent on construction, maintenance and supervision of Iowa public highways. The bill includes organizational changes within the DOT.

Highlights include:

  • “Performance and Technology” is now “Strategic Performance.”
  • “Operations” line-item is now “Administrative Services.”
  • Seven employees have been moved to the Strategic Performance Division (one from the Planning, Programming and Modal Division and six from Administrative Services Division).
  • Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers and their funding are moved from the Motor Vehicles Division to the Highway Division.
  • RUTF appropriation of $497,191 and PRF appropriation of $3,054,172 for the Statewide Interoperable Communications System. This will support the DOT’s portion of the lease payment and maintenance of the system along with tower rental payments to Iowa Public Television. Previous payments have been funded by RIIF and by the E911 Fund.
  • $242,000 from PRF to produced 1,400,000 state maps in FY19 and FY20. Maps are funded every other year.
  • New: $1.8 million from PRF to renovate the existing Waterloo maintenance facility. The project includes replacing radiant heat and upgrading the electrical system; new garage roof; adding a mechanics bay; improving drainage; and remodeling for ADA compliance.
  • Extends authorization of motor vehicle enforcement officers from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019.
  • Allows students ages 14 to 18 who attend an accredited non-public school to apply for a special driving permit, consistent with provisions for public schools [Special minors’ licenses – school permits]. The licensee may operate a motor vehicle between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. to attend class, and participate in extracurricular activities at school or at a site or facility designated by the school, over the most direct and accessible route, if the driving distance between the point of origin and destination is no more than 25 miles.
    [5/1: 34-15 (Yes: Republicans, Allen, Bisignano, Kinney, Lykam, Mathis, Ragan; Absent: Zumbach)]

 

HF 2495, the FY19 Judicial Branch appropriations bill, appropriates $180.7 million from the General Fund to the Judicial Branch. This includes $177.6 million for operations, an increase of $3.5 million over estimated net FY18; and $3.1 million to the Jury and Witness Fee Revolving Fund (no change compared to estimated net FY18). No new language in the bill.
[5/1: 28-21 (No: Democrats, D. Johnson; Absent: Zumbach)]

 

HF 2502 makes adjustments to various General Fund standing appropriations, a decrease of $29.2 million for FY19. Appropriations for standings are approximately $3.9 billion.

Division I: Standings Appropriations and Related Matters

Legislative Branch: Reduces the standing appropriation by $1.4 million, which brings total appropriations for the Legislature to $35.3 million, an increase of $3.7 million over net FY18. The Legislature cannot use the money for annual membership dues to organization and costs associated with out-of-state travel.

Instructional Support Program: Suspends the standing appropriation of $14.8 million to the Department of Education. School districts may use local propriety taxes and income surtaxes to fund their portion of the Program. State funding for this program has not been provided since FY11.

Cash Reserve Fund Appropriation: Amends the 2017 Acts, adding another $2 million to the Cash Reserve Fund (total $113 million). This ensures the Fund will be full in FY19.

State School Aid and AEA funding: Reduces FY19 State School Aid to Area Education Agencies (AEAs) by an additional $15 million, for a total reduction of $22.5 million.

Taxpayer Trust Fund: Beginning on July 1, 2018, any unobligated money in the Taxpayer Trust Fund is transferred to the General Fund ($8.3 million).

Salary Model: Directs the Salary Model Administrator to work with Legislative Services Agency (LSA) to maintain the State’s salary model. Various departments must submit salary data to the Department of Management and LSA.

Division II: Miscellaneous Provisions and Appropriations

Mental Health, Complex Service Needs Workgroup: Restores language pertaining to county mental health fund balances, which was inadvertently struck in HF 2456. Beginning in FY22, counties are limited to a fund balance reserved for cash flow of 20 percent of gross expenditures if the region has a population equal to or greater than 100,000, or 25 percent of gross expenditures if the region has a population of fewer than 100,000. Counties must reduce their levies by the excess cash flow amount.

Transfer from Cash Reserve: Makes inapplicable a provision in SF 516 (the 2017 Standing Appropriations bill) requiring a transfer from the General Fund to the Cash Reserve Fund if its balance was below the statutory maximum of 7.5 percent of the adjusted revenue estimate at the close of the previous fiscal year. It was at 5.7 percent, and $131 million was transferred.

School District Program Funding Flexibility: Changes the Department of Education’s limitation on guidance and interpretations in HF 2441 from July 1, 2018, to effective upon enactment (April 11, 2018).

Date Change for De-appropriations (SF 2117): Corrects a date associated with a $13 million Economic Emergency Fund appropriation for FY17.

Division III: Corrective Provisions – Makes corrective changes identified by LSA to numerous bills passed and signed by the Governor this year.

Division IV – Land Acquisition and Inventory, DNR report: By December 1, 2018, DNR must report financial assistance to private entities for land acquisition, including their name, amount of assistance, location and description of the land, and the conservation benefit provided by the land. DNR must report an inventory of properties they own or manage, including the location and size of tracts that were conveyed to cities or counties over the last 20 years. EPC cannot approve a contract or obligate funds from the Water Pollution Control Works Revolving Loan Fund for financial assistance to acquire new land.

Division V – Geological Survey Name Change: Amends HF 2491, the Ag and Natural Resources budget, by striking “Geographical and Water Geological” from the University of Iowa Program, as requested by UI.

Division VI – Podiatry: Allows licensed podiatrists to serve as expert witnesses in a medical malpractice claim.

Division VII – Cattle Guards: Makes corrections to SF 449, by grandfathering in cattle guards installed on or before April 25, 2018, effective upon enactment and retroactive to April 17, 2018.

Division VIII – Dram Shop: Implements changes requested by LSA on ambiguity of the cap on non-economic damages, so as not to be perceived to be the cap on all recoverable damages. It also states that the liability insurance evaluation will be done by the Insurance Division, not the Alcoholic Beverages Division.

Division IX – Alcohol unopened containers: There are three changes/clarifications to alcohol regulation:

  • Clarifies that all liquor license holders must purchase alcohol in unopened containers from class E facilities. This codifies current practice across different classes of licensees.
  • Makes E liquor control licensees that are also a grocery store of at least 5,000 square feet exempt from “unopened container” restrictions, per their E class liquor license. This allows restaurants within grocery stores to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises.
  • Allows open containers to be carried from one establishment (bar) to an adjacent licensed or permitted premises. This accommodates community festivals and street fairs, without jeopardizing their license.

Division X – Sexually Violent Predators: Allows for a sexually violent predator to waive their 60-day final hearing requirement, and allows documents under seal to be available to the prosecuting attorney, AG and committed person or their attorney without a court order.

Division XI – Earned Time: If an imprisoned offender is required to participate in sex-offender or domestic-abuse programming but refuses, they lose all earned time. A court decision had allowed them to keep earned time up to the point they refuse to participate or fail to complete the programming. Language is from SF 2356, which passed the Senate 50-0.

Division XII – Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA): MEWAs were part of SF 2349. The language requires those forming a MEWA to be a non-profit entity, repeals the emergency rulemaking authority and exempts MEWAs from complying with Department of Labor changes. MEWAs registered before January 1, 2018, are not considered a MEWA unless all members elect to be treated as such. – ITEM VETO

Division XIIIS – Self-Promotion (Advertising)-Public Funds: Prevents certain public officials (statewide elected officials and members of the Legislature) from using public dollars for self-promotion in an official capacity. This is modified language from HF 2469.

Division XIV – Lease-Purchase Contracts: Makes changes to HF 2253 to exempt a city with a population of less than 21,000 as of 2016. The exemption is for limitations on the use of lease purchase agreements. We believe this is designed to help the city of  Johnston.

Division XV – Maximum Gross Weight Construction vehicles: Removes the requirement that a large-weight vehicle get pre-approval on their route. The vehicle must still comply with weight requirements when crossing a bridge.

Division XVI – Local Ordinances: Removes unnecessary references to the law on marketing consumer merchandise.

Division XVII – Health Care Coverage for Surviving Spouse and Children: Requires the continuation of existing health care coverage or re-enrollment for surviving spouse and surviving children of an eligible peace officer of fire fighter. The city or county may pay the cost of the coverage. Otherwise the surviving spouse may pay.

Division XVIII – Priority/preference for scholarships under the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Fund is given to children of peace officers and firefighters who were killed in the line of duty. Foster children would still be given first priority.

Division XIX – Credit Unions: Prohibits a credit union from using the name of an Iowa public university. This is aimed at the University of Iowa Credit Union and goes into effect April 30, 2019. It also changes who collects the Moneys and Credits Tax on Credit Unions by switching it from the locality to the Department of Revenue.

Division XX – Rock Island Arsenal: Allows students who live on the Rock Island Arsenal to attend public school in Scott County. The student would be counted as an Iowa resident for purposes of school aid.

Division XXI – Crime Lab: Allows the Criminalistics Laboratory Fund to purchase lab supplies.

Division XXII – Iowa Energy Center: Scoops the remittance that goes to the Iowa Energy Center and moves it to the General Fund. This works out to $1.28 million in FY20, $2.91 million in FY21, and $3.53 million in FY22. The Iowa Energy Center would then get $2.85 million in FY20, $1.22 million in FY21, and $632,301 in FY22.

Division XXIII – Tribal ID: Allows a tribal identification card from a federally recognized Native American tribe to be used for Voter ID if the card or document is signed before it is presented to an election official.

Division XXIV – Wind Energy Conversion Property: Prevents the commercial property tax rollback from 2013 from applying to new wind energy installations. New installations will pay a higher property tax.

Division XXV – Revocation of Driver’s License for Drug-Related Convictions: Removes Code language that requires the DOT to revoke drivers’ licenses of those convicted of controlled substances violations that are unrelated to driving. In addition, those who previously had their licenses revoked will get them reinstated. The effective date of this division depends on the Legislature passing a Resolution indicating it does not want to revoke drivers’ licenses for drug offense and the Governor sending the US Secretary of Transportation a certification that she does not want to revoke drivers’ licenses for drug offenses. The Legislature has passed the Resolution; the Governor must now do her part. These moves ensure Iowa will continue to get highway money. This is based on SF 2382, which passed the Senate on February 28, 47-2, with Hogg and Taylor voting “no” and Bisignano excused.
[5/5: 30-17 (Yes: Most Republicans, Bisignano, Bowman, Kinney, Taylor; No: Most Democrats, Greene, D. Johnson; Excused: Bertrand, Chelgren, Hart)]

State Government Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session. 

SJR 2006 – Lieutenant Governor Selection and appointment process
SF 192 – New licenses to practice applied behavior analysis
SF 2155 – Public investment in operating funds of cities/counties
SF 2255 – State auditor may offer review not audit
SF 2256 – Ethics and campaign electronic filing and real name donations clarification
SF 2289 – Allows 28E agreements with any federally recognized Indian tribe
SF 2290 – Board membership and term limits of county hospitals
SF 2310 – Alcoholic Beverages Division technical cleanup bill
SF 2322 – Pharmacy administration of vaccines and technician verification programs
SF 2323 – Disclosure of Federal Foreign Agents in state boards and commissions
SF 2333 – Amusement concession prize award increase (Dave and Busters)
SF 2334 – Transfer of a hospital needs license
SF 2347 – Personal importation of alcohol changes, bootlegging increased penalties
HF 2200 – Terrace Hill fund for piano competitions and scholarships
HF 2252 – SOS technical clean-up
HF 2253 – Lease Purchase of public property
HF 2254 – Merging wire line 911 and Next Generation 911 network
HF 2277 – Copying public records that are at least 100 years old
HF 2286 – Restricting point-of-sale mandates
HF 2349 – Relating to persons voluntarily excluded from gambling facilities
HF 2382 – Technical member changes on p Engineering and Land Surveyors Board
HF 2417 – Credit cards to pay for county/state fair token bracelets
HF 2425 – Establishes a Physical Therapists licensure compact in the state
HF 2439 – Iowa native horse advantage
HF 2480 – Veterans (and others) manufactured housing program fund (via Approps)

 

SJR 2006 proposes an amendment to the Iowa Constitution to outline the line of succession if a governor is no longer able to serve. It specifies that the lieutenant governor has the powers of the governor when he or she assumes the office of governor. In the case of a permanent disability, death, resignation or removal from office, the lieutenant governor must assume the office of the governor, and appoint a new lieutenant governor, who will have the same powers and duties as one who was elected, including the duty to act as governor, or to assume the office of governor and appoint a new lieutenant governor. The resolution must passed both legislative chambers in 2018 and must be referred to the 88th General Assembly for adoption before being submitted to Iowa voters for ratification.

These changes would be made to the Iowa Constitution:

  • The governor can fill a vacancy of lieutenant governor by appointment for the rest of the term. The lieutenant governor can become governor in case of death, impeachment, resignation, removal from office or any other reason that the governor is unable to serve. If both the governor and lieutenant governor are simultaneously unable to serve, this would be the line of succession:
    • President of the Senate
    • Speaker of the House
    • President Pro Tempore of the Senate
    • Speaker Pro Tempore of the House
  • If none in the line of succession are able or willing to serve and the legislature is not in session, the Iowa Supreme Court will convene the legislature, and a president of the Senate and speaker of the House will be elected. Once selected, the president-elect of the Senate will become governor. If unable to serve, the speaker-elect of the House becomes governor.

This resolution is a result of an Attorney General’s opinion, which determined that, in the Iowa Constitution, the powers of the governor devolved to the former lieutenant governor, and now-Governor Kim Reynolds could not appoint a new lieutenant governor. The Attorney General’s opinion is that Reynolds is holding the office of governor and lieutenant governor at the same time, and that there is no vacancy. After being sworn in as governor, Reynolds appointed Adam Gregg to serve as acting lieutenant governor. Gregg performs the function of the office and receives the salary but is not in the line of succession. The next in line of succession is currently the President of the Iowa Senate.

 

SF 192 creates a licensure process for behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts who practice applied behavior analysis. A license to practice as a behavior analysist requires a post-doctoral education accredited by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies or the American National Standards Institute. The qualifications for a behavior analyst are struck; the job title is instead linked to its licensing requirements.

 

SF 2155 allows a political subdivision (i.e., city, county or school district) to invest that portion of their operating funds in excess of 33 percent in five-year certificates of deposit. Previously, investments that mature within 397 days or less were required for this portion of excess operating funds. Now cities, counties or school districts can earn more interest on these investments. The local government entity can only invest their annual revenue in excess of 33 percent in an investment no longer than 63 months.

 

SF 2255 allows the state auditor to review the receipt and expenditure of state or federal funds, upon request, instead of a full audit. The state auditor’s office indicated that a full audit sometime doesn’t get at specific questions or concerns. At times, a less intensive review may be more appropriate. The bill also allows the state auditor to determine if a review may be conducted, instead of a full audit, for cities or townships where a sufficient number of taxpayers signed a petition requesting an audit. Previously, if a city asked for a review from the state auditor, a full audit was mandatory. The expense is passed along to the city or township. The auditor cannot request reimbursement from the Executive Council.

 

SF 2256 requires all campaign and ethics statements and reports to be filed electronically. Since January 1, 2016, all candidates and committees have been required to do this. The bill codifies that requirement and clarifies the prohibition on using fictitious names when making campaign contributions in excess of $25.

 

SF 2289 includes any federally recognized Indian tribe in the definition of a public agency for the joint exercise of governmental powers under Code chapter 28E.

 

SF 2290 makes non-controversial changes to board membership and term limits of county hospitals. County or city hospital boards of trustees can establish a process to remove a trustee for cause. The trustee board can have five or seven members. Previously, seven members were required. Terms of office are changed from four years to six years. Other changes include establishing more stringent attendance requirements that may result in a board vacancy, clarifying quorum requirements and allowing term limits for board members.

 

SF 2310 is an Alcoholic Beverages Division technical cleanup bill. It makes changes to Chapter 123 to eliminate language that is unclear, inaccurate or redundant; establishes wording that reflects the Division’s practices; creates uniform use of defined terms; and establishes a process for obtaining a new or renewal Wine Direct Shipper Permit/Alcohol Carrier Permit that is consistent with other licenses and permits. These changes will make the law easier to understand and enforce.

Key changes include:

  • Section 1 establishes a definition for “brewpub,” a term that is commonly used to describe a retailer who also makes beer.
  • Section 2 amends the definition of “alcoholic liquor” by striking the alternative term “intoxicating liquor” and replacing it wherever it appears in the chapter.
  • Sections 12, 22, 26, 62, 67 and 71 identify when an applicant must obtain a federal basic permit issued by the Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury. This is not a new requirement. Adding it to the Code is intended to provide guidance to applicants.
  • Section 16 establishes a timeframe for licensees and permittees to report ownership changes to the local authority and the Division. This will help ensure state and local licensing authorities and law enforcement officials have complete and accurate information.
  • Section 71 establishes a process for obtaining a new or renewal Wine Direct Shipper Permit/Wine Carrier Permit that is consistent with other licenses and permits issued by the Division.

 

SF 2322 deals with the scope of practice of pharmacy administration of vaccines and technician verification programs. The bill creates a technician product verification program by which a pharmacist can instruct a pharmacy technician to verify the accuracy of any dispensed prescriptions. The bill also permits pharmacists to order and administer to adults naloxone, nicotine replacement, tobacco cessation products, immunizations or approved vaccination schedules, immunizations for international travel, booster Tdap vaccines, and other emergency immunizations or vaccinations in response to a public health emergency. A pharmacist may administer influenza vaccines to patients six months or older, and the final two doses in a course of HPV vaccinations to patients 11 or older pursuant to statewide protocols. A pharmacist must keep a record of all prescription drugs, products and treatments administered, and notify the patient’s primary health care provider or provide a written record to the patient.

 

SF 2323 requires a Governor’s appointee subject to Senate confirmation to provide a notarized statement on whether they are registered as a federal Foreign Agent. A member of any board, committee, commission or council must disclose if they subsequently register as a federal Foreign Agent. The Department of Administrative Services will develop rules for employees and applicants to disclose whether they are registered as a federal Foreign Agent. A violation is increased to a serious misdemeanor with a fine of $315 to $1,875 and imprisonment for up to one year.

 

SF 2333 increases amusement concession prize levels for Dave and Buster’s and similar businesses. The cash value of prizes in amusement games are increased from $150 to $950. Prizes include t-shirts, iPads and gaming systems. All places offering concession prizes fall under the updated law.

 

SF 2334 allows the Department of Inspections and Appeals to approve the transfer or assignment of a license of a hospital that offers only behavioral health services to a person or government unit.

 

SF 2347 has three parts. First, the bill allows the Alcoholic Beverages Division administrator to issue a waiver to someone who wants to import liquor, wine or beer in excess of the amount otherwise allowed when they first move into Iowa. The waiver is only available to new Iowa residents who have collections or large quantities of liquor, beer or wine for at-home personal consumption.

Second, a person may obtain a certain amount of liquor, beer or wine outside the state and import it to the state for personal use without a certificate, permit or license. Previously, one liter of liquor legally could be brought into the state, and there was no allowance for wine or beer. Now, nine liters of liquor can be brought into the state and up to 4.5 gallons of beer (approximately 24 cans) per calendar month.

Third, penalties are increased for bootlegging. Bootlegging is when a person brings liquor, wine or beer into Iowa from another state or country to re-sell it or give it away (as a gift). Previously, a person could bring in one liter of liquor; any more than that (or any beer or wine) was considered bootlegging. Penalties were a simple misdemeanor for giving or selling alcohol to an adult, or a serious misdemeanor for providing bootlegged alcohol to a minor. Now penalties are a simple misdemeanor for a first offense and a serious misdemeanor for a second offense, with no age considerations.

 

HF 2200 authorizes the Terrace Hill Commission to establish and maintain an endowment for piano competitions and provide scholarships to select competition participants. The Terrace Hill Piano Competition started in 1986 and is held annually at the Iowa Public Television studios. Three senior-level finalists were awarded two-year scholarships to enroll as a piano major or minor at any Iowa college or university. Scholarship amounts for 2018 are $5,000 for first place; $3,000 for second; and $2,000 for third.

Concerns centered on a Terrace Hill Society that had been around since the 1980s and had previously raised funds and conducted the piano competition. Now, a new entity (the Terrace Hill Partnership) wants to take over the work, with or without the accompanying funding. The Society is a 300+ open member group. The Partnership has a five-member appointed board.

 

HF 2252 is the Secretary of State’s technical cleanup bill, which:

  • Clarifies that a person required to register as sex offender is not eligible to participate in the Safe At Home program.
  • Conforms special election dates for a school board and community college to the blackout dates implemented in the 2017 voter suppression bill.
  • Changes the timing for an objection to a nomination from not less than 74 days to not less than 68 days from the election.
  • Allows proof of residence to be determined on an electronic device (e.g., someone can prove residence from a bill on their cell phone).
  • Allows deceased voters to be removed from the rolls by a sibling, spouse or Internet obituary from a licensed funeral home. A representative of an estate can also certify the death of a voter.
  • Allows an attester to show a voter identification card as a form of ID at the polls.
  • Forbids a preregistered voter from signing more than two oaths for the identity and residence of another person.
  • Changes the audit requirements established in the 2017 voter suppression bill by no longer requiring all absentee precincts to be counted by hand. Only a sampling must be counted by hand. It also clarifies that a representative of each political party of the highest vote must be invited to the audit but is not be required to attend.
  • Clarifies that at least one examiner is required in cybersecurity.
  • Clarifies that a person who votes early at the county auditor’s office must provide their voter verification number on their voter identification card.
  • Removes an aggravated misdemeanor as disqualification for holding elective office. This matches an Iowa Supreme Court decision.

 

HF 2253 prohibits lease-purchase for certain construction/building projects. Currently, government and education entities can use “lease-purchase agreements” to complete a project and pay the construction costs over time, eventually owning the building. This process avoids the need to bond for projects with a 60-percent majority vote of the public. City or county lease-purchase contracts have not been considered contracts for “public improvement” and therefore are not subject to competitive bidding requirements. The bill removes that exemption, requiring all projects to be competitively bid. Representatives from cities, counties and education entities say many of their projects have both pubic use and private use components. They are concerned that the number of construction companies bidding on the projects will decrease under these changes.

 

HF 2254 makes changes to the 911 emergency telephone communication systems. In 2017, SF 500 required Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD) to design a plan for merging 911 wire-line and wireless 911 Next Generation Networks and determine potential cost savings. HF 2254 eliminates the wire-line network and creates a shared service environment to be run by HSEMD. Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) could voluntarily opt to use the shared service. PSAPs potentially could save $6.6 million in local expenses. HSEMD will fund projects out of the existing 40-percent wireless revenues. The bill removes a $7 million cap from carryover, effectively zeroing out and passing through the operating surplus to local service boards every fiscal year. There is no change to how the 911 wire-line surcharge is collected or distributed, or how the 911 wireless surcharge fund formula is distributed to the local PSAPs (via Approps).

 

HF 2277 separates open records criteria for county registrars and the state archivists. A record held by a county register adheres to open records requirements, allowing review and copying by the public, no matter the age of the document. Records of birth, marriage or divorce held the by the state archivist must be at least 75 years old, or in the case of fetal death, at least 50 years old to be subject to open records (Chapter 22).

 

HF 2286 deals with “time-of-sale” mandates that local municipalities may impose on home sales. Some local governments in Iowa have passed ordinances that create mandates for homeowners and/or buyers during a real estate transaction. Examples include sump pump hook-up inspections, utility inspections, energy efficiency audits and home inspections. This bill prohibits all time-of-sale mandates for real property transactions. The legislation does not completely restrict a city’s ability to adopt an ordinance requiring certain inspections, but it will specify that these inspections cannot hinge on the point of sale.

 

HF 2349 transfers administration of the Statewide Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program from casinos and boats to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. The potential fiscal impact is $225,000 for FY19, which includes $125,000 in salaries and $10,000 in website maintenance. These additional costs will be funded through the Gaming Regulatory Revolving Fund.

 

HF 2382 allows for three licensed professional engineers and two licensed professional land surveyors on the Engineering and Land Surveyors Board. The board has seven members, two of them lay people. An individual licensed as both a professional engineer and a professional land surveyor can only satisfy the requirements for one seat on the board.

 

HF 2417 allows people to use a credit card to pay for purchases at county and state fair amusement concessions.

 

HF 2425 adopts the interstate physical therapy licensure compact. The compact grants Iowa authority to obtain biometric information from applicants for physical therapy licensure and to submit the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a criminal background check. The compact will increase access to physical therapy by allowing therapists to practice across jurisdictional boundaries with minimal barriers. Under the compact, the state granting a license retains exclusive authority to discipline the licensee. However, any member of the compact may investigate violations of statutes and rules governing the practice of physical therapy of another state. Member states may also engage in joint investigations of licensees. The commission may levy annual assessment or other fees against member states or other parties to cover operational costs.

 

HF 2439 amends the Code relating to native horses or dogs. First, the bill allows Iowa-foaled horses an additional three-pound weight allowance in races that are not just for native Iowa horses and the race is not a stakes race. This gives the Iowa horse a slight advantage, which is a common practice in other races and states. Second, the bill allows chemical testing of hair samples for horse and dog racing.

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State Government policies enacted in other committees or bills:

HF 2480 (Appropriations) creates a Manufactured Housing Program Fund within the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) for mobile and manufactured homes on rented land (mobile home parks). Mobile homes also qualify for the Veterans Housing Trust Fund Program for military members. IFA may transfer unobligated money from the Senior Living Revolving Loan Program Fund, Home and Community-Based Services Revolving Loan Program Fund, Transitional Housing Revolving Loan Program Fund, and Community Housing and Services for Persons with Disabilities Revolving Loan Program Fund from the prior fiscal year to this new fund. However, the maximum that may be transferred for any fiscal year is $1 million.

 

HF 2502 – Standings, Division IX – Alcohol unopened containers:

  • Clarifies that all liquor license holders must purchase alcohol in unopened containers from class E facilities. This codifies current practice across different classes of licensees.
  • Makes E liquor control licensees that are also a grocery store of at least 5,000 square feet exempt from “unopened container” restrictions, per their E class liquor license. This allows restaurants within grocery stores to serve alcohol for consumption on the premises.
  • Allows open containers to be carried from one establishment (bar) to an adjacent licensed or permitted premises. This accommodates community festivals and street fairs, without jeopardizing their license.

 

HF 2502 – Standings, Division XIII – Self-Promotion (Advertising)-Public Funds: Prevents certain public officials (statewide elected officials and members of the Legislature) from using public dollars for self-promotion in an official capacity. This is modified language from HF 2469.

Labor & Business Relations Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session. 

SF 2353—WIOA federal conformity
HF 2240—Electronic wage statements
HF 2297—Boiler steam pressure vessel inspections
HF 2321—IWD criminal background checks and unemployment changes
HF 2383—Employer alcohol testing

 

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

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

The Iowa Department of Education will be the lead agency collaborating with Iowa Workforce Development on industry and sector partnerships.

 

HF 2240 permits employers to provide wage statements by secure electronic transmission or other secure electronic means, in addition to the option to provide the statement by mail or in person, or allow the employee to view and print the statement for free. If the employee can’t receive the statement electronically, they must notify the employer in writing at least one pay period in advance, and the employer will provide the statement by mail or in person, or allow the employee to view and print the statement for free. The wage statement must show hours worked, wages earned and deductions taken.

 

HF 2297 changes the threshold for inspections of boilers and how boilers in dry lay-up (inactive) are handled. Previously, internal inspections of steel hot water boilers were required once every six years and external inspections every year. Now, steel hot water boilers no longer need an external inspection in years internal inspections are conducted.

The bill changes the procedures for low-pressure steam boilers in dry lay-up. Previously, internal and external inspections were required every year boiler was in operation. Now, if a steam boiler is in dry lay-up, an internal inspection will be conducted.

Iowa law requires inspections for boilers above 50 gallons and 50,000 British thermal units in places of public assembly, which include:

  • A building or structure primarily used as a theater, motion picture theater, museum, arena, exhibition hall, school, college, dormitory, bowling alley, physical fitness center, family entertainment center, lodge hall, union hall, pool hall, casino, place of worship, funeral home, institution of health and custodial care, hospital, or child care or adult day facility.
  • A building or structure, a portion of which is primarily used for amusement, entertainment or instruction.
  • A building or structure owned by or leased to the state or any of its agencies or political subdivisions.

The threshold for inspection id increased to 120 gallons and 200,000 British Thermal Units, which exempts at least 7,648 boilers from inspection. This is at odds with recommendations from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors and the Iowa Boiler and Pressure Vessel Board.

 

HF 2321 requires Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to conduct criminal history checks for current or prospective employees and contractors with access to federal tax information. The federal government requires these checks for positions with access to IRS-provided tax information. Iowa Workforce Development will pay for the background checks.

Previously, pensions paid to employees upon separation from employment were applied to an unemployment insurance claim, depending on the percentage that was contributed by the employer. Now the qualified retirement plan deductibility for unemployment benefits will apply only to 100-percent employer contribution plans.

The bill strikes language requiring employers to designate a period for the allocation of vacation pay to an employee who is laid off or separated from employment. Vacation pay to an employee will only be considered wages for the purposes of unemployment benefits for a maximum of five workdays.

The bill changes language on notice of an unemployment appeal hearing, adding clarity and a definite time frame. Previously, the appeal hearing could not be scheduled before the seventh calendar day after the parties receive notice. Now, the notice for the appeal hearing must be sent to all parties at least 10 calendar days before the hearing date.

Iowa Workforce Development may require a nonprofit organization with 15 or more full-time employees that elects to become a reimbursable employer to file a bond or security with IWD.

The bill changes the effect of unemployment benefits for past fraud or misrepresentation. Those who’ve committed and been issued an appealable decision of fraud are not be eligible for future benefits until they repay their fraudulent overpayment. Previously, they could opt to have future benefits reduced.

The bill eliminates the minimum wage qualifying threshold in the definition of “employer” for unemployment insurance taxes. The previous definition included a minimum amount of wages an entity must pay in a calendar quarter ($1,500) to be considered an employer.

 

HF 2383 relates to private employer alcohol testing of employees. Previously, if an employer had a policy on alcohol testing, it had to contain the standard for alcohol concentration that violates the policy. The standard could not be less than .04 (grams of alcohol per 210 liter of breath, or its equivalent). Now, the minimum standard permitted is not less than .02.

Government Oversight Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session. 

SJR 2011 – Joint resolution authorizing ABATE to hold a toy benefit at Capitol
HF 2475 – Government ethics and regulation of lobbyists/gifts
HF 2488 – Temporary permits to practice cosmetology

 

SJR 2011 allows the A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) to hold a motorcycle rally toy run on October 14, 2018. ABATE of Iowa plans to sell commemorative t-shirts, sweatshirts, lapel pins and patches for the benefit of Iowa children and to defray the costs of a police escort. The resolution is needed because current rules prohibit merchandise sales on the State Capitol complex grounds without prior approval.

 

HF 2475 concerns the ethics and regulation of lobbyists and gifts. Currently, the definition of “lobbyist” has eight exceptions, including that a person is not a lobbyist if they are a member, director, trustee, officer or committee member of a business, trade, labor, farm, professional, religious, education or charitable association, foundation or organization, who is not paid or is not specifically designated as a lobbyist. For that exception to apply, the person must not be paid compensation AND must not be specifically designated as a lobbyist.

 

HF 2488 allows the Board of Cosmetology Arts and Sciences to issue a temporary permit to practice cosmetology, to demonstrate cosmetology arts and sciences, or to provide cosmetology arts and sciences services at not-for-profit events. The permit is issued for a specific event and may be issued to a person, salon, or school of cosmetology arts and sciences. The temporary permit must be posted and visible to the public at the location where the cosmetology arts and sciences services are provided. The temporary permit is valid for no more than 12 days. An application and fee must be submitted at least 30 days before the permit is needed. The board cannot issue more than four temporary permits to an applicant in a calendar year. A person providing cosmetology arts and sciences services at a not-for-profit event must hold a current license to practice.

Ways & Means Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session. 

SF 2388 – Ending central assessment of telecommunication property; transfer to local assessment and valuation
SF 2389 – DNR authority to set pricing for camping and rental fees
SF 2390 – Food safety and hotel sanitation fees and inspections
SF 2400 – Local government risk pools
SF 2407 – Knoxville Raceway sales tax rebate update
SF 2417 – GOP tax scheme
HF 631 – Hunting and fishing fee increases
HF 2370 – Post-adoption information
HF 2446 – Utilities Board omnibus/voice over the internet protocol service regulations
HF 2478 – Exempt sales tax for construction equipment purchased for lease or rental
HF 2500 – Workforce housing deadline extension

 

SF 2388 would eliminate the current system for assessing telecommunication facilities that applies to wire-line telephone and Internet service providers and replace it with a traditional assessment process on a local basis. Wire-line service providers have been centrally assessed by the Department of Revenue on a number of factors to determine the value. The property includes wires and other transmission equipment. The property tax paid is distributed proportionally to the jurisdictions where the transmission infrastructure is located. The bill modifies cable television property assessment so that it is valued in the same manner and on comparable property as wireless and wire-line telecommunications companies under the legislation.

Telecommunications property will be locally assessed with the valuation limited to the value of real property associated with the utility. This new procedure is projected to lower the taxable valuation of telecommunications property by an estimated $885 million and reduce property taxes to local governments by nearly $30 million. The tax reduction has a three-year phase-in, which is accomplished by providing an additional exemption under the central assessment system before transitioning to the local system for assessments after January 1, 2022.

Under the bill, cell towers are not considered telecommunications property and will not be assessed under Chapter 433. Cell towers are assessed locally as real property. However, the bill does provide a phase-out of property taxes on cell towers.

 

SF 2389 would give the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authority to adjust fees for campsites, cabins and other facilities in state parks and management areas. The department previously established fees through the administrative rulemaking process, which can take more than six months. Under SF 2389, DNR will set rates for campsites, including offering package deals and discounts, to more effectively market the sites.

 

SF 2390 changes food safety and hotel sanitation fees and inspections based on recommendations from the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA), Department of Public Health (DPH) and regulated establishments, including restaurants, schools, hotels and banquet facilities.

The food inspection program was designed to be self-supporting with fees covering the costs of the program. This allowed local governments to run programs and provide services at a local level. Without a fee increase, local governments haven’t been able to afford the program, so more responsibilities shifted to the state. The fee increase will allow more local governments to resume inspections. Fee increases don’t apply to schools and licensing requirements don’t apply to education events with food vendors.

 

SF 2400 allows library districts to participate in the Iowa Community Assurance Pool (ICAP), a local government risk pool. The bill also updates Iowa law for townships, 28E organizations, emergency management agencies, empowerment boards, transit authorities and county fairs to provide allow them the same coverage under the risk pool as cities and counties, including coverage against employee theft.

 

SF 2407 updates the existing sales tax rebate for improvements at Knoxville Raceway by simplifying the process for claiming the rebate and changing the maximum rebate to $1.8 million (instead of 25 percent of project costs or a maximum of $2 million).

 

SF 2417 – GOP TAX PLAN

Overall tax bill impact

The Republican tax plan is a major transformation of Iowa’s tax system that will eventually reduce revenues by more than $1 billion annually.

Lower revenues initially come from reductions in individual and corporate tax rates, along with expanded expensing deductions for farmers and small businesses and a new tax deduction for most businesses organized as LLCs and S-corporations. We’ll see even greater reductions in the future when the plan changes what income is subject to tax for individuals and major reductions in the top tax rates. The bill also expands Education Savings Accounts for private K-12 education expenses, expands Iowa’s sales tax to more online sales, and makes a number of changes to existing tax credits.

These tax cuts will cripple Iowa’s ability to train more skilled workers, to increase family incomes and to help create more opportunities for our children and grandchildren. Iowa will be in a state of constant budget crisis, with state resources decreasing over time.

This bill reduces general fund revenue by more than $100 million in FY19 and by more than $261 million in FY20. In tax year 2024, the bill is projected to reduce individual and corporate income taxes by more than $1 billion.

Reduced revenue will lead to cuts in state spending on many programs, which may in turn increase local property taxes. More school districts will be subject to the “budget guarantee” and will be forced to rely on local property tax increases to balance their budgets. Public safety and mental health service shortfalls will also fall on local governments and property taxes.

A portion of the revenue loss is made up by modernizing the state sales tax system to more effectively collect taxes for online purchases. The bill also expands the state sales tax to include digital goods and services, taxis and ride-sharing companies, and room rental services (VRBO and Travelocity). It also changes the definition of “manufacturer” to overturn an Iowa Supreme Court decision (Sherwin Williams). The net impact of sales tax changes in the bill is around $67 million in FY19 and $117 million in FY20.

Business tax credit changes are projected to have a minor impact on overall revenues in the near term. The limitations on who can claim the Research Activities Credit and “base year” calculations will reduce awards through the program, but not substantially. The bill does include a five-year extension to the deadline for certifying qualified investment funds under the Innovation Fund program and a one-year extension to the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit program in certain cities (i.e., Sioux City, Council Bluffs, Burlington and Fort Madison).

The bill also eliminates income tax credits that supported geothermal energy system installations. This program has created jobs across the state and supported renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements to homes, farms and businesses.

Individual income tax changes

Initially, the income tax changes in the bill will:

  • Leave the existing income tax system and brackets in place but will reduce the rates for tax year 2019.
  • Couple Iowa’s tax code with the federal changes that expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and teaching expense deductions for tax year 2018.
  • Phase in increases for Section 179 expensing. For tax year 2018, the limit is raised to $70,000/$280,000 annually for individual income taxes only, not corporate. The bill also institutes a K-1 tax form “fix,” which means the limit on expensing is extended to every member of a business rather than having all partners cumulatively limited to the expensing threshold. Additionally, the legislation does not couple with federal changes that eliminated “like-kind” exchanges from qualifying under Section 179. Those exchanges and the K-1 “fix” will end in tax year 2020. A K-1 is the form that reports the amounts that are passed through to each party that has an interest in a small business entity.
  • Expand qualifying education expenses for 529 savings plans to include private K-12 education beginning in tax year 2018.
  • Provide for general individual and corporate tax code coupling for tax year 2019. Section 179 expensing increases to $100,000/$250,000 for individual and corporate returns.
  • Include the new qualified business deduction (QBID), which provides businesses that file under the individual income tax system (LLCs, S-Corp, partnerships, etc.) a major new deduction on federal income taxes. This deduction is equal to 20 percent of the qualified income from the business. The deduction is phased in over four years beginning in tax year 2019.
    • With the QBID, individuals can deduct 20 percent of “qualified business income” from a partnership, S corporation or sole proprietorship, as well as 20 percent of qualified real estate investment trust (REIT) dividends, qualified cooperative dividends and qualified publicly traded partnership income.
  • Fully couple Iowa’s tax code with federal tax changes for tax year 2020, and automatically couple Iowa’s tax code with federal changes in the future. Previously, Iowa only coupled with federal tax changes by passing legislation to implement the changes.
  • Not couple Iowa’s tax code with “bonus depreciation” provisions. Iowa has routinely not coupled with this provision.

Beginning in tax year 2023, the bill could change Iowa’s individual income tax system dramatically, assuming two conditions are met: 1) General fund net receipts for FY22 (or after) exceed $8.31 billion; and 2) Net general fund receipts grow at least 4 percent above the year prior (equal to or more than 104 percent of previous year’s net receipts).

  • The basis for determining Iowa taxable income will be calculated on federal taxable income. This will incorporate all federal tax deductions into the Iowa tax code.
  • Many of the Iowa specific adjustments to taxable income are eliminated. A summary of those adjustments is below.
  • The state standard deduction is removed. The federal standard or itemized deductions will be factored into the tax code by using federal taxable income as the base.
  • A new deduction for businesses is created for payments on the principal or interest of a qualified education loan incurred by an employee.
  • Federal deductibility is eliminated, brackets are reduced and rates for tax year 2023 are lowered.
  • The individual alternative minimum tax and the associated credit are repealed. This tax is paid by a small number of filers who can then get a credit for the tax paid in later years if the Alternative Minimum Tax is in excess of tax liability.

Corporate income tax

Tax rates for corporations will be reduced beginning in tax year 2021:

  • The 50 percent federal deductibility provision in Iowa’s tax code is eliminated.
  • Iowa’s tax code will fully couple with federal tax changes for tax year 2020, and automatically couple with federal changes thereafter. Currently, Iowa only couples with federal tax changes by passing legislation to implement the changes.
  • Iowa’s tax code will not couple with “bonus depreciation” provisions. Iowa has routinely not coupled with this provision.
  • The corporate Alternative Minimum Tax is repealed.

Tax Credits

The bill makes many changes to tax credits and tax incentives. These include:

  • Revising the Taxpayer Trust Fund and eliminating the Taxpayer Trust Fund tax credit. The fund is revised to hold money from “excess revenues” and be available to finance future tax policy changes, including, but not limited to, increasing the general retirement income exclusion or reducing tax rates. The fund has received money when general fund revenue exceeds REC estimates, up to $60 million. The bill eliminates the cap on transfers.
    • The Taxpayer Trust Fund tax credit has been issued twice since it was created in 2013. Tax credits are issued only when the fund has a balance in excess of $30 million.
  • Extending the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit by one year. The program was to expire June, 30, 2018.
  • Providing a five-year extension for certificating a qualified investment fund under the Innovation Tax Credit program.
  • Placing a number of restrictions on the use of Research Activities Credits by:
    • Specifying industries that can claim the credit. Eligible businesses are in manufacturing, life sciences, software engineering, or aviation and aerospace.
    • Prohibiting those in agricultural production, commercial and residential repair and installation, including HVAC, plumbing, security and electrical systems, from claiming the credit.
    • Restricting the state credit to businesses that also claim and are allowed the federal RAC credit.
    • Prohibiting a business from receiving a refund or carrying forward supplemental RAC credits issued under the High Quality Jobs Program.
    • Defining “base amount” to determine expenditures a business can claim under the program. This is meant to restrict the base amount to what was intended by the original legislation.
  • Repealing the alternative minimum tax credit, which is unnecessary with the repeal of the AMT, and providing for transition period.
  • Expanding student eligibility for tuition grants under the Student Tuition Organization tax credit program. The threshold for eligibility is increased from 300 percent of the federal poverty level to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. The tax credit program cap is increased by $1 million to $13 million annually for tax year 2019.
  • Repealing the geothermal heat pump tax credit beginning in tax year 2019.

529 plans – Education Savings Account expansion

The bill incorporates the recent federal expansion of qualified expenses under 529 college savings plans to include private K-12 education expenses. Maximum contributions for this purpose are $10,000 annually.

The 529 saving plan was established to encourage savings for higher education with contributions limited to $3,000 per year. The plans are invested in qualified securities and are designed to accumulate value while a child ages in order to pay for college. This new method will allow payment of expenses in the same year, essentially creating a tax deduction for private education expenses.

Sales/Use Taxes

The main provisions of this portion of the bill provide for collecting sales taxes on Internet purchases by  Iowans by expanding what is considered the nexus of the sale to include sales sourced to a person located in Iowa. Previously, nexus was restricted to the physical location of the seller; sellers located outside of Iowa were not obligated to collect and remit sales taxes. This issue is the subject of a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2018.

The bill also makes digital products and information services subject to Iowa’s sales and use tax. This extends the tax to digital downloads of movies, music and books, as well as software. Information services include such streaming services  as Netflix and Hulu, such genealogical research services as Ancestry.com, and other services that involve sending digital information to an end user. The Department of Revenue has asserted that such streaming television services as Netflix and Hulu are already subject to state sales tax requirements that apply to cable video services.

The bill extends the sales tax to taxi services and ridesharing platforms, and creates exemptions for public transit, paratransit, and emergency and nonemergency medical transportation

The bill expands sales taxes to services that facilitate the rental or use of lodging and automobiles. This would require ridesharing companies like Uber/Lyft, AirBnB/VRBO and others that assist in these transactions to collect and remit sales taxes. These companies are jointly liable for taxes owed on services they assist in accommodating. This means such booking services as Travelocity are liable for taxes owed on hotel rooms reserved using their platform in the event the hotel does not remit the taxes owed to the state.

The bill restricts a “manufacturer” to standards in force prior to an Iowa Supreme Court decision in a case involving Sherwin Williams. This eliminates many businesses from claiming the manufacturer exemption from sales tax on purchases of equipment and scales back Iowa’s sales tax exemption on manufacturing equipment.

Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Election Approval changes

The bill strikes provisions in state law for LOST elections conducted in Polk and Johnson counties after January 1, 2019. Existing law requires contiguous cities to vote to approve the implementation of a LOST. This provision makes cities such as Des Moines, West Des Moines and others in metro ineligible to implement LOST, even if the city’s voters approved the measure.

Miscellaneous Administrative changes for the Department of Revenue

The first three divisions of the bill contain a number of administrative changes proposed by the Department of Revenue. These include:

  • Establishing consistent interest accrual procedures across tax types administered by the department.
  • Expanding tax fraud penalties beyond credits and refund claims to include reimbursements, rebates or other payments.
  • Providing the department the authority to share information with the Attorney General’s office and law enforcement in cases of suspected tax evasion.
  • Codifying a recent Iowa Supreme Court (Bass v. JC Penney Inc.) ruling regarding class actions and private right of actions for overpayment of taxes collected by a private entity. LSA legal update on the case.
  • Dictating that the department will be the point of contact on behalf of political subdivisions and the state to ensure accurate geographical boundary information is provided to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Improving the procedure for collecting the prepaid wireless service excise tax and the water service excise tax.
  • Providing that political checkoff funds received by Revenue will be deposited into the General Fund. The checkoffs were eliminated last year but some amended returns are being submitted with money set aside for the checkoff.

Changes to Individual Income tax adjustments

The bill changes existing deductions for calculating Iowa taxable income:

  • The cost of purchasing health insurance for a spouse or dependents (only impacts Iowans taking the federal standard deduction). The adjustment will remain, but it is limited to Iowans 65 and older with incomes less than $100,000 who purchase health insurance for their spouse or qualified dependents.
  • Net capital gains deduction, including the 50 percent deduction for capital gains associated with a qualified Employee Stock Ownership Program. The new capital gains deduction is limited to farm real estate transactions only. The deduction is available for transfers of real estate to lineal relatives as well as two levels of consanguinity, which includes brothers and sisters and their children. Provisions attempt to prevent using this qualified transaction as a way to avoid paying capital gains taxes by transferring the property to a qualified relative who then sells the property to a non-qualified person.

The bill eliminates or phases out these deductions for calculating Iowa taxable income:

  • Employment of disabled individuals and former prisoners
  • Organ donation
  • Restitution/compensation for property taken through involuntary condemnation/eminent domain
  • Income earned by non-residents who conduct emergency response work for utilities in the event of a disaster
  • Tax expenses for a fiduciary in executing an estate
  • Restitution for Agent Orange exposure, those kept in Asian-American internment camps during World War II and those victimized by Nazis
  • Income earned during active duty in Desert Storm, Bosnia-Herzegovina peace keeping and the second Iraq war

The bill appears to remove income from these provisions in calculating Iowa taxable income:

  • Certain intangible drilling and development costs described in IRC §57(a)(2).
  • The percentage depletion amount with respect to certain oil, gas or geothermal wells described in IRC §57(a)(1).75
  • The depreciation taken on a speculative shell building, defined in Iowa Code section 1(27), that is owned by a for-profit entity receiving the proper tax exemption, unless the taxpayer is not using the building as a speculative shell building. For state income tax purposes, depreciation is computed and subtracted from federal adjusted gross income as if the building was classified as 15-year property.

 

HF 631 would give the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) authority to establish fees for hunting and fishing licenses and permits. The fees had been established in Iowa Code and could only be changed through legislation. Now, the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) can set fees through administrative rulemaking.

Hunting and fishing fees are deposited into the Fish and Game Protection Fund. This fund is constitutionally protected; it can only be used to regulate or advance fishing, hunting and trapping in Iowa, and to administer programs that protect, restore and manage fish or wildlife. In the past, fees did not keep up with the department’s costs to provide services. That led to cuts to conservation law enforcement staff and projects to improve wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities.

As passed by the Legislature, a person issued a youth deer-hunting license with an unused tag can hunt in other deer-hunting seasons. A youth hunter can only use the approved “method of take” or weapon during that season.

 

HF 2370 requires the State Registrar of Vital Statistics to send a list of available post-adoption services to adoptive parents, along with the new birth certificate. The list of services is to be provided by the Department of Human Services.

 

HF 2446 clarifies and updates Iowa Code by deleting references in Utilities Board regulatory sections that are obsolete and repeals requirements for studies that have been completed and the reports properly filed with the Legislature. In addition, two Utilities Board orders that establish regulations for voice over the internet protocol (VoIP) phone service are put into Iowa Code.

 

HF 2478 clarifies that leased or rented construction equipment is not subject to sales tax when it is resold by the retailer who was renting or leasing the equipment.

 

HF 2500 allows the director of Iowa’s Economic Development Authority to grant an extension of up to one year for completing projects awarded credits under the Workforce Housing program. Projects were to have been completed within three years of registration, but some projects were in danger of missing their deadline.

Veterans Affairs Committee – All-Bill Summary 2018

All bills passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature during the 2018 session. 

SF 2200 – Veterans benefits services, events disclosure
SF 2201 – Public Defense omnibus technical updates
SF 2366 – IDVA omnibus
HF 2420 Iowa national service corps program
*
HF 2502 – Standings: School residency for children of active-duty parents

 

SF 2200 is a recommendation by the Iowa Attorney General to strengthen laws applicable to for-profit veterans’ benefits services that provide advice or assistance for a fee.

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

The disclosure is not required if a government agency for veterans or an officially-recognized organization of veterans has given permission to use the agency’s or organization’s name for the event, or if the event is part of an accredited continuing legal education course. The provisions do not apply to government employees or volunteers acting in their official capacity. The Attorney General can obtain injunctive relief for unfair practices and recover a civil penalty of up to $40,000 per violation. Any civil penalty recovered will go to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund. The prohibition does not apply to those authorized under the federal “Veterans Benefits” provisions in U.S. Code Title 38, such as those who gather personal or financial information to prepare documents for veterans.

 

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

 

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

 

HF 2420 allows the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service to establish an Iowa National Service Corps program to provide opportunities for state agencies, political subdivisions of the state, and private, nonprofit organizations to meet state and local needs and provide opportunities for volunteer service. Certain existing programs and service positions are automatically part of the Iowa National Service Corps program. Participants are exempt from the state merit system and ineligible for unemployment compensation upon completing service. State agencies or political subdivisions will establish hiring preferences for Iowa National Service Corps or AmeriCorps participants. Funding is available through the Iowa summer youth corps established in Code section 15H.5. Funds may also come from the private sector, local, state and federal government sources, or other available funds.

 

*HF 2502 – Standings, Division XX – School residency for children of active-duty parents: Allows a parent or guardian on active duty and stationed at, residing or domiciled at Rock Island Arsenal to enroll a child tuition-free in a public school district in Scott County, which is contiguous to that out-of-state federal military installation. The parent or guardian must transport the child to and from a point on the regular school bus route without reimbursement. The student would be counted as a resident for purposes of school funding.