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PO Box 71005, 2135 NW 108th Street

Clive, IA 50325

House and Senate to Suspend Legislative Session 

(DES MOINES) -- This afternoon the House and Senate announced the legislative session will be suspended for a minimum of 30 days following the announcement of community spread of COVID-19 in Iowa. The decision was made in consultation with the Department of Public Health and Governor’s Office based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control related to mass gatherings to protect vulnerable populations.
 
The House and Senate will convene on Monday at regular scheduled time to consider resolutions regarding continuity of government to ensure delivery of essential services to Iowans. Previously scheduled subcommittee and committee meetings have been cancelled. Standing committees will be on-call as needed.
 
The Capitol building will open on Monday at 11:00 am, with entrances open on the south and west sides. Prior to entering the Capitol, staff members and the public will be required to undergo a health screening administered by the Department of Public Health (this includes filling out a health questionnaire and temperature reading). All scheduled events, tours, and receptions at the Capitol are cancelled until further notice.
 
Members of the public over the age of 60 or with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease) are encouraged to avoid the Capitol.
 
More information will be shared when it becomes available.

 

March9-13 - Week 9 - The second funnel deadline of the Iowa Legislature is next week - meaning a bill must pass out of a chamber, and through a sub, and committee in the other chamber to remain alive.  

Certainly a lot has changed in the last week.  The biggest issue right now is what does the future of this session look like.  So far, the standard line is everything is proceeding like normal.  I however believe they will do one or more of the following:  1. Close the capitol to visitors and perhaps lobbyists and move forward, 2. Try and get session done in the next 2-3 weeks, and throw everything overboard that isn't vital or 3. hit pause on session, and come back when things are relatively safe.  No matter what they decide, I believe big ticket items are likely not going to make it.  Every day that passes, it feels like they want out as quickly as possible and anything that takes significant work probably won't make it.  We will keep you posted on these developments as they happen.

Governor Reynolds signed bills into law this week, including the school funding bill and the solar compromise:

SF 2142: an act relating to public school funding by establishing a state per cent of growth and the categorical state percent of growth for the budget are beginning July, 1, 2020, modifying provisions and references relating to the property tax replacement and including effective date provisions. 

SF2187: A bill for an act providing for the application and construction of the uniform protected series Act.

SF2250: an act relating to responsibilities of timber buyers and persons transporting timber, and providing penalties.

SF2025: an act relating to the employment of county engineers.

SF2137: an act relating to filing requirements applicable to extensions of real estate conveyances or transactions under specified circumstances. 

SF2198: an act relating to notice provisions in connection with designated consumer lending provisions.

HF2235: an act disqualifying a person convicted of human trafficking involving the use of a commercial motor vehicle from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.

SF2091: an act providing for exemptions relating to odometer requirements, and including effective date provisions.

HF2267: an act relating to the regulation of dental hygienists and dental assistants, and the practice of dentistry, and providing administrative penalties.

SF2118: an  act relating to loan repayment for refinanced student loans under the rural physician loan repayment program, the health care professional recruitment program, and the health care loan repayment program, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.

SF2131: an act relating to credit allowed to domestic ceding insurers for reinsurance ceded to reinsurers, and including applicability provisions.

SF2132: an act relating to the legal reserve requirements of life insurance companies.

HF426: an act relating to the insurance fraud bureau, criminal history checks for licenses granted by the insurance division, and resolving inconsistencies.

SF583: an act relating to billing methods that may be utilized in connection with distributed generation facilities.

SF2134: an act relating to the manufacturing of canned cocktails by a beer manufacturer and including effective date provisions.

Important news clips from the week:

Senate President Charles Schneider announced his retirement: 

https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/local/iowa-senate-president-charles-schneider-to-retire/524-b7b84b37-9c31-4294-acfe-65475f8d56c1

Iowa Universities are going online:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/11/state-university-representatives-talk-about-decision-to-go-online-with-classes/

Gov Kim Reynolds still popular:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-poll/2020/03/11/republican-iowa-gov-kim-reynolds-approval-rating-drops-but-remains-above-50-new-iowa-poll-shows/4977210002/

Iowa has 16 Covid 19 cases:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/12/iowa-now-has-16-covid-19-cases-both-linked-to-egyptian-cruise/

Iowa Revenue Estimating Committee Meets:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/12/iowa-panel-says-economic-impact-of-covid-19-unknown/

Nominees for Iowa Supreme Court Selected:

https://www.weareiowa.com/article/news/local/3-nominees-for-iowa-supreme-court-vacancy-selected/524-4b4688fd-0599-40fc-a0ab-1cbadf4f76aa

March 2- 6 - Week 8 - It was a busy week of legislative floor action.  This week the House and Senate agreed on the final spending levels for K-12 education, coming in at 2.3% increase or nearly 100 million when all funds are considered: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/04/legislature-oks-85-million-hike-in-general-state-aid-to-schools/

The House and Senate also agreed to a solar bill compromise after a years worth of negotiations: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/03/04/iowa-house-and-senate-give-solar-bill-unanimous-support/

The Governor's Invest in Iowa bill is starting to gain support:

https://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/capitol-digest-invest-in-iowa-plans-gains-support/article_ed6d4f3f-6ae7-5708-9280-c4d76982278f.html

Other important clips from the week:

February24-28 - Week 7 - The House and Senate focused on floor action this week, passing mainly non controversial bills between the chambers.  Bills that cleared on party lines include changes to tort reform, asbestos claims and public assistance programs. 

Governor Reynolds signed the Transportation Equity school funding bill this week, however a deal has yet to be reached between the House and Senate on the main school aid funding level. https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/gov-kim-reynolds-signs-education-funding-bill-rural-transportation-20200225

A list of 15 applicants for the soon to be open Supreme Court seat has been made public. Justice David Wiggins is retiring in March.  The Judicial Nominating Commission will interview the applicants, and then send three names to the Governor for consideration.   

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2020/02/26/interviews-open-iowa-supreme-court-justice-position-begin-march/4855817002/#

The Supreme Court also named a new Chief Justice: https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Iowa-Supreme-Court-elects-Susan-Christensen-chief-justice-568144051.html

Important news clips from the week:

State Senator Feenstra takes on Congressman Steve King: https://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Republican-challenges-Congressman-Steve-King--568247521.html

February 17-21 - Week 6 - The first phase of the Iowa Legislative Session is now complete! Below is a long list of bills from the CR Gazette that list what bills are still eligible for consideration, and those that didn't make it.  Friendly reminder, nothing is ever technically dead as language can be reintroduced as an amendment to live bills, in appropriation bills or the final bill of the year, Standings. 

 Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver listed his top priority bills:

 Whitver identified twelve bills as priority bills, including several constitutional amendments: SJR 2001 NO RIGHT TO ABORTION and SJR 2002 VOTING AGE); several bills to oversee welfare programs (SF 2272 PUBLIC ASSISTANCE OVERSIGHT and SF 2366 FEDERAL PROGRAM ELIGIBILITY); several priorities for the caucus (SF 2129 DISCHARGE OF A SENTENCE, SF 2338 NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES and SF 2360 CLASSROOM BEHAVIOR) and several bills supported by Governor Reynolds (SF 155 MOVEABLE BARBERSHOPS, SF 2114 OUT-OF-STATE LICENSE HOLDERS, SF 2262 BROADBAND CHANGES, SF 2313 FUTURE READY ACT and SF 2144 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS - already signed into law.) 

Top news hits for the week:

1. Governor's occupational licensing bill moves forward - https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2020/02/18/iowa-governor-occupational-licensing-bill-advances-out-committee/4793320002/#

2. Bottle bill talks continue - https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/02/18/fate-of-iowas-bottle-bill-debated-again-at-statehouse/

3. Work requirements for SNAP and Medicaid - https://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/senate-bill-requires-some-iowans-work-medicaid-snap-access#stream/0

4. Pharmacy legislation moves forward - https://siouxcityjournal.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/iowa-capitol-digest-subcommittee-approves-pharmacy-legislation/article_25ee1e01-a898-5c55-88a0-e30658401a9f.html

5. The Iowa Democratic Party elected a new Chair: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/02/15/mark-smith-of-marshalltown-elected-interim-iowa-democratic-party-chair

February 10-14 - Week 5 - Week 5 was a busy one!  Governor Reynolds signed her first bill of the 2020 session, supplemental appropriations for flood recovery efforts in western Iowa.  The legislature also sent the Governor the first piece in the education funding set of bills - Transportation equity.  The House and Senate are several million apart in the final school aid funding agreement.  

Governor Reynolds hit the road this week for town hall tours to promote her invest in Iowa legislation - https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/02/12/reynolds-plans-road-tour-to-build-support-for-invest-in-iowa-act/

Iowa Caucus fallout continues, as the Iowa Democratic Chairman Troy Price will officially resign tomorrow. - https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/02/12/iowa-caucus-results-iowa-democratic-party-chairman-troy-price-resigns/4742471002/

Next week is the first funnel of the session, and hundreds of bills that did not make it through the committee process will soon no longer be eligible for debate this year (They can always come back in live bills as amendments, so technically nothing is ever dead)!

The Senate debated into late Thursday afternoon and started the process for a constituional amendment with regards to what the constitutions says about abortion: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2020/02/13/iowa-senate-passes-anti-abortion-constitutional-amendment/4748213002/#

Quick hits for the week:

Medical Canibus and THC levels - https://www.iowapublicradio.org/post/house-panel-advances-medical-cannabis-bill-thc-limit-remains-controversial#stream/0

 

February 3-7 - Week 4: It's hard to believe the Iowa Caucuses were held on Monday as it feels like a month ago already! We are hopeful that all the issues that occurred can be worked out so Iowa can continue to lead the nation in years to come. The Caucuses were actually really well managed minus the reporting issue. The Senate conducted the first floor action of the 2020 session this week as they approved $20 million in supplemental appropriations for Homeland Security/Emergency Management for flood recovery efforts in in Western Iowa. The House will take up next week and will likely be the first bill signed by the Governor this year. 

The week was very busy with sub committee and committee meetings. Just two weeks remain for a bill to get passed out a sub and a full committee to remain alive for the remainder of the session. 

Amendments to Insulin BillHF2138 - Amendment was to remove all insulin drugs to at least one in each type of rapid-acting prescription insulin drugs, short-acting prescription insulin drugs, intermediate-acting prescription insulin drugs, or long-acting prescription insulin drugs. For information follow this link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=HF%202138

The following bills were released that are related to health care:

Continuity of Care - HF2089 & SSB3117 - This bill provides that during a covered person's eligibility under a health benefit plan, inclusive of any open enrollment period, a health plan carrier, health benefit plan, or utilization review organization shall not limit or exclude coverage of a prescription drug for the covered person if the covered person is medically stable on the drug as determined by the prescribing health care professional, the drug was previously approved by the health carrier for coverage for the person, and the person's prescribing health care professional has prescribed the drug for the covered person's medical condition within the previous six months. For more information follow these links: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=hf2089 AND https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=SSB3117&ga=88

Drug Transparency - HF2253 - This bill requires a manufacturer to file an annual report with the commissioner of insurance that discloses the wholesale acquisition cost for all prescription drugs manufactured by the manufacturer that were sold to a person in the state in the immediately preceding calendar year. For more information follow this link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=HF2253&ga=88

Civil Action - Providers - HSB596 - The bill eliminates the exception to the limitation of $250,000 that would allow the jury to determine if the imposition of such a limitation would deprive the plaintiff of just compensation for the injuries sustained. For more information follow this link: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=hsb596

Important news clips for the week:

January 27-31, 2020 - Week 3: Hundreds of new bills were introduced this week and Ketzner Strategies attended dozens of committee meetings. Legislators will return Tuesday for more sub committee work in advance of the upcoming first funnel deadline, February 21st. 

Governor Reynolds named her 3rd Supreme Court Justice pick this week:

https://www.weareiowa.com/news/local-news/gov-reynolds-selects-new-female-justice-to-serve-on-iowa-supreme-court/

She will be picking a 4th justice in March/April when current Interim Chief Justice Wiggins retires.  The Governor will name a 5th Justice before her current term expires due to Supreme Court Retirement rules. 

In other major news this week:

January 20-24, 2020 - Week 2: The Iowa Legislature gaveled in Tuesday after observing the MLK Holiday on Monday.  Even with a condensed schedule, It was a very busy week of bill introductions, sub committees, and committee meetings.  

The Iowa Caucus is in just 10 days!

News Clips:

Friday January 24th was the last day for legislators to submit bills for drafting and the first funnel deadline is February 21st. 

January 13-17, 2020 - Week 1:  Speaker Linda Upmeyer formally resigned on Monday and Speaker Pat Grassley officially took control of the Iowa House.  On Tuesday Governor Reynolds delivered her Condition of the State address. Highlights include:

Tax and Related Changes: 

  • Increase the sales tax by one cent ($540 million) to fund income tax cuts, property tax cuts and to fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. 
  • Cut income taxes by 10% and lower the highest rate to 5.5% and reduce the number of brackets to eight in 2021 and to four in 2023. 
  • Reduce property taxes by lowering the per capita county MH levy from $47.28 to $12.50 (a $77 million reduction in levies). 
  • Repeal the water excise tax and exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales tax. 
  • Increase the eligibility for the Early Childhood Development and Child and Dependent Care tax credits by doubling the maximum net income amount to $90,000. 

Water Quality and Quality of Life Improvements: 

  • Scoop 3/8 of a cent of the proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to fully fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. 
  • Commit $99.5 million from the Trust for water quality and $52.3 million for conservation and recreation. 
  • Acknowledge the nutrient reduction strategy as the foundation of the state’s water quality efforts and review the Code periodically to comply with the most current evidence-based practices and policies. 

Supporting the MH System: 

  • Increase state funding for the MH system by $80 million to offset the reduced levies and to help regions and counties maintain and improve MH services. 
  • Use the state and regional partnership to more efficiently further access of Iowans to the MH system and to improve the quality of the system.

You can read all of the Governor's priority items here: 

https://governor.iowa.gov/vision-for-iowa

News Clips from the Governors speech:

On Wednesday, Acting Chief Justice Wiggins gave the Condition of the Judiciary - 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/01/15/acting-iowa-supreme-court-chief-says-the-courts-will-endure/

On Thursday, Adjutant General Correll delivered the Condition of the Guard

https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/01/17/iowa-national-guard-to-review-facilities-closings-possible/

Government Relations Chair

For questions regarding government relations, please contactm strouse17

Marcie Strouse
marcie@capitol-benefits.com

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