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PO Box 71005, 2135 NW 108th Street

Clive, IA 50325

2021 Iowa Legislative Session

 

Current Bills 

SSB 1225 - Zaun - Noneconomic Damage Awards

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=ssb1225

HSB 228 - Lundgren - PBM

HSB 46 – Lundgren – Price Transparency & Cost-Sharing for Prescription Drugs

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HSB46

HSB 50 – Meyer – Insulin Prescription Costs PASSED House 89-2 2/8/2021

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=hsb50

HF 89 – Fry – A bill for an act relating to reimbursement rates for health care services for mental health conditions, illnesses, injuries, or diseases provided to covered persons by telehealth

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=HF89&ga=89

HF 88 – Fry – A bill for an act relating to the provision of audio-only telehealth or telemedicine by health care professionals.

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=HF88&ga=89

SF 4 – Zaun – Certificate of Need

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=Sf4

F 5 – Zaun – Health Care Costs Lists

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=SF%205

 

Week 19 Update

Just before midnight on Wednesday, May 19, the Iowa Legislature wrapped up work for the year.  The second to last bill of the evening was a bill that banned schools, cities and counties from mandating mask requirements.  Governor Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight. Effective May 20, mask mandates still in effect are no longer in effect.  (Below is more information on this).

Even though the session went a little long, it was a great year.  Larry and I will keep you informed as bills get signed over the next 30 days.  Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.  We look forward to putting our feet up for a few days, and then getting right back to work preparing for next year!

Thank you - Jake and Larry

PS - It is very likely the legislature comes back in September to approve the new Iowa electoral map. 

Here are some additional news clips on the last few days:

Gov. Reynolds releases statement on 2021 Legislative Session  

DES MOINES - Today, Gov. Reynolds released the following statements on the conclusion of the 2021 legislative session:  

“This legislative session, I charged the House and Senate to work together to further advance Iowa’s strong recovery from COVID-19 and promote policies that strengthen our families, communities, schools, workforce and economy. I’m proud that we delivered on the promises made to the people of Iowa. 

“Our fiscally responsible budget practices and balanced approach to managing the pandemic, put Iowa is in a position to cut taxes and invest in foundational priorities that ensure we remain competitive in the 21st century. 

“More than $400 million dollars in tax cuts mean Iowans will keep more of their hard-earned money. The phase out of the inheritance tax will lessen the burden of passing on family farms and businesses.  And by eliminating a $100 million property tax levy, the responsibility for funding Iowa’s mental health system comes off the backs of homeowners and into the hands of the state which can provide the stable, sustainable funding to ensure access to care for every Iowan who needs it. 

“Iowa’s historic $100 million investment in broadband will transform our technology infrastructure into a powerful network that enables fast, high-quality connectivity to empower every community across our state, from our urban centers to our small towns. 

“This legislative session, we continued our investment in K-12 education and put more control of our children’s education into the hands of their parents. We supported law enforcement, strengthened our elections, protected our 2nd Amendment rights, and upheld the sanctity of life. 

“Over the last year, Iowa has been recognized nationally as the #1 state for opportunity and for having one of the fastest and strongest pandemic recoveries... and Iowans deserve the credit. Together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.” 

Lt. Governor Gregg released the following statement: 

“Governor Reynolds led the charge to make Iowa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family. The tax compromise brokered by the governor makes progress on longstanding challenges faced by the state.  

“By speeding up the historic 2018 income tax cuts, incentivizing workforce housing development, and lowering property taxes, this tax reform makes Iowa an even better place to start a family, career, or business. 

"With unprecedented investment in broadband, new incentives to spark housing development, and increased funding for Empower Rural Iowa programs, this session was a real success for rural Iowa. 

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact these changes will have, and exploring further improvement in policy and practice to ensure opportunity and prosperity are present in all corners of our state.” 

Key legislative priorities that passed during the 2020 Legislative Session: 

Tax Relief for Hardworking Iowans  

Reducing taxes benefits Iowa families and makes our state more competitive. 

  • $300 million income tax cut by removing triggers for hardworking Iowans (SF619) 
  • $100 million property tax relief by fully removing the mental health levy (SF619) 
  • Phases out the inheritance tax with complete removal by January 2025 (SF619) 

Putting Students First, Supporting Parental Choice, Investing in Education 

A high-quality education system that offers innovative learning opportunities and empowers parents to choose the best path for their children is the foundation of a strong state. 

  • Ensured every child and family in Iowa had the opportunity to attend school 100% in-person during the pandemic beginning in Feb. 2021 (SF160)  
  • Allows parents to make health care decisions for their children by prohibiting schools from requiring masks (HF847) 
  • Expands charter schools, giving parents and students greater options and flexibility while also allowing for innovation to occur within the classroom (HF813) 
  • Allows parents to make educational decisions for their children by expanding open enrollment opportunities for families (HF847) 
  • Protects free speech rights of all students in the classroom (HF744) 
  • Bans instruction that teaches that America is inherently racist (HF802)  
  • Invests a record $3.418 billion for PreK-12 education, a 2.4% increase (SF269) 
  • Increases Transportation Equity to buy down cost of transportation for 218 Iowa school districts (SF269) 
  • Further reduces per pupil equity gap to $145 (SF269) 

Ensuring Universal Broadband Access 

High-speed internet is as vital to our communities as running water and electricity – this became abundantly clear during the pandemic. 

  • Invests $100 million in broadband to transform our infrastructure into a powerful network, enabling fast, high quality connectivity across the entire state and resulting in one of the most significant broadband build-outs in the nation (HF867)  
  • Leverages millions more in private dollars to establish a three-tiered grant program that incentivizes providers to prioritize broadband deserts where high-speed internet is rarely offered (HF848) 

Creating Affordable Housing 

Creative solutions that address pent-up demand for affordable housing will encourage families to move where opportunities exist and help our communities thrive.  

  • Invests in attainable housing by increasing funding to the State Housing Trust Fund at $7 million a year (SF619) 
  • Builds high quality homes in rural and urban Iowa by increasing the Workforce Housing Tax Credit to $40 million for FY22 and then $35 million going forward (SF619)  
  • Extends and expands the Brownfield and Grayfield Tax Credits to help rebuild blighted and abandoned properties (SF619) 
  • Creates a Disaster Recovery Housing Assistance Fund to help Iowans who lost their homes due to a natural disaster (SF619) 

Providing High-quality Affordable Child Care 

Iowa has the third highest percentage of households with both (or the only) parents working. Improving access to childcare will allow parents to nurture their children while remaining in the workforce. 

  • Increases eligibility for the Early Childhood and Dependent Tax Credits from $45,000 to $90,000 so families are not penalized for hard work and upward mobility (SF619) 
  • Allows an additional school-aged child in a childcare home to increase access for childcare across the state and flexibility on days when school is cancelled (HF260) 
  • Establishes a gradual phase-out for childcare assistance so families can pursue higher wages without immediately losing assistance (HF302)  
  • Prioritizes High Quality Jobs applicants who propose to provide onsite childcare options for employees (SF619) 

Growing a 21st Century Economy 

Supporting industry investments and incentives to help Iowa manufacturers remain competitive in the global manufacturing supply chain. 

  • Develops a Manufacturing 4.0 strategic roadmap for the future of manufacturing in the state of Iowa (SF619) 
  • Allows Iowa companies to make strategic investments in their workplaces by coupling with Federal Bonus Depreciation (SF619) 
  • Helps reinvest and reopen communities following the pandemic or a natural disaster by creating a Downtown Loan Guarantee (SF619) 
  • Extends the Targeted Jobs Withholding Credit to help border cities compete with our neighboring states (SF619) 

Promoting Strong and Healthy Families 

New models of care delivery based on the needs of Iowans will help to ensure that quality health care remains accessible, affordable, and close to home. 

  • Creates a long-term, sustainable funding stream for Iowa’s mental health system and increases mental health funding from $98 million in 2021 to $135 million by 2026, with a mechanism to allow funding to automatically increase as Iowa’s economy grows (SF619) 
  • Ensures payment parity for mental health telehealth services (SF619)  
  • Expands access to the children’s mental health waiver through increased funding (HF891) 
  • Provides additional funding for providers who care for Iowa’s most vulnerable, including PMICs, home and community-based services, nursing facilities and home health agencies (HF891) 
  • Creates a center of excellence program to encourage innovation and collaboration among regional health care providers (HF891) 
  • Ensures support for OB/GYNs practicing in rural communities through the Rural Iowa Primary Care Loan Repayment Program (SF129) 
  • Increases funding for the Psychiatry Residency Training Program (HF891) 
  • Streamlines the process for counties to adopt EMS as an essential service (SF615) 

Supporting Law Enforcement  

In Iowa, we will always back our brave men and women in blue. Supporting our police and other law enforcement officers will help to keep our communities safe and strong. 

  • Provides additional due process protections for law enforcement officers and protects officers, prosecutors, and judges from being targeted (SF342) 
  • Increases the Emergency Volunteer Tax Credit, serving as financial assistance to those that step up and serve (SF619) 
  • Puts in place tougher penalties for those who loot, riot, or block our streets (SF342) 

Securing Our Elections, Our Constitutional Rights, and Protecting the Unborn  

Iowans believe in life, liberty, and a constitution that protects it. Iowa is leading the way, and our state stands in stark contrast to the polices of Washington, D.C.  

Election Security 

  • Ensures elections are fair, secure, and free from fraud (SF413)  
  • Strengthens uniformity by providing Iowa’s election officials with consistent parameters for Election Day, absentee voting, database maintenance, and a clear appeals process for local county auditors 
  • Promotes accountability by imposing tougher penalties for election misconduct.  

Constitutional Rights 

  • A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to the right of the people to keep and bear arms (SJR 7) 
  • Allows Iowans to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights without purchasing a permit from the government (HF756) 
  • Bans vaccine passports (HF 889)  
  • Protects the free speech rights of students living on college campuses (HF 744) 

Protecting Life 

  • Protects the rights of the unborn by passing a constitutional amendment that clearly states there is not a fundamental right to abortion 

Reinvigorating the Iowa Agriculture Economy  

Farming is a way of life we value in Iowa, and we’re committed to protecting it for our families and future generations.  

  • Supports the next generation of Iowa farmers by expanding Beginning Farmer Tax Credit program eligibility (SF619)  
  • Safeguards Iowa’s livestock industry through increased funding for foreign animal disease preparedness and protects premise identification information (HF860/SF578)  
  • Establishes a small meat processing program to help expand Iowa’s meat processing capacity and support small processors (HF 857)  
  • Creates a farm-to-school program to assist schools in purchasing locally grown produce and protein (SF578) 

Gov. Reynolds signs HF 847 into law 

DES MOINES - Today, Gov. Reynolds signed HF 847 into law, legislation that contains several components of the governor’s Students First Act as well as provisions that prohibit K-12 schools from mandating masks as well as cities and counties from mandating masks in businesses. 

“The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions,” said Gov. Reynolds. “I am proud to be a governor of a state that values personal responsibility and individual liberties. I want to thank the Iowa Legislature for their quick work in bringing this bill to my desk so that it can be signed into law.”  

HF 847: an Act relating to educational programs, funding, tax credits and deductions, open enrollment, supplementary weighting, and including effective date, applicability, and retroactive applicability provisions. 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/05/19/gop-lawmakers-vote-to-bar-mask-mandates-in-iowa-schools/

Governor and GOP lawmakers end mask mandates in Iowa schools

MAY 19, 2021 BY O. KAY HENDERSON

Republicans in the Iowa legislature have voted Wednesday evening to ban mask mandates in all Iowa schools, as well as in cities and counties. Governor Reynolds signed the bill shortly after midnight and it became law immediately.

That means as school begins on this Thursday, May 20, mask mandates still in effect in Iowa school districts are nullified. Mask mandates established by city and county officials for private businesses are now banned as well. House Speaker Pat Grassley delivered a copy of the bill to Reynolds in her statehouse office, as a cheering crowd surrounded the governor’s desk for the private event.

“The state of Iowa is putting parents back in control of their child’s education and taking greater steps to protect the rights of all Iowans to make their own health care decisions,” Reynolds said in a written statement.

During House debate a few hours earlier, Republican Representative Dustin Hite of New Sharon said he’s been fielding complaints about mask mandates since the pandemic began.

“You want to talk about something that’s grassroots, this is something I’ve heard about — I’ve lost count,” Hite said.

Representative Marti Anderson, a Democrat from Des Moines, said face coverings are a part of the “public health response” to the pandemic.

“Don’t we have a responsibility to protect the health of the people around us?” Anderson asked.

Representative Eric Gjerdes, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said banning mask mandates “isn’t based on science, it’s based on perception.”

“Masks make sense right now make sense for folks that are not vaccinated,” he said. “The majority of students in Iowa schools have not been doubly vaccinated.”

Representative Steven Holt, a Republican from Denison, said “numerous” parents in his district have had enough and they don’t want their children wearing a mask in school.

“If we believe the vaccines work, if we believe that masks work, then fine. Get the vaccine. Wear the mask and don’t worry about what other people are doing,” Holt said. “You be you and you let them be them. This is about freedom.”

Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, was among those who said the ban could prevent local governments from responding to future public health emergencies.

“Masks work,” Bolkcom said. “They have worked and it’s a good thing that local governments and school districts have taken it upon themselves to encourage the use of masks.”

Senator Chris Cournoyer, a Republican from LeClaire, said it’s time to learn from the lessons of the pandemic.

“Kids do get Covid. My children have had Covid. Kids get colds, kids get cancer and kids get the flu,” Cournoyer said. “We cannot continue to live in an entire bubble.”

The bill passed both the Senate and House early Wednesday evening on what was the final day of the 2021 legislative session.

Gov. Reynolds signs legislation into law  

DES MOINES – Wednesday, May 19, Gov. Reynolds signed the following bills into law:  

SF 517: an Act relating to the provision of academic credit, including social studies coursework, and exemptions for physical education and activity requirements for students who participate in the legislative page program at the state capitol.  

SF 356: an Act limiting civil liability for persons involved in agricultural tourism.  

SF 296: an Act relating to the practice of pharmacy, including the prescription and administration of vaccines and collaborative pharmacy practice. 

HF 603: an Act establishing the sexual assault forensic examiner program.  

HF 426: an Act relating to crime victims, including the collection of evidence in sexual abuse cases and the establishment of an automated tracking system involving sexual abuse evidence collection kits. 

HF 813: an Act modifying and establishing charter school programs and making appropriations. 

HF 855: an Act relating to access to a copy of an original birth certificate by an adoptee or an entitled person, providing for fees, and including effective date provisions.   

HF 761: an Act relating to the local fire protection and emergency medical service providers grant program. 

Additional Legislation signed by Governor Reynolds on Thursday, May 20

DES MOINES - Today, Gov. Reynolds signed the following bills into law: 

HF 196: an Act expanding the health care professional recruitment program.  

HF 285: an Act relating to professional standards for the certification or designation of music therapists and providing penalties.   

HF 304: an Act relating to personal delivery devices, providing penalties, and making penalties applicable. 

HF 309: an Act restricting public agency disclosure of and access to certain personal information related to tax-exempt organizations, and providing penalties. 

HF 380: an Act requiring approved driver education courses to include instruction concerning distracted driving. 

HF 435: an Act relating to emergency contact information for use by the department of transportation and law enforcement, and including effective date provisions. 

HF 452: an Act relating to certain civil and criminal enforcement activities involving the practice of massage therapy and cosmetology, and human trafficking, and providing penalties. 

HF 453: an Act prohibiting the imposition of certain requirements on nonprofit corporations by state agencies or state officials. 

HF 493: an Act relating to low-speed electric bicycles, providing penalties, making penalties applicable, and including applicability provisions. 

HF 527: an Act relating to the authority of county boards of supervisors to amend an agreement between the counties to implement the county land record information system. 

HF 685: an Act relating to requirements for licensees under the purview of the dental board relating to orthodontia services. 

HF 709: an Act relating to pretrial contact between a prosecuting witness who is a minor and the defendant. 

HF 722: an Act relating to the transfer, deposit, and appropriation of moneys to the teach Iowa scholar fund from the teacher shortage forgivable loan repayment fund and the teacher shortage loan forgiveness repayment fund. 

HF 744: an Act providing for training, prohibitions, and requirements relating to first amendment rights at school districts and public institutions of higher education. 

HF 753: an Act relating to unintentionally causing the death of a person by operating a motor vehicle at an excessive speed, providing penalties, and making penalties applicable. 

HF 765: an Act relating to the acquisition and possession of weapons and providing penalties. 

HF 768: an Act concerning licensing of and sales by native distilleries, beer manufacturers, native breweries, and native wine manufacturers. 

HF 793: an Act relating to participation in and credit for physical education under the educational standards. 

HF 828: an Act relating to commercial driver's license driving skills tests, providing fees, and including effective date provisions. 

HF 835an Act relating to trusts for persons with disabilities. 

HF 839an Act relating to the financial exploitation of designated eligible adults. 

HF 846: an Act relating to title fees for snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and vessels of surviving spouses. 

HF 869: an Act creating a permit allowing the operation of vehicles of excessive weight transporting fluid milk products, providing fees, and including effective date provisions. 

HF 889: an Act prohibiting the mandatory disclosure of whether a person has received a vaccination for COVID-19, disqualifying certain entities from receiving state grants or contracts, and including effective date provisions.    

SF 387: an Act relating to courses of study and training programs of the Iowa law enforcement academy and veterans educational assistance benefits, and including effective date provisions 

SF 424: an Act relating to the licensure of persons completing an apprenticeship, and including effective date provisions. 

SF 541: an Act relating to electronic transactions by permitting the use of distributed ledger technology and smart contracts and including effective date provisions. 

Yesterday, Gov. Reynolds also signed the following bills into law:  

HF 311: an Act relating to the frequency of game nights conducted by licensed qualified organizations. 

HF 675: an Act relating to rules adopted by the board of educational examiners establishing standards for substitute teacher authorizations. 

HF 770: an Act relating to licensure renewal requirements adopted by rule by the board of educational examiners 

 

Week 18 Update

The Iowa legislature largely took this week off as they didn't have the votes (too many GOP members out of town) to move bills.  It is now expected both chambers come back next week, officially cut a deal, move the bills, and adjourn sometime next week/weekend.  We will keep you posted as all of this comes together.
 
Here are the headlines this week:

Iowa adopts insurance data security act for licensed insurers 
 

Gov. Kim Reynolds recently signed into law the Iowa Insurance Data Security Act (House File 719), making Iowa one of more than a dozen states to adopt the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' model cybersecurity law, JD Supra reported. Effective Jan. 1, 2022, the act establishes investigation procedures, data security program standards and notification requirements for Iowa Insurance Division-regulated licensees to protect the security and confidentiality of nonpublic information and the security of the licensees' information systems. Licensees with fewer than 20 employees are exempt, as are licensees with less than $5 million in gross annual revenue or less than $10 million in year-end total. Covered licensees must develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive written information security program that considers their size, complexity, the scope of their activities, and the results of a required risk assessment. All insurers domiciled in the state must submit annual reports to the commissioner of insurance by April 15, certifying that the licensee is in compliance. 

 

Week 17 Update

The Iowa Legislative Session continues in overtime!  This week Governor Reynolds and Senate Republicans unveiled a $400 million tax cut compromise.  House Republicans unveiled their own plan, and the stalemate continues.  The main sticking point continues to be how Iowa's mental health system is paid for.  Senate Republicans want to take it off property taxes, and onto the state budget, while House Republicans want to continue as is for now.  

The House debated late into the evening last night, passing their versions of budget bills over to the Senate, and will pass the remaining budget out of their chamber on a rare Friday session today. No agreement between the chambers has been reached on the majority of them. 

It is unclear when an agreement will be reached, so it is likely session will likely continue, at a reduced pace, for at least another few weeks.

Here are the major headlines this week:

 

Week 16 Update

Not over yet! Unfortunately, the 2021 IA Legislative Session is going into OT.  Lawmakers will no longer receive their daily per diem, and likely won't come back until mid-next week when they are closer to a deal. Once a deal is reached, it still takes about a week to process everything.  

The main sticking point between the chambers is tax reform.  Senate Republicans want to remove triggers from the 2018 tax reform bill and implement it immediately.  Secondly, they want to move the cost of mental health care from property taxpayers (lower property taxes) to the state's general fund.  House Republicans have been more cautious with budget issues and aren't sold on this plan yet.  

The lawmakers in charge of budget negotiations can't cut a deal until the tax reform issues are resolved.  Additionally, there are policy issues important to each chamber that haven't been agreed to yet that also complicate the situation. 

Here are the major headlines this week:

 

Week 15 Update

The 2021 Iowa Legislative Session is supposed to end next week, but that is looking unlikely as legislative leaders have yet to agree on a few big items like tax reform and final budget numbers.  Once those final agreements are reached, it takes about another week to move the "paper" between both chambers for adjournment.  We will keep you updated on any developments.

Here are the major headlines this week:

 

Week 14 Update

Iowa Legislative leaders, and budget chairs worked this week to try and find consensus on final agreements.  Progress is being made, but both sides still differ on big ticket items like tax cuts.  My best guess is they will hash out the majority of those differences this week coming week and adjourn right around the scheduled date of 4/30.

Here are the major headlines this week:

On Monday, Governor Reynolds signed the following bills into law:

SF 172:  An Act relating to the definition of Sex Act or Sexual Activity for the purpose of the Iowa criminal code.  

SF 253: An Act relating to sexual abuse In the second degree and sexual abuse in the third degree.   

SF 548: An Act relating to the regulation of advertising near certain highways. 

HF 368: An Act relating to the administration of the reimbursement for rent constituting property taxes paid and related matters and including effective date provisions. 

HF 495: an act relating to certain reporting dates for cities which receive road use tax fund moneys. 

HF 559: An Act relating to financial assistance provided by the economic development authority to certain apprentice sponsors and lead apprentice sponsors, and including applicability provisions. 

HF 655: An Act prohibiting interference with the transportation of an agricultural animal, and providing penalties. 

HF 260: An Act relating to the number of children receiving childcare at any one time in a childcare home. 

HF 552: An Act relating to requirements for using a dog to track a wounded deer.  

HF 555: An Act prohibiting counties and cities from regulating the sale of natural gas and propane. 

SF 444:An Act relating to motor vehicles, including the surrender or transfer of registration plates and cards to a county treasurer, documentary fees charged by a motor vehicle dealers, and a motor vehicles franchise.  

 

Week 13 Update

The Iowa Legislature continued to inch closer to adjournment as both chambers worked on initial budget bills this week.  Additionally, both chambers focused on floor votes moving mostly non-controversial bills down to the Governor or back to the other chamber if an amendment was made.  In the next week or two (hopefully), House and Senate Republicans will announce joint budget targets and final deals will be made. 

This week, the following led the news:

 

 

Week 12 Update

This week, the Iowa Legislature completed the second funnel week, and most committee work for the year.  In the weeks moving forward, legislators will be focusing their time on "floor work" and going to their respective caucus meetings to hammer out the final deals of the year.  I'd guess somewhere around 4 weeks of session remaining (hopefully)!

Here are the major headlines for the week:

1. House Republicans call for $100 million in broadband expansion: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/26/house-republicans-plan-100-million-for-broadband-expansion/

2. Iowa see's enrollment decline in schools: https://www.kcrg.com/2021/03/31/iowa-schools-see-first-enrollment-decline-in-a-decade-with-no-way-to-account-for-where-students-went/

3. Charter school legislation advances: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa-senators-advance-charter-school-expansion-20210330

4. Iowa Congresswoman MMM officially wins by 6 votes!: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/31/closest-2020-congressional-race-in-us-is-over/

5. April 5th, all Iowans eligible Iowans can get vaccine: https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/health/iowa-is-prepared-to-open-covid-19-vaccine-eligibility-gov-kim-reynolds-says-20210331

6. Bottle bill discussions continue: https://wcfcourier.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/changes-to-iowa-bottle-bill-likely-a-non-starter-this-session/article_aa44beb6-c8cc-59b4-9797-868ec12bb878.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

7. Some controversial bills dead after second funnel: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/04/02/bills-related-to-birth-control-tenure-racial-profiling-didnt-meet-deadline-for-action/

8. Governor's biofuel bill continues to be worked on: https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2021/03/31/lawmakers-work-to-soften-governors-controversial-biofuels-bill/

 

 Week 11 Update

The second funnel deadline of this year's Iowa Legislative Session is just a week away.  For bills to remain eligible, they must pass a chamber, and clear a committee in the other chamber.  

Here are the major headlines from the week:

Private flood insurance coming to Iowa?: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/26/house-bill-could-set-up-private-flood-insurance-market-in-iowa/

Tragedy at Iowa State Prison:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/24/few-details-known-about-deadly-attack-at-eastern-iowa-prison/

Governor, Senate Republicans call for Tax Cuts:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/19/governor-says-tax-projections-should-spur-speeding-up-tax-cuts/

Iowa Governments to receive $4 Billion in aid:

https://wcfcourier.com/business/iowa-governments-in-line-for-over-4b-in-covid-19-aid/article_4edbd411-40c2-56b5-bbb3-cf0c4eae2cc8.html

House approves Charter School legislation: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/25/house-approves-new-route-for-charter-schools-in-iowa/

Gun law changes heading to Governor Reynolds desk: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/24/governor-reviewing-proposed-changes-in-iowa-gun-law/

Iowa's Second Congressional District race outcome under debate:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/25/governor-says-democrats-are-trying-to-federalize-elections/

Rental and mortgage assistance announced: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/25/195-million-in-assistance-for-low-income-iowans-with-overdue-rent-utility-bills/

Governor Reynolds signed the following bills into law on Monday 3/22:

HF 560:  An Act relating to requirements for eligibility under the all Iowa opportunity scholarship program. 

SF 129: An Act relating to specialty areas, service commitment area distance requirements, and practice – related requirements under the rural Iowa primary care loan repayment program.  

SF 232: An Act relating to notice and reclamation requirements for abandoned vehicles taken into custody by a police authority or private entity.  

SF 235: An Act relating to the denial and contests of probate claims.   

SF 261: An act authorizing the college student aid commission to organize a non profit corporation.  

SF 289: An Act relating to the powers and duties of the board of directors of area education agencies, school districts, and school corporations, and to the election of a director as school board president.  

SF 307: An Act relating to the examination and transportation of dead bodies, including associated fees and costs.   

SF 353: An Act relating to the drainage and levee districts, by providing for notices to interested persons including landowners in the district, and for repairs that require a report by an engineer or soil and water conservation district conservationist.  

SF 482: An Act regulating the application of pesticides, inducing by providing for the certification of applicators, and certain actions taken by the department of agriculture and land stewardship against private applicators and providing penalties.  

 

 

Week 10 Update

At 11 AM today, the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference met. This three-person group forecasts the State of Iowa budget.  If they estimate lower numbers than the previous December estimate, legislators work off the March REC.  If the December REC is lower of the two, they work off December.  Today's meeting will give legislators the answers they need to begin the process of winding down session. 

The legislature worked on some pretty big bills this week:

Other big news items this week:

 

Week 9 Update

This past week was much slower as legislators largely focused on floor work, not committee work after the 1st funnel deadline. Friday, March 19th is the Revenue Estimating Conference meeting.  Once these numbers come out, legislators can begin work on finalizing the budget for the year.  
 
Governor Reynolds signed the following bills into law Monday:
 
HF200: An act relating to the military code and duty performed by a member of the United States Coast Guard.  
  
HF235An act relating to service charges on consumer credit transactions.  
  
HF232: An act relating to the crime of disorderly conduct and making penalties applicable.    
 
SF240: An act relating to the creation, administration, and termination of custodial trusts.  
  
SF239: An act relating to proper parties in causes of actions following the death of persons entitled or liable to such causes of actions and including applicability provisions.   
  
SF231: An act regarding driving privileges of persons issued a special minor’s driver’s license, and making penalties applicable.   
  
SF173:  An act relating to trusts, including requirements for certifications of trust and the general order of abatement.  
  
SF343: An act relating to authorized access to certain confidential records by employees of the Department of Corrections, a judicial district Department of Correctional Services, and the Board of Parole.    
  
SF285: An act relating to suspension of a student’s participation in the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship program.    
  
SF130: An act relating to a temporary exception to a limitation compensation for a member of a board of directors of a school corporation, and including effective date provisions.   
  
HF386: An act striking certain reporting requirements related to non profit school organizations established by school districts.   
  
HF308An act relating to eligibility requirements for students under the senior year plus program and including effective date and applicability provisions.   
  
HF283: An act creating the criminal offense of defrauding a drug or alcohol test and providing penalties.     
  
HF231: An act relating to a special sentence for sexual abuse committed during a burglary.  
  
SF314An act relating to approval of executive branch employee travel claims.     
  
HF418An act relating to property tax levies, exemptions, classifications, assessment limitations, and administration, and including effective date and applicability provisions.   
  
SF413An act relating to the conduct of elections, including absentee ballots and voter list maintenance activities, making penalties applicative, including effective date and applicability provisions.  
 
Governor Reynolds had two pieces of legislation not make it through the funnel:
https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/05/two-of-the-governors-education-public-safety-proposals-falter-in-legislature/
 
Governor Reynolds signs election law changes:
https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/08/governor-approves-changes-in-iowa-election-law-legal-challenge-expected/
 
House approves virtual payment parity for mental health visits:
https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/09/iowa-house-approves-payment-parity-for-virtual-mental-health-services/
 
One million shots in the arm by the end of this week:
https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/10/governor-says-iowa-to-cross-1000000-mark-in-covid-vaccinations-this-week/

 

Week 8 Update

Today officially marks the first funnel deadline of this legislative session.  It was a very busy week of subcommittee and committee work as legislators and lobbyists tried to get bills important to them through. 

Here's a listing of which bills made it, and which bills died:

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/heres-what-alive-and-dead-at-the-iowa-legislature-20210304

Most of the GOP priority bills made it:

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/most-of-iowa-gop-agenda-clears-first-legislative-hurdle-20210304

Governor's Reynold's bill to ban racial profiling bill did not advance:

https://www.iowapublicradio.org/state-government-news/2021-03-04/iowa-lawmakers-fail-to-advance-racial-profiling-ban-ahead-of-deadline

House GOP passes tax breaks for PPP and unemployment dollars:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/03/house-approves-115m-in-tax-breaks-to-iowa-businesses-unemployed/

House GOP goes after big tech censorship:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/03/05/house-gop-plan-focuses-on-big-tech-censoring-politicians/

Iowans under 65, with chronic health conditions will be able to get Covid-19 shot starting Monday:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2021/03/04/iowa-expands-covid-19-vaccine-eligibility-people-chronic-health-conditions-at-risk/4586320001/

Governor's Reynold's school choice legislation hit a roadblock:

https://www.thehawkeye.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/03/governor-kim-reynolds-school-choice-bill-lacks-support-iowa-house/6906823002/

The Bottle bill debate continues:

https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2021/03/04/lawmakers-uncork-criticism-of-bottle-bill-changes-advance-proposals-anyway/

Week 7 Update

This week the Iowa Legislature was focused on election reform.  After 5 hours of debate Wednesday, the House passed the measure 57-37.  The Senate passed the bill last week and it now heads to the Governor's desk for review.

Major changes include: 

20 days of absentee voting instead of 29

Absentee ballots must be returned to the County Auditor by 8 PM on election day

Instead of being able to request an absentee ballot 120 days out, the earliest one can now be requested is 70 days out

Polls will now close at 8 PM instead of 9 PM

Governor Reynolds signed a 2.4% increase in school funding:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/23/governor-approves-2-4-increase-in-state-per-pupil-spending-on-schools/

Governor Reynolds announced a new Covid-19 vaccine information website:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/25/new-state-of-iowa-website-with-covid-19-vaccine-info/

The Governor also announced more Iowans will be eligible for the shot in March:

https://www.iowapublicradio.org/ipr-news/2021-02-25/reynolds-vaccine-eligibility-to-expand-in-early-march-iowa-launching-vaccine-locator

Governor Reyonold's School Choice bill has hit a roadblock in the Iowa House:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/22/iowa-governor-kim-reynolds-school-choice-education-bill-private-schools-republicans-uncomfortable/4436542001/

The Legislature's 1st Funnel deadline is this coming Thursday.  Any bill, other than those within the Ways and Means or Appropriations committee is "dead" if not passed out of committee.

Week 6 Update

The Iowa Legislature's first funnel deadline is in just two weeks.  This means any bill that has been proposed must pass a sub committee, and full committee to be considered alive for this session. With this deadline approaching, the Cap is very busy with sub and full committee meetings to move bills.  Even with these deadlines, technically nothing is ever "dead" as language can always be amended into live bills.  

This week the Legislature passed a 2.4% increase in school spending:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/17/legislature-passes-iowa-education-funding-k-12-schools/6719761002/

The House also passed extra funding for school to cover covid expenses:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/19/house-approves-extra-school-funding-for-covid-costs/

Governor Reynold's fuel mandate bill had its first subcommittee meetings:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/18/state-biofuels-mandate-gets-first-airing-in-iowa-legislature/

Governor says her focus this session is on broadband and childcare:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/16/reynolds-says-legislative-action-needed-on-broadband-housing-child-care-her-focus/

Republicans unveil election reform bill:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/iowa-view/2021/02/19/iowa-legislature-voting-bill-auditors-clarity-improves-system/4493017001/

Week 5 Update

It was another cold, busy week at the Iowa Cap!  

Senator Dickey from SE Iowa was officially sworn in Monday, and the Senate Chamber returned to a 32-18 R advantage.

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/08/winner-of-special-election-sworn-in-as-50th-state-senator/  

This week was largely dominated with the annual school funding debate.  The House, Senate and Governor have all proposed increases ranging from 2.2% to 2.5% while also rewarding schools that remained open during the pandemic with extra funding.

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/12/house-and-senate-republicans-agree-on-general-level-of-spending-for-schools/

The legislature has also begun work on a series of child care bills.  You can read about those here: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/11/package-of-child-care-proposals-clears-iowa-house/

News Clips:

End tenure at Iowa Regent Universities? 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/11/iowa-house-education-committee-votes-to-end-tenure-at-ui-isu-uni/

Insulin reform moves forward

https://kiwaradio.com/local-news/another-push-at-statehouse-to-limit-co-pays-for-insulin/

Governor Reynolds lifts Iowa's mask mandate

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/05/iowas-governor-lifts-mask-mandate-for-public-indoor-spaces/

2021 Iowa State Fair a go!

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/2021/02/12/board-monitoring-safety-protocols-covid-iowa-state-fair-2021/4453501001/

State of Iowa taps Microsoft for vaccine rollout:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/health/2021/02/09/iowa-picked-microsoft-create-covid-19-vaccination-scheduling-system/4449607001/

Week 4 Update

Week 4 of the 2021 legislative session is in the books.  Thursday's legislative meetings were largely cancelled due to the storm.  One nice thing about the IA Senate conducting their subcommittees via zoom, is they were able to keep most of those as planned.  

Governor Reynolds held her weekly news conference yesterday, and after months of work, she and her Economic Recovery Advisory Board released their report:

https://governor.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/documents/GovAdvisoryBoard_Report_112020_F.pdf

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2021/02/04/executives-back-governor-kim-reynolds-iowa-economy-recovery-plans-covid-19/4392336001/

Governor Reynolds also touched on the need to improve vaccine rollout in the state:

https://kwwl.com/2021/02/04/governor-reynolds-promises-to-find-solutions-for-slow-vaccine-rollout-in-iowa/

Governor Reynolds named former Gov Branstad Chief of Staff as the new Department of Management Director, he replaces retiring Dave Roederer: 

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/01/kim-reynolds-names-michael-bousselot-direct-iowa-department-management-state-budget-david-roederer/4346627001/

Other News Clips:

All Iowa Schools must offer in-person option by Feb 15:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/29/all-iowa-schools-required-to-hold-in-person-classes-by-feb-15/

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, could be required to start each school day:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/02/reciting-pledge-of-allegiance-would-be-required-to-start-school-day/

Child Care Shortage legislation a priority this session:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/02/legislators-working-on-bills-to-address-child-care-shortage/

House oversight holds meetings on free speech issues at University of Iowa:

https://wcfcourier.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/iowa-universities-apologize-for-egregious-free-speech-errors/article_1cb814ae-8e55-5f67-b101-0092621ab950.html#tracking-source=home-top-story-1

OTC Birth Control advances: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/02/03/house-panel-endorses-birth-control-access-at-pharmacy-counter/

 

Week 3 Update 

Week 3 was a busy one, with dozens of subcommittee meetings taking place daily.  This fast pace will likely continue until Thursday, March 4th when the first funnel deadline occurs.

Yesterday, both the House and Senate approved SF 160 - a bill that requires school districts to offer 100% in person school.  Governor Reynolds will sign this legislation at 11 AM this morning. 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/28/every-iowa-school-will-be-required-to-hold-100-of-classes-in-person/

Sf 169, the Governor's education reform bill, which includes vouchers for private schools passed the Senate, and now heads to the House for their consideration: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/28/senate-advances-governors-student-first-scholarships-for-private-school-attendance/

The legislature also passed a constitutional amendment on the right to bear arms this week.  This now heads to the vote of the people in the November 2022 election.  

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/28/there-will-be-a-gun-rights-amendment-on-iowas-2022-ballot/

Other important news:

1. Republicans slam University of Iowa over free speech: 

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/university-iowa-college-dentistry-free-speech-bobby-kaufmann-michael-brase-20210128

2. Iowa unemployment rate drops to 3.1% 

https://www.thehawkeye.com/story/money/business/2021/01/26/iowa-unemployment-rate-drops-though-job-recovery-still-lags/4257745001/

3. Republicans advance abortion consitituional amendment, voters to eventually decide

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/27/gop-led-iowa-house-advances-amendment-on-abortion/

4. Penalties proposed for companies that employ undocumented workers:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/26/state-penalties-proposed-for-iowa-firms-hiring-undocumented-workers/

5. Ban smartphones while driving proposed: 

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/27/new-bid-for-ban-on-handling-smart-phones-while-driving/

6. Governor Reynolds calls for fuel mandates:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/26/iowas-governorcalls-for-e15-b11-to-be-offered-from-all-new-fuel-pump/

7. Iowa to get 16% more in vaccine supply:

https://www.kcci.com/article/iowa-gov-kim-reynolds-feds-will-increase-covid-19-vaccine-allocation-by-16/35337983

 

Week 2 Update

Week two of the session began Tuesday and legislators got right to work with dozens of committee and sub committee meetings.  Hundreds of new bills were also filed this week and we continue to go through them.  Governor Reynolds unveiled her return to learn legislation this week and also announced that folks 65+ will soon be eligible for vaccinations in Iowa.  

Important news clips:

1. Governor Reynolds Return to learn/School Choice plan: https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/21/proposals-law-legislature-kim-reynolds-supports-would-require-iowa-schools-offer-person-classes/4230792001/

and:

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/education/gov-reynolds-proposes-school-choice-x2014-charter-schools-private-school-scholarships-ability-to-transfer-out-of-districts-20210120

2. Iowans 65+ can now get a vaccine:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/21/iowans-65-now-eligible-in-next-phase-of-covid-vaccinations/

3. Bars and Restaurant State of Iowa relief money:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/dining/2021/01/21/governor-kim-reynolds-announces-iowa-restaurant-bar-relief-grant-program-covid-19-relief/6657162002/

4. Gun Constitutional Rights moves forward: 

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/gun-rights-constitutional-amendment-moves-ahead-in-iowa-legislature-20210121

5. No right to an abortion moves forward: 

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/amendment-declaring-no-right-to-abortion-sent-to-full-iowa-house-20210120

6. Iowa House rejects a mask mandate:

https://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa-house-rejects-call-for-mandatory-masks-remote-hearings-20210121

7. Congresswoman MMM ask for dismissal of challenge to her 6 vote lead:

https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/21/miller-meeks-files-request-for-house-rejection-of-hart-challenge/

 

Week 1 Update

The first session of the 89th General Assembly is on its way!  On Monday the Legislature convened, seats were chosen, and oaths of office delivered.  This session, like most things recently, is operating much differently with all of the covid-19 protocols. 

On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds delivered her Condition of the State Address: Highlights include: 

Universal Broadband Access

  • $150 million per year over three years
  • Increasing grant percentage from 35% to 75%

Child Care

  • $3 million to fund the Child Care Challenge Fund created in 2020
  • $25 Million in federal block grant dollars to address child care deserts

Workforce Housing

  • Increase the workforce housing tax credit from $25 million to $50 million
  • Increase small city set-aside from $10 to $20 million for three years
  • Increase redevelopment tax credit from $10 to $20 million
  • Create affordable housing tax credit for new, low-income rental housing - $15 million
  • Increase housing trust fund to $4..4 million

Workforce Training

  • Expand work-based learning opportunities so all high school students can participate
  • $23 million for the Last Dollar Dollar Scholarship Program ($10 million increase) 

Tax Reform

  • Governor Reynolds is not pursuing her IWill tax plan she proposed this year due to Covid-19 uncertainty 
  • Eliminate triggers from 2018 tax legislation effective for tax year 2023

Education Reform

  • 100% in person learning option
  • Open-enrollment for all school districts
  • More flexibility to expand public charter schools
  • Create Educational Savings Accounts

Criminal Justice Reform & Back the Blue

  • Ban Racial profiling
  • Enhance penalties for those who riot, harass, or assault peace officers

Mental Health

  • $15 million increase in FY22 and FY23 for mental health regional services

Other Top Issues

  • Continue conservative budget principles 
  • Constitutional amendments 
  • Redistricting - Legislature could come back in the summer for this to finalize 
  • Telehealth
  • E-Verify

Budget

  • State finished FY 20 with surplus of $305 million and reserve accounts full (over $700 million) 

News Clips from the Governors speech:

On Wednesday, Chief Justice Susan Christensen gave the Condition of the Judiciary:

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2021/01/13/iowa-courts-chief-justice-susan-christensen-annual-condition-of-the-judiciary-covid-19-pandemic/6640856002/

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

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2021/01/14/condition-of-iowa-national-guard-address-ben-corell-covid-19-derecho-capitol-riots-inauguration/4147965001/

Legislative Makeup

  • GOP Netted 6 seats in the House (59 R - 41 D)
  • House leadership stayed the same - Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartfod), Majority Leader Matt Windschitl (R- Missouri Valley), Minority Leader Todd Pritchard (D-Charles City) 
  • In the Senate, GOP maintained control (31-18).  State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) has resigned her seat as she is now in Congress.  A Special Election is scheduled for January 26th.  State Senator Zach Nunn (R-Altoona) is on active military duty and will miss most, if not all of the 2021 session. 
  • Republican Leadership: Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny), President Jake Chapman (R-Adel)
  • Democrat Leader: Minority Zach Wahls (D-Coralville)

While hundreds of bills were filed this week, and committee meetings were held for organizational purposes, the real work begins next week.  As a reminder, the State Government is closed on Monday for MLK day.  On Tuesday, the sub committee process will really begin.  

Other news:

Death penalty debate begins: https://www.radioiowa.com/2021/01/15/death-penalty-proposed-for-specific-child-murder-cases/ 

 

What Passed And What Didn't During Iowa's Two-Part 2020 Legislative Session

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed these into law: 

Police misconduct bill. A group of Democrats led by the Legislative Black Caucus proposed police reforms and negotiated with Republicans to unanimously pass the bill in response to widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice. The bill prevents law enforcement officers fired for misconduct from being rehired, and raises the legal threshold for police to use chokeholds, among other provisions. Lawmakers called it a first step in addressing racial injustice.

Education funding. Before the first coronavirus cases were confirmed in Iowa, Republican leaders agreed on a 2.3 percent increase for base per-student education funding. Some Democrats and education groups were calling for 3 percent. They allocated a total of $99 million in new money for K12 schools, including funding to address transportation and funding formula inequities.

These bills passed the legislature, and they’re still awaiting the governor’s signature: 

Protection from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Republicans voted to give businesses and health care providers special protections against coronavirus-related lawsuits as virus outbreaks continue in meatpacking plants and nursing homes. Facilities wouldn’t be liable unless they recklessly disregard the risk of exposure or intentionally expose someone to coronavirus. Republicans said this is needed to reboot the economy, and Democrats are concerned it will protect bad actors.

A status quo budget. Republican leaders agreed to a $7.78 billion mostly status quo budget as revenue estimates show the state will bring in $360 million less than expected because of the coronavirus. They cut $8 million from public universities and gave some additional funds to the Glenwood Resource Center and Eldora State Training School. The bill gives the executive branch the authority to determine most of the budget details and to decide how to spend federal coronavirus relief funding.

Voting law changes. As part of the budget bill, Republicans expanded the state’s voter ID law to cover in-person early voting. It also prohibits county auditors from using existing government databases to fill in incomplete or incorrect information on a voter’s absentee ballot request form, and instead requires them to call, email or send a letter to the voter to verify their identity. Republicans say it will help prevent voter fraud, though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Iowa. Democrats are concerned it will make it harder to access mail-in ballots in the middle of a pandemic.

Limiting secretary of state’s emergency powers. After Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate chose to send mail-in ballot request forms for the June 2 primary, some Republican lawmakers wanted to prohibit him from doing that again. A compromise between House Republicans and Democrats ultimately passed instead. It gives the Legislative Council the ability to approve or reject the secretary of state’s changes to election procedures during emergencies.

24-hour abortion waiting period. Republicans filed a last-minute abortion restrictionand passed it late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The Iowa Supreme Court previously struck down a 72-hour waiting period as unconstitutional. Abortion rights opponents said they hope a court challenge of this new policy would lead to court precedent in the state that would allow for more abortion restrictions.

Medical cannabis changes. This bill changes the current THC limit of 3 percent in individual products to a total THC purchase limit of 4.5 grams over 90 days, with some exceptions. Last year, Gov. Reynolds vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have allowed for 25 g of THC over 90 days because an advisory board recommended a lower amount. Some patients are concerned the new limit will keep them from getting adequate pain relief. The bill also allows more medical providers to certify people for the program.

These proposals didn’t pass:

Felon voting rights constitutional amendment. Senate Republicans declined to pass a constitutional amendment to restore felon voting rights even after Gov. Reynolds signed a bill they backed to add restrictions to the restoration of rights. Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, said he heard Reynolds would sign an executive order on the issue, which made the Senate GOP stop the amendment process. But he also said a majority of Senate Republicans didn’t support the current language.

Abortion-related constitutional amendment. House Republicans did not have the votes to pass this measure. It was aimed at undoing an Iowa Supreme Court decisionthat said abortion rights are protected as fundamental rights.

Child care access. Before the session was paused, the House passed several bills to improve child care access. The Senate didn’t pass the child care bills. Iowa’s problems with child care access will likely get worse as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Mental health funding. Going into the legislative session, Republicans and Democrats said sustainable mental health funding was one of their top priorities. Reynolds proposed it as part of her Invest in Iowa Act. Lawmakers didn’t act on mental health funding in the end.

Invest in Iowa Act. Gov. Reynolds proposed raising the sales tax to pay for income tax cuts and water quality and outdoor recreation. She wanted to also use state funds for adult and children’s mental health services. Republican leaders never voiced full support for the plan, and Reynolds ultimately put it on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic and reduced state revenues.

Senate File 2412 State Innovative Waiver passed 49-0 June 5th. https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=SF%202412

 The Iowa Legislature resumed session last Wednesday, and got right to work passing bills at both the Committee and Floor levels. 

This past week the Legislature approved bills ranging from medical cannabis updates, fuel tax updates, Covid 19 liability shield (House), felon voting rights and broadband expansion to name just a few.

The House will be back on Monday, while the Senate returns on Tuesday. They have more policy bills to continue moving from the floor to the Governor's desk.  Next week should be dominated by the final budget agreement.  I would expect budget targets to be released Monday or Tuesday.  There is also speculation that the Legislature will pass the budget in one big budget bill rather than individual bills to save time.  If all goes to plan, Session could be over in about a week. 

This week, Governor Reynolds signed:

S.F. 2348: an Act relating to the restoration of voting rights to certain convicted persons and including effective dare provisions.

1. Covid 19 Liability passes the House: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/05/house-gop-votes-for-covid-19-liability-protection-for-hospitals-businesses/

2. Felon voting rights advances: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/05/senate-panel-advances-felon-voting-rights-amendment/

3. Regents freeze tuition: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/04/board-of-regents-freeze-fall-tuition-student-leaders-ask-for-spring-freeze-too/

4. New unemployment claims dropping rapidly: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/04/new-unemployment-claims-down-by-almost-half/

5. Medical cannabis bill passes, heads to Governor: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/03/backers-say-cannabis-bill-imperfect-but-worth-supporting/

6. State Senator Randy Feenstra defeats longtime incumbent, Congressman Steve King in primary: https://www.radioiowa.com/2020/06/03/randy-feenstra-defeats-steve-king-by-9-7-points/

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you!

Gov. Reynolds signs legislation into law

DES MOINES - On Monday, June 1, Gov. Reynolds signed the following bills into law: 

HF2454: A bill for an act relating to qualifications for community college career and technical education instructors.

HF2475: A bill for an act relating to the review and permitting of sewer extensions and water supply distribution system extensions, and including effective date provisions.  

HF2477: A bill for an act relating to county regulation of certain agricultural experiences.

HF2512: A bill for an act relating to county zoning procedures, and including effective date and applicability provisions.

SF537: A bill for an act relating to taking coyotes while using an artificial source of light.  

SF2082: A bill for an act relating to matters involving the state board of education and the department of education to reflect current practices, technology, and titles, to delete redundancies, and to resolve inconsistencies.   

SF2119: A bill for an act relating to controlled substances, including amending the controlled substance schedules, removing certain references to marijuana, making penalties applicable, and including effective date provisions.

SF2120: A bill for an act relating to controlled substances, including information collection and reporting requirements under the Iowa prescription monitoring program.

SF2135: A bill for an act relating to the final disposition and disinterment of human remains.

SF2196: A bill for an act extending the repeal date of the Iowa cell siting Act and including effective date provisions.

SF2259: A bill for an act relating to liability arising from the donation of equipment by a municipality, fire department, emergency medical services provider, or law enforcement agency.   

SF2275:  A bill for an act relating to eluding or attempting to elude a pursuing law enforcement vehicle and providing penalties.  

SF2299: A bill for an act relating to background checks for employees and students of certain facilities, providers, programs, and agencies.   

SF2337: A bill for an act relating to civil actions involving asbestos and silica, and including applicability provisions. 

 

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(DES MOINES) -- This afternoon, House and Senate leadership announced that the Legislature plans to reconvene on Wednesday, June 3 at 9 am. The Legislature previously suspended its session on March 16 as a precaution to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of legislators, staff, and the public.
 
“Iowans have stepped up and done their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is because of these efforts that we can safely and responsibly reopen our communities and economy,” said House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford). “With the situation much improved, it is also time for the Legislature to return to Des Moines so we can complete our work. Once we return, I look forward to addressing the priorities of Iowans and passing a conservative and responsible state budget.”
 
While the public is encouraged to avoid the Capitol if possible, especially if they fall in a vulnerable population, additional safety precautions will be taken to protect the health of those in the building when the Legislature reconvenes. These measures include:

  • Encouraging members and staff to stay home if they are sick, have a fever or any symptoms, or have compromised immune systems.
  • Requiring staff members and the public to undergo a health screening before entering the Capitol.
  • Recommending that all individuals follow social distancing guidelines issued by the Department of Public Health.
  • Recommending the use of facemasks when unable to properly social distance, as recommended by the CDC. Facemasks will be provided to those who want one.
  • Deploying hand sanitizer stations throughout the Capitol, at entrances to the building, and the House and Senate chambers.
  • Limiting individuals on the House floor to only Representatives and necessary staff as deemed appropriate by supervisors.

 Members of the press will be seated on a first come, first served basis in a reserved section of the north gallery of the House. They are encouraged to practice proper social distancing among themselves. News organizations are strongly encouraged to limit their number of reporters in the House gallery to one per outlet.
 
Additionally, all House committee meetings will be held in the House Chambers and will be live streamed to increase transparency and ensure Iowans are able to follow legislative business. For subcommittee meetings, members of the public will be strongly encouraged to submit written comments on legislation via the General Assembly’s website (similar to public hearings in the House).
 
The Capitol building will be reopened to the public on Monday, May 18 with reduced hours (Monday-Saturday, 8:00 am-4:00 pm) and only the West Entrance will be open. The Capitol is closed to tour groups and individuals will be encouraged to practice social distancing guidelines (6 feet of separation) and refrain from gathering in groups of ten or more.
 
The Legislative Council will meet by teleconference on Thursday, May 14 at 3:30 pm to vote to resume session on June 3.

 

Governor Kim Reynolds ★ Lt. Governor Adam Gregg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Apr. 16, 2020

CONTACT: Pat Garrett, (515) 802-0986

  

Gov. Reynolds signs new proclamation continuing State Public Health Emergency Declaration, requiring additional protective measures in RMCC Region 6

DES MOINES - Today, Gov. Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration and implementing additional measures to protect residents, workers, and the public in RMCC Region 6. 

The proclamation limits social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings in RMCC Region 6 to only people who live together in the same household. And it continues to limit weddings, funerals, and other spiritual or religious gatherings to no more than 10 people. The proclamation also requires people to remain six feet away from people outside their household whenever possible, and requires employers to take reasonable steps to increase telework and adopt reasonable precautions to protect the health of employees and the public at any in-person operations.  

RMCC Region 6 includes Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, and Winneshiek counties.

The order is effective at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020. Read the full text of the proclamation can be read below or click here to read online

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has reported an outbreak of thousands of cases of Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in multiple countries, causing illness and deaths; and

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services declared a national public health emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency was issued to coordinate the State of Iowa’s response to this outbreak and such disaster continues to exist; and 

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation declaring that the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States constitutes a national emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 17, 2020, a Proclamation of Public Health Disaster Emergency was issued to provide additional needed resources and measures to respond to this disaster, was extended on April 2, 2020, and such public health disaster continues to exist; and

WHEREAS, the continued spread of COVID-19 in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, or Winneshiek counties comprising Regional Medical Coordination Center Region 6 warrants taking additional reasonable measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.

NOW THEREFORE, I, KIMBERLY K. REYNOLDS, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution, Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6(1), 135.140(6), and 135.144 do hereby proclaim a STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DISASTER EMERGENCY continues to exist throughout the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

HOUSEHOLD PROTECTION
(RMCC Region 6)

  • Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144 (3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I hereby order that beginning at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020:
  • All social, community, recreational, leisure, and sporting gatherings of any size with individuals other than members of the same household who reside together are prohibited. Weddings, funerals, and other spiritual or religious gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, and such gatherings with fewer people may continue to be held only if all present comply with paragraph B. This prohibition shall not be construed to restrict the provision of necessary care, including child care, medical care, or other necessary supports, to another person.
  • All people who do leave their homes must practice social distancing by making every reasonable effort to stay at least six feet away from all people other than members of the same household who reside together. 
  • These requirements do not apply to or limit gatherings for purposes other than those identified in paragraph A, including those in relation to employment or volunteer activities.

This section shall apply to all people present in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, or Winneshiek counties, regardless whether they reside in one of these counties or another county. People residing or working in these counties shall abide by this order at all times regardless of where they are located, including at a workplace or residence in another county.

EMPLOYEE AND PUBLIC PROTECTION
(RMCC Region 6)

  • Pursuant to Iowa Code § 135.144 (3), and in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Public Health, unless otherwise modified by subsequent proclamation or order of the Iowa Department of Public Health, I hereby order that beginning at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020 and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2020:
  • All employers shall evaluate whether any more of their employees can feasibly work remotely and to the extent reasonable, shall take steps to enable such employees to work from home.
  • All businesses or other employers remaining open with in-person operations shall take reasonable precautions to ensure the health of their employees and members of the public, including appropriate employee screening, social distancing practices, and increased cleaning and hygiene practices.
  • This section shall not be a basis for closing or taking other enforcement action against a business or other employer absent an additional specific order or directive of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

This section shall apply to all employers with employees physically located in Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Grundy, Howard, Jones, Linn, or Winneshiek counties.

IMPLEMENTATION AND INTERPRETATION

  • The Iowa Department of Public Safety, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Transportation, and other participating state agencies are hereby directed to monitor the operation and implementation of this proclamation to assure the public's health and safety.
  • In conjunction with the Department of Public Health pursuant to Iowa Code §§ 29C.18 and 135.35, all peace officers of the state are hereby called upon to assist in the enforcement of the provisions of this Proclamation.
  • The provisions of this proclamation shall be effective beginning at 11:59 p.m. on April 16, 2020. This proclamation shall not be construed to otherwise modify the proclamations issued on April 2, 2020, April 6, 2020, or April 10, 2020. This state of public health disaster emergency shall continue to expire on April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me.

 

(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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