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PO Box 71005, 2135 NW 108th Street

Clive, IA 50325

 

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. 

 

GovDelivery logo

 

(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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