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PO Box 71005, 2135 NW 108th Street

Clive, IA 50325

Government Affairs

IAHU represents all members with one unified and strong voice. On-going legislative and agency lobbying, a top priority of our Association will be designed to educate those who regulate our industry.

2021 IA Legislative Session

Current Bills 

HSB 228 - Lundgren - PBM

https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=hsb228

SSB 1225 - Zaun - Noneconomic Damage Awards

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

HF 372 - Moore - Non-Medical Switching

 https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&ba=HF372

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 2/8/21

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 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.     

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:

BULLETIN 20-08

To:      All Insurance Producers and Continuing Education Providers of Iowa
From: Doug Ommen, Iowa Insurance Commissioner
RE:      Iowa Insurance Division Transition to New Version of SBS in June
Date:   April 21, 2020
____________________________________________________

Effective June 10, 2020, Iowa will be transitioning to a new version of State Based Systems (SBS). The ability to submit any transactions to SBS or the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) will be shut down on June 5, 2020 at 3:00 pm CDT and will be turned back on June 10, 2020 in the morning.

The Commissioner rescinds Bulletin 20-02 effective immediately which indicated that the transition to the new version of SBS would occur in May.

Any transaction submitted during this timeframe will be declined and fees will not be collected. This affects all the following Iowa applications:

  • · Resident Licensing (RL)
  • · Resident Licensing Renewals (RLR)
  • · Non- Resident Licensing (NRL)
  • · Non- Resident Licensing Renewals (NRR)
  • · Non- Resident Adjuster Licensing (NRAL)
  • · Non- Resident Adjuster Licensing Renewals (NRAR)
  • · Appointment and Terminations (Appt/Term)
  • · Contact Change Request (CCR)
  • · Continuing Education – posting of credits and submittals of course rosters

In addition, the Division will be making minor changes including requiring Designated Responsible Licensed Producers (DRLP) to be actively licensed and requiring the National Producer Number (NPN) for an individual instead of their tax identification number (SSN) for Appointment & Termination transactions.

More information will be available from the Iowa Insurance Division as it becomes available. Additional information will also be available at www.statebasedsystems.com as the transition date approaches.

### 

Iowa schools to extend closures through end of school year
Schools will continue voluntary and required continuous learning plans while school buildings are closed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, April 17, 2020

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced today that all school districts and nonpublic schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year and will continue to offer continuous learning to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This also includes the cancellation of spring sports activities. 

“While I would like nothing more than to open up our schools and classrooms in May, we have to prioritize the health and safety of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “With our students at home, we must rely on continuous learning plans that are in place and prepare school districts for ‘Return to Learn’ in the fall. I greatly appreciate the work of Director Ann Lebo and all our school administrators, educators, and staff during this unprecedented time.”

The decision, which was announced today during Gov. Kim Reynolds’ press conference,

is based on recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health to ensure the health and safety of Iowa students, teachers, school administrators and other school staff. View that press conference here

“Iowa teachers should be commended for how quickly they have transitioned from the classroom to online and distance learning,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “Our schools have really stepped up to the plate and worked hard to develop and implement continuous learning solutions in only a matter of weeks. We appreciate everything schools and families are doing to support children’s well-being while continuing to support their academic progress while school buildings are closed.”

The governor and the Iowa Department of Education also announced that the state of Iowa will:

  • Waive instructional time requirements for the remainder of the 2019-2020 regularly scheduled academic year for schools that continue to provide continuous learning through one of two approved options, voluntary educational enrichment opportunities, required educational services, or a combination of the two.
  • Require schools to submit a Return to Learn Plan to the Iowa Department of Education by July 1 outlining ways they will address disruptions to learning as a result of COVID-19. This could include summer school, enrichment activities or other opportunities to address the needs of learners.
  • Waive the requirement that schools start no earlier than Aug. 23, allowing school districts and nonpublic schools to make local decisions about the length of their 2020-2021 academic year. 

The governor had previously ordered schools to close through April 30. All of Iowa’s 327 public school districts, as well as 179 nonpublic schools, currently offer continuous learning through one of the approved continuous learning options outlined above. Continuous learning encompasses a variety of approaches used to extend learning beyond brick and mortar buildings — online learning, e-learning, distance learning, including paper packets, and virtual learning.

School buildings will remain closed through the end of the school year except for approved meals site locations participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program and those providing temporary emergency childcare.

An announcement on summer sports activities and when other school-sponsored activities can resume will be made by June 1.

For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s COVID-19 Guidance and Information web page.


BULLETIN 20-06 

To: All Health Insurance Companies Writing in the State of Iowa From: Doug Ommen, Iowa Insurance Commissioner
RE: Telehealth Services Flexibility and Reimbursement
Date: March 27, 2020

In light of Governor Reynolds’s March 26, 2020 proclamation continuing a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency, and to further mitigate the impact of COVID-19, Bulletin 20-06 provides guidance to individuals and entities regulated by the Iowa Insurance Division to increase the availability and usage of telehealth services. Using telehealth services, individuals are able to visit a health care professional from their home without having to travel to a medical office or hospital, helping minimize the risk of exposure to, and community spread of, COVID-19.

Iowa Code § 514C.34 prohibits discrimination between coverage benefits for health care services that are provided in person and the same health care services that are delivered through telehealth. Most health carriers are currently offering telehealth benefits in some form in their current plans. We find that it is in the interest of public health and safety for all health carriers licensed in this state to promote the use of telehealth services to policyholders and to encourage health care professionals to offer telehealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Commissioner directs all health carriers licensed in this state

eliminate barriers to audio-only telephone transmission requirements for reimbursement of health care services and to explicitly allow the use of telephones, audio/video, secure

text messaging, email or use of a patient portal for the furnishing of telehealth services.
In order to facilitate the use of telehealth services, health carriers are also requested as follows:

  • Health carriers are requested to work with health care professionals to increase access to telehealth services.

  • Health carriers shall not limit telehealth services only to patients with COVID-19.

  • Health carriers shall modify existing telehealth payment methodologies to ensure that rates of

    payment to health care professionals for services delivered through telehealth are identical to the

    rates of payment established for services delivered for in-person visits.

  • Health carriers shall not limit, deny or reduce coverage or reimbursement for a covered health care

    service delivered through telehealth.

  • Health carriers who also administer self-funded employer based plans shall encourage all Iowa businesses to 

    to take any necessary action to remove cost-sharing or other financial barriers to the use of telehealth in their health insurance plans.

The Division will not take enforcement action against any health carrier making mid-year changes to the health benefit plan to provide greater coverage for telehealth services.

 

BULLETIN 20-05

To: Licensed resident insurance producers and state-registered securities professionals From: Doug Ommen, Iowa Insurance Commissioner
RE: Covid-19 Licensing Relief
Date: March 25, 2020

On March 22, 2020, Governor Reynolds signed a new proclamation continuing the State Public Health Emergency Declaration as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Among other relief, the proclamation provides professional licensing relief by suspending the regulatory professions of Iowa Code chapters 502 and 522B and related administrative rules to the extent they:

1. Impose requirements for in-person continuing education as a condition of professional license renewal or impose continuing education deadlines or requirements that are unable to be satisfied due to this Disaster Emergency; and

2. Set an expiration date or renewal requirement for a professional license that expires during the duration of the Proclamation.

The suspension of these two provisions extends through the duration of the Governor’s Proclamation and any future extension.

The Division is fully operational and continues to process applications and renewals of all licenses and registrations.

Insurance licensees may continue to be timely renewed, and the Iowa Insurance Division is implementing procedures to avoid suspensions and non-renewals and provides the following guidance to licensed resident insurance producers and state-registered securities professionals:

1. The Division will be waiving the classroom method requirement and proctor requirements for continuing education until further notice. Continuing Education requirements can now be met by completing self-study courses or classroom equivalent webinars. Many classroom equivalent webinars are live and interactive and offer a similar experience as classroom courses. Course availability can be found online here.

2. Producer License Renewals can be submitted up to 90 days in advance and should be submitted online at www.nipr.com. Should you have any questions with processing your renewal application please reach out to the division at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or 515-725-0690.

The Division does not anticipate any changes to current procedures for state-registered securities professionals as online education is already permitted and registrations do not expire until the end of the calendar year. Applications for registration continue to be processed as they are received. State- registered securities professionals with questions can contact the Securities Bureau at 515-242-5310.

The Division reminds licensed insurance producers of the transition to a new version of SBS taking place between May 8 and May 14 which is the subject of Bulletin 20-02.

 

BULLETIN 20-04

To:       All Health Insurance Companies Writing in the State of Iowa
From:   Doug Ommen, Iowa Insurance Commissioner
RE:     Individual and Small Group Coverage Impacted by COVID-19
Date:    March 19, 2020

In light of Governor Reynolds’s March 17, 2020 proclamation of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency (the “Proclamation”), the purpose of Bulletin 20-04 is to assist individuals and entities regulated by the Iowa Insurance Division who are impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic and the resulting economic disruptions.The Commissioner requests all health insurers and health maintenance organizations licensed in this state to allow a premium payment grace period for any Iowa individual health benefit plan as defined in Iowa Code section 513C.3 and to any health benefit plan issued to small employers under Iowa Code chapter 513B as follows:

  • Health insurers and health maintenance organizations are requested to put procedures in place allowing individual and small employer policyholders affected by the economic disruptions resulting from COVID-19 to request extensions for premium payments beyond the insurers’ normal payment due dates.
  • Health insurers and health maintenance organizations are requested to allow any individual or small group policyholder at least 60 days after a premium payment is due before terminating coverage for any such policyholder who has a premium payment initially due between March 17, 2020, and June 30, 2020.
  • To the extent that federal law requires a longer or shorter period for payment of premiums, federal law shall control. However, in light of the Proclamation, the Commissioner requests that issuers on the Federally Facilitated Exchange extend premium payment deadlines (such as deadlines for payment to effectuate coverage) and delay cancellations for non-payment of premium that are at least consistent with this Bulletin. The Division further requests that CMS exercise enforcement discretion regarding any provisions of federal law inconsistent with this Bulletin pursuant to section 7.1.4 of the Federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFEs) and Federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (FF-SHOP) Enrollment Manual.
  • For those policies with an automatic bank draft or electronic funds transfer arrangement, health insurers and health maintenance organizations may continue payment deductions unless or until the policyholder terminates this arrangement with the insurer and financial institution.

The Division is not requesting that health insurers or health maintenance organizations waive any premiums or other consideration owed on any policy or contract. Nothing in this Bulletin should be construed as the Division requesting any health insurer or health maintenance organization to refrain from terminating coverage on the basis of fraud on the part of an insured.

We will update you as we get more information. Please watch for information to come from the insurance companies on how these will be handled.

 

House and Senate to Suspend Legislative Session 

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

 

Bills that passed the House

HF 2553 PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS 

Establishes requirements for a Pharmacy Benefit Manager to place a drug on the Maximum Allowable Cost list, including that the drug is available to pharmacies statewide. Requires a pharmacy have access to the list. Requires a PBM to update the list within seven days due to changes in acquisition cost or cost methodology. Prohibits a PBM from paying a pharmacy less for a prescription drug than it pays PBM affiliates. Requires that a PBM have an appeals process, with a dedicated phone and internet site. Prohibits PBM from requiring pharmacies to meet accreditation standards or surety requirements beyond state and federal requirements. Prohibits spread pricing and defines such pricing. Prohibits PBM from barring pharmacies from using direct delivery or mail delivery. Includes provisions barring PBMs from retroactively reducing claims. Commissioner: Requires the Insurance Commissioner to review PBM compensation to pharmacies and to adopt rules and take enforcement actions. Other: Makes the bill severable. Repeals some current enforcement provisions and makes conforming changes. 

The House PASSED the bill 100-0; it now GOES to the Senate 

HF 2138 INSULIN PRESCRIPTION COSTS 

Requires insurance coverage for prescription drugs to cap cost-sharing for insulin prescriptions at no more than $100 for a 30-day supply of insulin. 

H 8016 by A Meyer - Makes the supply period 31 days. ADOPTED 

H 8115 to H 8016 by James - Reduces the cost to $50. RULED NOT GERMANEMTSR FAILED 53-46 

The House PASSED the bill as amended 98-1; it now GOES to the Senate 

HF 2192 TELEHEALTH PAYMENTS 

Requires health carriers to reimburse health care providers for telehealth services at the same rate as in-person services as of January 2021. 

H 8028 by Fry - Requires tele-health procedures to be in real-time. Prohibits the health carrier from requiring additional health care professionals to be present. ADOPTED 

H 8035 to H 8028 by Fry - Corrective. ADOPTED 

The House PASSED the bill as amended 99-0; it now GOES to the Senate 

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 CareHF2089 & 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 TransparencyHF2253 - 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

SSB 3047 - 1332 Waiver

This bill relates to health insurance and the insurance division of the department of commerce. The bill authorizes the commissioner of insurance to develop by rule a state innovation waiver pursuant to section 1332 of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, and to submit an application on behalf of the state to the United States secretary of health and human services and the United States secretary of the treasury for the waiver. IAHU is in support of this current Senate Study Bill. Read more details here:  https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=SSB%203047 Reach out to Marcie Strouse with any questions. 

HSB 501 - Prescription Insulin drugs

This bill relates to prescription insulin drugs and coverage by policies, contracts, or plans providing for third-party payment or prepayment of health or medical expenses that provide coverage for prescription drugs. The bill requires a policy, contract, or plan providing for third-party payment of prepayment of health or medical expenses that provides coverage for prescription drugs to cap the total amount of cost-sharing that a covered person is required to pay for a prescription insulin drug to an amount not more than $100 for a 30-day supply, regardless of the amount or type of prescription insulin drug required to fill the covered person's prescription. IAHU is undecided at this time. Read more details here: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=88&ba=HSB%20501 Reach out to Marcie with any questions. 


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Government Relations Chair

For questions regarding government relations, please contactm strouse17

Marcie Strouse
marcie@capitol-benefits.com

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