Appropriations

HF 64 — Disaster Assistance. This bill will provide $56 million in funding from the $155 million economic emergency fund for additional disaster relief. The Jumpstart Housing Program will receive $24 million, Unmet Individual Disaster Assistance Grants will receive $10 million, and a Community Disaster Grant program will receive $22 million. (Passed House Appropriations 24-0; Passed House 98-0) To Senate

Human Resources

HF 2 — Salvia Divinorum as a Controlled Substance. Salvia divinorum is a perennial herb that when consumed is a hallucinogenic. The bill classifies the substance as a schedule 1 controlled substance. The penalty is a class C felony for any unauthorized person to manufacture, deliver or possess. (passed Committee 18-2) to House Calendar
HF 8  — Clergy as Mandatory Reporters. Requires that clergy members be mandatory reporters of child abuse. The law does not include information obtained during penitential communication made in confidence, such as confession. The clergy are not required to meet the training requirements. (passed Committee 19-1) to House Calendar
HSB 6 — Mental Health Parity. Mandates insurance coverage for mental health conditions, including alcohol and substance abuse treatment, be covered the same as other medical conditions. (passed Committee 12-9) to House Calendar
HSB 7  — Precursor List and Database Extension. Adds two substances to the list of precursors, which is a substance that may be used in the illegal production of a controlled substance. Also, extends the prescription drug database program containing a record of the dispensing of prescriptions for identified controlled substances. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

Natural Resources

HJR 1 — Natural Resources Sustainable Funding Constitutional Amendment. The bill is a resolution to add an amendment to Iowa’s constitution. It creates a natural resources and outdoor recreation trust fund for protecting and enhancing Iowa’s waters, parks, trails, fish and wildlife habitat, and agricultural soils. No revenue will be credited to the fund until the Legislature increases the sales tax in the future, after the public votes on the amendment. The intent is to credit 3/8th of 1¢ of a future sales tax increase to this fund, which would generate approximately $150 million. The Legislature would establish the parameters for distribution of the funds, but they can only go for protecting and enhancing water quality and natural areas in Iowa. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

Rebuild Iowa/Disaster Recovery

HF 64 –Disaster Assistance. This bill will provide $56 million in funding, from the $155 million economic emergency fund, for additional disaster relief. The Jumpstart Housing Program will receive $24 million, the Unmet Needs Disaster Grant Program will receive $10 million, and a Community Disaster Grant program will receive $22 million. The bill also officially establishes the Rebuild Iowa Office. (Passed House 98-0; Passed Rebuild Iowa Committee 15-0 as HSB 64) to Senate Appropriations Committee
SF 44 –Expedited Local Option Sales Tax Process. This bill provides cities and unincorporated areas of counties to hold local option sales and service tax elections in an expedited manner – in either March or May of 2009. The measure still needs a majority of voters to approve the increase in sales taxes. (Passed Senate 32-18; Passed House Ways and Means Committee 13-11; Passed Rebuild Iowa Committee 11-6 as HSB 54) To Calendar

Ways And Means

SF 44 Expedited Local Option Sales Tax Process. This bill allows cities and unincorporated areas of counties to hold local option sales and services tax elections in an expedited manner – in either March or May of 2009. The measure still needs a majority of voters to approve the increase in sales taxes. (Passed Committee 14-10) to House Calendar