Commerce

HF 2212 Smoke Free Air Act. The bill prohibits smoking in the workplace and most public places. Exceptions include private residences (unless used for child care), stores pri-marily selling tobacco, casinos, certain private clubs, certain veterans organizations, limos under private hire, and employer owned vehicles provided exclusively to one employee. (Passed House 56-44) to Senate.

Economic Growth

HF 2215 Bond Activity Procedures and Cap under IFA Extends the time allowed to prepare an industrial activity bond through the Iowa Finance Authority, while reducing the time for an extension. The bill also caps a single bond project at $10 million so more projects would be allowed in one year. (Passed House 98-0) to Senate.

HF 2195 Prison Population Exempt from Enterprise Zone Criteria Exempts prison popula-tion from the population loss criteria, so Page County would qualify for the Enterprise Zone program. It would not bump off another county from the list of eligible counties. Page County would not be eligible for an ethanol plant project through the program. (Passed House 97-0) to Senate.

Education

HF 2154 Academic Progress Monitoring. Monitors the progress of students entering high school to assess the credits they’ve earned to advance to be a sophomore. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

HF 2183 Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). Allows school districts to utilize PPEL dollars to repay loans for conservation measures. Conservation is currently a permissible use of PPEL. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar.

Environmental Protection

HF 751 Collection and Recycling of Mercury-Added Thermostats. Bans the sale of mer-cury-added thermostats after July 1, 2009. In addition, any manufacturer which sells or distributes mercury-added thermostats in Iowa must develope and implement a col-lection plan for mercury-added thermostats. The collected thermostats must be recy-cled properly. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

HSB 615 Surface Water Protection Act. Establishes a Water Resource Coordinating Coun-cil, within the Governor’s office, to coordinate all of the state’s water quality ef-forts. Requires assessments and prioritization of regional watersheds in Iowa, fol-lowed by smaller community-based subwatershed improvement plans including wa-ter monitoring. The bill also requires assessment and prioritization of wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The bill is based on the recommendations from the Water-shed Quality Planning Task Force. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar.

Human Resources

HSB 589 Minority Impact Statements. Requires all applicants for grants from the Iowa De-partment of Public Health, Department of Human Services and the Department of Human Rights to include a minority impact statement. Minorities are defined to in-clude individuals who are women, persons with a disability, Blacks, Latinos, Asian or Pacific Islanders, American Indians, and Alaskan Native Americans. (passed Com-mittee 18-0) to House Calendar.

HSB 638 Relocation of FaDSS Council and Program. Completes the transfer of the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Council and Program from the Department of Hu-man Services to the Department of Human Rights. This initially started last year in House File 909, the HHS budget bill. (passed Committee 19-0) to House Calendar

HSB 676 EBT and Food Assistance. Electronically Benefit Transfer (EBT) fees only apply to Food Assistance (food stamps). With expansion of EBT program to include Family Investment Program (FIP) and Promise Jobs, the EBT fee will not be assessed. (passed Committee 15-6) to House Calendar.

Judiciary

HF 2165 Business Corp. Act – Distributions to Shareholders and Business Opportunities.
The bill clarifies the Business Corporations Act in regard to corporate distributions to shareholders and corporate directors making business opportunities available to the corporation. The bill essentially sets the time to determine if a corporation has suffi-cient assets to make a distribution to a shareholder at the time of the distribution, not the time of the agreement to make the distribution. The bill creates a safe harbor pro-cedure for corporate directors to make business opportunities available to the corpora-tion, requiring the director to disclose the opportunity to the corporation and for the corporation to indicate that the corporation does not want to pursue the opportunity. (Passed House 100-0) to Senate.

HF 2189 Regulation of Shorthand Reporters. The bill allows the supreme court to appoint an administrator for the board of examiners of shorthand reporters. The fees collected for shorthand certification examinations are used to offset the expenses of the board of examiners for shorthand reporters. (Passed House 100-0) to Senate.

HSB 581 Child Attendance at a CINA Proceeding. This bill requires a court to determine if an age appropriate child was informed of the child’s right to attend a Child in Need of Assistance (CINA) proceeding involving the child. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar.

Labor

HF 2194 Minimum Wage Clean Up Bill Codifies current rules on what businesses are re-quired to pay the minimum wage. Helps businesses find this information easier and eliminates an obsolete federal code reference from 1989. (Passed House 100-0) To Senate.

HSB 599 Amusement Ride Safety Inspections The bill eliminates a provision that allows a private industry to sponsor their own amusement ride inspector. Since establishing the amusement ride inspection program in 1973, this process has not to been known to be used. Inspectors would be in-house and under the proper supervision of the Labor Commissioner. (Passed Committee 13-3) To House Calendar.

HSB 602 Regulation of Wheel Chair Lifts Updates the elevator laws to be in compliance with recent changes made by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers regarding in-clined vertical wheelchair lifts. (Passed Committee 16-0) To House Calendar.

HSB 597 Workers’ Comp. Burial Expense Amount Increases the amount of a burial expense allowed under workers’ comp. from $7,500 (last raised in 2003) to $7,868 which would now be based on twelve times the average weekly wage. The expense would now be indexed and would no longer be raised by changing the statute. (Passed Committee 16-0) To House Calendar.

Local Government

HSB 587 Defines Peace Officer Communication Equipment as an Essential County Pur-pose. This bill amends the definition of “essential county purpose” and essential cor-porate purpose” to include peace officer communication equipment and other emer-gency services communication equipment and services. This will allows cities and counties to bond for this equipment. (passed Committee 18 – 0) to House Calendar

HF 2133 Changes Procedures for Notices and Collection of Delinquent Charges and Bill-ing Notifications. This bill changes the notice procedure to provide that if delinquent charges are incurred prior to a transfer of property and the delinquency was not certi-fied to the county treasurer prior to transfer, the delinquency is not eligible for certifi-cation and charges cannot be made a lien against the property. Also, allows landlords to give written notice only once, rather than each time a new tenant moves into rental property, to the city utility of residential rental property where the tenant is responsible for payment of the utility bill. If the landlord gives this written notice, the landlord is exempt from a lien for delinquent rates should the tenant fail to pay the utility bill. (passed Committee 18 – 0) to Calendar.

Natural Resources

HF 2177 Deer Tags Affixed to the Antlers. For each buck (antlered) deer killed, hunters are required to affix the transportation tag to its antlers. Western states already require this; the intent is to address poachers who cut off the head just for the antlers, which currently are very valuable (up to $3,500 a rack or more). (passed House 100-0) to Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee

Public Safety

HF 2005 Penalty Increased for Attending Dog Fights. Increases penalty for attending a dog fight or cock fight (being a spectator) from an aggravated misdemeanor to a class D felony, which is the same penalty for owners of the establishments, promoters, owners of the animals, trainers, breeders, buyers and sellers, or transporters. (passed Commit-tee 18-3) to House Calendar

State Government

HF 2132 Tally of Absentee Votes by Precinct. Requires that the absentee ballots be reported by the precinct of the absentee voter. This applies to the primary and general elections only. Precincts having fewer than ten requests for absentee ballots are exempt from this requirement. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

HSB 616 Commission on Native American Affairs. This bill establishes a Commission on Native American Affairs in the Department of Human Rights. The eleven-member commission, made up of Native Americans, will be appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The bill outlines the duties of the commission. (passed Committee 21 – 0) to House Calendar

SF 2122 Secretary of State’s Technical Election Bill. This bill makes a number of technical and corrective changes relating to elections and voter registration. (passed Committee 21 – 0) to House Calendar

Transportation

HF 2196 Electronic Payments to DOT. The bill requires the DOT to consider offering elec-tronic payment options to customers. The DOT must report its findings by December 31, 2008. (Passed House 100-0) to Senate

HF 2213 Transportation Omnibus Bill. This bill makes numerous technical changes to the regulation of motor vehicles at the request of the DOT. (Passed House 98-0) to Senate

Veterans Affairs

HF 2158 Lottery Games for Veterans Trust Fund. The bill directs the lottery to create two scratch tickets and pull-tabs games to benefit the Veterans Trust Fund. Estimated to generate $3 million annually for fund. (passed Committee 13-2) to House Calendar

HF 2065 Military Leave and Reemployment. The bill updates Iowa’s military leave laws to help military personal return to their jobs. The bill changes provisions relating to tem-porary leave, of six months or less, to clarify that employees whose period of service crosses one calendar day, are only charged one day for military leave. The bill also clarifies that troops are entitled to return to a position of like seniority, status, and pay, as they held prior to their leave of absence. (passed House 97-0; Senate 47-0) signed and effective 2-14-08

Ways and Means

HF 2233 Web Search Portal “Microsoft” bill. Similar to last year’s “Google bill, except this year’s bill requires that web searching be one of the businesses of the incentive recipi-ent rather than its “primary” business. Incentives are sales and property tax exemp-tions for computer and related equipment in exchange for at least a $200 million in-vestment. (Passed Senate 45-2) sent to Governor

SF 572 Soy-Based Transformer Fluid Credit. Extends the sunset date of the soy-based transformer fluid income tax credit from 12-31-08 to 12-31-09, since utilities have had difficulty getting equipment delivered in time. Enacted in 2006 to help utilities switch to biodegradable soy-based transformer fluid, the refundable credit is $2 per gallon for a maximum of 60,000 gallons ($120,000). (Signed by Governor)

SF 591 Commercial Fish and Turtle Harvesting. The bill, brought by the Department of Natural Resources, is intended to provide better resource management tools to the de-partment in regards to commercial harvesting of fish and turtles. It establishes buyer licenses and increases a couple permit fees. (passed Committee 17-8) to House Ways and Means Calendar