WEEKLY BILL TRACKING

Thurs. Feb 5 – Wed. Feb 11, 2015

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF

Commerce

HF 229         Regulations Regarding Buying Clubs. Exempts the sales of buying club memberships through the internet from current regulations regarding notifications of cancellations, which is part of our consumer protection law. (passed Committee 14-9) to House Calendar

 

Economic Growth

HSB 60        Shelter Assistance Fund. Codifies current practices in distributing Shelter Assistance Fund money, including removing  rehabilitation and expansion as permissible uses of fund money. (passed Committee 20-1) to House Calendar

 

Education

HF 13           School Start Date. As amended in committee, the bill sets the school start date at Aug. 23rd with no waiver process for schools to start earlier. There isn’t an exemption for a year-round school or an innovative calendar, and removes the exemption to a school aid reduction under the school aid formula for schools that start before Aug. 23rd. (passed Committee 12-10) to House Calendar

HF 123         BOEE Technical Correction on Appointment of Executive Director. Cleans up language from 2012 that allowed the Governor to appointment the Board of Educational Examiners Executive Director. This bill removes the reference that has the board appoint the Executive Director. (passed House 93-0) to Senate Calendar

HF 126         All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Program. Spreads out the funding to Regent and private college students for the scholarship program under the College Aid Commission to two years, instead of the current one year. Currently community college students can receive the scholarship for two years. (passed Committee 21-1) to House Calendar

HF 139         School Funding Every Other Year. Strikes the current 30 day time line to set school funding, and establishes that the percentage increase for school funding and categorical funding would be set only in the first session of the General Assembly. The Legislature would set two years of school funding within the same session with two different time lines. Changes the deadlines for the Modified Allowable Growth program to apply for the program. (passed House 55-43) to Senate Education

HF 204         On-Line Schools. Removes the sunset on CAM and Clayton Ridge School Districts which operate on-line programs. The weighting cap is eliminated for students that are “emotionally fragile.” The Department of Education would no longer have to survey students in the program on free and reduced lunch. The reporting requirements would now include some additional items that schools are already required to do. (passed Committee 14-9) to House Calendar

HF 228         Transitional Coaching Program. Creates a new transitional coaching authorization under the Board of Educational Examiners.  To take part in the program, a transitional coach would have to first pass a concussion training course which is required by the Iowa Athletic Association before anyone can coach, be at least 21 years of age, provide verification of an offer of a coaching position by a school or a consortium of schools, and complete the coursework required for a full coaching authorization within 1 year. As amended, persons with this authorization are subject to the definition of school employee regarding the law on sexual exploitation by a counselor, therapist or school that was passed last year. (passed Committee 20-3) to House Calendar

HSB 15        Iowa Tuition Grant Cap. Removes the current cap of $5,000 to the Iowa Tuition Grant program, which applies to both non-profit and for-profit private colleges. Funding for the program would still be subject to the amount appropriated. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

HSB 36        BOEE Access to Iowa Courts On-line. Adds the Iowa Courts On-line data base as a required background check for licensed teachers that are up for renewal. This matches the current requirements for background checks for non-licensed school employees, which require the sex offender registry, child abuse registry, and Iowa Courts On-line. The Board of Education Examiners would review these data bases, and could deny someone a license if an offense was found that a licensed teacher could lose their license for. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

 

Human Resources

HSB 62        Medicaid – Asset, Income, and Identity Verification. Requires the Department of Human Services to contract with a third party to develop and implement procedures to verify the asset, income and identification of certain Medicaid applicants based on being aged, blind, or disabled. If enacted, Iowa would be the fourth state to comply with the federal requirement. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

 

Judiciary

HSB 23        Direct Deposit of Wages. Allows employers to require employees that were hired before 2005 to be paid by direct deposit. (passed Committee 20-1) to House Calendar

HSB 34        Sexual Misconduct with Offenders by Peace Officers. Expands the definition of sexual misconduct with offenders and juveniles to specifically include peace officers (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

HSB 43        District Judge Nominees Out of District. Allows a district judicial nominee to be a resident of the state, and the nominee would have to be a resident of that judicial district when appointed. (passed Committee 13-8) to House Calendar

 

Natural Resources

HF 42   Taking of catfish by bow and arrow. Allows catfish to be taken by bow and arrow in designated state parks and preserves. The current rule allows rough fish to be taken in this manner, and the bill expands the rule to include catfish. Bow and arrow must have an attached bow fishing reel and a violation of this rule is punishable by a $50 fine. (Passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar.

 

State Government

HSB 72   Regulation of CPA’s and CPA Firms. Updates Iowa Law to conform with the most recent Uniform Accountant Act. States that a CPA doing forensic work does not have to be a licensed private investigator, amends the definition of report to include references to attested information and makes other conforming changes. Eliminates the requirement for firms to notify the examining board of the change of an identity of a partner, officer, shareholder, member, or manager who perform professional services in the state. Changes the law for CPA firms licensed as a professional corporation to have a non-licensed CPA owner as long as the firm meets other current requirements by the Iowa accountancy board. (Passed Committee 23-0) to House Calendar.

 

Transportation

HF 93   Requirements for Special Vehicle Registration Plates. Changes the process for requesting a special license plate for a motor vehicle. Currently, everything is run through the Department of Transportation and this bill would allow a nonprofit with at least 200 members to design and produce the decal rather than the DOT. New plates will have a spot on the plate reserved for the decal. Eliminates the special plate fee at the time of the registration of a new vehicle because the fee will now be paid to the organization producing the decal. Outlines that the DOT may establish guidelines and criteria for approval of the decal design. (Passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar.

 

Ways & Means

HF 124         529 Savings Plan Contribution Extension. Provides the option for 529 Iowa College Savings Plan donations made before the individual income tax return filing deadline to be considered contributions during the previous calendar year. (passed House 94-1) to Senate Ways & Means Committee

HF 166         Disabled Veterans Homestead Property Tax Exemption – Fix. The bill is intended to fix an error from last year. The bill amends the eligibility criteria for the credit to include a veteran that has a permanent and total disability rating based on individual unemployability, which is compensated at the 100% disability rate, as certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill also removes the provision that terminates eligibility for the credit for a surviving spouse receiving dependency and indemnity compensation when the surviving spouse remarries. The bill takes effect upon enactment and applies retroactively to May 26, 2014, for applications for the homestead credit filed on or after that date. (passed Committee 23-0) to House Calendar

SF 126         IRC Coupling. Makes changes to Iowa state taxes to correspond to changes in the federal tax code, including coupling with federal changes to Section 179 expensing. (passed House 95-0) to Governor