WEEKLY BILL TRACKING

Thurs. Mar. 26 – Wed. Apr. 1, 2015

HOUSE DEMOCRATIC RESEARCH STAFF

 

Agriculture

HF 578         Observation of Investigation. An owner of a property cannot be prohibited from observing an investigation and taking pictures on their own property (passed 13-0) to Senate Calendar

HF 583         Effluent from Animal Truck Wash Facilities. Tightens regulations on livestock truck washes by moving them into the animal feeding operations code section (passed 13-0) to Senate Calendar

 

Commerce

HF 229         Regulations Regarding Buying Clubs and Free Trial Offers. 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, and adds language to the consumer fraud law regarding free-trial offers. (passed Senate Commerce Committee) to Senate Calendar

HF 371         Disclosure of Radon Test for Sale of Nonpublic Buildings. Allows for the results of the radon test to go directly to the interested buyer, if the interested buyer has paid for the test and made an offer to purchase the nonpublic building. (Signed; Effective 7/1/15)

HF 504         Electronic Delivery of Insurance Notices and Documents. Clarifies law to ensure that insurance companies cannot notify customers by electronic means concerning a notice of cancellation, nonrenewal, or termination of a policy. (passed Senate Commerce Committee) to Senate Calendar

HF 548         Disconnection Devices for Distributed Generation. Requires electric customers that will install a distributed generation facility (wind, solar) to an electric line to install a visual disconnection device and notify their fire department of location of the disconnection device. Requires the Iowa Utilities Board to adopt rules regarding this issue. (passed House 100-0) to Senate Calendar

SF 134         Bonds Paid by Wine Direct Shippers. Eliminates the requirement that wine direct shippers pay two $5,000 bonds in certain situations and requires that they only pay one. (Signed; Effective 7/1/15)

 

Education

HF 347         Child Care Program Licensure. Moves licensure for a child care center through a school district to only be under the Department of Human Services (DHS). Currently under some circumstances they could be either agency. The bill allows a child care center on school grounds is allowed alternative space, and takes effect January 1, 2016, but DHS may begin implementing prior to that date. The Senate made a technical code correction amendment to the bill. (passed Senate 27-21) to House Calendar

HF 445         Psychiatric Hospitals Cost of Educational Services. Clarifies that the funding follows the student from their local school district to a private institution providing psychiatric care. Currently, the funding would come from the school district where the institution is located. There is an exemption to this for special education, a child placed by the department of human services or court day program, or if the district of residence determines that the child may inflict self-harm. The bill allows the sending district to use supplementary weighting or dropout prevention funds to help cover the cost of the student. Signed, Effective 07/01/15

HF 488         Iowa Reading Corps. Establishes an Iowa Reading Corps that would use people from the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, and AmeriCorps who have already been helping young readers. The program will use models of current literacy programs. Goals and strategies will align with the Department of Education, a local school district, and the Iowa Reading Research Center. (passed House 96-0) to Senate Education

HF 599         SAVE Added to Reorganization and Dissolution of a School District. Adds in reorganization and dissolution of school districts, oversight and protections in the case of any outstanding bonds issued through the Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund. This includes a review by the Area Education Agencies in the case of reorganization and liabilities issued and the effect of surrounding districts in the case of a dissolution of a school district. (passed House 96-0) to Senate Education

SF 131         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. Signed, Effective 07/01/15

SF 345         Anti-Bullying. Requires the Education Director, if funds are available, to ensure access to adequate training. The bill sets up a mentoring program at a minimum of two middle schools and two high schools and will include both rural and urban schools. Social networking is added under the definition of bullying. Adds behavior to the list of characteristics of a student affected by bullying. Requires notification of parents of students directly involved in bullying except if the student would be further subjected to rejection, abuse, or neglect by way of that notification. Clarifies current authority of a school to investigate bullying off of school grounds, and allows a student to open enroll to another district and participate in sports right away if they are victim of bullying. Creates the school climate and bullying workgroup to provide recommendations on best practices, training and resources. (passed Committee 19-4) to House Calendar.

SF 432         EpiPens Use in Schools. Allows schools boards and private schools to maintain a supply of EpiPens. A health care professional is allowed to prescribe them to the schools and allows personnel to administer the pens to students. If the trained personnel administers an injection in good faith that the student is having an allergic reaction, the school has legal immunity. It also allows facilities to maintain a supply of EpiPens at locations where the public is present. (passed Committee 23-0) to House Calendar

 

Human Resources

HF 468         Mental Health Advocates. Requires each county to have an independent mental health advocate and the advocate must be an employee of a county.  Counties can share advocates as well.  (passed Senate Human Resources Committee 13-0) to Senate Calendar

HF 534         Stipends for Mental Health Professionals. Broadens the criteria for receiving stipends under the Mental Health Professional Shortage Area Program. This current fiscal year, all of the $105,450 appropriation will be reverted back to the general fund due to lack of qualified applications. (passed House 99-0) to Senate Human Resources Committee

HF 579         Disclosure of Information – Health Facilities. Specifies when information can be disclosed to the attorneys of health care facilities, elder group homes, assisted living programs, and adult day services programs during an investigation. (passed House 98-0) to Senate Human Resources Committee

SF 201         Physician Assistants – Mental Health Findings. For situations when a person is brought in by the police or sheriff to a hospital who they believe is dangerous to others or themselves and is examined by a physician assistant, the bill eliminates requirement that the findings of the examining physician assistant must be approved by the examining physician assistant’s supervising physician before the examining physician assistant communicates with the nearest available Magistrate to make a final decision about a civil commitment. (passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar

SF 228         Anatomical Gift Public Awareness and Transplantation Fund. Under current law, not more than 50% of the money in the Anatomical Gift Public Awareness and Transplantation Fund can be spent annually. The bill changes that to any unobligated funds can be spent annually. The funding is spent in the form of grants to transplant recipients, transplant candidates, living organ donors, or to legal representatives on behalf of transplant recipients, transplant candidates, or living organ donors. (passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar

SF 275         Public Health Modernization Act Updates the Iowa Public Health Modernization Act to use federal standards. Clarifies that residential swimming pools can be used for private swimming lessons. (passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar

SF 401         Sub-acute Care Facility Beds. Increases the maximum number of beds sub-acute care beds from a total of 50 beds to 75 beds.  If a facility wants to add sub-acute beds, they do not have to reduce the number of inpatient beds to do so. The Court has the option of placing a person directly in sub-acute bed, rather than an inpatient bed which may not be needed. (passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar

SF 440         Interstate Contract to Transfer Mental Health Patients. Allows for interstate contracts for transferring voluntary and involuntary civil commitment patients to facilities outside of and into Iowa for substance abuse or mental health treatment. (Signed; effective 7-1-15)

SF 463         Mental Health and Disability Services Code Makes non-substantive code changes related to the Mental Health and Disability Services code. (passed Committee 20-0) to House Calendar

SF 464         Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council Re-establishes the Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council. Delays sunset of Council until July 1, 2016. Duties of the Council will be transferred to the Iowa Department of Public Health, Mental Health and Disabilities Commission, or the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council. (passed 20-0) to House Calendar

 

Judiciary

HF 372         Special Advocate Confidentiality. Allows court appointed special advocates to attend family team decision-making meetings or youth transition decision-making meetings and disclose information about the child to certain individuals. (signed; effective 7-1-15)

HF 496         Military Victim Advocates. Extends protections for victim counselors that are not required to give evidence in a civil or criminal proceeding to military victim advocates. (passed Senate 48-0) to Governor

HF 558         Guardian Ad Litem in Adoptions. Requies a court to either appoint or waive the appointment of a guardian ad litem before proceeding with an adoption. (passed House 100-0) to Senate Judiciary Committee

HF 570         Sledding Liability Exemption. Provides a liability exemption for municipalities for any recreational activity on public property where the injury or damages are from the normal and expected risks inherent in the activity. (signed; effective 7-1-15)

HF 580         Water Treatment Certification. Allows water treatment systems to be certified by an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) certified body instead of being certified by the Department of Public Health. (passed House 85-13) to Senate Judiciary Committee

HF 622         Vehicle Rental Fees. Allows rental companies to charge recovery fees for licensing and registering vehicles outside of the bundled cost quoted for a vehicle rental. (passed Ways & Means Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

SF 150         Sexually Violent Predator Escape Penalty Increased. Increases the penalty for a sexually violent predator that escapes or attempts to escape custody from a simple misdemeanor to a serious misdemeanor. (signed; effective 7-1-15)

SF 223         “Support of the Poor” Code Cleanup. Replaces obsolete sections of the Iowa Code relating to support of the poor. (signed; effective 7-1-15)

SF 336         Sexual Abuse Protective Orders. Allows victims to receive a civil sexual abuse protective order, similar to a domestic abuse protective order. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

SF 385         Expungement. Allows for the expungement of not guilty verdicts and dismissals. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

SF 412         Juvenile Court Officer Guidance. Allows juvenile court officers to advisors child judged delinquent until the age of 21. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

SF 427         Suppressors/Gun Omnibus. Legalizes suppressors; as amended would also allow a minor to possess handgun and change provisions related to a permit to carry a firearm. (passed Committee 19-2) to House Calendar

 

Local Government

SF 165         County Seat Establishment, Relocation and Consolidation. Establishes a process where, by a valid petition to the County Board of Supervisors, there could be an election to relocate, establish or consolidate a county seat. The vote would go before the people during a presidential election, and would have to be adopted by 60% of the people. The petition must be received within 82 days before the election. The ballot measure will include the costs. The board is required to implement a plan if adopted. The bill also requires a county to have at least one, but not more than two, county seats at any one time. (passed Committee 19-1) to House Calendar

HF 588         Disability Placard Renewal. Creates a five-year registration renewal for new disability placards for parking for persons with disabilities issued after the Jan. 1, 2016. Some current disability placards can be for life. The new registration number would be visible from outside the car. Current fine would apply of $100. (passed House 96-0) to Senate Transportation

 

Natural Resources

HF 467   Deer and Wild Turkey Reporting Violations. Reduces the penalty for not reporting a legal taking of a deer or wild turkey from $100 and a simple misdemeanor to $20 and a scheduled fine. (passed House 98-0) to Senate Natural Resources and Environment.

 

Public Safety

HF 447         Wireless Service Providers Required to Release Information to Law Enforcement. Requires wireless service providers to provide location information on a device in certain emergency situations. (passed Senate Judiciary Committee) to Senate Calendar

HF 585         Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Abuse or Sexual Assault. Creates a program in the Secretary of State’s Office where victims can sign up to have their mail sent to the Secretary of State, which in turn will forward it to a confidential address. (passed House 100-0) to Senate

SF 151         Department of Corrections Orientation and Classification Centers. Names Mitchellville as the women’s orientation and classification center, and Anamosa for male juveniles under the age of 18 years. (passed Committee 19-0) to House Calendar

SF 264         Statewide Emergency Mass Notification and Messaging System. Requires E911 notification centers to provide geographic location and phone numbers to the statewide system. (passed Committee 19-0) to House Calendar

SF 410         Good Samaritan/Assistance for Drug Overdose. Suppresses evidence against a person who seeks assistance for another who is experiencing a drug overdose. (passed Committee 21-0) to House Calendar

 

State Government

HF 131         Definition of Beer. Changes the definition of beer for the purposes of brewers and wholesalers to include high alcohol beer. High alcohol beer is defined in Chapter 123 to include any beer from 5 to 12 percent ABW. (Signed by Governor)

HF 202         Volunteer Dentist. Creates a volunteer license for dentists and dental hygienist who have retired in good standing. The volunteer dentist will be under the same guidelines governing the practice of dentistry and dental hygienists except those relating to fees, license renewal, and continuing education requirements. A volunteer dentist is not allowed to charge a fee or receive any form of compensation for dental work. (Signed by Governor)

SF 198         Regulation of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Updates code to conform with the standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Harmonizes laws regarding ownership of CPA firms and exempts CPAs from being license private investigators when doing forensic work. (Signed by Governor)

SF 323         Lottery Funds to Veterans Trust Fund.  The bill repeals the requirement of the Iowa Lottery requirement to provide a limited series of lottery games to benefit the Veterans Trust Fund,  and establishes a $2.5 million annual transfer from Iowa Lottery to the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund until it reaches $50 million.  Once the trust fund is filled, the funds will then be distributed to each county based 50% distributed equally to each county and 50% distributed on the population of veterans in the county.  The bill maintains the commitment of the lottery funds, should gaming revenues not be sufficient to repay bonds for Vision Iowa. (Signed by Governor)

SF 456         Growler Sells. Allows for establishments with a class “C” permit are allowed to sell bill in “growlers” Sets requirements for persons getting their growler filled and the employee filling the growler. The container must be sealed and is not considered an open container under Iowa law. (Passed committee 20-3) to House Calendar.

 

Transportation

SF 75            Blue and White Lights on Snow Plows. Creates a study for snow plows in Department of Transportation in District 1 to use blue and white lights on the vehicles. The pilot project lasts until 2019. (passed committee 21-0) to House Calendar

SF 155         Rear License Plate Light on Dump Truck. Removes the requirement for dump trucks to have a light illuminating the rear license plate on intra state travel. ( passed committee 21-0) to House Calendar

SF 234         Rides Initiative. Expands or sustains existing transportation services for those needing a ride to work. There is no appropriation but sets up a system for initiatives to be awarded grants on a competitive basis. (passed committee 20-1) to House Calendar

SF 391         Hands Free Only While Driving. Restricts the use of electronic communication devices that are not in hands free or voice activated mode. (passed committee 17-4) to House Calendar

SF 424         Bicycle Lights. Requires lights for the front light and a rear light or reflector from sunset to sunrise or any other weather conditions wear visibility may be impaired. Establishes a $25 dollar fine for violation. Allows for 72 hour period to get light installed on first violation. (passed committee 18-3) to House Calendar

Veterans Affairs

HF 414         Veterans Services Disclosure Requirement. Requires that private veterans service providers to disclose that veterans benefits are free through federally chartered veteran service organizations and by county commission of veteran affairs offices. The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs will develop a standardized form. A violation is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation. Any fines will be deposited into the Veterans Trust Fund. (passed Senate Veterans Affairs Committee 10-0 ) to Senate Calendar

 

Ways & Means

HF 621         Streamlined Sales Tax. Clarifies that “prepared food” excludes food that requires additional cooking and that taxpayers that rely on the state’s taxability matrix receive liability relief to keep the state in compliance with the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

HF 622         Vehicle Rental Fees. Allows rental companies to charge recovery fees for licensing and registering vehicles outside of the bundled cost quoted for a vehicle rental. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar

HF 623         Broadcaster Taxing. Changes the apportionment of income for a broadcaster under Iowa corporate income taxes. (passed Committee 22-0) to House Calendar