Dems: State Government – week of Feb. 15, 2016

February 22, 2016
By

SF 2198 – Right to Try Act

SF 2199 – Absentee Voting by Uniformed & Overseas Citizens Public Disclosure of Gifts

SSB 3017 – Carbon Monoxide Detectors

SSB 3039 – Disaster Aid Payments

SSB 3075 – Automatic Voter Registration

SSB 3088 – Confidentiality of Records

SSB 3145– E911 Surcharge

SSB 3147– City Elections

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

SF 2198, the Right to Try Act, permits manufacturers of investigational drugs, biological products or devices to make them available, and permits eligible patients with terminal illnesses to attempt treatment with an investigational drug, biological product or device, as long as they provided written informed consent.

 

The bill defines the terms “eligible patient,” “terminal illness,” “investigational drug, biological product, or device,” and “written informed consent.”

 

An eligible patient’s physician must acknowledge that the patient’s illness is terminal and recommend the patient try an investigational drug, biological product or device. The patient’s written informed consent must acknowledge that treatments currently approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration are unlikely to prolong the patient’s life. It must identify the specific treatment sought and the potential best, worst and expected results from the treatment. It must acknowledge that the patient’s insurance is not required to pay for the treatment and that any hospice service may refuse to accept the patient after receiving the treatment. It must also acknowledge that expenses will be credited to the patient, including the patient’s estate, unless an agreement with the manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product or device states otherwise. If the patient dies during treatment, the patient’s heirs are not liable for any remaining debts unless otherwise required by law.

 

The manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product or device may charge an eligible patient or provide the treatment free of charge. Government entities are not required to pay costs associated with the use, care or treatment of a patient with an investigational drug, biological product or device. The bill does not require hospitals licensed under chapter 135B or other health care facilities to provide new or additional services.

 

The Board of Medicine must not take an adverse action against a physician’s license solely for recommending an investigational drug, biological product or device for the physician’s eligible patient.

 

The bill does not create a new private cause of action against any person or entity involved in the care of an eligible patient using the investigational drug, biological product or device for any harm done to the patient resulting from the treatment if the person or entity is complying in good faith with the terms of the bill and has exercised reasonable care.

[2/15: 14-0 (Dvorsky excused)]

 

SF 2199 relates to absentee voting by uniformed and overseas citizens.

 

Under current law, eligible voters may request and then vote using a special absentee ballot for general elections if the eligible voter will be residing, stationed or working outside of the continental United States and if the eligible voter will be unable to vote and return a regular absentee ballot through normal mail delivery. The bill extends the allowable time for filing an application for a special absentee ballot from 90 to 120 days.

 

Under current law, military and overseas voters are allowed to vote in primary and general elections, as well as certain special elections, by voting and submitting a federal write-in absentee ballot. The bill strikes current requirements related to a voter’s submission of a regular absentee ballot application for a voter’s federal write-in absentee ballot to be counted.

[2/15: 14-0 (Dvorsky excused)]

 

SSB 3017 amends current law that requires smoke detectors in multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family dwellings to also require the installation of carbon monoxide alarms. The bill takes effect July 1, 2017.   

 

The bill requires the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family dwellings constructed on or after July 1, 2017, and that have a fuel-fired heater or appliance as defined in the bill, a fireplace or an attached garage. Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed within 15 feet of the entrance of each room lawfully used for sleeping purposes or in a location as specified by rule. In addition, the state Fire Marshal is required to adopt rules for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in the same manner in existing multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family rental units that have a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage. The owner of a single-family dwelling that has a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage is responsible for installing carbon monoxide alarms in the same manner and must certify such installation upon filing for a homestead credit. Owners of multiple-unit residential buildings and single-family rental units that have a fuel-fired appliance, a fireplace or an attached garage are also required to supply light-emitting carbon monoxide alarms for hearing-impaired tenants.

 

Current requirements applicable to smoke alarms are also made applicable to carbon monoxide alarms. The bill provides that the state Fire Marshal must enforce the requirements of the bill concerning carbon monoxide alarms and provides that an occupant of a multiple-unit residential building or single-family rental unit in which the owner fails to install or fix a carbon monoxide alarm within 30 days of receiving written notice may deduct the cost of fixing or installing a carbon monoxide alarm from the next rental payment. In addition, a person is prohibited from making a carbon monoxide alarm inoperable. A person who violates a provision of the bill concerning carbon monoxide alarms is guilty of a simple misdemeanor. A simple misdemeanor is punishable by confinement for no more than 30 days or a fine of at least $65 but not more than $625, or by both.

[2/15: 10-3 (Schultz, Chapman, Whitver “no”; Dearden, Dvorsky excused)]

 

SSB 3039 relates to requirements applicable to authorizing the payment of specified forms of disaster aid. Code section 7D.29 requires the secretary of the Executive Council to notify the Legislative Services Agency of a payment authorization request at least two weeks prior to the Executive Council’s approval of the request. The bill creates an exception to this notification requirement for requests for the expenditure of disaster aid individual assistance grant funds pursuant to Code section 29C.20A.

 

The bill also provides that disaster aid money contained in the contingent fund established in Code section 29C.20 may be spent for reimbursing a party state for rendering disaster-related assistance according to the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact established in Code section 29C.21.

[2/17: 15-0]

 

SSB 3075 provides for automatic voter registration of eligible citizens, though citizens may opt out of registering to vote. The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

 

The bill allows registration of eligible citizens to vote following review of electronic records received from driver’s license and nonoperator’s identification card applications by County Auditors.

 

The Office of Driver Services of the Department of Transportation (DOT) is required to transmit to the Secretary of State (SOS) electronic records containing the legal name, age, residence and citizenship information for, and the electronic signature of, each person submitting an application for a driver’s license or nonoperator’s identification card, or any renewal application. Current Code section 321.182 requires that an application for a license or card include an applicant’s full name, signature, current mailing address, current residential address, date of birth, social security number and other information. Under current administrative rules of the DOT, an applicant for a license or card is required to provide proof of lawful status in the United States. Also under current administrative rules, a person’s signature for a driver’s license or nonoperator’s identification card application is required to be captured electronically.

 

The bill requires the SOS to transmit the electronic records to the County Auditor of the county where the person resides. The bill requires that the County Auditor review the electronic record and any other relevant information to determine if a person is an eligible voter. If the Auditor determines a person is eligible and the person is not registered to vote in the county, the Auditor is required to notify the person of the separate processes to decline to register to vote or to declare a political party affiliation. If a notified person fails to decline voter registration within 21 days after being issued the notification, the bill provides that the electronic record and electronic signature must constitute a completed voter registration form for that person, and the bill requires the Auditor to register the person to vote in that county and send the person an acknowledgment as required by current law.

 

The bill prohibits an Auditor from adding a person’s name to a voter registration list until at least 21 days after notification has been issued. The bill requires that an Auditor send an acknowledgment of registration within seven business days of registering a person under the bill. The bill also provides that the electronic record and electronic signature of a person who is not eligible does not constitute a completed voter registration form. Under the bill, such a person submitting an application for a license or card will not be subject to charges for voter registration fraud under section 39A.2.

 

The bill also grants the SOS authority to adopt rules to administer and interpret the provisions of the bill relating to voter registration at driver’s license stations.

 

The bill may include a state mandate as defined in Code section 25B.3. The bill makes inapplicable Code section 25B.2, subsection 3, which would relieve a political subdivision from complying with a state mandate if funding for the cost of the state mandate is not provided or specified. Therefore, political subdivisions are required to comply with any state mandate included in the bill.

 [2/17: 9-6 (party-line)]

 

SSB 3088 requests an interim study regarding Law Enforcement Body Camera Video and Audio Records. The interim is to also cover investigative reports and specific portions of electronic mail and telephone billing records of law enforcement agencies if part of an ongoing investigation.

 

A second interim study is requested on Public Records and Confidential Records under Iowa’s Open Records Law. This interim study is to discuss issues relating to the statutory designation of certain public records as confidential records under chapter 22 (Iowa’s open records law). The committee is to develop a clear statutory categorization of the terms “government records,” “public records,” and “confidential records.” The committee must consider testimony from interested stakeholders, including but not limited to, the Attorney General’s office, the Iowa Public Information Board, Iowa State Association of Counties, League of Cities, and state and local government agencies. Findings are due by Dec. 31, 2016.

[2/17: 15-0]

 

SSB 3145 changes the name of the E911 emergency communications fund established in Code section 34A.7A(2) to the “Tom Hancock Emergency Communications Service Surcharge Memorial Fund” and makes changes to the distribution of the fund.

 

Under current Code section 34A.7A, a monthly surcharge is imposed on all communications service providers in Iowa. Money collected through the surcharge is deposited in a fund and are distributed by the E911 program manager in a priority order. The bill establishes a higher priority of funding for joint E911 service boards and to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), and increases the amount allocated for funding under this paragraph from 46 percent to 60 percent of the total amount of surcharge generated.

 

The bill also specifies that the funds allocated to such joint E911 boards and to DPS must be used for “emergency” communication equipment to receive and dispose of 911 calls.

 

The bill amends Code section 34A.7A(2), paragraph “f”, which relates to the distribution of money remaining after fully paying all prioritized obligations, by establishing a new priority order for the expenditure and distribution.

  • First in this priority order is an amount, not to exceed $100,000 per year, to be allocated for the development of public awareness and educational programs relating to the use and maintenance of E911 systems and for the expenses of members of the E911 communications travel for meetings and training.
  • Second in this priority order is for any remaining money to be allocated equally to the following: public safety answering points to fund future network improvements; costs related to access the Iowa Interoperable Communications System; costs related to the receipt and disposition of 911 calls; and wireless carriers’ transport costs for wireless E911 services, if applicable.

[2/17: 15-0]

 

SSB 3147 allows a County Auditor to designate a city clerk to receive candidate filings for city offices, and a designated city clerk is responsible for carrying out certain duties related to the review and acceptance or rejection of nomination papers. The office of the city clerk designated to receive such filings is required to remain open until 5 p.m. on the final day for filing such nomination papers, and the city clerk is required to deliver nomination papers and the text of any public measure to the county commissioner by noon on the day after the nomination petition filing deadline. Under current law, city clerks are required to deliver the text of any public measure to the county commissioner by 5 p.m. on the day of the petition filing deadline.

[2/17: 15-0]

Tags: ,

TCR's Iowa Legislative Updates provides content from the leadership of each party's caucus in both the Iowa House and Iowa Senate. We hope you find this to be a valuable resource.

We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to email us by clicking here.