Dems: Judiciary Committee Report – Week 6, 2018

February 19, 2018

SF 42 – Jurisdictional amounts for small claims court;
SF 284 – Eluding law enforcement;
SF 2132 – Locks on juvenile facilities;
SF 2147 – Sexually violent predators, earned time for sex offenders/domestic abuse;
SF 2189 – Eavesdropping;
SF 2196 – Criminal Code omnibus bill;
SF 2280 – Racial profiling;
SF 2281 – Early abortion ban (fetal heartbeat);
SF 2282 – Supermajority of Supreme Court to declare statute unconstitutional;
SF 2283 – Fee for amending birth certificates;
SF 2285 – Distribution of assets to heirs by affidavit;
SF 2294 – Needle exchange programs;
SF 2303 – Deferred inheritance taxes;
SF 2313 – Cannabidiol Board and rulemaking authority;
SF 2314 – Business law changes;
SJR 2007 – No license suspensions for drug offenses
SSB 3063 – Explicit authority for Administrative Rules, policies, etc.;
SSB 3101 – No permit required to carry a stun gun;
SSB 3141 – Non-substantive Code Editor’s bill;
SSB 3155 – Right to bear arms amendment for the Iowa Constitution;
SSB 3167 – Substantive Code Editor’s bill. 



Senate File 42 increases the jurisdictional amount for small claims court from $5,000 to $7,500.
[2/14: short form]


Senate File 284, as amended in committee, allows law enforcement to retain a vehicle used to elude law enforcement if it is owned by the suspected perpetrator.
[2/14: 12-1(No: Taylor)]


Senate File 2132,as amended in committee, allows authorities to lock a door within a juvenile facility if no juvenile residing there was placed in the facility pursuant to a child in need of assistance proceeding.
[2/14: short form]


Senate File 2147 makes changes to Iowa’s sexually violent predator code chapter, which provides for the civil commitment of those with a mental abnormality that makes it likely they continue to engage in sexually violent behavior upon release from prison. The bill:

  • Prohibits a sexually violent predator from being released from a secure facility or transitional release program without supervision.
  • Allows a sexually violent predator to waive the requirement that a final hearing be held within 60 days if it is shown that their mental abnormality has changed to such a degree that they wouldn’t engage in predatory acts if discharged, or the person is suitable for placement in a transitional release program. The committed person may reassert the demand for a hearing within 60 days at any time.
  • Removes the requirement that a hearing be held within five days of return to a secure facility if the committed person is accused of violating the terms of a transitional release program or a release plan.
  • Makes a judicial district department of correctional services not liable for the acts of a committed person who was ordered released with supervision.
  • Provides that any treatment records, medical records, etc. relating to the committed person will be available to the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, committed person and their attorney without a court order.

The bill also makes changes to the accumulation of earned time for those who fail to participate in and complete a sex offender treatment program or domestic abuse program when required. If the offender fails to complete the required programming, an administrative law judge may forfeit any or all earned time accrued.
[2/14: short form]


Senate File 2189 creates an exception to illegal electronic and mechanical eavesdropping by permitting the use of a security listening or recording device that listens to, records or otherwise intercepts audio conversations or communications to prove or prevent criminal activity.
[2/14: short form]


Senate File 2196 is an omnibus criminal code bill that makes changes relating to expunging criminal histories, robbery, property crimes, driver’s license revocation, theft, fraud, forgery, criminal proceedings, and medical examiner investigations.
[2/14: 9-4 (No: Taylor, Boulton, Petersen; Present: Bisignano)]


Senate File 2280 standardizes the collection, compilation and reporting of officer stop and complaint data; provides for officer training on racial profiling; and creates a community policing advisory board in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office.
[2/12: 9-4 (No: Dawson, Edler, Garrett, Kinney)]


Senate File 2281 prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in a medical emergency to save the life of the mother. “Medical emergency” does not include future health of the mother, and is much narrower than other medical emergency definitions. If a physician performs an abortion after a heartbeat it detected and it is not a medical emergency, they are guilty of a Class D felony, which is punishable by up to five years and a fine between $750 and $7,500. The bill does not impose civil or criminal liability on a woman. The bill includes a severability clause.

Fetal heartbeats are usually detectable around six weeks, before most women even know they are pregnant, but all pregnancies are different. This bill may be unconstitutional because women have a legal right to abortion before “viability,” which is usually around 24 weeks.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is opposed to the bill. Under this bill, the University of Iowa could lose accreditation for its residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology, which is the only OBG residency training program in the state.
[2/12: 8-5 (party line)]


Senate File 2282 provides that no Iowa statute can be held unconstitutional unless at least five Iowa Supreme Court justices concur.
[2/12: 7-6 (No: Taylor, Bisignano, Boulton, Petersen, Kinney, Schneider)]


Senate File 2283 allows the clerks of court to receive the fee from adoptive families or their representatives that will be sent to the Department of Public Health along with the certificate of adoption so that a new birth certificate can be processed in a timely manner.
[2/12: short form]


Senate File 2285 relates to distribution of property by affidavit. Under Iowa law, if a person dies owning $25,000 or less in personal property to be distributed to heirs, the property can be distributed through an affidavit, thus avoiding probate. This bill increases the amount of property that can be distributed by affidavit up to $50,000. In addition, the bill adds three requirements that must be included in the affidavit:  (1) That no money is due Medicaid or, if due, Medicaid is to be paid; (2) That no inheritance taxes are due or, if due, will be paid; and (3) That creditors will be paid to the extent of funds received. [Note: This does not apply when there is real property involved.]
[2/13: short form]


Senate File 2294 excludes hypodermic needles or syringes from the definition of drug paraphernalia when delivered, sold or possessed through an approved needle-exchange program established under Department of Public Health rules.
[2/12: 12-1 (No: Edler)]


Senate File 2303 relates to deferred inheritance taxes when a person is given a life estate in a decedent’s property. At times when people die, they will leave what is called a life estate to a survivor to use the decedent’s property while the survivor is alive. An example would be the use of a home until the person’s death or for a number of years. After the survivor dies, the property is inherited by another person that the decedent named, generally in the decedent’s will. As a result, inheritance taxes are deferred until the death of the survivor with the life estate. This bill provides several methods for securing the inheritance taxes upon the death of the survivor with a life estate. According to the Bar Association, bonds to secure payment of the inheritance taxes are difficult to obtain. This bill is intended to help solve that issue. It adds that inheritance tax payment can be secured through an irrevocable payable on death or transfer on death account, payable to the Department of Revenue and approved by the Department of Revenue; or through an escrow agreement with the Department of Revenue with a private attorney acting as escrow agent holding the funds in the attorney’s trust account.
[2/13: short form]


Senate File 2313 allows the Medical Cannabidiol Board to recommend altering the definition of medical cannabidiol to the Department of Public Health, which would then adopt the recommendation pursuant to rule. In addition, the bill provides that the Medical Cannabidiol Board can make recommendations to the Department of Public Health on the list of medical conditions for which medical cannabidiol could be useful, and the Department will adopt those recommendations by rule. The Medical Cannabidiol Board can make recommendations for the form and quantity of allowable medical uses of cannabidiol to the Board of Medicine, which will adopt those recommendations by rule.
[2/13: 12-1(No: Dawson)]


Senate File 2314 makes technical changes to several Code Chapters relating to corporations. Some references were inadvertently omitted from previous legislation relating to corporate entities.
[2/13: short form]


Senate Joint Resolution 2007 says that the Legislature does not want to enforce federal law requiring suspension of drivers’ licenses for drug offenses because the law is an obstacle to mobility, employability and rehabilitation.

Under federal law, to obtain federal highway funding, Iowa must certify every year that it complies with federal law requiring suspension of drivers’ licenses for drug offenses that have no relationship to driving. However, if a legislature passes a resolution indicating the state does not want to comply with the federal requirement and if the Governor submits a written certification to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation that they too are opposed to enforcing the requirement, the state can keep its federal funding. There are 5,000 license revocations for drug offenses each year in Iowa. More than 350 people are arrested and charged with driving while suspended/revoked each year, after having their license suspended or revoked for a drug offense.
[2/12: short form]


Senate Study Bill 3063, as amended in committee, requires an agency not to implement or enforce any standard, requirement or threshold, including any term or condition of a license issued by the agency, unless that standard, requirement or threshold is explicitly required or explicitly permitted by statute, rule or federal statute or regulation.
[2/14: 10-3 (No: Boulton, Taylor, Petersen)]


Senate Study Bill 3101 removes the requirement for a permit to carry a dangerous weapon for stun guns. This does not apply to tasers. However, stun guns will still be considered dangerous weapons if used in the commission of a crime.
[2/13: short form]


Senate Study Bill 3141 is the Non-Substantive Code Editor’s Bill, which minor, non-substantive and noncontroversial changes to Iowa Code. This year’s bill consists of 129 sections and includes 20 numerical updates, 26 terminology or name changes, 23 grammatical changes, five corrections of clerical errors, eight standardizations of Iowa Code and federal citations, and 84 updates to Code section style or format.
[2/13: short form]


Senate Study Bill 3155 proposes an amendment to the Iowa Constitution conferring the right to keep and bear arms upon Iowa citizens.
[2/14: short form]


Senate Study Bill 3167 is the substantive Code Editor’s Bill, which consists of adjustments to language reflecting current practices or to reflect changes made through past legislation; corrects manifest errors; clarifies ambiguities; eliminates conflicts; and deletes obsolete or temporary provisions.
[2/14: short form] 

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