Dems: State Government Committee Report – Week 11, 2018

March 21, 2018
By

SF 2333 Amusement concession prize award increase (“Dave and Buster’s”);
HF 2252 – Secretary of State’s technical cleanup bill; 
HF 2253 – Prohibition on governmental use of lease purchase building projects;
HF 2349 – Voluntary gaming exclusion;
HF 2369 – Bond Issuance Election Dates;
HF 2382 – Membership on the Engineering and Land Surveyors Board. 

 

FLOOR ACTION:

SF 2333 increases amusement concession prize levels for Dave and Buster’s and similar businesses. The cash value of prizes that can be won in an amusement game increases from $150 to $950. Prizes include t-shirts, iPads and gaming systems. The Senate accepted a House amendment to strike the square-foot building-size requirement so that all places offering concession prizes fall under the updated law.
[3/20: 44-5 (No: Bolkcom, Hogg, D. Johnson, Taylor, Quirmbach; 49 senators seated)]

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HF 2252 is the Secretary of State’s technical cleanup bill, which:

  1. Clarifies that a person required to register as sex offender is not eligible to participate in the Safe At Home program.
  2. Conforms special election dates for a school board and community college to the blackout dates implemented in last year’s voter suppression bill.
  3. Changes the timing for an objection to a nomination from not less than 74 days to not less than 68 days from the election.
  4. Allows for proof of residence to be determined on an electronic device. This will allow someone to prove residence from a bill that they have on their cell phone.
  5. Allows for a deceased voter to be removed by a sibling, spouse or an Internet obituary from a licensed funeral home. A representative of an estate can also certify the death of a voter.
  6. Allows an attester to show a voter identification card as a form of ID at the polls.
  7. Establishes that a preregistered voter will not sign more than two oaths for the identity and residence of another person.
  8. Changes the audit requirements established in last year’s voter suppression bill by no longer requiring all absentee precincts be counted by hand, but only by a sampling. It also clarifies that the representative of each political party of the highest vote getter be invited to the audit but not be required to attend.
  9. Clarifies that at least one examiner is required in cybersecurity.
  10. Clarifies that a person who votes early at the county auditor’s office must provide their voter verification number on their voter identification card.
  11. Removes aggravated misdemeanor as a disqualification for holding elective office. This matches an Iowa Supreme Court decision.
    [3/15: 13-1 (No: Danielson; Excused: Horn)]

 

HF 2253 prohibits the use of lease purchase for certain construction/building projects. Currently, governmental and educational entities can use “lease-purchase agreements” to complete a project and pay the construction costs over time, eventually owning the building. This process avoids the need to bond for projects with a 60-percent majority vote of the public. Current city or county lease-purchase contracts are not considered contracts for “public improvement” and therefore are not subject to competitive bidding requirements. The bill removes that exemption, requiring all projects to be competitively bid. Representatives from cities, counties and educational entities say many of their projects have both pubic use and private use components. They are concerned that the number of construction companies willing to bid on the projects will substantially decrease if these changes are enacted.
[3/15: 10-4 (No: Bisignano, Bowman, Dvorsky, Jochum; Excused: Horn)]

 

HF 2349 transfers administration of the Statewide Voluntary Self-Exclusion Program from casinos and boats to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Potential fiscal impact is $225,000 for FY19, which includes $125,000 in salaries and $10,000 in website maintenance. These additional costs will be funded through the Gaming Regulatory Revolving Fund.
[3/15: 14-0 (Excused: Horn)]

 

HF 2369 sets the second week in November for all bond votes, matching city and general elections dates. Currently, bond votes are done by special election with any possible date. Concerns with this bill include:

  • If all bonds in Iowa are approved at the same time, it would flood the market and impact bond rates.
  • Fewer bonds would be approved because voters would have to vote for multiple project proposals at the same time. History shows voters tend to vote for one bonding proposal, not multiple proposals. The proposal they choose is usually the one closest to their home. This means, people give preference to their local school bonds, but less consideration to their county/city or community college bonds.
  • Election officials must figure out which city/community college/school district bond vote goes to which person/ballot, a level of detail that has not been combined with city or general election ballots before.
    [3/15: 8-6, party-line (Excused: Horn)]

 

HF 2382 allows for three licensed professional engineers and two licensed professional land surveyors on the Engineering and Land Surveyors Board. The board includes seven members, two which are lay people. An individual licensed as both a professional engineer and a professional land surveyor can only satisfy the requirements for one seat on the board.
[3/15: 14-0 (Excused: Horn)]

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