GOP: Bills Taking Effect July 1, 2019

June 24, 2019
By

The following is a list of notable bills that will be going into effect on July 1, 2019.

House File 772 — Empower Rural Iowa

This bill provides for the Empower Rural Iowa Act including the broadband grant program and makes changes to and provides additional funding for the Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program. This includes making the tax credit program competitive and provides an additional one-time $10 million for flood related tax credits. Division I (broadband) effective July 1, 2019; Division II (workforce housing) effective upon enactment (May 20, 2019)

House File 778 — Capital Gains

This bill modifies the capital gain deduction for the sale of farmland. That deduction was changed in last year’s tax reform bill. The changes to the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a farming business are set to begin in tax year 2023 or in a later year (when the trigger for the bill hits). The changes restrict the deduction to the sale of “real property used in a farming business”, provided the taxpayer “materially participated” in the farming business for at least 10 years, held the real property for at least 10 years, and sold the real property to a “relative”, all as defined in the tax reform bill.

This bill modifies those restrictions by permitting the taxpayer to take the deduction if any one of those criteria applies. It also expands the definition of “relative” to include an entity in which a relative of the taxpayer has a legal or equitable interest in the entity as an owner, member, partner, or beneficiary. It also modifies the definitions of “farming business” and “real property used in a farming business”.

Additionally, the bill strikes provisions related to restricting the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a farming business if the relative sells or transfers the real property used in a farming business within five years of the original sale. It also strikes a provision providing that to the extent otherwise allowed, the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a “farming business” shall not be allowed for purposes of computing income for the taxable year or years for which a net operating loss is deducted under the Internal Revenue Code or under Code section 422.9 (deductions from net income).

Senate File 634 — Property Tax Transparency

  • The process starts with a local government receiving the new assessments.
  • Based on these new values—all levies are adjusted up or down to represent a rate that would bring in the same amount of tax revenue as the prior year. This is the “effective rate.”
  • The local government can then decide if this is the correct amount of tax to levy, or if more or less is necessary.
  • Next the local government needs to publish notice and have a hearing on what the levies will be.
  • The hearing will take place and a resolution on the new levies will be passed.
    • If the proposed levies bring in tax revenue that constitutes an increase of two percent or less—a resolution by a majority must pass.
    • If the proposed levies bring in tax revenue that constitutes an increase of more than two percent—a resolution by 2/3 majority must pass.
  • After the resolution on the new levies has passed—the local government needs to publish notice of the budget they intend to pass and have a hearing on that budget. They can then pass a resolution for their budget as they do in current law.
  • All information from the notices needs to be published on all local government websites and social media presences.
  • Because of the new process—the date to certify budgets is moved from March 15 to March 31.
  • There is still a process in current law to protest a budget, and the notice of the budget hearing will include information on how to do that.
  • Does not change IPERS, or any retirement or benefits levy.
  • Does not change any levy caps or combine any levies.

Effective for city/county fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2020

House File 691 –MHDS Region Ending Fund Balances

This bill pushes back the requirement for MHDS Regions to decrease their ending fund balances by 5 years and increases the amount of cash flow allowed to 40%. This bill was supported by the Iowa Association of Counties, and allowed counties and Regions to update their mental health levy before FY2020 began. This bill went into effect on May 1, 2019.

House File 766 – FY 2020 Health & Human Services Appropriations

Notable Divisions that went into effect on May 3, 2019:

  • Division XII – Funds the FY2019 Medicaid Supplemental at $150.3 million and requires uniform prior authorization forms and processes between all MCOs and additional penalties to MCOs that do not correct systemic problems or credential providers.
  • Division XX – Revises the Iowa Civil Rights Act to state that the ICRA does not require any government funding for sex reassignment surgery. This is in response to a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling.

House File 766 – FY 2020 Health & Human Services Appropriations

Notable Divisions that went into effect on July 1, 2019:

  • Expands the Pre-Medicaid pilot in the Department on Aging with the AAA and hospital in the Spencer area. This project works to keep individuals in the community and out of long-term care facilities following a nursing facility stay.
  • Appropriates $4.4 million to Iowa’s 82 Critical Access Hospitals and $23.4 million to nursing home rebasing.
  • Funds an additional 29 Field Operations FTEs to relieve caseloads of social workers involved in child abuse cases
  • Funds 4 additional rural psychiatric residency slots, on top of the annual $2 million appropriation to the State Medical Residency Matching Grants Program.
  • Eliminates the waiting list for the children’s mental health HCBS waiver, which currently has around 1,000 children on it.
  • Funds the statewide 24-hour crisis hotline for the Iowa children’s behavioral health system.
  • Increases funding to Assertive Community Treatment Teams, which are currently being subsidized by the MHDS Regions
  • Annualizes the child care assistance provider rate increase that began in January 2019. This is a total annual increase of $7.7 million to child care providers.
  • Eliminates unnecessary and duplicative health-related boards and commissions in state government
  • Prohibits state funding in the HHS Budget from being used to support lobbyists
  • Prohibits the use of federal funds for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention to abortion providers. This section currently has a temporary injunction in place. Planned Parenthood has since been issued funding for PREP and CAPP grants.
  • Managed Care:
    • Requires uniform processes for medical prior authorizations between all MCOs.
    • Requires the assessment of liquidated damages when prior authorization and claims payment issues are not corrected within 60 days of the reported correction and when a MCO fails to complete provider credentialing.
    • Requires notification to the legislature within 30 days of the execution of a Medicaid managed care contract or amendment and within 30 days of the determination by DHS whether to return the incentive payment withhold amount to the MCOs.
    • Decreases the size of the Medical Assistance Advisory Council to 10 members due to not having a quorum for 5 quarters.
  • Allows Polk County MHDS to transfer funds within the county for one year.
  • Provides oversight of the Executive Directors of the Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Pharmacy, and Dental Board by the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

House File 690 – Children’s Mental Health

This is the Governor’s Bill to establish a Children’s Mental Health System in Iowa.

  • The bill codifies a Children’s System State Board to act as the central entity advising on the administration of the children’s mental health system within DHS. Regional governance will be established with the existing MHDS Regions. Each Region must hire a children’s services coordinator who will serve as the subject matter expert and focus solely on the development of children’s mental health services. This bill establishes eligibility criteria for children and core services that will be provided to eligible children including crisis services, inpatient treatment, and outpatient therapy.
  • This bill is a part of the Governor’s Budget proposals to expand the statewide crisis hotline to children’s mental health services, provide additional funding for developing mental health professionals in rural areas, and eliminate the waiting list for the Children’s Mental Health Home and Community-Based Services Waiver. House Republicans are also addressing the need for MHDS Regions to hold on to funds to implement this bill and adequately reimburse Assertive Community Treatment teams.

House File 532– Medical Residences

This bill requires medical residencies in Iowa that are at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and residencies funded through the Medical Residency Training State Matching Grants Program to give priority to applicants that have an Iowa connection (resident of Iowa, went to undergrad in Iowa, or medical school in Iowa). This bill also requires primary care residencies, including psychiatry, to provide the opportunity to participate in a rural rotation to expose medical residents to rural areas of Iowa.

House File 623 – Opioid Addiction Treatment

This bill requires the Medicaid program to provide at least one form of medication-assisted treatment in 5 distinct categories of MAT that does not require prior authorization. Individuals seeking MAT are likely to pursue substances for their addiction if they are not able to obtain MAT in a timely manner. Prior Authorizations often take 72 hours to be completed.

House File 644 – Family First

This bill was requested by DHS to align Iowa law with changes at the federal level due to the Family First Prevention Services Act. Family First changes the direction of child welfare services across the country, and will require states to look at ways to prevent removal of children through evidence-based family preservation services; to place removed children with relatives if possible and then look for licensed foster families; and limits the use of group care settings to children in need of mental health treatment. Iowa plans to fully implement Family First by July 1, 2020.

Senate File 210 – Care Act 

This bill addresses discharge procedures for hospitals regarding aftercare assistance by a designated lay caregiver upon discharge from the hospital. Once a lay caregiver is designated, the hospital must provide the caregiver with aftercare assistance instructions and notify them when the patient is ready for discharge. This bill is part of a national legislative push by AARP.

House File 306 – FY 2020 Supplemental State Aid to Schools (SSA)  

HF 306 sets Supplemental State Aid (SSA) at 2.06% for FY20 for both the Regular Program and the Categorical Supplements.  It also extends the Property Tax Relief Payment (PTRP) an additional year which has the state pick up any property tax growth in the Additional Levy portion of the school funding formula.  The State Cost Per Pupil (SCPP) amount on which the school aid formula is based increases from $6736 to $6875, a $139 increase.  However, this amount will increase to $6880 and $144 after passage of HF 307, which includes a $5 State Cost Per Pupil increase to narrow the District Cost Per Pupil (DCPP) gap.  Estimated total state aid to schools for FY20 is $3.289 billion.  * Effective upon the Governor’s signature February 19, 2019

Senate File 139 – Financial Literacy Implementation  

Amends language passed last year by the legislature regarding financial literacy.  The legislation last year required all students pass a half-unit of financial literacy as a condition of graduation.  It was effective immediately.  This bill delays implementation, applying it to next year’s incoming junior class.

House File 499 – Non-Bus School Vehicles  

Amends the definition of non-bus school vehicles, such as a passenger van or a pickup truck.  This bill defines NEW passenger vehicles that aren’t busses as those carrying 10 or fewer passengers and USED passenger vehicles that aren’t busses as those carrying 12 or fewer passengers.  It also allows for pickups designed to carry up to nine passengers to count as a school bus, provided they have safety harnesses and no passengers ride in the bed of the truck.

House File 546 – SAVE Extension and Modifications  

This bill makes some modifications to the uses of SAVE (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education) dollars, the distribution to the Property Tax Equity Relief (PTER) fund, and extends the sunset on the statewide penny that funds SAVE by 20 years.  It increases the distribution amount that goes to the Property Tax Equity Relief (PTER) fund from 2.1% to 30%, getting there by 1% increments per year, assuming a specified growth in the SAVE fund is achieved each year.   From the increased funds (from 2.1% to 30%), half will be used in the same manner as the 2.1% is being used–to buy DOWN the rate for high-rate districts.  The remaining half will be used in a newly created “Foundation Base Percentage Fund” (FBPF) which provides property tax relief to all districts by buying UP the school foundation aid level of 87.5%.  It also requires voter approval to use SAVE funds for athletic facilities and makes changes to the Certificate of Need requirements, namely to demonstrate the need for using the funds for new construction vs. doing repairs or remodeling. 

House File 596 – Whole Grade Sharing and Reorganization Incentives Extension  

The bill extends the Whole Grade Sharing incentives for 5 years, from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2024.  Whole grade sharing allows districts to generate funding for  0.1 weighting per student  affected by the sharing agreement.  The maximum is for 3 years.  However, it can be for an additional 3 years after, and if, districts reorganize.

House File 598 – Sibling Classroom Assignments  

The bill allows parents to request that their siblings in the same grade be placed in the same classroom.  The school can make recommendations to the parents for placement.  The bill also gives schools the option to change placement for disruptive or interfering behavior.  Parents can appeal any assignments made.

House File 637 – Misconduct Reporting Period

Current law requires a school district to report to the Board of Educational Examiners any instance of action taken against a licensed employee for a list of specific instances of misconduct:  soliciting or consummating a romantic relationship with student; falsifying grades or test scores; use public property for personal use; or being at school or school activities in possession or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  This bill sets a 30-day timeline by which this action on misconduct needs to be reported to the Board.

Senate File 159 – Teacher Preparation Program Assessment

Current law requires students in Iowa teacher preparation institutions to pass an end of program assessment in both content and pedagogy in order to complete their course of study.  Student are considered to have passed if they score above the 25th percentile nationally.  The bill changes this 25th percentile minimum score by requiring the Department of Education to instead set a minimum score that considers the scores of neighboring states and the current supply and demand of teachers in the state.  It also provides for a one-year license for those who have completed their prep programs, have been offered a teaching contract, but have not yet passed the assessment.

Senate File 246 – All-Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Eligibility

The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship is currently available to student aged 18 through 23.  This bill strikes the age requirement.  Some students are possibly going to age-out of the scholarship and this will help students continue to receive the scholarship. 

Senate File 394 – Online Learning Courses Offered

Allows school districts and nonpublic schools to offer course online that fall outside of the scope of Iowa’s “offer and teach” requirements. Such courses are to be taught by an Iowa licensed teacher and follow Iowa’s academic standards.  If such course is offered by a private provider, the provider must be on a Department-approved list. 

Senate File 603 – Concurrent Enrollment Changes

Makes several changes to Concurrent Enrollment courses with Community Colleges contracting with school districts to provide courses.  Increases weighting for concurrent enrollment arts and sciences courses from 0.46 to 0.5.  Allows districts to “supplant” “offer and teach” required courses.  They can offer one math and one science course through concurrent enrollment.  Districts under 600 student enrollment generate weighted funding, those over 600 enrollment do not.  Codifies current practice by allowing students to generate weighted funding for up to 23 credit hours through Senior Year Plus course options.   Allows nonpublic schools to contract with community colleges to provide concurrent enrollment classes.  For “supplementing” courses, the schools generate funding as a public school would.  For “supplanting” courses, high schools with a student enrollment of less than 200 students would generate funding, those above 200 students would not.

  • The section allowing districts under 600 students to supplant a math or science course is retroactively applicable to July 1, 2018.
  • The section changing the arts and science course weighting from 0.46 to 0.5 is applicable to the school budget year beginning July 1, 2019.
  • The rest of the bill goes into effect July 1, 2019.

House File 758 – FY 2020 Education Appropriations

The FY 2020 Education Appropriations bill appropriates $952.7 million in FY20 in General Fund dollars for the Department for the Blind, the College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education, Community Colleges, Vocational Rehabilitation, Iowa Public Television, and the Board of Regents.  This is an increase of $40.1 million over Estimated FY 2019.  It also includes some policy language and changes.

  • Iowa Public Television – language allowing IPTV to keep and use carryforward funds is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.
  • Postsecondary Summer Classes – language allowing the Department of Education to keep and use carryforward funds for the summer joint enrollment program is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.

Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Act – the new definition for a qualifying “new job” under this act includes Lennox workers in Marshalltown affected by the 2018 tornado which impacted the plant is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.

Senate File 548 – Pollution Control

Amends state law to prohibit water pollution control projects from including the acquisition of real property  using state revolving funds (SRF) by a ‘private entity’ for future donation or sale to a political subdivision, DNR or federal government after July 1, 2019.  SRF monies could still be used by individuals, governmental entities and water utilities to purchase land for water infrastructure purposes; SRF monies can still be used by ‘qualified entities’ under Code section 384.84 under 28E agreements for watershed projects that have been approved for water quality improvement in a watershed; and SRF funds can be used in nonpoint pollution project to purchase land with a private entity if it is beneath the geological footprint of ‘edge-of-field practices’ that are consistent with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and any necessary setback to such portions of the land as authorized by DNR. 

House File 768 – Beginning Farmer Tax Credit

Restructures and reinstates the beginning farmer tax credit program that was originally created in 2007 by returning the maximum annual cap of tax credit to $12 million (it had reverted to $6 million on 1/1/2018).  The legislation modifies certain beginning farmer program eligibility criteria that:

  • Allows an aggregate maximum aggregate net worth of multiple family member beginning farmer entities  to twice the low or moderate net worth (but still retains the maximum low to moderate net worth for each specific person that is part of the entity);
  • Requires eligible taxpayer landowners (the beginning farmer tax credit beneficiaries) not to have been at fault for terminating a prior agreement with a beginning farmer in which the taxpayer was able to claim a tax credit;
  • Restricts to $50,000 of beginning farmer tax credits per year that any taxpayer can claim;
  • Details the specific of ‘risk-sharing arrangements’ that must be met to qualify for the 15% tax credit rate share-rent agreements; and
  • Creates a 10-year eligibility for the taxpayer to participate in the program and limits them to no more than 10 tax credit certificates under the program.

HF 768 had an immediate effective date (5/21/2019), with a retroactive applicability of this Act to tax years that began on or after 1/1/2019.

Senate File 519Ag Production Facility Trespass

Creates a new agricultural production facility trespass provision that specifies certain offenses relating to agricultural production operations that cause economic damage or other injury.  Those could include- sabotage, adulterations, and destruction of property such as agricultural crops or animals.  The legislation provides for a criminal offense of agricultural production facility trespass that involves the use of deception to obtain access to a facility not open to the public with intent to cause physical or economic harm or other injury to the facility’s operation, property or persons.  The offense may include obtaining employment with agricultural production facility by deception with intent to harm the operation, property, or person.  SF 519 had an immediate effective date (3/14/2019).

Senate File 599 – Hemp

Provides that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) with the primary role of operating the Iowa Hemp program and involves the Department of Public Safety or local law enforcement in the criminal background check and when inspection test results indicate the crop is not hemp.  The legislation will allow both the growth of hemp crops and the retail trade of hemp products and cbd-trade as long as the THC content is less than 0.3% and the hemp products were grown, produced and processed under state and federal hemp regulations.  The Act creates a hemp fund into which license fees are deposited. IDALS administers the fund. SF 599 requires IDALS to accept and approve or disapprove applications for the issuance of a hemp license on a one-year basis subject to renewal and license may be no more than 40 acres to any given entity/person. 

SF 599 division I had an immediate effective date of 5/13/2019 for sections 1-18 that deal with Iowa Hemp program specifics, while division II (coordinating changes to the Code and implementing timeframes and procedures) for sections 20-33 has a contingent effective date of when IDALS submits to the Iowa Administrative Bulletin notification of federal approval of the state Hemp program (likely to be no sooner than late spring of 2020, but likely later than that, perhaps even sometime in 2021 or 2022 calendar years).

Senate File 113 – OWI Habitual Offender

Senate File 113 allows a person charged with a 3rd offense OWI to be charged as a habitual offender. This would triple the time they could be required to serve in prison.

Senate File 346 – Female Genital Mutilation

SF 346 would prohibit female genital mutilation and prohibit people from taking children out of the country to have this gruesome act performed. Members of the subcommittee met with community representatives as well as advocates. After careful consideration, penalties were altered to help protect women and their daughters while still ensuring the proposed law could adequately be enforced.

Senate File 589 – Criminal Law Reform Ominbus

SF 589 makes changes to the criminal code. Including areas of expungement, robbery, property crimes, theft, fraud and forgery, criminal proceedings, medical examiner investigations and criminal penalties.

Senate File 590 – Indigent Defense

If a person pays for a private defense attorney and then becomes indigent the indigent defense fund will pay that attorney at the same rate as other indigent defense attorneys.

House File 323 – Dependent Adult Abuse

Ensures a person can be found guilty of dependent adult abuse even if they didn’t personally profit from the abuse.

House File 569 – Personal Degradation of Adult

HF 569 adds language to the code to criminalize degradation of a dependent adult.  This would include taking photos intended to shame, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a dependent adult. A caretaker who engages in this action could be charged with a serious misdemeanor for this offense.

Senate File 188 – Tasers On College Campuses

SF 188 would prohibit Regents universities from banning the carrying of Tasers on campus.

Senate File 86 – Logan’s Law

This bill requires the DNR to include an anatomical donor symbol on a hunting license if requested by the licensee. Hunter education courses will be required to provide information on anatomical gift donation. The process in this bill is identical to what is allowed for a driver’s license donor symbol. 

Senate File 337 – Child Labor Law Exceptions

This bill allows a child to willfully volunteer for a charity or for a public purpose. This bill also allows children of certain age to be employed by a charitable, local government, or the United States Olympic Committee.

House File 692 – Election Omnibus

This bill implements the statewide use of postal service barcodes to determine the date that an absentee ballot was placed into the federal postal service. This bill makes technical corrections to local and city elections. This section prohibits a person from participating in more than one caucus in a year. This bill places certain limitations on the use of a County Auditor’s name.  Effective Date: July 1, 2019; Division II (Secretary of State technical Changes) May 16, 2019; Division IV (AGC Conflict of Interest) – January 1, 2023

Senate File 502 – Whistleblower Protections  

This bill allows employees of political subdivisions and the state to report complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman when acting in good faith.

Senate File 447 – Rental Caps

A city shall not adopt or enforce regulation that put rental permit caps on single-family homes or duplexes.  Effective Date: May 2, 2019

Senate File 93 – Abatement of Nuisance on Abandoned Structures

This bill allows for the district court sitting in small claims to have jurisdiction of abandoned structures and the abatement of public nuisance. This bill establishes a responsible building official to determine the state of abandoned structure.

Senate File 304 – License Revocation for Delinquent Student Loans

This bill requires the state’s licensing boards to adopt administrative rules to prohibit the suspension or revocation of a licensed issued to a person who is in default of student loans.

Senate File 323 – Canned Cocktails

Canned cocktails with alcohol content between 6.25%-15% are treated as beer under IA Code 123 & 123A. Effective Date: maY 10, 2019

House File 741 – Flood Bonds

This bill allows for the use of general obligation bonds in regards to flood mitigation projects.

Senate File 617 – Sports Wagering

This bill allows sports wagering to be conducted in person and through mobile devices through licensed casinos. This bill also authorizes Daily Fantasy Sports to be conducted in Iowa.  Effective Date: May 13, 2019

Senate File 507 – Workers’ Compensation – Idiopathic Falls

Personal injuries due to idiopathic falls from a level surface to the same level surface are not covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

House File 668 – Three Tier System Reform

Defines an institutional investor. Cross tier employment prohibitions only apply to senior level employees. Manufacturers of nonnative wine may sell their wine at their principal office located in Iowa. Allows for limited cross tier interests. Brewers may sell up to 30,000 barrels annually at wholesale.

Senate File 412 – Residential Contractors, Assignment of Benefits

This bill sets the parameters for when an insured homeowner can assign insurance benefits after a loss to a residential contractor. It protects consumers against “storm chasers” contractors who are bad actors.

Senate File 563 – PBM Transparency

This bill requires an annual report by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to the Insurance Commissioner on prescription drug benefits that will be made available to the public.

Senate File 230 – Native Distillery, Brewery, Winery

This bill creates parity among native distillery/brewery/winery by allowing all to manufacture spirits/beer/wine.

Senate File 302 – Autonomous Vehicle Framework

This bill creates a framework to provide for the definition, operation, and liability of autonomous vehicles in the state.

Senate File 140 – Private School Permits

This bill increases the distance a private school student can travel from home to school from 25 miles to 50 miles.

House File 767 – Electric Vehicles

This bill creates a supplemental registration fee for electric vehicles to make RUTF whole. It also creates an excise fee for hydrogen fuel of $0.65/gallon and a $0.026/kWh excise fee on electric fuel. Funds are directed to RUTF. The electric vehicle registration fee and the hydrogen fuel excise fee January 1, 2020. Collection of the excise fee on electric fuel will begin July 1, 2023.

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GOP: Bills Taking Effect July 1, 2019

June 24, 2019
By

The following is a list of notable bills that will be going into effect on July 1, 2019.

House File 772 — Empower Rural Iowa

This bill provides for the Empower Rural Iowa Act including the broadband grant program and makes changes to and provides additional funding for the Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program. This includes making the tax credit program competitive and provides an additional one-time $10 million for flood related tax credits. Division I (broadband) effective July 1, 2019; Division II (workforce housing) effective upon enactment (May 20, 2019)

House File 778 — Capital Gains

This bill modifies the capital gain deduction for the sale of farmland. That deduction was changed in last year’s tax reform bill. The changes to the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a farming business are set to begin in tax year 2023 or in a later year (when the trigger for the bill hits). The changes restrict the deduction to the sale of “real property used in a farming business”, provided the taxpayer “materially participated” in the farming business for at least 10 years, held the real property for at least 10 years, and sold the real property to a “relative”, all as defined in the tax reform bill.

This bill modifies those restrictions by permitting the taxpayer to take the deduction if any one of those criteria applies. It also expands the definition of “relative” to include an entity in which a relative of the taxpayer has a legal or equitable interest in the entity as an owner, member, partner, or beneficiary. It also modifies the definitions of “farming business” and “real property used in a farming business”.

Additionally, the bill strikes provisions related to restricting the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a farming business if the relative sells or transfers the real property used in a farming business within five years of the original sale. It also strikes a provision providing that to the extent otherwise allowed, the capital gain deduction for the sale of real property used in a “farming business” shall not be allowed for purposes of computing income for the taxable year or years for which a net operating loss is deducted under the Internal Revenue Code or under Code section 422.9 (deductions from net income).

Senate File 634 — Property Tax Transparency

  • The process starts with a local government receiving the new assessments.
  • Based on these new values—all levies are adjusted up or down to represent a rate that would bring in the same amount of tax revenue as the prior year. This is the “effective rate.”
  • The local government can then decide if this is the correct amount of tax to levy, or if more or less is necessary.
  • Next the local government needs to publish notice and have a hearing on what the levies will be.
  • The hearing will take place and a resolution on the new levies will be passed.
    • If the proposed levies bring in tax revenue that constitutes an increase of two percent or less—a resolution by a majority must pass.
    • If the proposed levies bring in tax revenue that constitutes an increase of more than two percent—a resolution by 2/3 majority must pass.
  • After the resolution on the new levies has passed—the local government needs to publish notice of the budget they intend to pass and have a hearing on that budget. They can then pass a resolution for their budget as they do in current law.
  • All information from the notices needs to be published on all local government websites and social media presences.
  • Because of the new process—the date to certify budgets is moved from March 15 to March 31.
  • There is still a process in current law to protest a budget, and the notice of the budget hearing will include information on how to do that.
  • Does not change IPERS, or any retirement or benefits levy.
  • Does not change any levy caps or combine any levies.

Effective for city/county fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2020

House File 691 –MHDS Region Ending Fund Balances

This bill pushes back the requirement for MHDS Regions to decrease their ending fund balances by 5 years and increases the amount of cash flow allowed to 40%. This bill was supported by the Iowa Association of Counties, and allowed counties and Regions to update their mental health levy before FY2020 began. This bill went into effect on May 1, 2019.

House File 766 – FY 2020 Health & Human Services Appropriations

Notable Divisions that went into effect on May 3, 2019:

  • Division XII – Funds the FY2019 Medicaid Supplemental at $150.3 million and requires uniform prior authorization forms and processes between all MCOs and additional penalties to MCOs that do not correct systemic problems or credential providers.
  • Division XX – Revises the Iowa Civil Rights Act to state that the ICRA does not require any government funding for sex reassignment surgery. This is in response to a recent Iowa Supreme Court ruling.

House File 766 – FY 2020 Health & Human Services Appropriations

Notable Divisions that went into effect on July 1, 2019:

  • Expands the Pre-Medicaid pilot in the Department on Aging with the AAA and hospital in the Spencer area. This project works to keep individuals in the community and out of long-term care facilities following a nursing facility stay.
  • Appropriates $4.4 million to Iowa’s 82 Critical Access Hospitals and $23.4 million to nursing home rebasing.
  • Funds an additional 29 Field Operations FTEs to relieve caseloads of social workers involved in child abuse cases
  • Funds 4 additional rural psychiatric residency slots, on top of the annual $2 million appropriation to the State Medical Residency Matching Grants Program.
  • Eliminates the waiting list for the children’s mental health HCBS waiver, which currently has around 1,000 children on it.
  • Funds the statewide 24-hour crisis hotline for the Iowa children’s behavioral health system.
  • Increases funding to Assertive Community Treatment Teams, which are currently being subsidized by the MHDS Regions
  • Annualizes the child care assistance provider rate increase that began in January 2019. This is a total annual increase of $7.7 million to child care providers.
  • Eliminates unnecessary and duplicative health-related boards and commissions in state government
  • Prohibits state funding in the HHS Budget from being used to support lobbyists
  • Prohibits the use of federal funds for family planning and teen pregnancy prevention to abortion providers. This section currently has a temporary injunction in place. Planned Parenthood has since been issued funding for PREP and CAPP grants.
  • Managed Care:
    • Requires uniform processes for medical prior authorizations between all MCOs.
    • Requires the assessment of liquidated damages when prior authorization and claims payment issues are not corrected within 60 days of the reported correction and when a MCO fails to complete provider credentialing.
    • Requires notification to the legislature within 30 days of the execution of a Medicaid managed care contract or amendment and within 30 days of the determination by DHS whether to return the incentive payment withhold amount to the MCOs.
    • Decreases the size of the Medical Assistance Advisory Council to 10 members due to not having a quorum for 5 quarters.
  • Allows Polk County MHDS to transfer funds within the county for one year.
  • Provides oversight of the Executive Directors of the Board of Medicine, Board of Nursing, Board of Pharmacy, and Dental Board by the Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

House File 690 – Children’s Mental Health

This is the Governor’s Bill to establish a Children’s Mental Health System in Iowa.

  • The bill codifies a Children’s System State Board to act as the central entity advising on the administration of the children’s mental health system within DHS. Regional governance will be established with the existing MHDS Regions. Each Region must hire a children’s services coordinator who will serve as the subject matter expert and focus solely on the development of children’s mental health services. This bill establishes eligibility criteria for children and core services that will be provided to eligible children including crisis services, inpatient treatment, and outpatient therapy.
  • This bill is a part of the Governor’s Budget proposals to expand the statewide crisis hotline to children’s mental health services, provide additional funding for developing mental health professionals in rural areas, and eliminate the waiting list for the Children’s Mental Health Home and Community-Based Services Waiver. House Republicans are also addressing the need for MHDS Regions to hold on to funds to implement this bill and adequately reimburse Assertive Community Treatment teams.

House File 532– Medical Residences

This bill requires medical residencies in Iowa that are at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and residencies funded through the Medical Residency Training State Matching Grants Program to give priority to applicants that have an Iowa connection (resident of Iowa, went to undergrad in Iowa, or medical school in Iowa). This bill also requires primary care residencies, including psychiatry, to provide the opportunity to participate in a rural rotation to expose medical residents to rural areas of Iowa.

House File 623 – Opioid Addiction Treatment

This bill requires the Medicaid program to provide at least one form of medication-assisted treatment in 5 distinct categories of MAT that does not require prior authorization. Individuals seeking MAT are likely to pursue substances for their addiction if they are not able to obtain MAT in a timely manner. Prior Authorizations often take 72 hours to be completed.

House File 644 – Family First

This bill was requested by DHS to align Iowa law with changes at the federal level due to the Family First Prevention Services Act. Family First changes the direction of child welfare services across the country, and will require states to look at ways to prevent removal of children through evidence-based family preservation services; to place removed children with relatives if possible and then look for licensed foster families; and limits the use of group care settings to children in need of mental health treatment. Iowa plans to fully implement Family First by July 1, 2020.

Senate File 210 – Care Act 

This bill addresses discharge procedures for hospitals regarding aftercare assistance by a designated lay caregiver upon discharge from the hospital. Once a lay caregiver is designated, the hospital must provide the caregiver with aftercare assistance instructions and notify them when the patient is ready for discharge. This bill is part of a national legislative push by AARP.

House File 306 – FY 2020 Supplemental State Aid to Schools (SSA)  

HF 306 sets Supplemental State Aid (SSA) at 2.06% for FY20 for both the Regular Program and the Categorical Supplements.  It also extends the Property Tax Relief Payment (PTRP) an additional year which has the state pick up any property tax growth in the Additional Levy portion of the school funding formula.  The State Cost Per Pupil (SCPP) amount on which the school aid formula is based increases from $6736 to $6875, a $139 increase.  However, this amount will increase to $6880 and $144 after passage of HF 307, which includes a $5 State Cost Per Pupil increase to narrow the District Cost Per Pupil (DCPP) gap.  Estimated total state aid to schools for FY20 is $3.289 billion.  * Effective upon the Governor’s signature February 19, 2019

Senate File 139 – Financial Literacy Implementation  

Amends language passed last year by the legislature regarding financial literacy.  The legislation last year required all students pass a half-unit of financial literacy as a condition of graduation.  It was effective immediately.  This bill delays implementation, applying it to next year’s incoming junior class.

House File 499 – Non-Bus School Vehicles  

Amends the definition of non-bus school vehicles, such as a passenger van or a pickup truck.  This bill defines NEW passenger vehicles that aren’t busses as those carrying 10 or fewer passengers and USED passenger vehicles that aren’t busses as those carrying 12 or fewer passengers.  It also allows for pickups designed to carry up to nine passengers to count as a school bus, provided they have safety harnesses and no passengers ride in the bed of the truck.

House File 546 – SAVE Extension and Modifications  

This bill makes some modifications to the uses of SAVE (Secure and Advanced Vision for Education) dollars, the distribution to the Property Tax Equity Relief (PTER) fund, and extends the sunset on the statewide penny that funds SAVE by 20 years.  It increases the distribution amount that goes to the Property Tax Equity Relief (PTER) fund from 2.1% to 30%, getting there by 1% increments per year, assuming a specified growth in the SAVE fund is achieved each year.   From the increased funds (from 2.1% to 30%), half will be used in the same manner as the 2.1% is being used–to buy DOWN the rate for high-rate districts.  The remaining half will be used in a newly created “Foundation Base Percentage Fund” (FBPF) which provides property tax relief to all districts by buying UP the school foundation aid level of 87.5%.  It also requires voter approval to use SAVE funds for athletic facilities and makes changes to the Certificate of Need requirements, namely to demonstrate the need for using the funds for new construction vs. doing repairs or remodeling. 

House File 596 – Whole Grade Sharing and Reorganization Incentives Extension  

The bill extends the Whole Grade Sharing incentives for 5 years, from July 1, 2019, to July 1, 2024.  Whole grade sharing allows districts to generate funding for  0.1 weighting per student  affected by the sharing agreement.  The maximum is for 3 years.  However, it can be for an additional 3 years after, and if, districts reorganize.

House File 598 – Sibling Classroom Assignments  

The bill allows parents to request that their siblings in the same grade be placed in the same classroom.  The school can make recommendations to the parents for placement.  The bill also gives schools the option to change placement for disruptive or interfering behavior.  Parents can appeal any assignments made.

House File 637 – Misconduct Reporting Period

Current law requires a school district to report to the Board of Educational Examiners any instance of action taken against a licensed employee for a list of specific instances of misconduct:  soliciting or consummating a romantic relationship with student; falsifying grades or test scores; use public property for personal use; or being at school or school activities in possession or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  This bill sets a 30-day timeline by which this action on misconduct needs to be reported to the Board.

Senate File 159 – Teacher Preparation Program Assessment

Current law requires students in Iowa teacher preparation institutions to pass an end of program assessment in both content and pedagogy in order to complete their course of study.  Student are considered to have passed if they score above the 25th percentile nationally.  The bill changes this 25th percentile minimum score by requiring the Department of Education to instead set a minimum score that considers the scores of neighboring states and the current supply and demand of teachers in the state.  It also provides for a one-year license for those who have completed their prep programs, have been offered a teaching contract, but have not yet passed the assessment.

Senate File 246 – All-Iowa Opportunity Scholarship Eligibility

The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship is currently available to student aged 18 through 23.  This bill strikes the age requirement.  Some students are possibly going to age-out of the scholarship and this will help students continue to receive the scholarship. 

Senate File 394 – Online Learning Courses Offered

Allows school districts and nonpublic schools to offer course online that fall outside of the scope of Iowa’s “offer and teach” requirements. Such courses are to be taught by an Iowa licensed teacher and follow Iowa’s academic standards.  If such course is offered by a private provider, the provider must be on a Department-approved list. 

Senate File 603 – Concurrent Enrollment Changes

Makes several changes to Concurrent Enrollment courses with Community Colleges contracting with school districts to provide courses.  Increases weighting for concurrent enrollment arts and sciences courses from 0.46 to 0.5.  Allows districts to “supplant” “offer and teach” required courses.  They can offer one math and one science course through concurrent enrollment.  Districts under 600 student enrollment generate weighted funding, those over 600 enrollment do not.  Codifies current practice by allowing students to generate weighted funding for up to 23 credit hours through Senior Year Plus course options.   Allows nonpublic schools to contract with community colleges to provide concurrent enrollment classes.  For “supplementing” courses, the schools generate funding as a public school would.  For “supplanting” courses, high schools with a student enrollment of less than 200 students would generate funding, those above 200 students would not.

  • The section allowing districts under 600 students to supplant a math or science course is retroactively applicable to July 1, 2018.
  • The section changing the arts and science course weighting from 0.46 to 0.5 is applicable to the school budget year beginning July 1, 2019.
  • The rest of the bill goes into effect July 1, 2019.

House File 758 – FY 2020 Education Appropriations

The FY 2020 Education Appropriations bill appropriates $952.7 million in FY20 in General Fund dollars for the Department for the Blind, the College Student Aid Commission, the Department of Education, Community Colleges, Vocational Rehabilitation, Iowa Public Television, and the Board of Regents.  This is an increase of $40.1 million over Estimated FY 2019.  It also includes some policy language and changes.

  • Iowa Public Television – language allowing IPTV to keep and use carryforward funds is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.
  • Postsecondary Summer Classes – language allowing the Department of Education to keep and use carryforward funds for the summer joint enrollment program is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.

Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Act – the new definition for a qualifying “new job” under this act includes Lennox workers in Marshalltown affected by the 2018 tornado which impacted the plant is effective upon the Governor’s signature May 13, 2019.

Senate File 548 – Pollution Control

Amends state law to prohibit water pollution control projects from including the acquisition of real property  using state revolving funds (SRF) by a ‘private entity’ for future donation or sale to a political subdivision, DNR or federal government after July 1, 2019.  SRF monies could still be used by individuals, governmental entities and water utilities to purchase land for water infrastructure purposes; SRF monies can still be used by ‘qualified entities’ under Code section 384.84 under 28E agreements for watershed projects that have been approved for water quality improvement in a watershed; and SRF funds can be used in nonpoint pollution project to purchase land with a private entity if it is beneath the geological footprint of ‘edge-of-field practices’ that are consistent with the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and any necessary setback to such portions of the land as authorized by DNR. 

House File 768 – Beginning Farmer Tax Credit

Restructures and reinstates the beginning farmer tax credit program that was originally created in 2007 by returning the maximum annual cap of tax credit to $12 million (it had reverted to $6 million on 1/1/2018).  The legislation modifies certain beginning farmer program eligibility criteria that:

  • Allows an aggregate maximum aggregate net worth of multiple family member beginning farmer entities  to twice the low or moderate net worth (but still retains the maximum low to moderate net worth for each specific person that is part of the entity);
  • Requires eligible taxpayer landowners (the beginning farmer tax credit beneficiaries) not to have been at fault for terminating a prior agreement with a beginning farmer in which the taxpayer was able to claim a tax credit;
  • Restricts to $50,000 of beginning farmer tax credits per year that any taxpayer can claim;
  • Details the specific of ‘risk-sharing arrangements’ that must be met to qualify for the 15% tax credit rate share-rent agreements; and
  • Creates a 10-year eligibility for the taxpayer to participate in the program and limits them to no more than 10 tax credit certificates under the program.

HF 768 had an immediate effective date (5/21/2019), with a retroactive applicability of this Act to tax years that began on or after 1/1/2019.

Senate File 519Ag Production Facility Trespass

Creates a new agricultural production facility trespass provision that specifies certain offenses relating to agricultural production operations that cause economic damage or other injury.  Those could include- sabotage, adulterations, and destruction of property such as agricultural crops or animals.  The legislation provides for a criminal offense of agricultural production facility trespass that involves the use of deception to obtain access to a facility not open to the public with intent to cause physical or economic harm or other injury to the facility’s operation, property or persons.  The offense may include obtaining employment with agricultural production facility by deception with intent to harm the operation, property, or person.  SF 519 had an immediate effective date (3/14/2019).

Senate File 599 – Hemp

Provides that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) with the primary role of operating the Iowa Hemp program and involves the Department of Public Safety or local law enforcement in the criminal background check and when inspection test results indicate the crop is not hemp.  The legislation will allow both the growth of hemp crops and the retail trade of hemp products and cbd-trade as long as the THC content is less than 0.3% and the hemp products were grown, produced and processed under state and federal hemp regulations.  The Act creates a hemp fund into which license fees are deposited. IDALS administers the fund. SF 599 requires IDALS to accept and approve or disapprove applications for the issuance of a hemp license on a one-year basis subject to renewal and license may be no more than 40 acres to any given entity/person. 

SF 599 division I had an immediate effective date of 5/13/2019 for sections 1-18 that deal with Iowa Hemp program specifics, while division II (coordinating changes to the Code and implementing timeframes and procedures) for sections 20-33 has a contingent effective date of when IDALS submits to the Iowa Administrative Bulletin notification of federal approval of the state Hemp program (likely to be no sooner than late spring of 2020, but likely later than that, perhaps even sometime in 2021 or 2022 calendar years).

Senate File 113 – OWI Habitual Offender

Senate File 113 allows a person charged with a 3rd offense OWI to be charged as a habitual offender. This would triple the time they could be required to serve in prison.

Senate File 346 – Female Genital Mutilation

SF 346 would prohibit female genital mutilation and prohibit people from taking children out of the country to have this gruesome act performed. Members of the subcommittee met with community representatives as well as advocates. After careful consideration, penalties were altered to help protect women and their daughters while still ensuring the proposed law could adequately be enforced.

Senate File 589 – Criminal Law Reform Ominbus

SF 589 makes changes to the criminal code. Including areas of expungement, robbery, property crimes, theft, fraud and forgery, criminal proceedings, medical examiner investigations and criminal penalties.

Senate File 590 – Indigent Defense

If a person pays for a private defense attorney and then becomes indigent the indigent defense fund will pay that attorney at the same rate as other indigent defense attorneys.

House File 323 – Dependent Adult Abuse

Ensures a person can be found guilty of dependent adult abuse even if they didn’t personally profit from the abuse.

House File 569 – Personal Degradation of Adult

HF 569 adds language to the code to criminalize degradation of a dependent adult.  This would include taking photos intended to shame, degrade, humiliate, or otherwise harm the personal dignity of a dependent adult. A caretaker who engages in this action could be charged with a serious misdemeanor for this offense.

Senate File 188 – Tasers On College Campuses

SF 188 would prohibit Regents universities from banning the carrying of Tasers on campus.

Senate File 86 – Logan’s Law

This bill requires the DNR to include an anatomical donor symbol on a hunting license if requested by the licensee. Hunter education courses will be required to provide information on anatomical gift donation. The process in this bill is identical to what is allowed for a driver’s license donor symbol. 

Senate File 337 – Child Labor Law Exceptions

This bill allows a child to willfully volunteer for a charity or for a public purpose. This bill also allows children of certain age to be employed by a charitable, local government, or the United States Olympic Committee.

House File 692 – Election Omnibus

This bill implements the statewide use of postal service barcodes to determine the date that an absentee ballot was placed into the federal postal service. This bill makes technical corrections to local and city elections. This section prohibits a person from participating in more than one caucus in a year. This bill places certain limitations on the use of a County Auditor’s name.  Effective Date: July 1, 2019; Division II (Secretary of State technical Changes) May 16, 2019; Division IV (AGC Conflict of Interest) – January 1, 2023

Senate File 502 – Whistleblower Protections  

This bill allows employees of political subdivisions and the state to report complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman when acting in good faith.

Senate File 447 – Rental Caps

A city shall not adopt or enforce regulation that put rental permit caps on single-family homes or duplexes.  Effective Date: May 2, 2019

Senate File 93 – Abatement of Nuisance on Abandoned Structures

This bill allows for the district court sitting in small claims to have jurisdiction of abandoned structures and the abatement of public nuisance. This bill establishes a responsible building official to determine the state of abandoned structure.

Senate File 304 – License Revocation for Delinquent Student Loans

This bill requires the state’s licensing boards to adopt administrative rules to prohibit the suspension or revocation of a licensed issued to a person who is in default of student loans.

Senate File 323 – Canned Cocktails

Canned cocktails with alcohol content between 6.25%-15% are treated as beer under IA Code 123 & 123A. Effective Date: maY 10, 2019

House File 741 – Flood Bonds

This bill allows for the use of general obligation bonds in regards to flood mitigation projects.

Senate File 617 – Sports Wagering

This bill allows sports wagering to be conducted in person and through mobile devices through licensed casinos. This bill also authorizes Daily Fantasy Sports to be conducted in Iowa.  Effective Date: May 13, 2019

Senate File 507 – Workers’ Compensation – Idiopathic Falls

Personal injuries due to idiopathic falls from a level surface to the same level surface are not covered under an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

House File 668 – Three Tier System Reform

Defines an institutional investor. Cross tier employment prohibitions only apply to senior level employees. Manufacturers of nonnative wine may sell their wine at their principal office located in Iowa. Allows for limited cross tier interests. Brewers may sell up to 30,000 barrels annually at wholesale.

Senate File 412 – Residential Contractors, Assignment of Benefits

This bill sets the parameters for when an insured homeowner can assign insurance benefits after a loss to a residential contractor. It protects consumers against “storm chasers” contractors who are bad actors.

Senate File 563 – PBM Transparency

This bill requires an annual report by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to the Insurance Commissioner on prescription drug benefits that will be made available to the public.

Senate File 230 – Native Distillery, Brewery, Winery

This bill creates parity among native distillery/brewery/winery by allowing all to manufacture spirits/beer/wine.

Senate File 302 – Autonomous Vehicle Framework

This bill creates a framework to provide for the definition, operation, and liability of autonomous vehicles in the state.

Senate File 140 – Private School Permits

This bill increases the distance a private school student can travel from home to school from 25 miles to 50 miles.

House File 767 – Electric Vehicles

This bill creates a supplemental registration fee for electric vehicles to make RUTF whole. It also creates an excise fee for hydrogen fuel of $0.65/gallon and a $0.026/kWh excise fee on electric fuel. Funds are directed to RUTF. The electric vehicle registration fee and the hydrogen fuel excise fee January 1, 2020. Collection of the excise fee on electric fuel will begin July 1, 2023.

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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.

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