House Passes Bill to Support Building More Child Care Centers
House File 712 passed the House this week with bipartisan support and provides for a child care incentive for developers (to construct more child care centers). The bill creates a workforce child care facility tax credit for the developer of a new or rehabilitated child care facility. This includes both income tax credits and sales and use tax refunds. The tax credit is not refundable but is transferable. The program cap is $3.0 million annually.
House File 712 provides that to qualify for a tax credit a project must include at least one of the following:
• Construction of a new child care facility or
• Rehabilitation, repair, or redevelopment of an existing structure to be used as a child care facility
The bill provides that a developer seeking a workforce child care facility tax credit must apply to IEDA. IEDA will prescribe the application process by rule however the application must include:
• A resolution in support of the child care facility by the community where it will be located and
• Documentation of local matching funds pledged for the facility equal to at least $50,000, or in the case of a small-city, $25,000 (could be cash, tax abatement, etc)
House File 712 also provides that applications will be reviewed and scored competitively and that an awarded project must be completed within three years. The bill provides that a developer is allowed a tax incentive of up to $200,000 per project. The tax credit amount can be no more than 10 percent of the project cost for big cities and no more than 20 percent for small cities. The tax credit can be carried forward for five years. The overall tax credit program is capped at $3.0 million per fiscal year with at least 60 percent going to small cities. The bill will now move to the Senate for further consideration.
Iowa Legislature Continues to Expand Access to Telehealth and Mental Health Care
This week, the Iowa House passed House File 294, which will require health insurers to pay for mental health services delivered through telehealth at the same rate as they pay for in-person mental health treatment. Additionally, the legislature is considering House File 731 which would require insurers to accept out-of-state telehealth providers in their network if they meet all requirements for in-state health care providers. These bills are extremely important as Iowa has a shortage of mental health providers. Iowa ranks 44th in the nation for psychiatrists per capita.
Throughout the public health emergency, Governor Reynolds has included these same telehealth requirements on insurers in her proclamations. This expansion of telehealth during the public health emergency has helped Iowans get the care they need in their communities, where specialty care is often not available, especially in rural areas.
Iowa has seen its Medicaid population reflect that increase in telehealth use with only 9,386 uses of telehealth in the quarter preceding the public health emergency, and 185,205 uses of telehealth in the next quarter (an almost 2000% increase!). DHS has said that the largest increases in telehealth utilization have been in behavioral testing/assessment, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, vision and hearing, and evaluation and management.
If you have interest in any particular bill or would like to know where it is in the process please contact me and I will do my best to try and keep you up to date. You can also follow bills on the legislative website once you know the bill number http://www.legis.iowa.gov.