Capitol Update: Week 13

House HHS Budget Includes Significant Funding for Mental Health Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed House File 766, the Health and Human Services Budget for FY2020. This budget appropriates a total of $1.94 billion from the state general fund to the Department on Aging, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services,Continue reading “Capitol Update: Week 13”

Capitol Update: Week 11

Responding to Severe Flooding Across Iowa Over the last few weeks, much of the state has experienced severe flooding which doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.  The western part of Iowa has been impacted significantly compared to the rest of the state with several towns being evacuated. In response to the flooding, GovernorContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 11”

Capitol Update: Week 10

Misconceptions on Energy Equity Bill HF 669 proposes an equitable change so utility infrastructure costs are not transferred from one electricity customer to another. This relieves end electric customers from subsidizing their neighbors. As simple as this concept is, opponents have looked for ways to confuse the issue. For example, some have claimed HF 669Continue reading “Capitol Update: Week 10”

Capitol Update: Week 9

House and Senate Pass Ag Protection Bill On Tuesday, March 12, 2019, both Chambers of the Iowa Legislature approved Senate File 519 by bi-partisan votes.  41-aye to 8-nays in the Senate and 65-aye to 32-nay vote in the House.  SF 519 creates new agricultural production facility trespass provisions that specifies certain offenses relating to agriculturalContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 9”

Capitol Update: Week 8

Private Electric Generation Equity Bill Passes House Commerce Committee This week the House Commerce committee considered HSB 185, which proposes an equitable change to how customer use utility infrastructure and the costs associated with that use.  The goal is to make sure costs are not inequitably transferred from one customer to another. The bill movedContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 8”

Capitol Update: Week 7

House Ag Committee Approves Beginning Farmer Tax Credit On Tuesday, February 26, 2019, the Iowa House Agriculture Committee approved House Study Bill 173 by a unanimous 21-aye vote (2-absent).  The bill will now move to the House Ways & Means Committee for its consideration as it contains tax credits provisions. The measure increases the annualContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 7”

Capitol Update: Week 6

The SAVE Fund, Infrastructure Dollars, Property Tax Relief Last week the House Education Committee approved a bill, on a bipartisan vote, extending the sunset date on the statewide penny sales tax that provides funding for school infrastructure.  The fund, in which the penny is deposited, is called the SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education)Continue reading “Capitol Update: Week 6”

Capitol Update: Week 5

Sports Betting Discussion Ongoing One of the biggest issues that the Legislature is considering this session is whether the state should legalize sports betting.  This conversation became a possibility last year after the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal law that prohibited gambling on professional and college sports. There are many factors toContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 5”

Capitol Update: Week 4

Judicial Nominating Reforms A top priority this session is bringing more fairness and accountability to Iowa’s judicial selection process.  Under the current process, nominating commissions interview candidates for open judge positions and recommend three individuals for the Governor to choose from.  These commissions are made up of people appointed by the Governor and lawyers whoContinue reading “Capitol Update: Week 4”