To the People of House District 54

The Iowa House passed 70 bills during the seventh week of the 2022 legislative session, but two of these bills grabbed most of the media headlines.

 

Reforming Refundable Corporate Tax Credits

The Iowa House and the Iowa Senate on Feb. 24 reached a compromise on historic tax cuts that includes a 3.9% flat tax and no state tax on retirement income. The agreed upon bill also lowers the corporate tax rate if the state hits a revenue trigger. In a year when corporate tax revenue exceeds $700 million, the corporate rate will be reduced the following year. This rate will continue to reduce each year revenue is over $700 million until it reaches 5.5%.

 

This bill also reforms Iowa’s Refundable Corporate Tax Credits by cutting refundability by 5% per year for five years on all refundable corporate tax credits that don’t currently have a sunset. The Research Activities Credit, which is the State’s most expensive corporate tax credit, lowers to 50% refundability over five years.

 

Protecting Girls Sports

This week the Iowa House passed HF 2416 to protect girls sports. Under this bill, only athletes assigned as female on their birth certificate will be allowed to participate in school-sponsored girls athletics.

 

“This bill is to ensure that girls continue to have a level playing field in athletics and don’t lose out on varsity letters, scholarships, championships, and all the skills and life lessons that come with playing a sport,” says Rep. Skyler Wheeler, floor manager for HF 2416. “It’s simple. Girls shouldn’t be sidelined in their own sports.”

While bills like this one make the headline news, the Iowa House also passed many other bills of interest to residents of House District 54. I’ll highlight a few of those here:

  • House File 2005 – proposes an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that creates a line of succession for the Office of the Governor. 
  • House File 2428 – allows county hospital trustees to be compensated for their services. 
  • House File 2399 – prevents insurance companies from revoking authorization after care has been given.

These five bills survived the first funnel deadline last week when they were passed by the House Education Committee:

  • House File 2081 — Elimination of Praxis/Ed TPA Standardized Assessments — removes the requirement for practitioner preparation students to take and pass the Praxis II or edTPA Exam prior to being eligible for licensure. 
  • House File 2083 — Teach Iowa Scholar Eligibility — removes the requirement that an applicant must be in the top 50% of their class to receive the scholarship. 
  • House File 2421 — Alternative Teacher Licensure — creates an alternative teacher licensure path for those who have at least a bachelor’s degree and three years of work experience to apply for a teacher intern license while completing additional coursework.
  • House File 2085 — Alternative Teacher Certification Program — creates an alternative licensure program and lays out specific requirements that must be met for in-state versus out-of-state programs. 
  • House File 2398 — Permanent Teacher Licensure — creates a permanent teacher license for those who have a master’s or doctoral degree where there are no renewal requirements.

Constituent Visits
As an alumna of Iowa State University (ISU), I greatly enjoyed visiting with President Wendy Wintersteen during ISU’s legislative day on Feb. 22. A few of the ISU innovations showcased included: cybersecurity, rural broadband, nanovaccines, Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory, and student entrepreneurs.

This week I appreciated the opportunity to meet with executives from One Vision in Clear Lake about the need to close the wage gap for direct support professionals who provide mental health and disability support and services. Pictured from left to right are Heidi Willrett, Chief Human Resources Offices (CHRO); Mario VanDijk, Chief Financial Officer (CFO); Rep. Shannon Latham; Jennifer Pinske, Chief Development Officer (CDO); and Mark Dodd, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

I enjoyed meeting on Feb. 23 with Franklin County Cattlemen President Andrew Benning and Secretary Joe DeVries, as well as Mark DeVries, who serves as District 4 Director on the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association board.

 

As always, please contact me about issues that are of interest to you. Feel free to send me a message via my political Facebook page or my legislative email, which is shannon.latham@legis.iowa.gov.​​​​​​