Week 9 of the 2022 legislative session was filled again with subcommittee work as we prepare for the second legislative funnel. Senate bills must pass through a House committee before Friday, March 18, to remain eligible for floor debate. Likewise, House bills must pass out of Senate committees by then to “stay alive.”
I chaired subcommittees on March 9 for two bills:
SF 2323 – this Senate bill requires the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to update its website within 60 days of IDNR acquiring property or a management interest in any property. It also requires county conservation boards to regularly report to IDNR the land owned or managed by county conservation boards.
HF 750 – this House file would allow cities to establish a Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) for volunteer fire fighters, volunteer EMS and volunteer reserve police officers. It will now go for a vote by the full Appropriations Committee since it would establish a fund that would be administered through the Department of Revenue.
Also this week, the Iowa House took the first steps to pass the state budget. Budget subcommittees passed bills for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Justice Systems, and Transportation.
Highlights of Justice Systems Budget
The Department of Public Safety will get an additional $3.1 million in FY 2023. Most of this increase goes to the Iowa State Patrol. It provides $2.5 million for the Public Safety Equipment Fund, which was created last year.
With an additional $7.1 million in this bill, the Department of Corrections’ budget will have increased by almost $29 million since FY 2021.
State spending would increase by $7.36 million for the Judicial Branch to add four new associate judge positions, as well as increase salaries for judges and magistrates.
Below are summaries of a few bills that were passed this week during floor debate:
Midwives Licensure (HSB 123) – establishes a board of midwifery to write rules, review licensees’ applications and review complaints. It would allow midwives to be covered by insurance plans. It also waives liability of health care providers who receive a transfer of a client from a midwife for any action performed by the midwife.
Daylight Savings Time (HF 2331) – establishes Daylight Savings Time as the official time year-round. This would mean no more springing ahead and no more falling back. However, Congress needs to act before this bill could take effect.
Regulation of Home-Based Businesses (HF 2431) – This bill removes red tape by prohibiting counties and cities from requiring a person to apply, register or require a permit to operate a “no-impact, home-based business.” It defines “homemade food item” as food produced and/or packaged at a home that is not time/temperature controlled for safety. It changes Iowa Code from “home bakeries” to “home food processing establishments.” It also adds a label requirement for home-produced food that includes: name of establishment, common name of the food, ingredients in order of predominance, quantity, expiration date, and food allergen statement.
Under-16 Hunting/Trapping License Fee Exemption (HF 2209) – allows an exemption for DNR hunting or fur-harvesting licenses and habitat fees for youth under 16 years old, who are accompanying a person with a fur-harvester license (parent, guardian or a competent adult with consent of parent/guardian).
Nuisance Non-Prior/NRC Permission Furbearing Depredation (HF 2369) – allows the taking of coyotes, racoons, possum, skunk or groundhog without prior permission for nuisance control purposes to protect a person, domestic animal or private property.
Constituents in the Capitol
Members of the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC), which represents elected and appointed county officials from all 99 counties, held its legislative day on March 10. I met with Butler County Supervisor Tom Heidenwirth. I also met with Russell Wood, CEO of Central Iowa Community Services (CICS); Gary McVicker, chairman of Franklin County Supervisors; and Katy Flint, Franklin County Auditor.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.