In This Issue
Federal Policy Update
State Policy Update
Important Dates
Committee Assignments

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April 29, 2016  

Federal Update
The final Iowa Unified State Plan, as a part of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, was submitted to the Department of Labor last month. Implementation of the plan will begin in May. You can review the final plan here and the full implementation timeline here.

A final Career Pathways Toolkit has been published by the federal Department of Labor. Find it online at  
State Policy Update
Leadership in both the House and Senate are hopeful that adjournment will occur soon. The target adjournment date passed last week, which means that per-diem expenses have expired for legislators and assistants. A few appropriations bills are still awaiting passage and are highlighted in the Legislation section below.

Appropriations bills for Economic Development, Education, and Workforce Development have all passed the legislature. You can read highlights from each bill in the Legislation section below.

If you're looking for a refresher on the appropriations process,  this chart  outlines it for you.

A bill (HF 2392) to provide academic and career guidance and career and technical education programs passed both the House and Senate.
Senate File 2323 -- Education Appropriations bill. Funds College Student Aid Commission, Department for the Blind, Department of Education, and the State Board of Regents. Passed the House 52-41 and the  Senate 27-22. Highlights:
  • $5,911,200 for the Vocational Rehabilitation Services Division of the Department of Education
  • Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund: $33,600,000
    • $15,100,000 for the Workforce Training and Economic Development Funds
    • $5,500,000 to community colleges for the Adult Literacy for the Workforce program
    • $6,000,000 for Accelerated Career Education (ACE) program
    • $5,000,000 for the Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) program
    • $2,000,000 for the Gap Tuition Assistance program
  • $2,630,134 for Vocational Education Aid to secondary schools
  • $204,290,650 to community colleges for state general aid
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Collaborative Initiative: $5,200,000
Senate File 2313 -- Workforce Development Appropriations bill. Funds the Department of Workforce Development. Passed the House 94-1 and the Senate 27-23. Highlights:
  • Provides responsibilities for local workforce development boards. See legislation for an itemized list
  • $4,825,000 in federal funds for modification and adoption of Idaho Unemployment Insurance Software System
  • Prohibits the Department of Workforce Development from pursuing the recovery of any overpayments of unemployment insurance benefits due to technology malfunction on March 8, 2014.
House File 2460 -- Health and Human Services Appropriations bill. Different versions of the bill have been passed by the House and Senate, currently in a conference committee. Highlights:
  • Healthy Children and Families programs: $5,593,774
    • Iowa First Five Healthy Mental Development Initiative: $3,381,059
  • Appropriates $50,000 to study the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on children.
  • PROMISE JOBS Program: $10,553,408
  • Eliminates appropriation for statewide Child Care Resource and Referral Program; this program will now be funded using federal funds
House File 2455 - Economic Development Appropriations billFunds the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA), the Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), Iowa Finance Authority (IFA), Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), Board of Regents (BOR), and Regents institutions. Passed the House 88-6 and the Senate 27-23. Highlights:
  • Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund: a new appropriation of $1,000,000 to the IEDA for internships in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math with eligible Iowa employers.
  • Total amount appropriated to IEDA: $15,116,372 which includes:
    • Economic development appropriation
    • High Quality Jobs Creation Assistance
    • Economic Development Energy Projects
    • Iowa Individual New Jobs Training (NJT) 260E fund
    • Small Business Credit Initiative fund
  • Total amount for IWD field offices: $8,976,650
    • Allocates $150,000 to the State Library for licensing the Learning Express Library.
    • IWD would be required to allocate at least $1,105,628 to the operation of four satellite field offices projected by IWD to serve the most people from the offices in Decorah, Fort Madison, Iowa City, and Webster City
  • $358,464 for the Offender Reentry Program to provide offenders with employment skills; IWD to partner with Department of Corrections.
Senate File 2313 (successor to Senate Study Bill 3176) Provides for conformity with federal law concerning the workforce development board and making an appropriation. Passed the Senate 27-23 and the House 94-1.

Senate File 2179 (successor to  Senate Study Bill 3095 )  Relates to the high quality jobs program by allowing additional tax incentives for businesses that use contractors and subcontractors operating or participating in an apprenticeship program. Under the bill, eligible businesses may receive additional investment tax credits of up to 2%. Sponsored by the Senate Committee on Economic Growth. Passed out of Committee and referred to Ways and Means.

Senate File 2101 (successor to  Senate File 2046) and House File 2272 (successor to  House File 2121 and  House Study Bill 533) Appropriate funds for a supported employment provider rate increase, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions. Sponsored by Senator Ragan, passed the Senate 48-0 and placed on the House unfinished business calendar. Sponsored by House Human Resources Committee and placed on the Appropriations calendar under unfinished business.

Senate File 2300 (successor to  Senate Study Bill 3001) and House File 2438 (successor to  House Study Bill 518) Relate to the administration of programs by the Economic Development Authority (EDA) by modifying the high quality jobs program and creating renewable chemical production tax credit program. This would lower the maximum aggregate tax credit cap from $170 million per fiscal year to $105 million. The provision would be in effect for five fiscal years, beginning on July 1, 2016 and ending on June 30, 2021. Proposed Economic Development Authority bill. Passed the House 95-1 and the Senate 46-3. Read the fiscal note here.

House File 2392 (successor to House Study Bill 620) Provides for academic and career guidance and career and technical education programs and requirement and workplace learning programs. Sponsored by House Education Committee. Passed the House 98-0 and the Senate 50-0.

House File 2203  Establishes an Iowa Employment and Educations Rides initiative and related fund in the state department of transportation. Sponsored by Representative Running-Marquardt and referred to House Appropriations Committee.
Important Dates
April 19           Target Adjournment Date
100th calendar day of the session and the date per-diem expenses will end.
Committee Assignments

Click here to view members of workforce-related committees and their corresponding workforce development region.

This update is a bi-weekly publication intended to share information and resources regarding legislative activities, events, and bills related to workforce issues in Iowa. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Gracie Brandsgard at or 515-237-0340.