Travel Federation of Iowa
2020 Legislative Update | Issue #2 | February 9, 2020
Apologies to TFI members that also received updates meant for the Professional Developers of Iowa! Sleep deprivation caused me to click the wrong button in our system. Here's the TFI update.
The end of fourth week of the legislative session arrived and we can best describe the pace at the Statehouse as “madness”. The session always gets a shaky start in caucus years, as legislators try to meet with candidates and help their campaigns back in their districts. This Tuesday morning, after national candidates and media made their exit to New Hampshire, legislators came into the Capitol on a mission. The pace of committees, subcommittees and bill introductions immediately went haywire. 
The First Funnel deadline of the session is about two weeks away on Friday, February 21st. By that date all policy bills (non-tax or spending bills) that fail to be approved by the policy committee to which they have been assigned will be dead for the year. An issue itself can still be revived by putting it in another bill, but it becomes much more difficult. Legislators really try to limit policy proposals from being inserted into spending bills
Education and Supplemental Appropriations
The first two big issues to be up at the Statehouse are education funding and supplemental funding (funding added into the current fiscal year). Both Chambers are advancing education funding increases that will need to be negotiated. The Senate’s proposal includes $91.7 million in new funding while the House proposal contains $108 million in new money. Both chambers are set to debate the issue this week. K-12 education currently collects about 43% of State General Fund revenues, and also includes part of the state sales tax and is the largest part of most taxpayers’ property tax bills.
The Supplemental Appropriations bill ( SF 2144 ) would provide funding for two initiatives right away - $20 million to Homeland Security/Emergency Management for flood recovery and $333,000 to the Department of Human Services for Glenwood.  The bill passed the Senate last week and could be debated by the House this week.
Numbers Up
As you may recall from years past, the Legislature waits until the March meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) before starting to put budget numbers together. The REC will estimate all incoming and outgoing revenues for the current and next fiscal year, and the Legislature is required to use the lower of the two estimates from the December REC meeting and the March meeting.
With that said, State revenues look very healthy right now. According to the Legislative Services Agency, January say an uptick of $69.9 million compared to last January, or a 9.3% increase. Through the first seven months of Fiscal Year 2020, state revenues are 6.9% higher than FY 2019. For reference, in the December REC meeting, they predicted FY 2020 coming in 2.1% higher than FY 2019.
Sales and Use taxes saw an increase in January of 16.3% over last January. For the fiscal year, the growth in sales and use tax revenues is 8.5% over last year (compared to the REC’s projection of 5.9%). 
Invest In Iowa Act
As the first funnel closes in, the number of bills introduced every day continues to climb. Legislators and lobbyists and doing what they can to sift through them all. Some are individual bills by legislators that may or may not advance, others are bills by committee chairs, the Governor, and departments that people are waiting to see. 
The Governor’s bills are always much anticipated by legislators since the moment they are laid out in the Condition of the State address as her priorities. Governor Reynolds’ biggest piece of the legislation, the centerpiece of her address to the State, is The Invest In Iowa Act ( SSB 3116 and HSB 657), which was introduced in both chambers this week. The 46-page, 11-division bill is one of the biggest and most transformative pieces of legislation to hit the Capitol in many years. It would raise the sales tax by one cent, cut income and property taxes, fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund and shift a large part of mental health funding from the counties to the State.
Legislators were slow to comment on the Governor’s bill this week since it had just arrived and they hadn’t had a chance to review it and discuss it collectively. The size and the scope of The Invest In Iowa Act is going to make it a very heavy lift for legislators, especially in an election year and in the 2nd year of the General Assembly (when the session is 100 days instead of 110). 
Supporters of the bill got to work right away and will need to all work together to have a shot at moving the Legislature to action. There will likely be little movement until after the First Funnel. After that, since The Invest In Iowa Act’s future affects a number of the budget bills, the budget process can’t really start in earnest until the Legislature and the Governor know whether or not they will be enacting this legislation.
Hotel/Motel – 30 to 90 days
In the bill list below, you will notice two of the boldfaced bills, HF 760 and HF 2281 , to change the hotel/motel tax from 30 to 90 days. The reason for the two:
HF 760 is still eligible for a conference committee. TFI's lobbyists and others have met with leadership in both chambers to urge them to explore this option to get the bill to the Governor's desk faster.

HF 2281 is a new bill by Rep. Mommsen that has the language that both chambers agreed to support. If a conference committee on HF 760 occurs, they can substitute the language from HF 2281. If they decide not to hold a conference committee on HF 760, then we will be working to get HF 2281 enacted. Senator Cournoyer introduced an identical companion bill (SF 2085) to HF 2281. SF 2085 is currently in the Senate Ways & Means Committee, while HF 2281 is awaiting debate by the full Iowa House.
TFI Bills of Interest - Link
HF2014 Nonresident Deer Hunting Licenses Summary | Details House Natural Resources Committee
This bill requires 500 deer hunting licenses be reserved for nonresidents who have made a reservation with a registered hunting guide company.

HF2037 Bicycle Lights and Reflectors Summary | Details House Transportation Committee
This bill requires bicycles be equipped with specific lights and reflectors.

This bill requires a driver to safely pass a bicyclist traveling in the same direction

HF2041 Onsite Daycare Facilities Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
This bill allows new or existing onsite daycare facilities to qualify as a project under the high quality jobs program.

This bill prohibits state funds paid to school districts from being used for professional development activities at an amusement park itself.

HF2109 Charity Beer and Wine Event Summary | Details House State Government Committee
This bill authorizes a nonprofit entity to conduct a charity beer and wine event.

HF2110 Quad Cities Regional Metropolitan Authority Summary | Details House State Government Committee
This bill establishes the Quad Cities Regional Metropolitan Authority Compact.

HF2143 Smoke Free Air Exemption/Casinos Summary | Details House State Government Committee
This bill eliminates the smoke free air act exemption that allows smoking in casinos and other gaming establishments. 

This bill adds the traffic offense of driving a car too close to a bicyclist that results in serious injury or death as a violation subject to additional penalties.

This bill allows a nonresident landowner to apply for two antlered or any sex deer hunting licenses each year for use on their property.

This bill allows all-terrain vehicles to operate on certain two-lane roads between 4am -10pm.

HF2281 Hotel/Motel Tax Summary | Details House Floor
This bill modifies state and local hotel and motel tax exemptions.

This bill requires the Natural Resources Commission to offer a one-time registration option for canoes and kayaks.

HF760 Hotel/Motel Tax Exemption Summary | Details Senate Floor, Second Time
Exempts local hotel/motel tax beginning after 90 consecutive days of lodging.

This bill includes promotional play receipts in adjusted gross receipts through June 30, 2024.

This bill makes changes to the rulemaking process for executive branch agencies.

This bill makes provisions related to operation of low-speed electric bicycles.

HSB649 Recreational Activities Tax Credit Summary | Details House Economic Growth Committee
This bill creates a recreational activities business tax credit.

This bill adds requirements to state Transportation Commission membership.

This bill allows cities to establish land banks.

SF203 Private Fishing Summary | Details Senate Floor, Second Time
Allows a person to fish on a private lake or pond without a license. 

This bill requires lodging providers to secure a sales tax permit when renting lodging.

This bill allows native wine manufacturers to have up to two class "C" permits.

This bill creates a scenic byways enhancement fund.

SF2090 Bicycle Lights and Reflective Clothing Summary | Details Senate Floor
Modifies requirements for bicyclists to use lights and reflective clothing.

This bill modifies certain city and county budget provisions and provides a property assessment adjustment and property tax reduction for certain property owners.

This bill requires reciprocal professional and occupational licenses, certificates, or registrations be issued without an examination to certain individuals.

This bill requires periodic review of fees for each government agency.

SF2133 Travel Agency Registration Summary | Details Senate Floor
This bill repeals provisions requiring travel agencies and travel agents to be registered.

SF2134 Canned Cocktail Manufacturing Summary | Details Senate Floor
This bill allows beer manufacturers to manufacture canned cocktails.

SF2166 Snowmobile/ATV Registration Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
This bill requires snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and off-road utility vehicles to be registered every three years.

This bill repeals the Missouri River Preservation and Land Use Authority.

This bill makes provisions related to individual income taxes, sales and use taxes, water service tax, tax credits, and county juvenile court expenses and mental health region funding.
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