Travel Federation of Iowa
Legislative Update | Issue #3 | February 20, 2021

Tuesday, February 23rd will mark Session Day 44 of the scheduled 110-day session, exactly 40% of the way to the April 30th last (scheduled) day of session. We are also two weeks now from the March 5th First Funnel Deadline when bills must be out committee in order to stay alive for the session (Tax and spending bills are exempt.)
The pace of Weeks 5 and 6 have continued the surge from the previous weeks. The committee work and floor debate isn’t overwhelming yet, but the subcommittee blocks are challenging for everyone in the building to keep up on. This is sure to intensify as we head toward the First Funnel. Committees will be racing to pass priority bills in order to be able to keep working on them for the year. 

The ceiling in the Capitol Law Library.
The biggest lifts the past couple weeks have been the House moving 6 childcare bills over to the Senate, both chambers continuing to negotiate allowable growth for schools, movement in both chambers on the Governor’s housing, broadband and renewable fuels bills, and both chambers introducing major election reform legislation this past Tuesday and moving it quickly through committee this week.
Tourism Funding In The Works!!

As we stated in the last Capitol Report, the moment you have been waiting for has arrived and we need ALL HANDS ON DECK this session. We need you to be talking to tourism to your legislators as we try to maneuver more funding through the legislative process.

The IEDA and Tourism Office have put together this attached summary of the proposed funding. The funding was introduced this past week as Division 2 of the IEDA's Manufacturing 4.0 legislation, House Study Bill 233 (Link). Additionally, Senator Koelker and other Senators who support tourism are working on attaching the tourism language to another bill in the Senate. (Information about the Manufacturing 4.0 part is HERE.)

A lot is happening behind the scenes, but the best thing you can do is to be talking to your legislators about tourism RIGHT NOW! Tell them your stories about how the industry in your area has been hit by the pandemic. TAKE ACTION with your legislators! If you need a refresher on who represents you, just go HERE and plug in your home address.
Week 5 saw the Iowa House pass six bills in one day dealing with childcare in Iowa. They continue to work on a few additional bills addressing this issue, but the Senate will now determine which pieces to take. (Many of the six already had a Senate companion bill.) The six measures passed include:

HF 230 - Increases the income threshold for the Child Care Tax Credit from $45,000 to $90,000. 
HF 370 - Creates an incentive for employers to provide child care for their employees by providing a tax credit up to $150,000. 
HF 260 - Allows individuals providing child care in their homes to take care of 6 or fewer children, an increase from 5 or fewer.  
HF 292 - Raises Iowa's child care rates to the 50th percentile according to the Market Rate Survey.  
HF 302 - Creates an "off ramp" from Child Care Assistance program so parents can continue to grow in their career without losing their child care assistance entirely, all at once.  
HF 301 - Creates a fund to provide child care workforce grants on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis from communities.
Allowable Growth
The House finished a lengthy and contentious debate Thursday afternoon on legislation that allocates $30 million in supplemental funds to school districts that had more in-person days during the pandemic. This bill put the final touches on the school funding issue for this year, following the Legislature’s passage of allowable growth (SF 269) for schools earlier this week. The House and Senate settled on a 2.4 percent increase for 2022. The non-partisan Legislative Services Agency said the amended bill will increase state aid to schools by about $36.5 million. Senate Education Committee Chair Amy Sinclair said “This will add $179 per every child enrolled in Iowa’s schools today.”
Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend addresses the House Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee on February 16, 2021. The information on Director Townsend’s slides was striking seeing all the incredible benchmarks the Department set in the wake of the pandemic. You can view her slides HERE, but pay special attention to slides 10-16 and then the balance of the Unemployment Trust Fund on slide 27. Iowa is a much better place financially than the vast majority of states. 
Director Lyon Presents
Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyon presented to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget Subcommittee on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. A copy of her presentation is available HERE.

Election Voting Law Changes
The House and the Senate are both moving legislation to make a number of changes to election laws. The bills were introduced in each chamber this past Tuesday, subcommittees were held Wednesday, and they were voted out of committee in each chamber on Thursday. The chambers are expected to have the legislation (SF 413 & HF 590) on the Governor’s desk by the end of next week. 
The legislation would shorten the timeframe for absentee ballot requests (from 120 days before an election to 70), shorten the timeframe for returning an absentee ballot (from 29 days before an election to 18), and shorten the timeframe from for early in-person voting (from 29 to 18). The bill would not allow county commissioners to send out blank absentee ballot request forms and would not allow neighbors, friends or volunteers to turn in a voter’s ballot.
Revenue Estimating Conference
The March meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) has been set for 11am on Friday, March 29. They will review current projections for Fiscal Year 2021 and 2022 and produce a report that will guide the Legislature on their next steps in enacting a budget.  The Legislature will be required to use the LOWER of the March 2021 and December 2020 REC projections.
Iowa revenues have been more solid than many other states. Legislators will likely be paying close attention though to the gaming revenue projections that end up funding the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF). In addition to challenges created by the casinos’ closures during the pandemic and the efforts to get them back up and running, Nebraska’s recent decision to build casinos will no doubt affect Iowa’s revenues.
Redistricting Update
This redistricting cycle will be one for the record books. Iowa’s Constitution requires the Legislature to approve and submit the final plan to the Governor by September 1, and then that plan must be enacted by September 15. As you may know, the Iowa Constitution is not easily amendable. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau alerted states that they would be delivering redistricting data to states on September 30. If the deadlines in the Constitution are not met, the Iowa Supreme Court is tasked with drawing the maps. 
Iowa is definitely not alone in facing an impossible timeline for redistricting. Still, legislators are forging on with the process until they figure out the game plan. Monday was the deadline for the leaders in each chamber to appoint a member of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission. Republicans named former Majority Leader of the House Chris Hagenow and recently retired Department of Management Director Dave Roederer. Democrats selected Bettendorf attorney Ian Russell and former candidate for Iowa Secretary of State Deidre DeJear. Those four members will meet soon to select a first member that must be able to earn three votes in order to serve as Chair of the Commission. 
Economic Recovery Advisory Council Report
Even though it was mentioned in the last update, since it had just been released, we are including again the link (HERE) to the final report by the Governor’s Economic Recovery Advisory Council. The recommendations from the report show up all over this year’s legislative agenda.
Governor’s Biofuels Bill
The Governor’s Biofuels legislation (HSB185 & SSB 1179) was introduced early in Week 5 and has seen subcommittees in both chambers since that time. The bill aims to greatly expand the use of renewable fuels in Iowa through Code changes, grant funding and other mechanisms. You can find a summary of the bill that we received from the Governor’s office HERE.  
A number of organizations are heavily involved in this bill, some lobbying to pass the bill as is and others arguing that the new regulations would place too high a burden on retail stations and/or consumers that prefer to use fuels that do not include ethanol and/or biodiesel. HSB 185 has been passed by subcommittee and is awaiting consideration by the House Ways & Means Committee. SSB 1179 has been passed by subcommittee and is awaiting consideration by the Senate Agriculture Committee. 
TFI Bills of Interest - Bill List
Be watching this bill list! Bills are being introduced at a fast and furious pace, so this list changes every day!

HF132 Remote Continuing Education Credits Summary | Details House State Government Committee
Prohibits a licensing board from limiting the number of continuing education hours that a person can get remotely.

Makes provisions regarding ATV use and registration.

HF142 Sale and Use Tax Refunds Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
Makes changes to sales and use tax refunds.

Establishes the protecting freedom of conscience from government discrimination act.

HF184 School Sports Participation Summary | Details House Education Committee
Requires that interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by an educational institution be expressly designated based on the biological sex of the participating students.

Amends the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

HF213 Local Entertainment Surcharge Summary | Details House Local Government Committee
Allows local governments to impose a local entertainment surcharge.

Removes gender identity as a protected class under the Iowa civil rights act.

HF273 Winter Recreational Activities Protections Summary | Details House Judiciary Committee
Makes a person who owns a commercial property immune from civil liability for voluntary winter activities if the owner shows that the injury resulted from the risks inherent in such activities.

Places requirements on lobbying activities of political subdivisions.

HF384 Off-Site Drinks Summary | Details Senate Floor
Requires mixed drinks, wine, liquor, beer, and wine sold by class "C" licensees for off-site consumption be in original, unopened containers.

HF411 Passing Bikes/Bike Lights Summary | Details House Transportation Committee
Makes provisions related to overtaking and passing bicycles and bike lights.

HF486 Scenic Byways Enhancement Fund Summary | Details House Floor
Creates a scenic byways enhancement fund.

HF493 Low-Speed Electric Bicycles Summary | Details House Floor
Makes changes to low-speed electric bicycle regulations.

HF558 Amusement Ride Training Summary | Details House Floor
Establishes a minimum age and training requirements for attendants who control amusement rides.

Reserves 500 nonresident deer hunting licenses for individuals who have made reservations with a hunting guide company.

Makes provisions related to renewable fuel.

Makes provisions related to Iowa Finance Authority programs.

HSB195 Pandemic Relief Deductions Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
Excludes certain COVID-19 related grants from individual and corporate income taxes and allows certain deductions related to the paycheck protection program loan forgiveness.

HSB229 Advertising Device Regulation Summary | Details House Transportation Committee
Modifies regulations and requirements relating to advertising devices along highways.

HSB233 Manufacturing 4.0, Tourism Funding and Other IEDA Programs Summary | Details House Economic Growth Committee
Makes provisions related to Manufacturing 4.0, tourism funding, and other IEDA programs.

SF11 State Transportation Commission Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
This bill makes changes to the state transportation commission's membership requirements.

Repeals individual income tax and increases the state sales and use tax.

SF169 Promotional Play Receipts Summary | Details Senate Floor
Makes changes to promotional play receipts governing gambling games and sports wagering.

SF193 Vaccinations/Immunizations Summary | Details Senate Human Resources Committee
Makes several provisions related to vaccinations and immunizations.

SF224 School Bathroom Access Summary | Details Senate Education Committee
Prohibits a person from entering a single and multiple occupancy bathroom in a school that does not correspond with the person's biological sex.

SF356 Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act Summary | Details Senate Floor
Creates the Iowa Agricultural Tourism Promotion Act.

SF364 Paycheck Protection Program Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
Fully conforms Iowa tax law to federal law regarding money received from the federal paycheck protection program for all taxpayers.

Adds revocation of certain privileges upon conviction of a littering offense.

SF390 Governor's Broadband Proposal Summary | Details Senate Floor
Makes provisions related to broadband service availability and administration of the empower rural Iowa broadband grant fund.

Appropriates $350,000 for new state welcome signs.

Requires ABD to provide a renewal fee rebate to holders of an annual license/permit to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption who renewed in CY2020.

SF420 Recreational Use of Private Land Summary | Details Senate Floor
Amends definition of private land available for public recreational use and amends definition of "recreational purpose."

Creates a local hotel and motel tax account and board to administer locally imposed taxes.

Requires drivers passing a bicycle in the same direction to pass on the left and prohibits the driver from returning to the right side of the road until safely clear of the bicycle.

SF70 Violations Against Bicyclists Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
Adds additional penalties for certain violations against bicyclists.

Regulates alcoholic beverage drink pods.

Makes provisions regarding state taxation.
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