Travel Federation of Iowa
Legislative Update | Issue #6 | April 3, 2021
Getting Down to the Wire - It's Go Time

In the last issue, we talked about the constraints on the budget and the need to be vocal about funding for tourism. As the House and Senate begin to piece together their FY2022 budgets, we DO NOT YET HAVE ANY COMMITMENT ON INCREASING TOURISM FUNDING. Re-read that last sentence.

Wherever you serve in the tourism industry, we need your voice and we need it now. We need every sector of the industry saying to legislators in both chambers from both parties the following message loud and clear:

We ask that you transfer $5 million from the state’s beer and liquor control fund to IEDA to support statewide tourism marketing and programming.

The plan is being worked on aggressively by the Governor's team, IEDA Director Durham, Senator Carrie Koelker, TFI's Lobbyists and others. However, this $5 million request is a BIG increase in a year when the budget is tight. Legislators are inclined to say "Come back next year." They need to hear from YOU!
We have now reached the end of the 12th week of the 2021 legislative session and we have passed the Second Funnel deadline. By the end of this past week, all non-tax or spending bills (policy bills) had to have been passed by the policy committee in the other chamber from where it was introduced or else it is dead for the year. Since this is the first year of a two-year General Assembly, all bills that died in either funnel this year are alive again next year. 
Monday, April 5th will mark Session Day 85 of the 110-day scheduled session. Four weeks remain, but some legislators are indicating an interest in finishing their work early. As is always the case though, that is easier said than done. 
The heavy lifting that remains – enactment of the FY 2022 budget – looks to be a difficult task this year. The Revenue Estimating Conference, as we mentioned in the last edition, settled on a growth rate of 1.9 percent for FY 2021 and are predicting growth of 3.8 percent for FY 2022. Since those numbers were higher than the December estimates, the Legislature is required to use the lower December numbers in assembling their budget.
On March 24th, the Senate Republicans announced their budget targets (Link) for the FY 2022 budget. Their targets establish a FY 2022 budget of $7.999 billion, an increase of $195 million over FY 2021. The budget spends 94% of available revenue and allows for the elimination of the tax triggers (the revenue requirements in the 2018 tax bill that had to occur in order for income tax cuts to take place). 
The House has not released their targets, but we have heard they do have numbers completed. They have said they intend to start moving budget bills this week. We anticipate the Senate will do so the same. In fact, they have already scheduled the first budget bill subcommittee for Monday (on the always non-controversial Transportation Appropriations Bill – SSB 1256).    
Budget Bills
Every year, the House and Senate take turns on which chamber starts each budget bill. This year, the following budget bills will start in the Iowa House: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Education, Justice Systems & Judicial Branch, Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF), and Federal Block Grants. The following budget bills will start in the Iowa Senate: Administration & Regulation, Economic Development, Health & Human Services, Transportation, and Standing Appropriations. Next year, those bills will all start in the other chamber.

Lt. Gov Adam Gregg speaks to the Iowa Society Daughters of the American Revolution at the Iowa Flag 100th Anniversary event in the Rotunda. March 29th, 2021
Publication Note - At this time, it is appropriate for us to note that this publication, which typically comes out every two weeks during session, will NOT be published two weeks from now IF it looks like the Legislature could adjourn in the near future. If that is the case, we will instead wait and publish AFTER they adjourn for the year. In the mean time though, keep an eye out for timely alerts requesting you to take action.
Disaster Proclamation
On Friday, April 2nd, Governor Reynolds signed an updated Disaster Declaration that can viewed HERE. The proclamation continues to strongly encourage Iowans, businesses, and organizations to take reasonable public health measures consistent with guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health. The proclamation also continues to extend the waiver on transportation restrictions for overweight loads.
Funnel Survivor and Casualties
Here are a few notable bills and how they fared in the funnel. First, some notable casualties:
  • Constitutional amendment restoring felon voting rights
  • Elimination of tenure at Regents schools
  • Penalties for defunding police
  • Big Tech Censorship
  • Governor’s Birth Control Access bill
  • Requirements on businesses to use the federal E-verify system to verify eligibility of employees
  • Prohibitions on employers requiring COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Allowing the ability of a college athlete to profit off their name and likeness
  • Taxpayer-funded scholarships for private schools
  • Added protections for mobile home residents
  • Enhanced penalties for rioting, blocking highways and assaulting police officers
  • Banning speed and red-light cameras
Now here are some of the notable survivors:
  • Charter schools bill
  • Anti-abortion constitutional amendment
  • Bottle bill changes to allow retailers to opt out of accepting containers
  • Governor’s Broadband bill
  • Governor’s Housing bill
  • Some of the House’s 8 passed childcare bills (roughly 4 alive)
  • Reductions in unemployment benefits
  • Diversity training restrictions on teaching divisive concepts at public schools & colleges
  • Mandated first amendment training at educational institutions
  • Requiring devices to be voice-activated or in hands-free mode while driving
  • *All Taxing and Spending bills, including budget bills that still need to be written and a number of tax bills that eliminate the tax triggers and make other changes.
Remember that “dead” bills can still be turned into amendments and attached to other bills that are still alive and moving.
Legislative Forums Re-Do
In the last report, we specifically reminded you about the link at the bottom of every newsletter to the list of legislative forums. We told you to bookmark the link. … And then we immediately changed the link on you! Sorry about that! The new link to access the legislative forums

Another Senate Tax Bill
In the last edition, we talked about a bill (SF 576 - Link) the Senate passed unanimously that would eliminate the inheritance tax and the tax triggers (revenue & growth requirements that need to be met before the 2018 tax bill’s income tax cuts can take effect). SF 576 is now in the House Ways & Means Committee awaiting the House’s decision on what they want to do with taxes this year, if anything.
About two days after you read that story, the Senate introduced another tax bill, this one much bigger – 51 pages, 8 divisions. SSB 1253, now SF 587 (Summary at this Link), is centered around mental health funding, but contains an elimination of the backfill to local governments, removes the triggers (again), eliminates the Charitable Conservation Contribution Tax Credit, makes changes to the Forest Reserve program, and makes other changes. 
This bill has been passed by both the Senate Ways & Means and Appropriations Committees, and can be debated by the full Senate as early as Monday, April 5th.
Lobbyists at the Capitol have to join Zoom Senate subcommittee meetings on bills just like the rest of the public, from a computer and outside the room where the subcommittee members are meeting. That involves finding a quiet spot at the Capitol where the Internet signal is strong. One of the best spots from where I join is at a table in the Southeast quadrant of the Capitol basement. A number of people have asked about the backdrop that appears behind me.  This is a photo of that display. Check it out when you’re at the Capitol!
TFI Bills of Interest - Bill List
LIVE Bills – Bills we are tracking for you that survived the second funnel and can continue to be worked on this session.
HF142 Sale and Use Tax Refunds Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
Makes changes to sales and use tax refunds.

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.

HF493 Low-Speed Electric Bicycles Summary | Details Senate Floor
Changes definition of "low-speed electric bicycle" and modifies regulations related to low-speed electric bicycles.

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

HF730 Vehicle Rental Unfair Fees Summary | Details Senate Floor
Prohibits vehicle rental companies from blocking or charging a customer's credit card in excess of the estimated total daily or weekly charges and rental deposits stated in the rental agreement.

HF768 Alcohol Licensing Summary | Details Senate Floor
Authorizes ABD to grant up to two of each license/permit to a native distillery, beer manufacturer, brewery, or wine manufacturer.

HF785 Amusement Concessions Summary | Details Senate Floor
Makes changes to definitions related to amusement concessions and licensing.

HF789 Manufacturing 4.0, Tourism Funding and Other IEDA Programs Summary | Details House Ways & Means Committee
Makes provisions related to Manufacturing 4.0, tourism funding, and other IEDA programs.

HF822 Lobbying Activities Summary | Details Senate Floor
Places requirements for local government lobbying and contracts.

HF846 Snowmobile/ATV Transfer Fees Summary | Details House Floor
Waives transfer title fees for snowmobiles and ATVs for surviving spouses.

HF848 Governor's Broadband Proposal Summary | Details Senate Floor with Companion
Makes provisions related to broadband service availability and administration of the empower rural Iowa broadband grant fund.

HF853 Snowmobile Permits/Fees Summary | Details House Floor
Eliminates the requirement that a resident snowmobile operator must obtain a user permit to operate a snowmobile on public land, public ice, or a designated snowmobile trail.

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.

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.

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

SF364 Paycheck Protection Program Summary | Details Senate Floor, Second Time
Fully conforms Iowa tax law to federal law regarding money received from the federal paycheck protection program for all taxpayers.

SF475 Statewide Tourism Marketing Summary | Details Senate Appropriations Committee
Transfers funds to IEDA from the beer and liquor control fund to more than double IEDA marketing efforts and supports a statewide tourism marketing organization.

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

SF542 Alcohol Renewal Fee Rebate Summary | Details Senate Ways & Means Committee
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.

SF548 Advertising Device Regulation Summary | Details Sent to Governor
Modifies regulations and requirements relating to advertising devices along highways.

SF549 Governor's Renewable Fuels Bill Summary | Details Senate Ways & Means Committee
Makes provisions related to renewable fuel.

SF587 Mental Health Funding/Backfill Elimination/Triggers/Conservation Summary | Details Senate Floor
Makes several changes to state and local government financing, programs, and operations.

Makes provisions regarding state taxation.

SSB1242 Governor's Economic Development Budget Summary | Details Senate Appropriations Committee
The governor's budget for economic development authority, department of cultural affairs, Iowa finance authority, public employment relations board, and department of workforce development for for FY2021-2022 and FY2022-2023.

SSB1246 Governor's Transportation Budget Summary | Details Senate Appropriations Committee
The governor's budget on transportation and other infrastructure appropriations for FY2021-2022 and FY2022-2023.

Excludes certain COVID-19 related grants from individual and corporate income taxes.

Modifies current property tax exemption for fairgrounds.

SSB1256 Transportation Budget (FY 2022) Summary | Details Senate Appropriations Committee
Appropriates funds for transportation services and agencies for fiscal year 2022 (which begins July 1, 2021).

DEAD Bills – Bills we are tracking for you that died. Since this is the first year of two-year General Assembly, these bills all come back to life next January. These bills can also be turned into amendments that get added to other bills, so don’t let up on your advocacy efforts!

HF132 Remote Continuing Education Credits Summary | Details House State Government Committee
HF184 School Sports Participation Summary | Details House Education Committee
HF213 Local Entertainment Surcharge Summary | Details House Local Government Committee
HF411 Passing Bikes/Bike Lights Summary | Details House Transportation Committee
HF486 Scenic Byways Enhancement Fund Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
HF639 Distilled Spirits Direct Shipping Summary | Details House State Government Committee
HF745 Winter Recreational Activities Protections Summary | Details House Floor
HF806 Nonresident Deer Hunting Summary | Details House Floor
SF11 State Transportation Commission Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
SF224 School Bathroom Access Summary | Details Senate Education Committee
SF420 Recreational Use of Private Land Summary | Details Senate Floor
SF465 Littering Offenses Summary | Details Senate Floor
SF555 Vaccinations/Immunizations Summary | Details Senate Floor
SF70 Violations Against Bicyclists Summary | Details Senate Transportation Committee
Your Bill Tracker
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Town Halls & Public Forums
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