Floor Action – February 17, 2009

This morning on the floor the House passed House Joint Resolution 1.

House Joint Resolution 1 – HJR 1 establishes a Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation trust fund. The joint resolution credits the fund with an amount equal to the amount generated by a sales tax rate of three-eighths of 1 percent as may be imposed upon the retail sales price of tangible personal property and the furnishing of enumerated services sold in this state.

It passed the House 82-14 (bill information here)

This afternoon the House debating the following bills:

House File 45 – Suspension of Assistance During Commitment. HF 45 changes Iowa’s Medicaid law that would suspend a person’s Medicaid eligibility when they are placed in custody. Under current law, a person who is in custody of corrections or law enforcement has their Medicaid terminated as required by law. Once a person is released, it is difficult to re-establish eligibility for Medicaid and then these Iowans do not receive the mental health treatment they need.

By suspending their eligibility instead of terminating, these individuals will be able to receive the treatment and medications necessary for treatment (primarily for mental health issues) and then be less likely to re-offend. The suspension would only apply for the first 12 months of commitment. After 12 months, Medicaid eligibility would be terminated.

It passed the House 98-0 (bill information here)

House File 233/Senate File 9 – Sale of School Buildings. This bill erases 2008 legislation relating to the sale of school buildings. The 2008 bill inadvertently created a twelve month waiting period on the sale of school buildings pending the possibility of a voter petition.

The result of reverting back to 2008 law is that eligible electors may call for an election to determine whether the school district can sell, lease or otherwise dispose of a schoolhouse site.

It passed the House 96-0 (bill information here)

Senate File 108 – Members of the Public Safety Communications Interoperability Board. Currently the Public Safety Communications Interoperability Board includes two representatives from fire departments. SF 108 would require that the representatives from the fire departments consist of one representative who is a paid firefighter and one who is a volunteer firefighter.

It passed the House 96-2 (bill information here)

House File 260 – County, City and Memorial Hospitals. This bill is as a result of two years of work between the mentioned hospitals and the Iowa Hospital Association. The bill consolidates, reorganizes and updates provisions of four major public hospital Code chapters.

The study bill, HSB 110, contained provisions allowing “design build”, which short circuits competitive bidding. The design build provisions are NOT in this bill but were removed by amendment in the Local Government Committee.

It passed the House 97-0 (bill information here)

Senate File 82 – An Act adding four nonvoting members to the Iowa workforce development board

It passed the House 98-0 (bill information here)

House File 280 – An Act relating to the compensation of a guardian ad litem in certain criminal cases involving a child witness

It passed the House 95-0 (bill information here)

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Dansette