This week was the first legislative funnel – a self-imposed deadline in the Legislature that helps move the process along. If a policy bill did not pass out of a House or Senate committee this week, the issue is likely dead for the year.
When the Legislature convened in January, I outlined a commitment to focus on the priorities of Iowans and being efficient in finding ways to move the state forward. As the House completes its work on the first funnel deadline week, bills that survived are those that will focus on increasing opportunities and protecting Iowa families and taxpayers. Here are a few examples:
Bills that increase opportunities for Iowans
Working Parents Legislation — House File 2070
This bill revises the current 28 hour per week employment requirement to apply to a combination of both employment and participation in an education program for 28 hours per week. HF 2070 allows Iowans to attend school and continue to work without losing child care assistance. Under the bill, Iowans can receive child care assistance if they work AND go to school for a combination of 28 hours per week. Currently, to get assistance, you need to work OR go to school 28 hours per week.
Home Base Iowa Act
This package of legislation to attract veterans back to Iowa and ensure they have the opportunities they need to be successful when they return. A few highlights include:
- Military Pension Income Tax Exemption: Fully exempt military pensions from state income tax.
- Military Homeownership Assistance Program: Provides $5,000 down payment or closing cost assistance to eligible veterans
- Occupational Licensure: Directs Iowa’s occupational licensing boards to adopt rules allowing credit for military training and experience in the licensing process.
Apprenticeship program – House Study Bill 541
This bill streamlines the application and administrative processes for job training programs.
High Quality Jobs consolidation — House Study Bill 542
Bill consolidates economic incentives programs in to the High Quality Jobs Program which will strengthen the program and make it more efficient and effective.
Bills that protect Iowa families and taxpayers
Anti-bullying bill – House Study Bill 525
This proposal is aimed at keeping up with changes in social media activity and ensuring a system is in place for parental notification if an incident of bullying occurs and teachers have training on how to handle these situations.
Limit on drone usage – House File 2289
Prevents individuals, state agencies, and law enforcement from recording video through the use of a drone on private property.
Protect children’s identity from theft — House File 2116
Allows parents to protect their children by placing a security freeze on the child’s credit records to protect against identity theft.
Fraud Prevention – House File 2275
Mandates a process to verify income, assets, and identity of Medicaid recipients to prevent fraud, misrepresentation, and inadequate documentation in the Medicaid application process.
School Operational Sharing Incentives – House File 2271
This bill encourages school districts to share administrative services and functions to provide better value for Iowa families.
Human Trafficking – House File 2254
Helps protect underage Iowans who have been forced into prostitution by ensuring minors involved in human trafficking are provided the services needed for recovery.
Child kidnapping legislation – House File 2253
Elevates penalties for kidnapping children and eliminates the earned time credit for some offenders.
Suppressors – House File 384
Allows Iowans to purchase suppressors for firearms as long as they are properly registered with the federal government.
Protect student privacy – House Study Bill 592
Maintains local school board control over curriculum, instruction and assessment and protects student data through the establishment of data collection, privacy and sharing policies for students.
I will continue to keep working on behalf Iowans as bills move through the process and we continue our work on the state budget. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office at (515) 281-3521 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org