Week 10 Legislative Update

March 8, 2024

This Week, both the House and Senate spent the majority of the week holding committee meetings in preparation for the second funnel deadline today. Policy bills must pass one chamber and advance out of full committee in the opposite chamber to remain eligible for consideration. Appropriation bills and bills in the Ways and Means Committee are exempt from this deadline, as well as bills that were moved to the unfinished business calendar.  The unfinished business calendar is primarily used for priority policy legislation that failed to survive the funnel deadline but is still being negotiated.

Revenue Estimating Conference

Today, the Revenue Estimating Conference met to set the final FY24 estimates. The legislature is directed to use the March projections to set the budget this legislative session. The REC also updated the FY25 projections from the December meeting and provided the first predictions for FY26. Revenue projections for FY24 decreased to -2.2% from the previous -1.0% projection in December, with the total General Fund Revenues equaling $9.626.5 million.














Following the meeting, budget and tax reform discussions are likely to increase at the legislature as the 100th day of session approaches and per diem expense payments for legislators expire. The final scheduled day for the legislature is April 16th, however the Iowa Legislature rarely adjourns on schedule as leadership in the House and Senate negotiate the budget and end of session policy priorities.

Pesticide Tort Liability 

House Study Bill 737 provides for a defense from civil liability associated with the use of pesticides that are registered with the Environmental Protections Agency. The legislation provides compliance with federal labeling requirements satisfies the duty to warn under the comparative fault statute.

The legislation aims to protect companies selling pesticides from failure to warn lawsuits when products are approved by and complying with the standards set by the EPA. The legislation previously advanced out of the Senate Agriculture Committee in a previous bill number before being reintroduced in HSB 737 and was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Senate refiled the bill as an appropriation bill, SSB 3188, to match the amended House version.


Education reform continues to be a top priority for House Republicans. On Wednesday the House advanced another school safety bill, House File 2652 which would require schools to complete safety reviews, create a task force to make recommendations for new building code standards, and creates a pilot grant program for schools to integrate gun detection software security cameras. The bill also creates a new grant program with an appropriation of $3 million to assist in training costs and purchasing firearms to arm staff members, the appropriation is contingent on the passage of House File 2586 which creates a professional permit and training requirements for school employees.

The Senate Education Committee advanced a number of House education proposals out of committee on Thursday including:

  • HF 2278: An act relating to the transportation to and from school of pupils participating in open enrollment.
  • HF 2393: An act relating to health examinations, surveys, and screenings conducted by school districts, charter schools, and innovation zone schools.
  • HF 2545: An act requiring the director of the department of education to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s high school graduation requirements, core curriculum, core content standards, and educational standards, and to recommend policy changes, including effective date provisions.
  • HF 2553: An act relating to the eligibility of students enrolled in nonpublic schools to compete in extracurricular interscholastic athletic contests or competitions provided by public schools.
  • HF 2617: An act incorporating provisions related to pregnancy and fetal development into the human growth and development and health curriculum provided by school districts, accredited nonpublic schools, charter schools, and innovation zone schools to students enrolled in grades seven through twelve.
  • HF 2465: An act modifying provisions related to the curriculum provided to student enrolled in grades nine through twelve by allowing instruction related to agriculture to meet a portion of the unit requirements related to science and allowing instruction related to applied sciences, technology, engineering, or manufacturing to meet a portion of the unity requirements related to mathematics.
  • HF 2487: An act relating to education including by modifying provisions related to mandatory reporting to the board of educational examiners of certain specified school employees, complaints against school employees and the investigation of complaints against school employees, and the responsibilities of the department of education and the board of educational examiners.

Other Bills of Interest: 

Research Activities Credits (HSB 727): Expands eligibility to include a person conducting agriscience research. The bill received unanimous approval and advanced out of the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.

Dissolution of Business Entities (SF 2054): Eliminates the requirement for an administratively dissolved business entity to submit its federal tax ID number on the application for administrative reinstatement to the Office of the Secretary of State. The provisions to be eliminated in the bill currently prohibit the Secretary of State from canceling a certificate of dissolution until the business entity satisfies its tax payment obligation. The bill advanced out of the House Commerce Committee on Thursday.

E-Verify (SF 108): Requires licensed employers hiring or rehiring an employee to verify the employee’s employment eligibility through the federal E-Verify program and prohibits an employer from knowingly hiring unauthorized immigrations. The bill passed the Senate with a 30-17 vote but failed to survive the second funnel deadline after not advancing out of the House Labor and Workforce subcommittee or committee.

Consumable Hemp (HF 2605): Implements regulatory standards to the Iowa Hemp Act and updates the definition of a consumable hemp product to require the products maximum THC concentration is less than or equal to the lesser of 0.3% on a dry weight basis or 4 mg per serving and 10 mg per container. Limits the purchase of a consumable hemp product to individuals 21 years or older. The bill passed the House with a 79-16 vote and was placed on the Senate unfinished business calendar.

Next week, debate is limited to the Senate only considering House bills and the House only considering Senate bills, both chambers can consider any legislation on the unfinished business calendar.