Week 5 Legislative

February 9, 2024

This Week, 425 bills were introduced and the House and Senate held 229 meetings as the legislature works to ensure priority legislation passes the first funnel deadline next week. Legislation must pass out of committee in its originating chamber to remain eligible for consideration by February 16th. Bills in either the Ways and Means or Appropriations Committees are exempt from this deadline.

Work-Based Learning 

Senate Study Bill 3143 was introduced by Governor Reynolds and advanced out of subcommittee and committee this week. The legislation modifies requirements related to technical and career education, student-teacher requirements, and the last-dollar scholarship program eligibility. The legislation also creates a workforce opportunity fund to be used to fund equipment, instructional materials, stipends, and other training-related costs. The fund will be managed by Iowa Workforce Development.

Workforce Housing Tax Credits 

House File 2218 advanced out of the House Economic Growth and Technology Committee and was referred to the Ways and Means Committee this week. The legislation increased the workforce housing tax credit, currently capped at $35 million, to $50 million. The legislation also increases the rural set aside for small cities to $25 million. Hf 2218 passed unanimously out of committee.

Energy Reform 

Several energy proposals have been introduced this session in response to the utility review that occurred in the interim. Members of the Iowa Utilities Board and London Economics, INC. who coordinated the review presented their findings to the House and Senate Commerce Committees at the start of session. Since then, several bills have been introduced by the Iowa Utilities Board, investor-owned utilities, and commerce chairs. 

SSB 3075/HF 2279: Proposed IUB Omnibus Bill. Passed Committee in both the House and Senate

SF 2244: Directs the IUB to seek safe, adequate, reliable, and affordable services and nondiscriminatory rates for all customers, prohibits public utilities from setting different rates for a customer of the same service class unless there is a proven measurable difference in cost of service, requires utilities provide integrated resource plans through a contested case. Subcommittee assigned

HSB 658: Modifies the ratemaking principle process and when a rate-regulated utility can seek a ratemaking principle, allows the IUB to require an integrated resource plan, and directs the IUB to conduct a review of the performance-based regulation frameworks. Passed subcommittee.  

Other Bills of Interest: 

Tort Liability (HSB 646/SSB 3163): Provides a defense from civil liability associated with the use of pesticides that are registered with the EPA and provides a product label as a sufficient warning. The House passed the bill out of subcommittee this week and the Senate will hold a subcommittee next week.

Direct Shipping (HF 83/HF 260): House Files 83 and 260 would allow for the direct shipment of liquor and beer respectfully with the creation of a direct shipper permit. Both bills passed out of subcommittee in the House and have companion bills in the Senate.  

Drug and Alcohol Testing (SF 319): Makes several reforms related to employee drug and alcohol testing including shifting the burden of proof from the employer to the employee. The bill passed the Senate 32-15 last year and advanced out of the House Labor and Workforce Committee this week.

Major Economic Growth Program (SF 574): IEDA proposed a pilot program last session that would allow the state to offer incentives for large economic development projects. The legislation passed the Senate 45-2 in 2023 and advanced out of a House subcommittee. 

Temporary Event Alcohol Licenses (HSB 594): Creates a temporary event alcohol license for those currently holding a retail alcohol license, beer permit, or wine permit to sell alcohol at events for on-premise consumption with a $50 fee. The legislation passed out of committee. 

Next week, the Governor’s legislation reducing Iowa’s Boards and Commissions is expected to be introduced along with legislation in the House related to school safety measures. Committees will meet and advance priority legislation ahead of the first funnel deadline on February 16.