Week Eleven Capitol Report

March 25, 2022

On March 23rd, both the House and Senate considered House File 2355, a bill related to the Governor’s priority to reform unemployment benefits. HF 2355 reduces the maximum amount of time an individual can receive unemployment benefits from six months to four months and defines workplace misconduct. The bill passed the House with a 58-37 vote. The Senate then amended the bill to include a one week waiting period to receive benefits, a provision previously included in Governor Reynolds original proposal. The Senate passed the amended bill with a 30-20 vote and sent HF 2355 back to the House for consideration.

The Senate also approved Senate File 2372 with a 43-6 bipartisan vote. SF 2372 is the Senate’s second tax reform bill that includes many of the provisions that were left out of House File 2317. Some of which include lowering the franchise and premium taxes on banks and insurance companies, eliminating the business property tax credit, and exempting food from the sales and use tax. Senator Dawson, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee also held a subcommittee on a third tax proposal, Senate Study Bill 3157 on Wednesday. SSB 3157 relates to funding the Iowa Water and Land Legacy Trust by changing local option sales taxes. SSB 3157 passed out of subcommittee and is likely to be considered in committee next week.

The House continued to pass their budget proposals over to the Senate, including the Administration and Regulation, Transportation, Justice Systems, Judiciary, and Agriculture and Natural Resources budgets. An amendment to the Administration and Regulation budget was included that would limit the use of eminent domain for a period of time for projects such as the three carbon pipeline projects in Iowa.

The filing period for candidates for statewide and legislative races closed on March 18th. The complete list of primary candidates for all 2022 races can be found of the Secretary of State’s website.

Next week, the House and Senate can only consider legislation that has been passed by both chambers (bouncing bills), Appropriation or Ways and Means bills, and bills that have been moved to the unfinished business calendar.