State Government Committee Report – Week 5, 2018

SF 494 – Copyright protection limited by open records law;
SSB 3090 – Restricting point-of-sale mandates;
SSB 3111 – Ethics and campaign electronic filing and foreign agent transparency;
SSB 3117 – State auditor may offer review not audit;
SSB 3118 – Iowa native horse advantage;
SSB 3133 – Lieutenant governor selection and appointment process. 



SF 494 says that the existence of a federal copyright alone is not adequate justification for denying a request to examine or copy a public record under Iowa’s open records law.
[2/7: 12-3 (No: Bisignano, Dvorsky, Horn)]

SSB 3090 deals with “time of sale” mandates that local municipalities may impose on home sales. Some local governments in Iowa have passed ordinances that create mandates for homeowners and/or buyers during a real estate transaction. Examples include sewer hook-up inspections, utility inspections, energy efficiency audits and home inspections. This bill would prohibit time-of-sale mandates for real property transactions. The legislation will not completely restrict a city’s ability to adopt an ordinance requiring certain inspections, but it will specify that these inspections cannot hinge on the point of sale. This bill is not retroactive, meaning it does not prohibit current point of sale local government requirements.
[2/7: 13-2 (No: Dvorsky, Jochum)]

SSB 3111 makes changes to provisions of campaign and ethics reports requiring all statements and reports to be filed electronically with the board. Since January 1, 2016, all candidates and committees have been required to do this. The bill codifies that requirement. A committee amendment adds a clarification to the prohibition on people using fictitious names when making a campaign contribution in excess of $25.
[2/7: 15-0]

SSB 3117 allows that state auditor to conduct a review concerning the receipt and expenditure of state or federal funds, upon request, instead of a full audit. The state auditor’s office had concerns that a full audit sometime doesn’t get at specific questions or concerns. At times, a less intensive review may be more appropriate. The bill also allows the state auditor to determine if a review may be conducted instead of a full audit, for cities or townships where a sufficient number of taxpayers signed a petition requesting an audit. Under current law, if a city asks for a review from the state auditor, a full audit is mandatory. That expense is then passed along to the city or township. A committee amendment strikes the ability for Auditor to request reimbursement from Executive Council.
[2/7: 15-0]

SSB 3118 amends the Code relating to native horses or dogs. First, the bill allows Iowa-foaled horses an additional three-pound weight allowance in races that are not just for native Iowa horses and the race is not a stakes race. This gives the Iowa horse an added incentive. There are weight allowances in every state, not necessarily by state-foaled. Second, the bill allows chemical testing of hair samples for horse and dog racing. Finally, the bill requires any casino that is built within 35 miles of Prairie Meadows to pay into the track. All casinos are outside the 35 mile radius, so there would be no impact under the current system.
[2/7: 15-0]

SSB 3133 is a joint resolution to amend the state Constitution relating to the process for appointing a lieutenant governor. In the case of a temporary disability or an impeachment, the lieutenant governor must have the powers of the governor until the governor is able to resume office. In the case of a permanent disability, death, resignation or removal from office, the lieutenant governor must assume the office of the governor. In this case, the former lieutenant governor will appoint a new lieutenant governor, who will have the same powers and duties as one who was elected, including the duty to act as governor, or to assume the office of governor and appoint a new lieutenant governor. The resolution must pass both legislative chambers this session and be referred to the next General Assembly (88th) for adoption, before being submitted to the electorate for ratification, as is the process for all constitutional amendments.
[2/7: 9-6 (party-line)]