SF 304 – Prohibiting licensing sanctions for student loan default
SF 304 requires the state’s licensing boards to adopt rules that prohibit suspension or revocation of a professional license because the licensee is in default or delinquent on repayment of postsecondary education loans, solely on the basis of such default or delinquency.
The bill repeals Iowa Code sections relating to the process by which the Iowa College Student Aid Commission can initiate action to deny, revoke or suspend a license to someone who has defaulted. According to Iowa Student Aid Commission, they do not use this process now.
[3/11: 46-0 (Absent: Elder, J. Smith, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 567– Professional licensing sanctions for felons
SF 567 relates to professional licensing and the ability for licensing boards to deny, revoke or suspend a license because of a felony conviction. The bill allows the boards to grant an exception for a person who would otherwise be denied a license because of conviction for a felony, provided there is an extenuating circumstance that justifies the exemption. The bill also strikes current Code sections allowing the boards to revoke, deny or suspend a license for conviction of any felony.
The bill forbids the Iowa Department of Corrections to enroll an inmate in an apprenticeship program if the inmate is unable to obtain a necessary license to practice due to a felony conviction that is violent or sexual in nature. Prior to enrolling an inmate in an apprenticeship program, the Department of Corrections must receive written confirmation from the appropriate licensing board that the inmate could receive the necessary license to practice the profession if it appears that inmate may be disqualified from receiving such a license.
The bill provides specific guidance to the Electrical Examining Board and the Plumbing and Mechanical Systems Board when the boards consider exceptions for a person who would otherwise be denied a license due to a felony. The boards must consider the nature and seriousness of the offense, mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the offense, the age of the person at that time, letters of reference and other relevant evidence of rehabilitation. Also, the language provides a list of specific crimes that will be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of the license.
These felonies must be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension of a license:
- Conviction of a felony in Iowa that is sexual abuse in violation of 709.4.
- Sexually violent felony offense as defined in section 229A.2.
- Felony dependent adult abuse in violation of section 235B.20.
- Forcible felony as defined in section 702.11.
- Domestic abuse felony assault in violation of section 708.2A.
A conviction of a felony in violation of federal law or in violation of the law of another state will be given the same effect as it would if such conviction had been under Iowa law. Conviction for any other felony will not be grounds for denial, revocation or suspension. A person holding a license prior to July 1, 2019, does not need to obtain an exception to maintain their license.
The bill alters license requirements for barbering by allowing an individual who completes a barbering apprenticeship training program (registered by the Department of Labor) at the Department of Corrections to take the examination for a license to practice barbering.
HF 650– Immunity from civil liability for negligent hiring
HF 650 prohibits a cause of action for damages against a private employer, general contractor or premises owner for negligently hiring an employee, agent or independent contractor who has been convicted of a public offense. However, a cause of action for negligent hiring based on evidence that the employee, agent or independent contractor has been convicted of a public offense is not prohibited if all of these criteria are met:
- The employer knew or should have known of the conviction.
- The employee was convicted of any of these crimes:
- A public offense committed while performing duties substantially similar to those to be performed, taking into consideration these factors:
- Nature and seriousness of the public offense.
- Extent and nature of employee’s past criminal activity.
- Age of employee when offense was committed.
- Amount of time that has elapsed since the last criminal activity.
- A sexually violent offense
- Dependent adult abuse
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Felony assault
- Domestic abuse assault
- First-degree kidnapping
- Robbery first degree
- Manufacture or possession of a controlled substance on school grounds and other public properties.
- A felony offense involving the use of a dangerous weapon.
The protections provided in this bill will not apply in a suit concerning the misuse of funds or property of a person other than the employer by an employee if, on the date the employee was hired, the employee had been convicted of a public offense that included fraud or the misuse of funds or property as an element of the public offense, and it was foreseeable that the position for which the employee, agent or independent contractor was hired would involve discharging a fiduciary responsibility in the management of funds or property.