State Government Committee Report – week 14, 2017

SF 442 – Voluntary exclusions from gambling facility changes
HF 569/SF 463 – 403b expanded plan offerings
HF 566 – Moves school elections to municipal elections


SF 442 makes changes to the process by which a person can be voluntarily excluded from a racetrack or gambling facility. Under the bill, a person who is voluntarily excluded must be excluded only from the wagering area and gambling floor, as opposed to the whole facility. The bill also provides new timeframes: five years (which can be renewed upon request) or for life. Under current law, a request to be voluntarily excluded is for life. The bill also allows a person who has been voluntarily excluded for life under current law to apply for admittance under the new law/rules. A similar bill (SF 204) was vetoed by Governor Branstad is 2013. The House amended the bill to require a person who had signed up to be voluntarily excluded to be given information on gambling treatment programs and signs of excessive gambling before they can be removed from the exclusion list. The Senate accepted the amendment, and the bill now goes to the Governor for his consideration.
[4/12: 47-2 (Quirmbach, Zaun “no”; Bertrand absent)]


HF 569/SF 463 says that any 403b supplementary retirement plan offered for sale must be included in 403b options for state and school districts employees. An amendment limited the options to 30 plans and provided a procedure for the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to offer up to 30 plans to state employees and consumers in schools.

Currently, DAS reviews and picks six of the best 403b plans (based on low fees, required adequate level of service, etc.) to offer state employees. There is also an “optional provider list” of 403b plans offered to employees that don’t qualify for the recommended list. In 2015, DAS conducted an RFP in which any plan/insurance salesperson could submit their plan. Insurance agents like this legislation. Education groups want to keep the DAS review and recommended list of supplemental retirement plans to help consumers get the best products for the lowest cost.
[4/12: 41-8 (Bolton, Bolkcom, Hogg, Horn, Jochum, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor “no”; Bertrand absent)]


HF 566 moves the date of school board, community college board and Area Education Agency board elections from September to the same date as city elections in November and makes conforming changes. These divisions of the bill take effect on July 1, 2019 (FY20). According to the Secretary of State’s office, in the last four school elections, the voter turnout average was 6.5 percent. The average voter turnout for city elections in that same timeframe was 21.3 percent. County auditor’s bill election costs to the respective cities and school districts. The one-time fiscal impact to the Secretary of State’s office for programming and GIS costs is estimated to be $50,000. When two elections are combined into one, the scope of the combined election will be larger; therefore, the cost savings will vary and may not be realized by every jurisdiction.
[4/6: 36-13 Bisignano, Bolkcom, Boulton, Bowman, Dvorsky, Hogg, Kinney, Jochum, Lykam, McCoy, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor “no”; Bertrand absent)]