Commerce Committee Report – week 7, 2018

SF 2169 – Alcoholic beverages licensee liability
SF 2177 – CRA security freezes
SF 2257 – Marketplace contractors
SF 2262 – Final-stage motor vehicle manufacturers 



SF 2177 eliminates fees to place, temporarily lift or remove a credit freeze and creates additional methods other than certified mail that credit reporting agencies (CRAs) must accept, including first-class mail, telephone, secure email and secure Internet connection. The legislation also shortens the time for the CRA to put the freeze in place. The Iowa Attorney General strongly supports the proposal, which is similar to legislation in many other states. The bill would take effect upon enactment.
[2/20: 48-0 (Absent: Behn, Zumbach)]


SF 2257 defines a marketplace contractor as an independent contractor. A marketplace contractor is a person who enters into a written agreement with a marketplace platform (e.g., online booking) to use its digital network to connect with individuals who want to hire a marketplace contractor for services, such as home repairs. The most notable is Handy Technologies, a company that offers a variety of services, including residential cleaning, handyman repair, furniture assembly, and plumbing and electrical work. It exempts real estate brokers and real estate agents, as well as delivery service providers (e.g., UPS, FedEx) who only transport sealed boxes, parcels, freight and envelopes for a fee. Concerns were expressed in committee regarding professions that require an Iowa license, particularly plumbers and electricians, and the contracted work booked online without verification of licensure. The bill was unanimously amended to clarify that when providing services that require an Iowa license, the marketplace contractor is responsible for obtaining the license and making it available to the individuals or entities for which the marketplace contractor is providing services.
[2/19: 48 – 1 (No: Hogg; Absent: Sinclair)]


SF 2169 limits the liability of an alcoholic beverage license or permit holder for certain alcohol-related injuries, commonly known as Dram Shop. Currently, the holder, regardless of whether the license or permit was issued by the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division or by the licensing authority of any other state, is liable for all damages caused by an intoxicated person if the holder served alcohol to them when the holder knew or should have known the person was intoxicated, or who sold to and served the person to a point where the holder knew or should have known the person would become intoxicated. Under the bill, damages are available to an innocent third party, and a license or permit holder is liable only if the establishment sold and served beer, wine or intoxicating liquor directly to the intoxicated person, provided the person was visibly intoxicated at the time of sale or service. The damages available to an innocent third party from a licensee or permittee would be limited to $75,000 for claims involving injury to a person or property, and to $100,000 for claims involving loss of means of support or loss of services, companionship, society or consortium resulting from the death or injury of a person.

Amendment S-5029 by Senators Hogg, Boulton, Hart and Lykam would have removed the caps and required the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to conduct a study on Dram Shop liability claims and determine whether the insurance premiums paid by Iowa alcoholic beverage licensees for Dram Shop coverage are appropriate. The study would include the total premiums collected by Dram Shop liability carriers in Iowa and the history of claims, including whether a claim was settled, a lawsuit was filed or a jury verdict was rendered. The Commissioner must report the findings to the Legislature by December 15, 2018. The amendment lost 20-29 on a party-line vote.
[2/21: 29-20 (Yes: Republicans, Danielson; No: Democrats, Carlin; Absent: D. Johnson)]


SF 2262 allows a final-stage motor vehicle manufacturer to be licensed as a motor vehicle dealer only of incomplete motor vehicles if it manufactures multi-stage manufactured vehicles. It would streamline the sales process for dealers of special manufactured equipment, such as service trucks, cranes, concrete pumpers, garbage trucks, and other construction and municipal vehicles. Companion bill is HF 2308.
[2/21: 49-0 (Absent: D. Johnson)]