Local Government Committee Report – Week 6, 2018

SSB 3140 – Municipal utility retirement systems;
SSB 3171 –Religious exemption;
SSB 3172 – County supervisor representation & districting plans. 



SSB 3140 allows only new municipal utility employees who already have IPERS covered service to continue in their IPERS coverage. This was reviewed and endorsed by IPERS staff and legal counsel. This change does not threaten IPERS in any way.
[2/13: short form]


SSB 3171 requires a court to apply a new standard in reviewing cases where a person claims a burden on their exercise of religion. In other states, such laws (often known by the misleading name “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”) would excuse people from any state or local law, policy or other government action that they claim “burdens” their exercise of religion. This includes beliefs that don’t stem from any established religion. That means that any individual religious belief has the potential to determine which laws a person chooses to honor. In other states, such laws are more accurately described as “a license to discriminate.”
[2/14: 7-4, party line]


SSB 3172 makes changes to the number of years between county districting plans. Under the proposal, the plan selected by the County Board of Supervisors can be only changed after six years and only by a special election. This mirrors the Legislature’s three-plan process used in redistricting drafted by the Legislative Services Agency. This bill only applies to Iowa’s 10 most-populated counties.
[2/14: 7-4, party line]