Commerce Committee Report – week 11, 2018

SF 2177 – Security freezes;
HF 2305 – Telemedicine health insurance coverage;
HF 2446 – IUB omnibus;
HF 2458 – Future Ready Iowa. 



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 and secure electronic methods designated by the CRA. The legislation also shortens the time from five to three days for the CRA to put the freeze in place, and requires the CRA to provide the customer with contact information for the other CRAs (e.g., Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). The Iowa Attorney General strongly supports the proposal, which is similar to legislation in many other states. Provisions for developing procedures to expedite and process security freeze requests must be in place by January 1, 2019. Other provisions would take effect July 1.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Dix)]


HF 2305 relates to insurance coverage for health care services delivered by telehealth. “Telehealth” is the delivery of health care services through interactive audio and video, and does not include health care services delivered through an audio-only telephone, e-mail or fax. The bill requires a health insurer to provide the same coverage for services, including for mental health conditions, illnesses, injuries and diseases, whether provided in person or by telehealth. The Insurance Commissioner may adopt rules to administer the Code section. The bill is applicable to third-party payment provider policies, contracts or plans delivered, issued for delivery, continued or renewed in Iowa on or after January 1, 2019. The bill passed the House 98-0.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Dix)]


HF 2446 (SF 2317) is based on a recommendation by the Iowa Utilities Board that clarifies and updates Iowa Code. It deletes references in Utilities Board regulatory sections that are obsolete and repeals requirements for studies that have been completed and the reports properly filed with the Legislature.
[3/20: 49-0 (Vacant: Dix)]


HF 2458 (SF 2327) is an initiative known as “Future Ready Iowa” to build the state’s “talent pipeline.” It was created after Iowa received a National Governor’s Association grant. A “Future Ready Iowa Alliance” was established to develop and recommend a strategic plan by October 31, 2017, to ensure 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce has education or training beyond high school by 2025. Currently, 55 percent of jobs available in Iowa are “middle-skill” jobs that require more than a high school diploma but not a four-year degree: an associate’s degree, a training certificate or an apprenticeship. Only 32 percent of Iowa workers meet this skill level.

The legislation creates a new apprenticeship program under the Economic Development Authority to encourage the creation of more small- and medium-sized apprenticeship programs. It also creates a volunteer mentor program; a summer youth intern pilot program for at-risk youth; an Iowa Employer Innovation Program focused on training for high-demand jobs; and a Future Ready Iowa Skilled Workforce Grant Program for state universities or accredited private colleges. The legislation directs the Department of Workforce Development and community colleges to identify and create a list of high-demand jobs for these programs. The bill passed the House 98-0.
[3/19: 47-0 (Absent: Sinclair, Zumbach; Vacant: Dix)]