SF 504 – Submission of health care provider claims
SF 504 (SSB 1202) relates to the timely submission of claims by health care providers to health insurers. The bill provides that a health care provider have up to 365 days (currently 180 days] after the date of the provision of health care services to submit a claim to a health insurer. The provider has up to 365 days from the date of the last adjudication by a health insurer to resubmit a claim for adjustment or reconsideration. A claim submitted two or more years from the date of provision of health care services will not be paid by an insurer. These provisions of the bill apply to all health insurers and health care providers except Medicaid providers and Medicaid managed care organizations. The bill is supported by the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association regarding payments for services by their providers. Wellmark and Medica oppose the bill, citing compliance with federal regulatory reporting. Wellmark noted that 95 percent of its claims are addressed within 90 days, and extensions may be granted on claims filed after 180 days.
[3/5: 11-6, party line]
SF 505 – Professional Landscape Architects licensure
SF 505 (SSB 1173) is a recommendation by the Banking Division’s Professional Licensure Bureau that updates provisions relating to the licensure of professional landscape architects by the Landscape Architectural Examining Board. It includes a change to the board membership requirements. The seven-member board includes two public members, and five professional members who must be actively engaged in the practice or teaching of landscape architecture for at least five years preceding appointment. The bill allows one of those five members to be actively engaged in the practice or teaching of landscape architecture for at least one year preceding appointment. It also allows the board to adopt a national standardized test and to give reciprocity to individuals from other states who have passed the same standardized test. The companion, HF 568 by State Government Committee, is on the House Calendar.
[3/5: short form]
SF 506 – Notification requirements for credit union mergers
SF 506 (SSB 1777) is a recommendation by the Credit Union Division. Currently, a merging credit union must provide notice of balloting for voting members at least 20 days prior to the scheduled vote. SSB 1177 requires that at least 15 days before that notice is sent to members, a merging credit must submit to the Superintendent of Credit Unions all materials that will be included in the notice. The Superintendent must review and approve those materials at least 10 days before the notice is sent to the members, and may direct other materials be included in the notice. Companion HF 356 is on the House Calendar.
[3/5: short form]
SF 507 – Workers’ Compensation idiopathic falls
SF 507 (SSB 1205) changes the definition of personal injuries arising out of and in the course of the employment for the purposes of compensation under Workers’ Compensation. As amended, it creates a blanket rule that personal injuries due to idiopathic or unexplained falls from a level surface onto the same level surface would not be compensable under Workers’ Compensation, rather than looking at it on a case-by-case basis requiring the claimant to show proof that the condition of a floor, just like any other workplace condition, poses an increased risk of injury and should be compensated.
[3/5: 11-6, party line]
SF 509 – Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) omnibus
- Adds definition of “Competitive Local Exchange Service Provider” and “Local Exchange Carrier” that were repealed in Code section 479.96 in 2018. Other Code chapters relied upon the specific definitions. This adds the same definitions to Code 34A — 911 Emergency Telephone Systems and 423– Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Act to ensure that these agencies can continue their operations as intended.
- Authorizes the IUB to appoint or designate an administrative law judge (ALJ) within IUB to conduct proceedings that are currently handled by the full Board. This will assist with IUB’s goals of delivering excellent customer service, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and maximizing employee effectiveness by using an employee with particular subject matter expertise.
- Codifies current practice of issuing an advanced, estimated assessment to a limited number of utilities and billing all utilities for direct costs. Utilities that receive an advanced estimated assessment will be reconciled at the end of the fiscal year. This practice has significantly reduced the need for staff to send out statements issuing refunds and invoices for further assessments.
- Allows the IUB to identify when payments will be remitted to the Dual Party Relay (DPR) Fund, which pays for relay services and equipment for those that require telecommunications assistance. This will help the telecommunications industry and IUB to more efficiently use time and resources. Currently, applicable telecommunications carriers must remit quarterly payments into the DPR.
- Align Iowa’s civil penalties with the federal levels. This will eliminate the need for IUB to file legislation on a continual basis to match Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) dollar amounts for fines. This affects intrastate pipelines only; interstate pipelines are already subject to federal penalties.
- Allows the IUB to use its existing authority to directly assess and bill the interstate pipeline company for the direct costs incurred for any inspection. This process was approved for intrastate pipelines in 2018, but interstate companies were inadvertently omitted. Currently, the companies must pay the IUB an annual inspection fee of 50 cents per mile of pipeline for each inch of diameter of the pipeline, which does not cover the IUB’s current annual costs of conducting inspections.
[3/5: short form]
SF 510 – Franchisor-franchisee relationships
SF 510 (SSB 1110) defines franchisor-franchisee relationship. The bill creates exemptions for franchisors from liabilities under the workers’ compensation Code chapters, wage payment chapter, unemployment insurance and the civil rights chapter. It would apply to work performed on or after the effective date of the bill.
[3/6: 11-6, party line]
SF 527 – Evidence of title for real estate loans
SF 527 (SF 313) would allow state-chartered banks and state-chartered credit unions in Iowa to use a title insurance policy purchased out-of- state to “evidence title” where title insurance was contracted for between a buyer and seller in a real estate transaction. Currently, state banks and state credit unions must evidence title on a first mortgage loan they hold in their portfolio only with a title opinion or a Title Guaranty policy issued by Iowa Title Guaranty. Iowa does not allow the sale of title insurance, but the proposal circumvents that ban by authorizing use of commercial title insurance in specified cases and the commercial title insurance providers would not be under any regulatory agency in Iowa.
[3/6: short form (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Lykam, Petersen, Quirmbach)]
SF 528 – Self-service storage facilities
SF 528 (SSB 1200) creates a new Code chapter on self-service storage facility liens and repeals the current chapter (578A). It includes updated definitions (e.g., “leased space” is individual storage space at a self-service storage facility rented to an occupant by a rental agreement; “occupant” is a person entitled to the use that space under a rental agreement, or the person’s successors or assigns; “operator” means the owner, operator, lessor or sub-lessor of a self-service storage facility or an agent or other person authorized to manage the facility.)
An amendment was adopted that included new language regarding liens, late fees and notifications. It allows the operator and occupant to agree to use email to satisfy all notice requirements and if they do so, the rental agreement must contain a section outlining the rights and duties of both parties regarding the use of email for all notices. There must be a brief, general description of the personal property subject to the lien. The description must be reasonably adequate to permit the occupant to identify the property. If any container including a trunk, valise or box that is locked, fastened, sealed or tied in a manner which deters immediate access to the container’s contents, it must be described as such, with no description of the contents. The operator must notify all persons the operator has knowledge of who claim a security interest in the personal property. At least seven days before the sale, the operator must also advertise the time, place and terms of the sale in a commercially reasonable manner (i.e., likely to attract at least three independent bidders to attend or view the sale in person or online at the time and place advertised). The operator may buy the occupant’s personal property at this public sale. The Self Storage Association supports the legislation. Although the amendment improved the bill, the Iowa Attorney General Consumer Protection Division is not in favor of the proposal as drafted.
[3/6: short form (No: Bisignano, Bolkcom, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach)]
SF 533 – Business interests of alcoholic beverage manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers
SF 533 (SSB 121) relates to limitations on business interests of certain manufacturers wholesalers, and retailers of alcoholic beverages. As amended, the proposal allows employees to engage in cross-tier employment as long as they are not in a position to influence; provides an exception to allow alcoholic beverage retail sales at the principal office of a retailer; allows beer manufacturers to sell, at wholesale, no more than 30,000 barrels of beer annually for off-premise consumption. It also defines “institutional investor” to clarify that a person who has investments in businesses that manufacture, bottle, wholesale, or sell at retail alcoholic beverages may maintain a diversified portfolio of investments (such as deferred compensation, stocks, retirement plans ) that include alcoholic beverages if the majority of investments are in other businesses. The House companion is HSB 210.
[3/6: short form]
SF 534 – Gasification, pyrolysis facilities
SF 534 (SSB 1194) relates to the use of gasification and pyrolysis facilities for the conversion of certain recoverable waste materials. It excludes the facilities from the definition of “sanitary disposal project,” excludes certain post-use polymers and recoverable feedstocks from the definition of “solid waste,” and excludes certain gasification and pyrolysis facilities from the definition of “waste conversion technologies.” Subcommittee members asked that stakeholders (American Chemistry Council, Iowa Solid Waste Operations) work with the Iowa Department of Natural Resource’s Waste Management Bureau to refine the proposal and include financial assurance provisions for proper disposal of any materials that remain at a facility due to the owner’s or operator’s failure to properly close the site within 60 days of termination of operations. That amendment was unanimously approved.
[3/6: short form]
SF 535 – Applications, zoning for fireworks sales
SF 535 (SSB 1035) amends the fireworks legalization legislation [SF 489] that passed in 2017. As amended, it would allow retailers to sell fireworks in areas zoned industrial or commercial, rather than in industrial areas only. A city could not regulate, restrict or prohibit the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures used for the sale of consumer fireworks in any location zoned for commercial or industrial purposes. A city or county would not have authority to require inspections on sales venues unless the State Fire Marshal authorizes it. Currently, the State Fire Marshal is required to regulate the sale of consumer fireworks in Iowa by establishing licensure requirements and issuing consumer fireworks seller licenses to retailers and community groups.
The bill requires the State Fire Marshal to approve or deny a completed application for a consumer fireworks seller license submitted on or before April 30 no later than the following June 1 for an application to sell at a permanent building, or no later than the following June 13 for an application to sell at a temporary structure. If the Fire Marshal fails to act on a completed application within the timeframe, the application will be automatically approved. However, the Fire Marshal may revoke an approved application for any intentional violation of Code section 100.19. It shortens the timeframe when approved temporary structures may sell fireworks by one week (from June 20—was June 13—to July 8 each year). It also modifies current law that authorizes consumer fireworks on weekends immediately preceding and following July 4 and December 31 from Saturdays and Sundays to Fridays and Saturdays.
Note: The original proposal would have allowed fireworks to be sold or set off on July 4, regardless of city or county ordinances limiting or banning such use. That provision was amended out.
[3/5: 11-6, party line (No: Democrats)]