SSB 1261 – Lobbying activities of political subdivisions
SSB 1261 establishes new requirements for public entity lobbyists. The bill impacts county, city, township, community college, area education agency and school district lobbyists. It defines “lobbying” as direct action to encourage the passage, defeat, approval, veto or modification of legislation, a rule or an executive order that is being considered by the Legislature, a state agency or a statewide elected official.
A committee amendment was adopted that only allows the public entity to issue a lobbying contract for a maximum of five years and that every five years it must complete a competitive bid process to reissue a lobbying contract. It requires that a public entity lobbyist provide a schedule identifying each bill on which they registered and for each bill, either the bill history or a link to the page of the Legislature’s website that contains the bill history. The amendment removes the original bill’s requirement that the public entity must approve each and every registration in an open meeting before the lobbyist can register on a bill.
The bill requires the Iowa State Association of Counties, the Iowa League of Cities, the Iowa Association of School Boards and any other organization that lobbies on behalf of any category or group of political subdivisions publish on the organization’s website the organization’s position on legislation and a bill history or a link to the page of the Legislature’s website that contains the bill history.
The bill also requires that all public-entity lobbyists and their records be subject to Code Chapter 22 (Examination of Public Records) and be kept for those purposes for seven years.
[4/24: 3-2, party-line]
HF 764 – Publication procedures for constitutional amendments
HF 764 removes the constitutional amendment notification publishing duties from the Secretary of State and gives them to the Legislature. The bill still requires the Secretary of State to pay for the publishing. HF 764 keeps the newspaper publishing requirement but also adds the requirement to publish proposed amendments on the Legislature’s website. The House also adopted an amendment that allows a challenge of the validity of an amendment if both the newspaper and website publications are not fulfilled. The bill lays out proof of publication requirements and strikes the requirement for the Governor to issue a proclamation before the election. Any proposed constitutional amendment that has been approved by two succeeding General Assemblies will go to a vote of the people in the next General Election.
Current law requires publishing proposed amendments in two newspapers of general circulation in each congressional district for the time required by the constitution by the Secretary of State. Last fall, the Secretary of State was derelict in his duties and neglected to publish two proposed amendments. This mistake reset the process for the strict scrutiny gun amendment and the line of succession amendments.