SJR 17 – Resolution to allow sale of merchandise by ABATE on Capitol grounds
SJR 17 is a resolution to allow sale of merchandise by A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) on the Capitol grounds. ABATE holds a motorcycle rally and toy run each year to collect toys for Iowa children and sells commemorative merchandise at this event to help pay for police escort. The Department of Administrative Services requires the Legislature to approve requests by outside entities to sell things on the Capitol grounds. This resolution is in effect for the current two-year General Assembly.
[3/11: 46-0 (Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 323 – Canned cocktails
SF 323 allows for the sale of “canned cocktails” and “mixed drink or cocktails.” These beverages may contain between 6.25 and 15 percent alcohol by volume. The Code provisions applicable to beer will also apply to canned cocktails (redemption, etc.). The bill takes effect upon enactment.
[3/12: 45-4 (No: Celsi, Costello, Guth, Hogg; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 367 – Eliminates Education and Regional Telecommunication councils
SF 367 eliminates the Education Telecommunication Council and Regional Telecommunications Councils (RTCs). In 1994, the Legislature established an 18-member Education Telecommunications Council to assist in scheduling and site-usage policies for educational users of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). The council also recommended long-range plans for enhancements to educational applications. At the same time, Regional Telecommunications Councils were established in each of the 15 community college districts. The RTCs provide advice on local educational needs and coordinate program activities, including technical assistance for network classrooms in community centers and schools. General Fund dollars went to the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission for distribution to the RTCs based on usage by the region. In previous years, funding has been approximately $993,000 annually. This budget unit has not been funded since FY17.
[3/11: 46-0 (Excused: J. Smith, Edler, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 447 – Reversal of local control for residential rental living caps
SF 447 prohibits a city from adopting or enforcing a regulation, restriction or other ordinance related to residential property rental caps on single-family homes or duplexes after January 1, 2019. This removes a city’s ability to put a cap on the percentage of rentals in a neighborhood. The bill is effective upon enactment.
[3/11: 35-11 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, R. Taylor, Wahls; Excused: Edler, J. Smith, Zaun; Vacant: Danielson)]
SF 475 – Allows remote, electronic notarial signatures
SF 475 will allow a notary public to perform remotely through audio-visual technology. The bill strikes a provision that defines the phrase “personal appearance” to exclude an appearance that uses video or optical technology. Under the bill, a public notary who performs a notarial act remotely must comply with certain standards, including rules adopted by the Secretary of State. This includes keeping the audio-video recording of the notarization for at least 10 years. If a public notary complies with these standards, the personal appearance requirement is deemed satisfied. The bill also provides that a county recorder may accept a tangible copy of the electronic record, if a notarial officer certifies that the copy is accurate. This bill includes all notary acts, not just those involving real-estate transactions, effective July 1, 2020.
[4/1: 48-0 (Excused: Breitbach, Zaun)]
SF 617 – Sports betting and fantasy sports
SF 617 establishes legalized sports betting and fantasy sports by establishing program outlines, licensing fees and tax rates. For sports betting, an initial license will be $45,000 with an annual renewal of $10,000. For fantasy sports, an initial license will be $5,000 if the annual revenue is more than $150,000 and $1,000 if less than $150,000. The tax rate is set at 6.75 percent for both sports betting and fantasy sports. For sports betting, the tax rate of 6.75 percent is designated as follows:
- The tax revenue will be deposited in the newly created fund in 8.57, subsection 6. This fund will pay for $300,000 in gambling treatment efforts, as outline in a separate appropriations bill.
- The licensing fee will be deposited in the general fund, but money will be held for a year with the Legislature directing appropriations, which may include additional monies to county endowments.
- As of now, there is no new dedicated funding from sports betting or fantasy sports to the community endowments.
- Qualified sponsoring organizations (QSO) will get 0.75 percent of the sports betting net receipts from their operator(s). This is 0.75 percent on top of the 6.75 percent the casinos will be taxed.
Sports betting or “sports wagering” is authorized by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC). Provisions include:
- Bettors must be 21 or older and can place a bet at a “sports wagering area” in a casino or on a mobile device.
- To bet on a mobile/electronic device, one must establish an account at a casino and set up an “advance deposit” system before January 2021. After 2021, bettors can set up an advance deposit system completely online.
- No minor leagues allowed.
- No in-game betting on individual Iowa college players or their opponent players.
- Horses: Sports betting net receipts are added to the current purse disbursement of 11 percent on the first $200 million of net receipts and 6 percent of net receipts above $200 million at casinos with horse racing.
- Service providers can be an online fantasy sports platform, a Racetrack (99D) or Gaming/Casino (99F).
- Changing the definition of authorized sporting event to include only professional, collegiate, international and motor race events.
- Sports betting does not include placing bets on individual performances of an Iowa collegiate sporting event or an international Olympic event where any contestant is under 18.
Fantasy sports are simulated games in which prizes are established and made known in advance to all contestants. Prize winnings reflect the relative knowledge and skill of the participants and are determined by statistical results of the performance of individuals. College fantasy sports are delayed one year to make sure Iowa colleges and universities are prepared for these new potential outside activities.
- Qualified Sponsoring Organization (QSO) Boards will include one county supervisor and one member of a city council for each county and city that has a licensed gambling games facility. Anyone serving on a QSO board must be a resident of the state.
- Adds to the Iowa Code a new sports gambling section concerning social gambling between individuals, to authorize social gambling on fantasy sports contests and to specify that a participant may not win or lose more than $1,000 during any 24 consecutive hours or over that entire period. Previously, wins or losses on social gambling were limited to $200.
- Racetracks are explicitly allowed to apply for endowment grants.
- Mobile apps must cite the 800-Bets-Off number and include extensive responsible gambling features (i.e., limit time of play, allow a time out, etc.).
- The bill takes effect upon enactment, and must be implemented no later than July 4, 2019. The Racing and Gaming Commission will develop rules to implement the program.
[4/17: 31-18 (Excused: Guth)]
SF 618 – ABD Omnibus Departmental Bill
SF 618 is the Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) departmental bill. It makes changes that will create clarity, improve readability and make the law easier for regulators to apply and enforce with consistency. This is largely a technical cleanup bill.
This bill removes references to percentage of alcohol by weight from the definitions for alcoholic liquor, beer, high-alcoholic content beer and wine. The definition for wine is further amended to provide for percentage of alcohol by volume.
It allows ABD to prescribe a uniform fee against certain licensees when they fail to maintain dram shop liability insurance and to assess a capped fee to recover administrative costs related to contested case proceedings through the administrative rules process.
The bill will allow confidentiality of records collected by the Division from licensees or permittees in conjunction with investigations, inspections and audits before administrative or criminal charges are filed. This proposed change will assist the regulator and protect the rights of businesses it regulates.
The bill will require liquor, wine and beer manufacturers to share with the Division the records they must submit to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury (TTB). This ensures that the Division has the information it needs to validate taxes owed to the state. Reciprocal language for class “A” native distilled spirits license holders was passed in 2017.
Other key changes in the bill include:
- Authorizing the Division to adopt rules to recover operational costs arising from the failure of licensees or permittees to remain in compliance with the law.
- Establishing uniform language regarding the types of action that may be taken because of a violation of the rules of the Division. Conforming changes are made throughout the chapter.
- Eliminating the additional tax imposed on airlines for Sunday sales of liquor.
- Relocating provisions in §123.144(2) and §123.146 that relate to how homemade beer can be used and how beer may be imported for personal use. These changes are intended to assist the reader by consolidating several related provisions into one section.
- Allowing Hy-Vee and other stores to have a distribution center carry alcohol and deliver it to homes.
- Adding “investigative” entities to those with access to investigative records.
[4/23: 48-2 (No: Celsi, Hogg)]
HF 303 – Statewide welcome center program technical changes
HF 303 updates Code references to the statewide welcome center program; changes references from “agency” to “authority” to reflect that the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IDEA) is no longer an agency; removes references to a pilot project because welcome centers are no longer in a pilot phase; and requires the IDEA to collaborate with other state agencies as necessary to operate the welcome centers and provide information to travelers.
HF 392 – Competitive bid process not required for professional services
HF 392 says the competitive bid process is not required for professional services rendered by certain public employees. Previously, an official, a state employee, a member of the Legislature, or a legislative employee could not sell goods or services in excess of $2,000 to any state agency unless the sale is made pursuant to an award or contract made after public notice and competitive bidding. This does not apply to a contract for professional services that is exempt from competitive bidding requirements in the Code or Administrative Code.
[4/11: 49-0 (Excused: Brown)]
HF 393 – Gifts received by Executive Branch
HF 393 modifies the procedure for reporting gifts. Previously, all gifts received by a department or the governor must be reported to the Iowa Campaign Ethics Board and the Government Oversight Committee. The bill limits the reporting requirement to gifts with a value of $50 or more. The report must be made within 20 days.
[4/10: 49-0 (Excused: Feenstra)]
HF 485 – Purchasing for targeted small business procurement goals
HF 485 — State agencies could previously purchase goods and services from Targeted Small Businesses (TSBs) without going through the RFP process, as long as the amount was under $10,000. The bill removes the dollar amount from Code and allows the Department of Administrative Services to set the dollar amount through the Administrative Rules process. However, the amount cannot exceed $25,000.
[4/25: 49-0 (Excused: Chapman)]
HF 486 – Building remediation grants for emergency projects
HF 486 allows an emergency project to be eligible for a grant from the Community Catalyst Building Remediation Program Fund (without regard for application deadlines and the required percentage that is set aside for cities with small populations). An emergency project is defined as a remediation of an underused building that may present a unique and immediate opportunity or threat. This bill codifies what was previously in the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Administrative Rules. Tornado damage to Marshalltown in 2018 was the impetus for the bill.
HF 590 – Tax return preparers and providing penalties
HF 590 defines a tax return preparer as an individual who, for a fee or other consideration, prepares 10 or more tax returns or claims for refund under Ch. 422 during a calendar year, or who assumes final responsibility for completed work on such tax returns or claims for refund under Ch. 422 on which preliminary work has been done by another individual. On or after January 1, 2020, a tax preparer must place their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) on any tax return or claim for a refund that they prepare under Ch. 422.
The bill provides reasons for the Department of Revenue to seek a temporary or permanent injunction if a tax preparer engages certain bad actions. The bill also requires a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education on subjects prescribed by the Department of Revenue. Two of these hours will involve professional ethics. Continuing education hours must be taken from an IRS-approved provider.
HF 634 – Combining juvenile justice boards
HF 634 eliminates the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning Advisory Council, the Public Safety Advisory Board and the Sex Offender Research Council, and replaces them with the Justice Advisory Board. These boards have overlapping members and missions. The new 28-member board will have 22 voting members and six ex-officio nonvoting members.
Members will include nine appointed by the governor with confirmation by the Senate and a member representing each of these organizations/agencies: Coalition Against Sexual Assault, American Civil Liberties Union, Iowa County Attorney’s, Department of Human Services, Department of Corrections, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Health, Courts, a Judicial District, Department of Correctional Services, Office of the Status of African Americans, Board of Parole, State Public Defender, Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy. The ex-officio members will be two district judges designated by the Chief Justice, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the chair and ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee or House Public Safety Committee.
HF 692 – Elections Bill
HF 692 implements the statewide use of postal service barcodes to determine the date that an absentee ballot was placed into the federal postal service. If the postmark or postal service barcode indicates that the ballot was mailed by the day before Election Day, the ballot must be counted. If there is a discrepancy between the date indicated by the postmark and the postal service barcode, the earlier date will be used to determine the “mailed by” date of the ballot. The bill also includes these provisions:
- Hospital Board of Trustees Elections – Establishes off-setting term limits for hospital boards of trustees.
- City/School elections – Two dates in odd years, March and September. Three dates in even years. Strikes December.
- Makes the fraudulent signing of nomination papers and the misuse of voter registration information election misconduct in the second degree, an aggravated misdemeanor.
- Requires a person circulating a petition for nomination to include their contact information. The bill also specifies that a signature line must contain a signer’s residential address.
- Permits objections to be filed to certificates of nomination for candidates to replace candidates who have died or withdrawn their nomination.
- Allows the SOS to require a written explanation from a county commissioner who has been issued a notice of technical infraction. Such an explanation must contain measures the county commissioner took to redress the issues in the notice.
- Precinct caucus participation – Cannot have participated in a different party caucus within the same year.
- County auditors cannot participate in absentee ballot drives, unless they are on doing it for themselves only.
- County auditors must remove or obscure any published material displaying auditors name, except on ballot or envelop. An auditor’s signature on a ballot is replaced with the county seal.
- Prohibits distribution of sample ballots, per debacle caused by Linn County Auditor.
- Conflicts of Interest (AGC Language) – Repeals the prohibition on elected or appointed county employees holding an interest in a contract for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of any highway, bridge or culvert. Requires a state or county official who is a voting member of a government entity responsible for awarding a contract pursuant to competitive bidding procedures and is the apparent low bidder for the contract to abstain from voting to award the contract and include an explanation of the official’s conflict in the resolution.
- Ballot order – The two political parties receiving the highest number of votes will each appear first on the ballot for one gubernatorial election and one presidential election in an eight-year period. The candidates of a party appearing first on the ballot in half of the counties in Iowa will appear second on the ballot in the other half of the counties.
- Municipal Elections
- School Board Candidate name withdrawals – goes from 35 to 42 days before an election.
- Various requirements for canvasing deadlines for city, county, school elections.
- City elections – if in more than one county, auditor with the largest tax base does the canvas.
- Terms of office – school boards, various technical changes for transition provisions.
HF 694 – EMS licensure & interstate compact
HF 694 establishes an Emergency Medical Service Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact to allow EMTs and paramedics licensed in Iowa to practice in other states. Participating states must meet standards set by the compact, including registration requirements, training requirements, investigation procedures and notification procedures. The compact allows a person to work within the same scope of practice in any compact state. The home state has sole authority to discipline a licensee. Member states in the compact participate in the Interstate Commission for EMS Personnel Practice.
The bill aligns Iowa Department of Public Health licensing authority language for EMS with language in the bill that establishes a multistate commission. It also establishes authority for IDPH to keep and retain new license application fees, which will include the required background check fee. Current law requires all licensing fees to be deposited into the EMS System Development Fund, which cannot be used by IDPH for administrative expenses. The bill will only affect new licensing applications. Renewal fees (which are the majority of the fees collected) will continue to be deposited into the EMS System Development Fund.
HF 701 – Prohibits a city or county from adopting or enforcing an ordinance
HF 701 prohibits a city or county from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, regulation or restriction that would prevent a nonconforming use from continuing if the use was legal before for preexisting manufactured, modular and mobile homes, and site-built dwelling units. This local control reversal applies unless a discontinuance is necessary for the safety of life or property; the nonconforming use is legally abandoned; or the nonconforming use is enlarged or extended.
[4/9: 35-13 (No: Bolkcom, Boulton, Celsi, Dotzler, Giddens, Hogg, Jochum, Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach, Ragan, J. Smith, Wahls; Excused: Bisignano, Feenstra)]
HF 743 – Uniform electronic storage of official documents
HF 743 sets up a process for the electronic storage of official documents. This is largely a technical bill based on the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA), prepared by the National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws in 2011. The bill requires the Legislative Services Agency (LSA), when acting as custodian of information, to provide for the publication of legal material. LSA must also provide methods of authentication and preservation of electronic records. The bill makes a number of other conforming and miscellaneous changes to the same Code chapter to implement the UELMA and to codify current publication practice.
[4/23: 49-0 (Excused: Petersen)]