SF 341 – Service animals in housing
SF 341 relates to assistance animals and service animals in housing, and misrepresenting oneself as entitled to such an animal in housing.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission will work with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to develop a verification form for providers to use in written findings. The form can only allow for a “yes” or “no” response on whether the patient or client has a disability and whether the need for the animal is related to the disability. The form cannot allow for additional detail. The bill conforms Iowa’s definition of “service animals” to the federal definition: dogs and miniature horses only. The substantive portions do not apply to “assistive animals” under chapter 717F, only to “assistance animals” and “service animals” as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the federal Fair Housing Act.
The bill requires a landlord to waive any restrictions, fees or other charges assessed to tenants with pets. A person who intentionally misrepresents an animal as a service animal or service animal in training could be charged with a crime. A person commits this offense if all of these elements are established: for the purpose of obtaining any of the rights or privileges set forth in state or federal law, the person intentionally misrepresents an animal in one’s possession as one’s service animal or service animal in training, or a person with a disability’s service animal or service animal in training whom the person is assisting by controlling; the person was previously given a written or verbal warning that it is illegal to intentionally misrepresent an animal as a service animal or a service animal in training; and the person knows that the animal in question is not a service animal or a service animal in training. The offense is a simple misdemeanor, punishable by confinement for no more than 30 days, or a fine of at least $65 but no more than $625, or by both.
The bill gives owners of real property immunity from liability for injury or damage caused by service animals and service animals in training if the owner believes in good faith that the animal is a service animal or a service animal in training and the person using the animal is a person with a disability, a person assisting a person with a disability by controlling a service animal or a service animal in training, or a person training a service animal in training; and the injury or damage is not caused by the owner’s negligence, recklessness or willful misconduct.
[3/19: 49-0 (Vacant: Danielson)]
HF 288 – Injured veterans grant parameters; professional licensure
HF 288 is an Iowa Department of Public Defense recommendation. Currently, Iowans serving in the Iowa National Guard, Reserve or regular component of the U.S. Armed Forces who are deployed overseas and seriously or very seriously injured in the line of duty while in a combat zone or hazardous duty pay zone are eligible to apply for an Injured Veterans Grant. In recent years, the Department of Defense has categorized some areas as “Overseas Contingency Operations,” including Kuwait, Kosovo and Djibouti.
The legislation modifies eligibility to allow those deployed in any region outside of the United States who are injured and evacuated to be eligible to apply for a grant while the injured veteran is hospitalized or receiving medical care or rehabilitation services authorized by the military. The Legislature established the program in 2007, retroactive to September 11, 2001. Grants are paid in increments of $2,500 up to a maximum of $10,000. Most receive $2,500 to help family in the first month when the service member is medically evacuated to a hospital. Additional money may be given for longer periods (30 days, 60 days and 90 days) of hospitalization, medical treatment and rehabilitation services by the military or Veterans Administration.
The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, the Commission of Veterans Affairs and the National Guard will collaborate to study the sustainability of future funding for the Injured Veterans Grant Program. A written report is due to the Governor and Legislature by December 31, 2019.
The proposal also establishes an expedited licensing process for spouses of active-duty members of the U.S. military who are stationed in Iowa. Licensing boards must establish provisional licensing procedures by January 1, 2020 to expedite licensing for anyone licensed in a similar profession or occupation in another state who is the spouse of an active-duty member of the U.S. military. The secretaries of the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Army are asking governors and legislators in all states to adopt such guidelines.
[3/21: 46-0 (Absent: Bisignano, Celsi, R. Taylor; Vacant: Danielson)]
HF 289 – Distribution of gambling receipts for charitable purposes
HF 289 requires a qualified sponsoring organization licensed to operate gambling games in Iowa under Chapter 99F — Gambling Games Regulation — to provide that any organization exempt from federal income taxes under section 501(c)(19) of the Internal Revenue Code is eligible for a distribution of adjusted gross receipts for educational, civic, public, charitable, patriotic or religious uses.
HF 689 – Removal of county veterans service officers
HF 689 clarifies provisions regarding the removal from office of a county veterans service officer (VSO). Currently, each county commission of veteran affairs must employ an executive director or administrator, recognized as the county’s VSO. The bill provides that an executive director or administrator can only be removed from office by the county commission of veteran affairs subject to the approval of the county board of supervisors. This mirrors the appointment process to this position.