Commerce Committee – Week 5, 2020


SF 2196 – Extension of Iowa Cell Siting Act

SF 2196 (SSB 3012) extends the future repeal date of the Iowa Cell Siting Act from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2025. The extension is effective upon enactment. Companion bill HF 2213 is on the Calendar.
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SF 2197 – IID regulatory authority provisions, waivers

SF 2197 (SSB 3047) is an Iowa Insurance Division recommendation to authorize application for an Affordable Care Act waiver and modify MEWA (Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement) and AHP (Association Health Plan) laws. It provides very specific authority for the Commissioner to submit and implement a waiver for innovation under section 1332 of the ACA. Should a 1332 waiver be pursued again, having this in place will help in the discussion with CMS.

The bill also combines 507A.4(9) into 513D to have the MEWA and Association statutes located within one Code chapter. Federal rules had not been completed when 513D was created.

It also makes changes to chapter 509.1 and 509.19 regarding MEWAs as suggested by the Legislative Services Agency. The bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee.
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SF 2198 – Notification requirements for open-end credit accounts

SF 2198 (SSB 3011) modifies notification requirements for an open-end credit account to mirror federal regulations. A creditor may make a change in the terms of an open-end credit account applying to any balance incurred after the effective date of the change only if the creditor delivers or mails to the consumer a written disclosure of the change at least 60 days before the effective date of the change. 

The original proposal included changing the maximum annual account maintenance fee lenders may collect in connection with home equity lines of credit from $15 to $30. The Committee voted unanimously to strike this section. The removal of the fee increase alleviated concerns from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. The proposal is supported by the Community Bankers of Iowa and the Iowa Bankers Association.
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SF 2199 – Licensure timelines for professional engineers

SF2199 (SSB 3049) is a recommendation by the Banking Division’s Professional Licensing Bureau. It adjusts qualification timelines for licensure as a professional engineer. To be a licensed professional engineer in Iowa, the applicant must pass a fundamental exam, pass a professional exam and have four years of experience. Currently, an individual earns a degree, takes the fundamental exam, gets four years of experience, and then takes the professional exam to be licensed. This bill allows the professional exam to be taken before the four years of experience are completed.
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SF 2200 – IID omnibus

SF 2200 (SSB 3093) is the Iowa Insurance Division’s annual “clean-up” recommendation. It clarifies, strikes obsolete Code language and streamlines various provisions. It also corrects an inadvertent omission made years ago when a clean-up bill was passed to ensure sections dealing with fees and charges were correctly routed to the Commerce Revolving Fund before reverting to the General Fund if unused (Ch. 505.7). One section was missed, but the IID does not believe there is a fiscal impact to the state because the Commerce Revolving Fund continually reverts revenue back to the General Fund.

The legislation also updates various provisions in cemetery and pre-need sellers and sales laws. It modifies reporting dates and requires all purchase agreements, including those made electronically, identify a sales agent. The purchase agreement must also be reviewed by the sales agent and signed by the purchaser and seller. If the purchase agreement is for mortuary sciences, it must also be signed by a person licensed to deliver funeral services. The bill removes the prohibition on an annual allocation to the insurance division regulatory fund if the current balance of the fund exceeds $500,000, and removes the cap on the allocation to the insurance division’s enforcement fund of examination fees paid by perpetual cemeteries with their annual reports. The bill requires the Commissioner to deposit all of the examination fees in the enforcement fund. Currently, the IID is the receiver of three cemeteries (in Fort Dodge, Davenport and Clinton) that are in receivership. Given the financial stresses and aging ownership of cemeteries generally, these challenges are likely to continue.

It also reinstates certain late fees for pre-need sales and pre-need sales agents. Years ago, the penalty for failure to file an annual report was taken out. In recent years, the IID has seen a marked increase in failure to report and much staff time is devoted to obtaining compliance with this provision. The bill reinstates a “late fee” of $5 per day up to $500, and allows the Commissioner to impose a civil penalty against individuals or companies who violate most of Iowa’s pre-need statutes and rules.

The bill was referred to Ways and Means Committee.
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