Judiciary Committee – Week 4, 2020


SF 115 – Law Enforcement Firearms on School Property

SF 115 – Under current law, law enforcement officers in Iowa who possess a professional permit to carry a weapon may enter school grounds with their weapon. However, federal officers and non-certified officers were not included in that group. This bill would allow federal officers and yet-to-be-certified peace officers (both have law enforcement firearms training) to carry weapons on school grounds at all times.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SF 393 – Beekeeping

SF 393 clarifies the law relating to criminal penalties for knowingly harming the beekeeping industry in Iowa. No new crime is created in the bill. However, the bill puts the offenses into clearly delineated paragraphs to ensure the prohibited behavior is clearly identified and penalized.

A person who knowingly does any of these acts commits a simple misdemeanor:

  • Sells or moves a diseased or parasite-infested colony, package, equipment or combs without the consent of the state apiarist.
  • Exposes infected honey or equipment to bees.
  • Fails or neglects to properly treat a diseased or parasite-infested colony.
  • Interferes with the state apiarist or their assistants in the performance of their duties
  • Refuses to permit examination of bees or their destruction.
  • Violates any other provision of Chapter 160 relating to the state apiarist.

However, it is a serious misdemeanor if a person knowingly moves or causes to be moved into this state a colony, package, used equipment or combs in violation of the law relating to importing bees.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SF 2059 – Post-Secondary Education Subsidy

SF 2059 provides a person whose parents divorced and the divorce decree addressed the issue of a post-secondary education subsidy the opportunity to go to court to enforce a parent’s obligation to provide a post-secondary education subsidy. Under current dissolution of marriage law, a court may order that divorced parents pay a post-secondary education subsidy for their child or children. Under SF 2059, following the issuance of a decree that includes the ordering of a postsecondary education subsidy or otherwise retains such jurisdiction to address post-secondary education, a child affected by the ordering of a postsecondary education subsidy who is 14 or older will have standing to file a petition to modify the decree to pursue the child’s legally enforceable interest in a postsecondary education subsidy.
[2/5: 11-2 (No: Bisignano, Taylor; Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SSB 3029 – Registered Agents for Business Entities

SSB 3029 comes from the Iowa State Bar Association Business Law Section. The bill creates a uniform effective date of resignation by a registered agent of a corporation or other business entity. Under current law, there is no uniformity throughout the business entity and organization law relating to resignations of registered agents. The bill makes resignations effective on the earlier of 12:01 a.m. on the 31st day after the day on which a resignation is filed by the Secretary of State; or upon the designation of a new registered agent for the corporation. At the subcommittee meeting, the Secretary of State’s office staff said they are taking no position on the bill, but can accomplish the changes at no extra cost.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SSB 3037 – Uniform Protected Series Act

SSB 3037 adds a provision to the Uniform Protected Series Act that passed last session and provides for uniform construction and application of the Act. SF 569, the Uniform Protected Series Act, expanded upon and clarified the law relating to series limited liability companies. The bill requires that “consideration shall be given to the need to promote uniformity of the law with respect to its subject matter among states that enact the uniform protected series Act as approved and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law.” This fix comes from the Iowa State Bar Association.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SSB 3039 – Public Defender Involvement in Child Welfare Cases

SSB 3039 relates to The Parent Representation Project that the State Public Defender hopes to participate in. It uses a team approach to help struggling families involved in the child welfare system.

Currently, there is a pilot project that has been funded by a mix of state, federal and private dollars, and has been operating in Dubuque, Black Hawk, Linn and Jackson counties. Apparently, Legal Aid and the Middleton Children’s Center at the Drake Legal Clinic have been involved in providing the legal representation.

The goal of the project and now the legislation is to provide legal representation to indigent parents prior to any formal juvenile court proceedings. Current funding sources are not sufficient to maintain the programs and data indicates that this project gets positive results for families.

This bill would allow State Public Defender to provide legal representation prior to formal court proceedings and would allow expansion of the project to additional counties. Federal funds will be available to the Iowa Department of Human Services, which in turn plans on entering into a memorandum of understanding with the State Public Defender.

The State Public Defender indicates that the monies will be used to pay contract attorneys to represent families involved with the Department of Human Services but prior to formal court proceedings being initiated.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)] 

SSB 3041 – Arrest Warrants

SSB 3041 is proposed by the State Public Defender and was drafted pursuant to an agreement between the State Public Defender Office and the County Attorney Association. An arrest warrant is generally confidential until the warrant has been served. However, the arrest warrant information is available to certain individuals, such as county attorneys, during this period of confidentiality but not to defense attorneys.

This bill adds a court-appointed attorney who has been appointed to represent a specific individual in a specific case where an arrest warrant has been issued but not served if the defendant is in custody, to the individuals who have access to the warrant information during the confidentiality period without court authorization. The court can expressly deny access to the search warrant information to persons listed in the law who would otherwise have access to the information relating to the warrant.
[2/5: short form (Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]

SSB 3073 – Prisoner Medical Costs

SSB 3073 is a Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association priority bill that addresses the costs of medical aid required to be provided to prisoners in the county jails or municipal holding facilities. This bill is the result of stakeholders, including the Hospital Association, getting together and reaching agreement on how to address the issue of who should pay for prisoner medical costs.

Under current law, counties are required to pay for all charges and expenses for the “safekeeping and maintenance of (their) prisoners” except:

  • Prisoners detained by the authority of the federal courts. The federal government pays the prisoner cost.
  • Prisoners committed for a violation of a city ordinance, in which case the city will pay the costs.
  • Prisoners detained from another state. The entity from the other state pays those prisoner costs.

The bill adds language relating to who is responsible for the medical costs of prisoners and sets out a process for the payment of those costs. The bill:

  • Establishes that a prisoner has the primary responsibility for payment of the cost of required medical aid provided while they’re in jail.
  • Requires that the governmental entity request information from a prisoner about available sources, health insurance and other benefits at the time of intake into the county jail or municipal holding facility.
  • Requires a hospital or medical provider to request available sources of health insurance or other benefits from the governmental entity and the prisoner at the time of intake at the hospital or medical provider. In addition, the hospital or medical provider is to use the health insurance or other benefits identified prior to requesting reimbursement from a governmental entity.
  • Any amount not met by health insurance or another benefit are the responsibility of the prisoner.
  • If health insurance is denied or other benefits are not available to pay for the medical aid provided, the hospital or medical provider will submit the bill to the governmental entity within 30 days of treatment or will submit any written denial of coverage to the governmental entity within 30 days of receipt of the denial.
  • The hospital or medical provider will be reimbursed at a rate negotiated by the governmental entity and the provider, or if no rate is agreed to, the reimbursement rate will be the provider’s published Medicaid rate for the treatment.
  • Cities and counties may seek reimbursement from a prisoner for the costs of medical aid incurred by the city or county.

The Committee adopted an amendment that gives health care providers 60 days from time of treatment or 60 days from the denial of insurance coverage, rather than 30 days, to submit the bill for reimbursement of medical aid to the governmental entity for payment, whichever is applicable. In addition, the amendment removes the word “published” in reference to the Medicaid rate, as those rates apparently are not “published.”

[2/5: 12-1 (No: R. Taylor; Absent: Whiting, Zaun)]