Appropriations Committee – Week 8, 2020


SF 601–Pesticide Administration and Enforcement Fund

SF 601 creates a new Pesticide Administration and Enforcement Fund under the administration of the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS). Currently, fees that are collected every two years for certification of pesticide applicators are deposited into the General Fund. The bill redirects the fees into the new Pesticide Administration and Enforcement Fund for the enforcement of the Pesticide Act of Iowa as outlined in Iowa Code chapter 206. There is a $450,000 reduction in fee revenue to the General Fund in FY21 and every year after. There is an increase of $450,000 to the new fund year after.
[2/27: short form (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]

SF 2262 – Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant program

SF 2262 relates to broadband service under the Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO), the Empower Rural Iowa broadband grant fund and certain broadband infrastructure tax exemptions. The OCIO will use different speed standards for mapping and for grant awards. In mapping, eligibility is based on whether a provider facilitates 25/3 or faster service in a U.S. Census block. Grant eligibility for varying funding levels is determined by different speed thresholds the provider promised to facilitate. It implements a tiered award system, increasing the percentage of funding an applicant may seek and be awarded depending on buildout speeds. Projects that provide levels greater than or equal to 100 mbps download and 20 mbps upload may receive up to 35% in grant funds. Projects that provide lower speed levels receive up to 15% in grant funds. SF 2262 makes conforming changes related to the change in name of the fund from the Connecting Iowa Farms, Schools and Communities Broadband Grant Fund to the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Fund. The bill takes effect upon enactment. The companion is HF 2459. There is a Code change to allow the OCIO to use moneys in the fund to pay the costs and expenses associated with the administration and operation of the grant program.
[3/3: short form (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2307 – Veterans Home Ownership Assistance Program

SF 2307 provides that moneys appropriated to the Commission of Veterans Affairs from the Veterans Trust Fund (VTF) that remain unobligated or unexpended at the close of the fiscal year do not revert to the VTF but will be appropriated to the Iowa Finance Authority for grants to veterans who participate in the home ownership assistance program. 
[3/3: short form (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2397/SSB 3076—Financial Exploitation of Eligible Adults

SSB 3076 is an Iowa Department of Commerce/Insurance Division bill relating to financial exploitation of designated eligible adults. The bill defines an eligible adult as a person 65 or older and certain dependent adults as defined in Code section 235B.2. Iowa Code 235B.2 states that a “dependent adult” means a person 18 or older who is unable to protect their own interests or unable to adequately perform or obtain services necessary to meet essential human needs, as a result of a physical or mental condition that requires assistance from another, or as defined by departmental (Department of Human Services) rule.

The bill, as amended in committee, allows broker-dealers, investment advisers and qualified individuals to notify the Commissioner of Insurance if they reasonably believe financial exploitation of an eligible adult has occurred, has been attempted or is being attempted. These individuals can notify permissible third parties as well. The bill provides immunity for these governmental and third-party disclosures. The bill allows a broker-dealer or investment adviser to delay a disbursement or transaction form eligible adult’s account or an account on which the eligible adult is a beneficiary if certain enumerated steps are followed. The bill does establish when and under what conditions the delay of the disbursements or transaction is to end. The bill requires broker-dealers or investment advisers to provide to qualified individuals training related to identifying financial exploitation of eligible adults.

Originally, the bill provided for an appropriation from the Commerce Revolving Fund for an FTE at the complaint analyst level to investigate complaints in an expeditious manner. In committee, an amendment was adopted to allow for a new FTE and appropriation but only allows the FTE and appropriation contingent upon an increase of 25% in notifications to the Commissioner of Insurance. The amendment also requires the Insurance Division to compile and report to Legislative Services Agency and Department of Management on an ongoing basis the number of notifications the Division receives related to the potential financial exploitation of eligible adults.
[2/27: short form (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]

SF 2398/SF 2176—Rural Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program

SF 2176, as amended in committee, establishes a Rural Veterinarian Loan Repayment Program in the College Student Aid Commission. The bill also establishes a Rural Veterinary Care Trust Fund. The program would provide for loan repayments for individuals who agree to practice as licensed veterinarian in a “rural service commitment areas” or “veterinary shortage areas” for four years.

“Rural service commitment area” means a city in Iowa with a population of less than 26,000 that is located more than 20 miles from a city with a population of 50,000 or more and which provides a dollar contribution equivalent to 12.5% of the veterinarian’s total eligible loan amount upon graduation for deposit in the Rural Veterinary Care Trust Fund.

“Veterinary shortage area” means a designated veterinary service shortage situation in Iowa identified and nominated by the State Veterinarian or recommended for designation in accordance with federal National Veterinary Medical Services Act.

An individual is eligible to apply if any of these requirements are met: 1) Enrolled in the final year of a veterinary degree program at a College of Veterinary Medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education; 2) Is a veterinarian licensed pursuant to Chapter 169 within five years of applying for this program with a veterinary medicine degree.

Priority is given to applicants who graduated from a high school in Iowa or competed private instruction under Chapter 299A (home school). When possible, the commission will enter into agreements with individuals with the following priority order:

  1. Private practice food supply (livestock) veterinary medicine in any veterinary shortage area.
  2. Private practice food supply veterinary medicine in a city in Iowa with a population of less than 26,00 that is located more than 20 miles form a city with a population of 50,000 or more, especially in remote or economically depressed rural areas.
  3. Animal veterinary medicine in a rural service commitment area.

The College Student Aid Commission may consult with the State Veterinarian to determine prioritization.

Disbursements for loan repayments cannot exceed $15,000 annually. Payments cannot exceed the four consecutive years of practice and cannot exceed a total $60,000 or the amount of outstanding eligible loans, whichever amount is less. Subject to the availability of funding, the Commissioner will enter into at least five program agreements annually. There is no funding in the bill.
[2/27: short form (Excused: Miller-Meeks)]