HF 2362—Unemployment Insurance Nonprofit Appeals
HF 2362 treats reimbursable nonprofit employers the same as contributory employers for contesting their unemployment insurance reimbursement (the unemployment insurance tax rate for contributory employers). Previously, when a nonprofit got notice of the decision and how to pay, it had to go to district court to contest it. The bill changes that to an unemployment insurance administrative law judge.
HF 2363—Landscaping Industry Unemployment Tax Rate
HF 2363 adds landscaping employers to the construction unemployment tax rate. This is the highest rate in the tax table. This change will increase contributions to the Unemployment Trust Fund by approximately $683,000 annually.
[6/10: 49-1 (No: Zumbach)]
HF 2364—Injunction Upon Nonpayment
HF 2364 adds clarifying language to injunctions regarding unemployment insurance. When businesses fail to provide reports and records to Iowa Workforce Development, they can cause workers to be ineligible for unemployment. Also, the bill modifies a reference to plans for liquidation of deficiencies.
HF 2365—Notice of Unemployment Insurance Claim
HF 2365 strikes language that notifications to interested parties for an unemployment benefits claims be made by ordinary mail. The interested parties will instead select a format specified by the department (which could be electronic or ordinary mail).
The final bill also makes changes to unemployment insurance for the Voluntary Shared Work Program, which passed earlier in session. The program is designed for businesses that experience downturns and anticipate a layoff of at least 10% of their workforce. It allows a business to keep its employees by lowering the hours of the employees, instead of eliminating jobs. With HF 2365, a reduction in hours and corresponding reduction in wages must be applied equally to all employees in the affected unit for each week reported (italicize = new code language). An employer may appeal in writing within 30 days from the date of the decision. These provisions apply to all voluntary shared work plans approved by Iowa Workforce Development on or after the effective date of the bill.
HF 2627—Professional Licensing
HF 2627 narrows the ability of licensing and professional boards to disqualify individuals holding certain licenses because of a criminal conviction. In addition, the bill addresses the issuing of licenses, certifications or registrations without exams to those who have licenses in other states when they establish residency in Iowa.
The bill allows (with certain exceptions) out-of-state individuals without licenses who relocate to Iowa to be issued a license without the required Iowa education and training requirements as long as they have three years of relevant work experience.
Division II of the bill includes many provisions that are not relevant to licensing. Some items in Division II are from bills the Senate passed and the House did not take up. Some items are related to COVID-19 and the Governor’s Proclamations.
Details of the bill:
Disqualification provisions for criminal convictions
- The bill eliminates certain subsections in Code chapters for electricians and plumbers regarding denying, revoking or suspending licenses based on certain crime convictions.
- The bill narrows the ability of licensing and professional boards to disqualify individuals holding certain licenses because of a criminal conviction. For a conviction of a crime to serve as disqualification for a professional license, the offense must directly relate to the duties and responsibilities of the profession. “Offense directly relates to” means actions customarily performed within the scope of practice of a licensed profession or the circumstances under which an offense was committed are circumstances customary to a licensed profession. The Education Examiners can still deny a license due to a founded report of child abuse against the person.
- A licensing board may grant an exception to disqualification for a license if the board determines by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is rehabilitated and an appropriate candidate for licensure.
- A person’s conviction of a crime maybe be grounds for a denial, revocation or suspension of a license only if unreasonable risk to public safety exists because the offense directly relates to the duties and responsibility of the profession and the appropriate license board or agency does not grant an exception. This applies to everyone under 272C (professional licensing—many different professional licenses fall under this chapter), but not to chapter 272 (educational examiners).
- Petitions and new fee: Allows an applicant to petition the professional licensing board for a determination of whether the applicant’s criminal history results in the denial of a license before applying and allows the professional licensing board to charge a fee to the applicant for administrative work involving the petition. The fee cannot exceed $25.
Reciprocity of licenses and recognition of work experience
- (Section 26) Licensure of persons licensed in other jurisdictions: Requires that a professional or occupational license, certificate or registration be issued to a person without an examination if:
- That person establishes residency in Iowa, or is married to an active-duty military member and is accompanying them on an official permanent change of station to a military installation in Iowa.
- Certain conditions must be met to allow for licensing, certification or registration without examination in Iowa. Those conditions include similar scope of practice in the other jurisdiction, having been licensed or registered in the other jurisdiction for least a year, the other jurisdiction imposed minimum education requirements (not substantially equivalent to Iowa), the person does not have discipline imposed on them from a regulating entity, etc. This applies to individuals who come from states that require a license, a certification or registration for their profession; and applies to a license, certification, or registration issued by the professional boards covered by Chapter 272C, as well as to the Board of Educational Examiners.
- (Section 27) A person applying for a professional license, certificate or registration in Iowa who relocates from another state that did not require a professional occupational license, certificate or registration to practice their profession/occupation may be considered to have met education, training or work-experience requirements in Iowa if they have three or more years of related work experience with a substantially similar scope of practice within the four preceding years as determined by the professional licensing board. If Code or administrative rules require a person applying for a professional occupational license, certificate or registration in this state to pass an exam, the applicant must do so. This does not apply to a license, certificate or registration issued by the boards of medicine, nursing, dental, pharmacy or education examiners.
- A licensing board must waive any fee for a license if the applicant’s household income does not exceed 200% of federal poverty guidelines, and it is the applicant’s first time applying in Iowa.
- Public records – allow for electronic examination in lieu of in-person.
- Allows record request in writing, by telephone or electronic means – and cost accordingly.
- Private security business does not include bails bond businesses. This was a non-con part of SF 2372, a bill that was passed out of State Government but not taken up on floor.
- Allows the Elevator Safety Board to reduce elevator fees for nonprofit associations. This was a non-con part of SF 2372, a bill that was passed out of State Government but not taken up on floor.
- Eliminates the Hospital Licensing Board. This is SF 2327, which passed the Senate 49-0, but was not taken up in the House.
- Amends the substance abuse treatment Code Chapter by allowing meetings with counsel or family and friends to be telephonically or electronically.
- Allows personnel certified by BOEE to provide continuing education requirements online, if available.
- Deer hunting licensing for out-of-state hunters – SF 2201, which passed the Senate 48-2 but wasn’t taken up in the House.
- Allows real estate appraisers to complete contact hours under supervision in a bordering state, not to exceed 50% of the state requirement.
- Architect exam flexibility – don’t have to retake modals you’ve already passed.
- (Section 44) Repeals Travel Agent registration with Secretary of State requirement. This was SF 2133, which passed the Senate 32-17, but was not taken up by the House.
- Covid Impact: Pushed back repeal of old immunization law. In 2018, a bill was passed that added Iowa Code 155A.46, allowing pharmacists to independently order and administer immunizations. Rules were needed from Medicaid to ensure pharmacists could bill for the immunizations. Rules were noticed this spring, but were delayed because of COVID-19. Pushing back the repeal of the old immunization law for one more year will provide time for education and to enroll with Medicaid, as well as to ensure there is no gap in coverage for Medicaid members who get immunizations at a pharmacy.
- Covid Impact: School Physicals – extension on requirement for athletics until Dec. 31, 2020.
- Covid Impact: Shareholder Meeting – allows tele meetings through Dec. 31, 2020.
[6/13: 32-17, party-line (No: Democrats; Excused: Hogg)]