State Government Committee – Week 10, 2021


SF 425 – Expanding notification of open meetings

SF 425 was an Iowa Public Information Board prefile bill. As amended by Senate Republicans, IPIB has withdrawn their support. It amends the definition of an “open” meeting to include any deliberations or actions (including recommendations) taken by a governmental body, as defined in the open-meetings law, that are within its budgetary duties.

It excludes weekend days and paid holidays when determining the 24-hour time period for public notice under the open-meetings law and adds a new “good-cause” exemption for “personnel or student” issues.
[3/17: 30-17  (No: Democrats; Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 468 – Outdated coal language clean up

SF 468 strikes a requirement that any commission, board, county officer or other governing body of the state, or of any county, township, school district or city, purchase or use coal mined or produced in Iowa by producers who comply with Iowa workers’ compensation and mining laws. The bill cleans up outdated coal language. There is no coal production in Iowa to give preference to. Iowa hasn’t mined coal since 1994.
[3/17: 45-2  (No:  Green, Rozenboom; Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 487 – State boards and regulation of certain professions

SF 487 relates to the operation of state government, including the review and sunset of state boards and agencies and the regulation of certain professions.

REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS: “Regulation of unregulated health professionals” – Sets up a special legislative process for the review of legislation proposing subjective regulations.


ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT ACT REPORTS: The bill requires such reports to include descriptions of how the agency has improved efficiency, modernized processes, eliminated duplication and outdated processes, reduced costs, increased accountability, expanded the use of technology and incorporated productivity improvement measures. This portion of the report will be submitted to the State Government Committee of both chambers of the Legislature and posted publicly on the Legislature’s website.

PROFESSIONAL LICENSING BOARD INVESTIGATIONS: The bill strikes the provision that a determination by a licensing board that an investigation is not warranted or should be closed without a disciplinary hearing is not subject to judicial review.

REPUBLICAN AMENDMENT STRIKES requirement that if a board determines that no probable cause exists for an asserted violation to return the complaint asserting the violation to the complainant with a statement specifying the reasons for rejection of the complaint.
[3/17: 30-17  (No: Democrats; Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]

SF 568 – Public Measures/Elections Changes

SF 568 relates to the conduct of elections, including nominations and procedures for proposed amendments to the Iowa Constitution. Key provisions of the bill include:

School, City, County elections and any public measure election held in  March or September: Not less than four days and not more than 20 days before an election, an auditor must publish notice containing a list of candidates and public measures to be voted upon. Costs for a notification sent or posted pursuant to this section may be charged to the entity requesting the public measure. For an election to approve the issuance of a bond, the bill requires auditors to send notification to all voters not later than 20 days before the election. The notification must include information about impacts of the proposed bond and the costs that can be charged to the entity requesting the public measure. Estimated costs for this mailing could reach $153,000 in additional costs per election.

Public Measures/Elections Changes: The bill adds the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of an even-numbered year as an available date for a county to hold a special election on a public measure. This does not apply to cities or school districts.

Constitutional Amendments/Petitions: The bill requires the constitutional convention question, which is required to be submitted every decade, to be treated the same as a public measure on a ballot.

Holding Two Offices/Vacancies: The bill allows an elected official to be elected to and simultaneously serve in a second office for not more than 30 days.Under the bill, if a person is elected to multiple incompatible offices and doesn’t resign from one, the vacancy will be in the first office to which the person was elected. Under current law, a vacancy occurs in all of the offices to which the person was elected.The bill includes an effective date of January 1, 2022, for sections of the division relating to ballot vacancies.

Filing/Withdrawal Deadlines: The bill changes the deadline for the filing and withdrawal of nomination papers for primary elections, as well as for filing objections to the nominations of candidates. The bill changes the timeline for the replacement of a candidate who withdraws from a primary or general election or dies.The bill requires a ballot for president and vice president of the United States to disclose that a vote for such candidates is a vote for the slate of electors selected by the organization nominating such candidates.

After Election Activities: The bill requires ballots to be returned to the auditor on the night of the election and allows election results to be returned by telephone only at the request of the county commissioner.If election results are communicated in-person, two precinct election officials, one of each party, or an individual designed by the commission (including but not limited to state or local law enforcement) must return the election results, and the memory device used by voting equipment to the auditor in a sealed envelope signed by each precinct election official on the night of the election. The two precinct election officials will be of different political parties in the case of a partisan election. The bill requires a third precinct election official to return the ballots and election register to the county commissioner.

Secretary of State: The bill requires the SOS to order election audits prior to all elections other than general elections. This provision of the bill takes effect January 1, 2022.The bill requires the SOS to develop an Internet application to allow voters to track their absentee ballot requests and ballots by February 26, 2024. The system must also inform a voter of an error in the voter’s application or ballot that requires correction.
[3/17: 30-17  (No: Democrats; Excused: Goodwin, Hogg, Nunn)]


SSB 1249 – ARRC technical bill

SSB 1249 is a non-con bill proposed by the Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC) earlier this year that makes various technical changes and updates to the administrative-rules process and allows the administrative-code editor to make various edits and correct references, similar to what the Code editor can do with the Iowa Code. One change requires an agency or department license fee, application fee or other fee (including any subsequent increase or decrease in the amount) – to be done through the administrative rules process. This requirement does not apply when a fee is specifically established in the Iowa Code, Iowa Acts or by federal law.
[3/16: 14-0 (Absent: Goodwin)]

HJR 10 – Allow ABATE to sell on State Capitol complex during a rally

HJR 10 authorizes ABATE to sell commemorative t-shirts, sweatshirts, lapel pins and patches on the State Capitol complex grounds during motorcycle rallies and toy runs hosted by ABATE of Iowa District 4 prior to the 90th General Assembly without first receiving prior approval from the Department of Administrative Services, but subject to proof of an applicable permit. DAS will remove the language from their Memorandum of Understanding so there’s no need for legislative approval moving forward.
[3/16: 14-0 (Absent: Goodwin)]

HF 528 – Dentist to administer the flu and COVID vaccines

HF 528 allows a dentist to prescribe and administer the flu vaccine and the COVID vaccine, as recommended by the CDC. Prior to administering these vaccines, the dentist must successfully complete a minimum of four hours of training on vaccines and immunizations, and report to the statewide immunization registry or Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN). The bill prohibits a dentist from delegating administration to a dental hygienist or dental assistant.
[3/16: 13-1 (No: Guth; Absent: Goodwin)]