State Government Committee – Week 12, 2021


SJR 9  – Age of electors, Constitutional amendment resolution

SJR 9 is a joint resolution that proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to the qualification of electors. The joint resolution reduces the voting age in the Constitution from 21 to 18, except that a person who will be 18 by the next General Election must be permitted to vote in a primary election. Eighteen years of age is the current voting age for every election in the United States under the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution, if adopted, would be published and then referred to the next General Assembly for adoption before being submitted to the electorate for ratification.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn, Sweeney)]

SF 55 – Standards for carbon monoxide protection

SF 55 requires the fire marshal to adopt rules for standards relating to carbon monoxide protection that are consistent with the international building code and international fire code. The bill also allows the fire marshal to include carbon monoxide awareness in fire safety campaigns. A person who violates a rule adopted by the fire marshal is guilty of a simple misdemeanor, punishable by confinement for no more than 30 days or a fine of at least $105 but not more than $855, or by both. However, a person who fails to remedy a violation that constitutes a clear and present danger to life within 30 days after receiving written notice is guilty of a serious misdemeanor, punishable by confinement for no more than one year and a fine of at least $430 but not more than $2,560.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn, Sweeney)]

SF 517 – Schools must award credit, excuse PE for legislative pages

SF 517 directs school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to award credit of one-half unit of the three units of social studies credit required for graduation, to students who participate in the legislative page program at the state Capitol. The bill also exempts a student is from the physical education (PE) requirements while participating in the legislative page program.
[3/29: 44-1 (No: Bisignano; Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn, Sweeney)]

HF 685 – Orthodontic new service consumer protection

HF 685 prohibits dentists from using initial orthodontic appliances on a new patient unless the dentist first performs an in-person or tele-dentistry examination of the new patient, or the new patient provides the doctor with their dental record taken within the prior six months. The required examination must include any appropriate conventional or digital imaging necessary to develop a suitable orthodontic diagnosis and treatment plan. The bill defines “new patient” as a person whom a doctor has not examined or provided care, or whom the doctor has not seen during the two-year period immediately prior to the patient’s most recent appointment.
[3/29: 45-0 (Excused: Driscoll, Hogg, Kraayenbrink, Nunn, Sweeney)]


HF 453 – Prohibit regulation beyond state/federal law

HF 453 prevents a state agency or state official from imposing any regulation or reporting requirement on corporations, as defined in section 504.141, that exceeds the requirements of state or federal law.
[3/30: 14-0 (Excused: Goodwin)]

HF 760 – Permitting cosmetologist to work different venues

HF 760 allows a licensed cosmetologist to work at a wedding venue (and not be limited to a location that is a licensed salon, barbershop or cosmetology school). The bill requires the Iowa Department of Public Health to adopt rules for practicing cosmetology at these locations. An amendment was adopted that inserts language from SF 494, which allows barbershops to provide barbering apprenticeship training programs, which are registered by the Office of Apprenticeship under the United States Department of Labor. Any individual that completes the application form prescribed by the Barbering Board and completes the apprenticeship program may take the examination for a license to practice barbering. A barbershop will provide to the Barbering Board the name of each apprentice in the training program. It allows the Board to charge a fee of no more than $20 per apprentices to a barbershop.
[3/30: 14-0 (Excused: Goodwin)]

HF 797 – 411 Disability Expansion

HF 797 concerns certain benefits under the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement System of Iowa (MFPRSI), established under Iowa Code chapter 411. The bill expands the number of disabilities eligible for an accidental disability benefit and allows retirees receiving an ordinary benefit who are within five years of retirement to apply for an accidental disability benefit. The bill does this by:

  • Changes Member in Good Standing – changes the “guilty until proven innocent” definition of member in good standing. Police and firefighters should not lose their “good standing” status until all appeals have been exhausted and the decision is final.
  • The bill defines an “ordinary disability beneficiary” as a member retired on an ordinary disability retirement benefit for five years or less. The amended definition of “infectious disease” takes effect upon enactment and applies retroactively to January 1, 2020.
  • Presuming PTSD, when diagnosed, is work-related and removing the unusual event required to trigger coverage.  Application must be made within five years of incident/injury. While police and firefighters receive extensive training and are exposed to a variety of horrific circumstances, they remain susceptible to PTSD and should receive appropriate care for this condition.
  • Clarifying that the city is responsible for the cost of all necessary medical care for work-related injuries. Disease application, including for mental disorders, must be made within five years. All other incidents that require cities to provide cost of hospital, nursing and medical attention must be commenced within two years of the date of injury/disease. The workers’ compensation system requires all other employers to pay lifetime medical benefits to injured employees, regardless of how long the care takes or when it occurs.
  • Including cumulative injuries to be covered as workplace injuries. The duties performed by Iowa police and firefighters can and do take a toll on the body over time. Police and firefighters deserve to have these injuries covered just like every other Iowan.
  • Allowing police and firefighters to apply for disability benefits when they discover a work-related injury exists.  Such injuries are not always obvious. Police and firefighters deserve the opportunity to show an injury was caused by the performance of their duty, regardless of when the injury is discovered.

Fiscal Impacts:

  • 411-member contribution rate will be increased for any statutory changes, if the increase cannot be absorbed within the current contribution rates, to a maximum of 11.35%. Costs would then be applied 60/40 between the employer and employee.
  • HF 797 is estimated to increase administrative costs for the MFPRSI by $50,000 to $100,000 annually due to increased medical exams. Any increased administrative costs for the MFPRSI will be paid from the Fire and Police Retirement Fund. The unfunded actuarial accrued liability of the Municipal Fire and Police Retirement Fund is estimated to increase in FY22 by approximately $4.3 million, and the funded ratio would decrease from 79.93% to 79.83%. The FY22 cost for increasing the members’ contribution rate from 9.40% to 9.55% is approximately $492,000, or $120 per employee. In subsequent fiscal years, this cost may increase based on covered payroll.
    [3/30: 14-0 (Excused: Goodwin)]