Ways & Means Committee – Week 15, 2021


SF 542 – Onetime rebates for renewing alcoholic licenses or permits

SF 542 requires the Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) of the Department of Commerce to provide the holder of an annual license or annual permit to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption, a rebate on the renewal fee for such license or permit. Holders with Class A, B, C or Special C license or annual permit to sell alcoholic beverages with expiration date between May 6, 2020, and May 5, 2021, will not be required to pay the annual fee. Class C or D licenses with expiration date between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022, will not be required to pay the annual fee renewal. If the holder has already paid their license or permit fee, ABD will refund fee payment. Local authorities will retain any remittances already made, and ABD will pay local authorities a sum equal to the work they did if they provided the first level of license approval. The bill takes effect upon enactment.

Since May 6, 2020, the Governor has allowed ABD to defer acceptance of fees for permits. More than 5,600 licenses have been deferred. That represents more than $7 million.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

SF 550 – Excessive weights for hauling milk products

SF 550 allows the Iowa Department of Transportation to issue annual permits to vehicles transporting fluid milk products in excess of current weight limits, but not to exceed 20,000 pounds per axle and not to exceed a gross weight of 90,000 pounds. The bill creates an annual fee of $400 for fluid milk haulers and creates penalties from $12 to $2,200, plus 10-cents per pound in excess of the 20,000-pound weight limit.

The committee adopted language passed by the House in their version of the bill (HF 869) so that the new excessive weight permits are for use on primary roads and primary road extensions in cities only. The amendment also delays the effective date of the legislation until January 1, 2022.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

SSB 1240 – Sales tax holiday for emergency preparedness supplies

SSB 1240 would add “emergency preparedness supplies” to the types of goods that would be exempt from sales tax during the “back-to-school” sales tax holiday. The bill is supported by local emergency management who see this as a way for them to encourage citizens to be prepared and plan ahead for potential disasters and emergency situations. There are concerns about the lengthy list of eligible products and whether they would truly be purchased for the purpose of “emergency preparedness.”
[4/20: 11-5 (No: Bolkcom, Dickey, Jochum, Petersen, T. Taylor; Absent: Schultz)]

SSB 1248 – Income tax exemption for National Guard service

SSB 1248 would extend the existing income tax exemption for military service to include pay received for required drills and field exercises, as well as certain operational support personnel and dual-status technicians.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

SSB 1254 – Food bank sales tax exemption

SSB 1254 would exempt from sales tax goods and services sold to a nonprofit food bank. The goods and services must be used by the food bank for the charitable purposes of the food bank.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

HF 367 – Income tax exemption for proceeds from a burial trust

HF 367 would exempt the proceeds from a burial trust account from being subject to state income tax. A burial trust is for pre-payment of burial expenses. In some cases, the amount in the trust exceeds the costs of the burial. In that event, excess funds from the trust are treated as income for the beneficiary. The bill would exclude those proceeds from the calculation of income for Iowa income tax purposes.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

HF 369 – Adoption tax credit – increase in eligible expenses

HF 369 would increase the maximum amount of expenses that are eligible to be claimed for the adoption tax credit. For 2022, the maximum amount would rise to $7,500. That amount would increase again for years 2023 and beyond to $10,000. The current maximum amount of eligible expenses that can be claimed is $5,000.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

HF 523 – Flood mitigation as essential county purpose

HF 523 would add flood-mitigation practices, strategies and structures to the list of essential county purposes established in Code. Counties are generally allowed to incur debt and issue general obligation bonds for the performance of essential purposes. This will allow a county to perform flood-mitigation projects in unincorporated areas of the county. Cities currently have this authority, but they are limited in where they are allowed to perform flood mitigation work. The bill is being promoted by Muscatine County as a way for them to create flood protection for areas increasingly under the threat of flood damage but are outside of the areas where a city can perform the work.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

HF 711 – Probate fees

HF 711 is a bill that the Probate Section of the Bar Association has been trying to get passed for many years. It relates to court costs (fees) charged an estate when a decedent’s estate is probated (settled through the court). The Bar Association claims that counties are assessing court costs differently, resulting in inconsistencies across Iowa. This bill will exclude certain types of property when calculating court costs when an estate is being probated. Excluded property includes joint tenancy property, transfers during a decedent’s lifetime and assets payable directly to beneficiaries.
[4/20: Short form (Absent: Schultz)]

SSB 1268 – Department of Revenue “modernization” proposal

SSB 1268 is a Department of Revenue proposal that makes a number of changes to the administration of taxes to streamline and improve the process as the department transitions to a more modern and integrated computer system.

Division I of the bill includes a number of changes to current practices for the calculation of penalties, the amounts those penalties are applied to and how the department would apply waivers to those penalties under the system being designed. The division also updates terminology (e.g., changing “tax due or shown to be due” to more simple “unpaid tax”) to eliminate inconsistencies as well as update language to conform to current department practice on the application of payments that are due across multiple payment periods.

Division II of the bill will establish a more streamlined process for the filing of returns by pass-through entities (including LLCs, S-corps, etc.). These changes are being proposed now so that they can be incorporated into the design phase of that portion of the modernization of the tax administration system. The new system will require a pass-through entity to file a composite return for all nonresident owners of the entity. Currently, the pass-through entity must withhold the nonresident owners estimated Iowa tax liability as they would withholding taxes. The nonresident owner then can file a tax return to either claim a refund for overpayment of their portion of the withholding or for any taxes due. Requiring the filing of a composite return for all nonresident owners relieves the pass-through entity of the need to withhold estimated taxes monthly, as well as the maintaining the return and withholding preferences of individual owners. The pass-through entity will instead pay estimated Iowa taxes owed by the nonresident owner based on the nonresident owner’s Iowa-sourced income at the applicable Iowa tax rate. This will also eliminate the need for a nonresident owner to file their own Iowa income tax return, except to claim a credit for any out-of-state taxes paid on the Iowa-sourced income. The current system doesn’t provide a clear picture of whether or not the full Iowa tax liability is being paid by nonresident owners, as well as creating confusion among those taxpayers with the current system of withholding, estimated payments and optional composite filing.

Division III amends portions of HF 309 regarding public agency disclosures of personal information of donors to nonprofits. The department is concerned that portions of the bill would require the department to subpoena records to conduct audits or other activities. To address these concerns, this bill clarifies the applicability of HF 309 so that the department will not be construed to be in violation of the bill under these actions:

  • Identifying a person as a representative, responsible party, employee, withholding agent, or other signatory or contact of a tax-exempt entity on any return, form, application or other document required to be filed with the department;
  • Exercising powers under Code section 422.70 (general powers —— hearings);
  • Disclosing information sought pursuant to a contested case;
  • Disclosing information expressly required by law, including disclosures pursuant to Code section 411.11S (student tuition organization tax credit).

The bill additionally clarifies that the restrictions in HF 309 will not be construed to entitle any taxpayer or tax-exempt entity to any deduction, exemption, credit or other tax position that the taxpayer or exempt entity is unable to substantiate with sufficient evidence.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Quirmbach, Schultz)]

SSB 1269 – Economic Development Authority – business and housing incentive programs

SSB 1269 contains some provisions from SSB 1197, which was a proposal by the Economic Development Authority (IEDA), as well as SF 295, which was the Governor’s comprehensive affordable housing bill. SSB 1269 does not include a number of issues that were originally a part of those bills and does much less in terms of expanding affordable housing programs around the state than the Governor’s original proposal.

Division I – High Quality Jobs and Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credits

The bill makes these changes to the total amount of tax credits that IEDA has the authority to award to companies under the High-Quality Jobs (HQJ) program and the Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credit program.

The bill reduces the total amount of tax credits that IEDA has available to allocate to various incentive programs by $35 million.

Beginning with FY22, IEDA will have $70 million available to allocate to its business incentive programs. The current annual cap for tax credits that can be awarded by IEDA is $105 million.

The bill also reduces the maximum amount of Renewable Chemical Production Tax Credits that can be issued in any year from $10 million to $5 million. The latest report issued by IEDA on the program showed it issued just over $1.25 million in credits to two companies in FY20. The total issued over the last three years is just under $2.8 million.

Division II – High Quality Jobs (HQJ) – Eligibility Requirements

Division II would allow IEDA to account for reductions in operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic when reviewing a company’s eligibility for awards under the HQJ program. Currently, a reduction in operations is presumed when there is a reduction any time in the previous 12 months, and would make the company ineligible for assistance from the program.

Division III – Manufacturing 4.0

Division II establishes a “Manufacturing 4.0 Technology Investment Program” (M4.0TI). Manufacturing 4.0 is the process of updating existing manufacturing processes to include specialized hardware, software or other equipment that will improve the manufacturer’s productivity, efficiency and competitiveness.

The bill establishes a manufacturing 4.0 technology investment fund to assist in financing qualified investments. The fund is meant to operate as a revolving loan fund, using funds appropriated by the Legislature or other funds available to IEDA lawfully used for that purpose. There is no appropriation to the fund in this bill. The bill also authorizes IEDA to transfer money from this fund to any other funds under IEDA control, except for funds that have been appropriated to the M4.0TI fund by the Legislature.

The bill lays out the process and requirements for a company to apply to IEDA for assistance from the fund. Applications will be reviewed by IEDA and may include an outside technical review panel. The application must be assessed by the Center for Industrial Research and Service at Iowa State University to ensure that the proposed investment is consistent with M4.0TI project guidelines.

Division IV – Energy Infrastructure Revolving Loan Program

This division of the bill winds down the existing Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP) and transitions those funds to a new Energy Infrastructure Revolving Loan Program. The current AERLP provides zero-interest loans to develop alternative energy production and small hydroelectric energy facilities.

This Energy Infrastructure Revolving Loan Program would not be focused solely on developing alternative energy production. It would aid with energy infrastructure, including:

  • Electric and gas generation transmission, storage, or distribution infrastructure;
  • Electric grid modernization;
  • Energy-sector workforce development;
  • Emergency preparedness for rural and underserved areas;
  • Expansion of biomass, biogas, and renewable natural gas;
  • Innovative technologies;
  • Development of infrastructure for alternative fuel vehicles.

Division V – Workforce Housing Tax Incentives

This bill provides a $5 million increase for the Workforce Housing Tax Incentive Program, raising the total to $30 million annually. The $5 million increase is set aside for the “small cities” portion of the program. This will even the amount of money for projects in the “small cities” program with those in the largest 11 counties of the state.

Division VI – Redevelopment tax credits – brownfields and grayfields

This division would extend the Brownfields And Grayfields Redevelopment Tax Credit Program by 10 years to 2031.

Division VII – PPP fix for fiscal year tax filers

This division includes language from SF 364 that will fix an issue with the Iowa income tax exemption for the proceeds from a forgiven loan under the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The language granting the exemption last session in SF 2641 was specific to taxes owed for 2020 and later. Since this was passed, the federal government clarified the law to allow certain business expense deductions paid for using those loan proceeds. The language from SF 2641 inadvertently excludes fiscal year tax filers from the business expense provisions for loans they received during their FY19 tax year. The bill extends the business expenses deduction to those tax filers. This will be effective upon enactment.

The Senate passed this language earlier this session in a stand-alone bill. However, the House added a number of other provisions to the bill, including a version of pandemic unemployment benefits tax exemption that was paid for by a transfer from the Taxpayer Trust Fund to the General Fund. Since then, most pandemic unemployment benefits were made exempt from income tax because of Iowa’s rolling conformity with federal tax changes. The American Rescue Plan exempted $10,200 in unemployment benefits from income taxes, which was automatically incorporated into the Iowa tax system.

Division VIII – Removal of triggers for Contingent Income Tax System

This division of the bill mirrors language that was already included in two bills passed by the Senate, SF 576 (Removal of Triggers and Phase-out of the inheritance tax) and SF 587 (mental health funding/property taxes). This bill removes the “triggers” that must be met to move to the contingent individual income tax system established as part of SF 2417 in 2018 and make the new system effective for Tax Year 2023. Under SF 2417, the contingent tax system only goes into effect after Tax Year 2023 when two conditions are met: General Fund net receipts for FY22 (or after) exceed $8.31 billion, and net General Fund receipts for that year grow at least 4% above the year prior (equal to or more than 104% of previous year’s net receipts).

Under the contingent tax system, the basis for determining Iowa taxable income will be calculated on federal taxable income. This will incorporate all federal tax deductions into the Iowa tax code and will eliminate many of the Iowa specific adjustments to taxable income. The bill removes the state standard deduction but will bring federal standard or itemized deductions into the Iowa tax code by using federal taxable income as the base. One of the largest changes under the contingent tax system is the removal of the Iowa deduction for federal taxes paid, which is known as “federal deductibility.” This massive deduction makes Iowa’s income tax rates appear artificially high and less competitive than other states.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 728 – Septic tanks – prohibit penalties for certain local ordinances

HF 728 would prohibit a local government from requiring a resident to pay a penalty, fine or fee for noncompliance with local rules regarding pumping as part of routine maintenance.

This legislation is in response to an ordinance adopted in Story County that requires routine maintenance to take place on septic tanks—which can include pumping the tank—every five years. Iowa Department of Natural Resources and EPA guidelines recommend servicing septic systems every three to five years, but those are not regulatory requirements.
[4/21: 10-5 (No: Bolkcom, Jochum, Petersen, Quirmbach, Taylor; Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 828 – Commercial Driver’s License testing fees

HF 828 establishes fees for scheduling a commercial driver’s license (CDL) driving skills test and administering each of the three required tests. The scheduling fee will be $25. The fee for conducting the three required tests will be $25 for each test. These fees do not apply to private third-party vendors who administer these tests. There are also certain exemptions for people who are employed and volunteer for a government entity.

The bill encourages the Iowa Department of Transportation to establish a scheduling process for applicants, other than at the same site as the required knowledge test.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 838 – IID Omnibus

HF 838 is a departmental recommendation by the Iowa Insurance Division (IID). It includes clean-up language, clarifications requested by the Legislative Services Agency, and updates to correspond with recent federal laws and regulations. It also strengthens consumer protections in the Division’s regulatory authority of pre-need funeral arrangements, and raises an enforcement fee for cemeteries that are in receivership. IID currently is the receiver of three cemeteries (Fort Dodge, Dubuque and Clinton) and, with financial stresses and aging ownerships, likely will see more.

The bill also contains language that would give the Insurance Commissioner broad authority to develop a “state innovation waiver” under the Affordable Care Act that would be submitted to the federal government and implement any changes approved by the federal government through emergency rulemaking. The commissioner has stated that they have no plans to do develop a waiver or request approval at this time.

The committee adopted an amendment to strike language passed in the House requesting a “Health Insurance Mandates” study committee. Several groups expressed concerns in the subcommittee with the make-up of the board as well as the failure to consider the benefits/outcomes instead of just costs imposed on carriers. Additionally, the amendment removes the bill’s language that would allow the division to set and change fees by rule; fees will remain set in statute. The amendment will also lower the fee for submitting motor vehicle service contract forms from $50 to $35.
[4/21: 12-3 (No: Bolkcom, Petersen, Quirmbach; Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 846 – Surviving spouse transfer fees

HF 846 will waive fees for the transfer of title for snowmobiles, ATVs and boating vessels when the transfer is to the surviving spouse of the owner. This process already exists for vehicles, and the bill will extend this waiver of fees to recreational vehicles as well.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 847 – Education Omnibus: Flex Programs, Tax Credits, Athletic Eligibility, Open Enrollment

Bill Summary (with amendment changes):

Flex Account Program: School districts and nonpublic schools are currently allowed to waive high school offer-and-teach requirements by applying for and receiving an innovative curriculum waiver. The Flexible Student and School Support Program (FS3) established in the bill would allow the waiver of offer-and-teach requirements for grades one through 12 to create programs that focus on a certain area of academics or on student well-being.

Transfer Teacher Leadership (TLC) Funds: Schools may transfer Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) funds to the school district’s flex account. Statewide, 276 school districts carried forward $45 million in teacher leadership funds, an average of $163,000 per district. Currently, the flex account allows schools to transfer unexpended PreK, profession development and HSAP funds into their flex accounts.

Teacher Salary Supplement (TSS) Funds: If a school district has more than 5% of its total TSS funding in carry-forward, it must be paid out to eligible teachers. Schools have carried over $10.5 million of TSS funding in ending balances. This subsection is repealed July 1, 2023.

Education Tax Credits (Effective upon enactment and applies retroactively to January 1, 2021)

  • Currently teachers can deduct up to $250 in qualified classroom expenses. The bill increases the deduction maximum to $500 per taxpayer. This has an estimated fiscal impact of $410,000 in FY22. 
  • The bill adds homeschooling eligibility to the tuition and textbook tax credit and doubles the credit to a maximum of $250 to the first 25% of the first $2,000 (max of $500). Current fiscal impact is $15 million. The bill will increase this by $11 million in FY22, for a total of $26 million. 

Athletic Eligible Changes: The bill changes the 90-day period to be counted using calendar days instead of school days, which has the effect of shorting the sit-time. 

  • AMENDMENT: Strikes this and reverts back to current code to using school days.

Sit-Time for Athletic Eligibility – Decreased for Open Enrollment

Currently, a high school athlete that open enrolls is ineligible to participate varsity interscholastic athletic contests during their first 90 days, except if they transferred because of bullying or harassment. The bill adds immediate eligibility if the following occur:

  • AMENDMENT: Adds if a student open enrolls in a different district or nonpublic school anytime during the 2020-2021 school year, and reenrolls in their home district before July 1, 2021, they will be eligible to participate in sports immediately. Effective upon enactment and retroactive to July 2020.
  • If the student’s district of residence makes a decision that results in the discontinuance or suspension of varsity interscholastic sports activities (Des Moines). This provision is effective upon enactment and applies retroactively to July 1, 2020. 
  • If the sending and receiving districts both agree to waive the ineligibility period. This provision takes effect upon enactment and is retroactive back to July 1, 2020.
  • If the student’s district of residence had a voluntary diversity plan.
  • If the student participates in open enrollment because of circumstances that meet the new definitions of “good cause” as amended in the bill (see next point).

Open Enrollment – Good Cause if School is “Significant Need for Improvement”

  • The bill adds to the list of items to determine “good cause,” the determination that the resident district is identified as in “significant need for improvement.” If a district’s denial of an open enrollment application involves their inability to respond to a student’s “failure to meet basic academic standards,” that decision may also be appealed to the Iowa State Board of Education. 

Open Enrollment – Preschool Special Ed and Child’s Residence (HF 385 insert; Passed House 96-0)

  • The bill matches HF 385, making the open enrollment deadline of September 1 applicable for kindergarten to also apply to students enrolled in special education programs. After the open enrollment deadline, a student could still open enroll if there is “good cause.” The definition of “good cause” is expanded to include a change in a child’s residence from the residence of one parent to a different parent or guardian. 

Open Enrollment Date Specified (HF 316 insert; Passed House 94-0)

Division III matches HF 316, which requires the sending district to apply payments to the receiving district in a timely manner when the parent or guardian of an open-enrolled student moves to a different school district during the district’s academic year.

Transportation Assistance: Increases eligibility requirements for students from household incomes of 200% or less of the federal poverty level.

School Board Powers and Duties: A school corporation is entrusted with public funds to improve student outcomes, including but not limited to student academic achievement and skill proficiency. The school board is in charge of overseeing such improvement.

Work-Based Learning Coordinator and Special Education Coordinator Added to Operational Sharing: Starting in FY22, a work-based learning coordinator and/or Special Education Director would be added to the list of operational functions eligible for supplementary weighting of three pupils. The bill also reduces the operational function assigned weighting of five pupils to four pupils, and those operational functions assigned weighting of three pupils to two pupils beginning with budget years starting July 1, 2022. This will be a $2.5 million reduction in costs to the state of the operations sharing program.

The committee adopted an amendment to the overall bill with these changes and additions to HF 847 as passed by the House, along with other items noted in the bill summary:

  • Pledge of Allegiance: Requires the pledge of allegiance to be administered in grades 1-12 every day.
  • Face Coverings in Schools: Allows the principal to allow students to not wear face coverings as required or recommended by an entity, if the principal believes that no face covering is in the best interest of the student.  Language applies COVID limited liability and “safe harbor” provisions to this action.
  • Charter School Changes: 
    • Places a limit on the number of charters able to be approved by the state board. The limit will allow one attendance center per level (elementary, middle and secondary) per 10,000 students in a geographic area. This provision will sunset in five years.
    • Requires charter schools to abide by Chapter 22.
    • Requires the chief administrator of a charter to have BOEE authorization under 272 or a statement of professional recognition that will be developed by the BOEE by December 31, 2021.
    • Changes language to clarify that the charter school must notify the student by March 1 of the school year preceding the year of enrollment.
    • Clarifies that charter schools must submit an annual report to the state board.  
  • STO Tax Credit: Increases the tax credit from 65% to 75% of the donation, and makes this change retroactive to January 1, 2021. The bill also increases the overall program cap for STO tax credits to $20 million.
    [4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 865 – Filing requirements for business property tax credit

HF 865 removes a requirement that a property owner re-file for the business property tax credit on the remaining portion of a property when they transfer, sell or otherwise change ownership for a portion of the property.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]

SF 442 – Flood mitigation as essential county purpose

SF 442 would add flood-mitigation practices, strategies and structures to the list of essential county purposes established in Code. Counties are generally allowed to incur debt and issue general obligation bonds for the performance of essential purposes. This will allow a county to perform flood-mitigation projects in unincorporated areas of the county. Cities currently have this authority, but they are limited in where they are allowed to perform flood mitigation work. The bill is being promoted by Muscatine County as a way for them to create flood protection for areas increasingly under the threat of flood damage but are outside of the areas where a city can perform the work.

This bill is identical to HF 523, which the committee approved on April 20. However, that bill would not be eligible for debate under the joint rules. To address the issue, the committee moved out the Senate version so that they can be attached as Ways and Means bills on the calendar.
[4/21: Short form (Absent: Schultz, Whiting)]


HF 855– Adult adoptees obtaining copies of original birth certificates

HF 855 provides a process for those who were adopted to obtain a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate after they turn 18. If the adopted person is deceased, their spouse or any relative within the second degree of consanguinity may request a non-certified copy of their birth certificate. Current Iowa law prohibits those who were adopted from obtaining a copy of their original birth certificate.

The State Registrar of Vital Statistics at the Department of Public Health will develop a contact preference form on which a birth parent may state a preference regarding contact by the person who was adopted or their relative. In addition, the Registrar is to develop a medical history form on which a birth parent may provide family medical history. If a birth parent fills out these forms, the Registrar will attach them to the original birth certificate and the adoption decree, and the forms will be provided to the adult adoptee or relative who applies for and receives a copy of the original birth certificate and adoption decree. A birth parent may fill out a contact form and a medical form indicating that they do not wish to be contacted and require that any personally identifiable information on the copy of the original birth certificate, the contact form or medical form be redacted.

The Senate adopted an amendment on the floor to restrict the cost of the new certificate to the same as an original certified copy of a birth certificate. The fee is $15.
[4/21: 46-0 (Absent: Mathis, Nunn, Schultz, Whiting)]

HF 588– Herbert Hoover Presidential Library tax credit

HF 588 would establish an income tax credit for Iowa taxpayers who make donations to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum Renovation Project Fund. The credit is 25% of the donated amount with a maximum credit of $250,000 per taxpayer. The total amount of credits that can be issued under the program is $5 million. The credit program is modeled after the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program and is designed to help generate $20 million in donations for a major renovation of the Hoover Presidential Library in West Branch.

Tax credits issued under the program are not transferrable or refundable. They can be applied to individual, corporate, franchise, insurance premium, and moneys and credits taxes. Unused credits can be carried forward for a five-year period.
[4/21: 46-0 (Absent: Mathis, Nunn, Schultz, Whiting)]

SF 581 – Deer depredation program and population study

SF 581 would make a number of changes with the goal to increase the deer harvest and reduce the deer population. These changes include:

The bill also requires the DNR to conduct a deer population study for each county, including a review of environmental impact such as damage to crops and trees because of excessive deer populations and the spread of disease in wildlife, as well as information on property loss, medical costs and fatalities due to deer-vehicle accidents.

The Senate adopted an amendment on the floor to change the civil penalty for illegally taking an antlerless deer to $500 from the $200 in the bill.
[4/21: 32-14 (Yes: Republicans, Bisignano, Kinney, Petersen; Absent: Mathis, Nunn, Schultz, Whiting)]