Commerce Committee – Week 4, 2022


SSB 3057 — Public utility access to public road rights-of-way

SSB 3057 relates to access by public utilities to certain public roads. Currently, a public utility may construct, operate, repair or maintain its utility facilities within a public road right-of-way. The law does not address whether an agency can require a public utility to use an agency’s conduit as a condition of accessing a public road.

Following Committee discussion, it was agreed that the proposal needs additional work. To keep the bill eligible for possible debate this session, it was moved without recommendation. Stakeholders will continue to work with legislators to craft a compromise amendment.
[2/2: WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION, short form (Excused: Chapman, Nunn)] 

SSB 3030 — Eliminating required no-smoking postings

SSB 3030 eliminates the specific requirements for posting “no smoking” signs or the international “no smoking” symbol by the owner, operator or manager of a location where smoking is prohibited under Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act (Ch. 142D). It does not prohibit posting the signs or symbols.

The Iowa Department of Public will continue to provide signs at no charge. No lobbyists registered in favor or opposed. Those monitoring the legislation include the Iowa Citizen Action Network/CAFÉ Iowa (Clean Air for Everyone), American Heart Association, Iowa Environmental Health Association, Iowa Auto Dealers, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Iowa Chamber Alliance, Iowa Restaurant Association, Iowa Hotel and Lodging Association and the Department of Public Health.

There is no House companion.
[2/2: short form (No: Mathis, Petersen, Quirmbach; Excused: Chapman, Nunn)]   

SSB 3058— Funeral, cemetery services and pre-need purchases

SSB 3058 is a recommendation by the Iowa Insurance Division that makes changes in Iowa Code 523A, dealing with funeral and cemetery services and pre-need purchases.

The bill:

  • Removes a requirement for a CPA report as part of the sale of a business or its assets and replaces it with disclosure requirements that facilitate the buyer’s due diligence process more cheaply than the CPA process.  
  • Requires that if the purchase agreement will be funded by the purchase of a new insurance policy, any payment made by the purchaser must be made payable only to the insurance company.  
  • Requires that if the purchase agreement will be funded by the purchase of a new annuity, any payment made by the purchaser must be made payable only to the insurance company.   
  • Requires sales agents and those who own at least 5% of a pre-need seller to disclose to the Insurance Commissioner any felonies and any misdemeanors that involve dishonesty or false statements of which they are found guilty or plead guilty or no contest, any liens or judgments over $20,000 entered against them, or a bankruptcy filings.
  • Requires a business continuity plan that will be incorporated into the exam program. This will ensure consumers get what they purchased irrespective of illness, cyber incident, tornado or other emergency situation that may impact the pre-need seller.  
  • Clarifies that where a purchase agreement is funded by insurance or annuity proceeds, growth and interest that accrues on guaranteed contracts or guaranteed portions of contracts accrues to the pre-need seller’s benefit, and growth and interest on non-guaranteed contracts or portions of contracts accrues to the consumer’s benefit.  
  • Adds 523A.505 (Purchase Agreements) and 523A.605 (Fraudulent Practices and Other Violations) to the list of criminal fraud sections in 523A.807(3) for which the Insurance Commissioner may issue a civil penalty or order in the case of a violation.

The Iowa Funeral Directors Association and Federation of Iowa Insurers support the bill. The Iowa State Bar Association, Older Iowans Legislature (OIL) and the Iowa Department of Public Health are monitoring the legislation. The companion bill is HF 2155.
[2/2: short form (Excused: Chapman, Nunn)]