Commerce Committee – Week 8, 2022


SF 2287 – Catalytic converter sales to scrap metal dealers  

SF 2287 provides for out-of-state business-to-business transactions; creates a separate section of Code to address used catalytic converter transactions; applies record-keeping requirements and penalties to anyone who purchases catalytic converters, not just to scrap metal dealers as defined in 714.27; and defines catalytic converters as having been previously installed on and subsequently detached from a motor vehicle.

The bill:

  • Provides that a person purchasing a catalytic converter who fails to record the name, address and place of business, if any, and make a copy of a matching photo ID is guilty of theft. Additionally, purchasers must retain a photo of the catalytic converter and a copy of the receipt/invoice/junking certificate/sheriff’s approval, or they can be charged with theft. For business-to-business transactions, a copy of the sales tax permit or business license is also required. Penalties range from a simple misdemeanor to a class “C” felony, depending on the value of the property.

  • Removes “catalytic converters” from the definition of scrap metal and strikes references to catalytic converter transactions in Ch. 714.27, and creates new section 714.27A that governs catalytic converter transactions.

  • Defines “business transaction” as being between a scrap metal dealer and any of the following, provided they operate from fixed locations:
  • Another scrap metal dealer
  • A vehicle recycler licensed under 321H
  • A motor vehicle dealer licensed under 322
  • An RV dealer licensed under 322C
  • A mechanic or employee of an automotive repair facility
  • Any of these entities operating in another state.

  • Defines catalytic converter as being previously installed on a motor vehicle and subsequently removed.

  • Requires a copy of a photo ID and a business sales tax permit or business license for a business transaction of catalytic converters.

  • Any transaction that is not a business transaction is subject to additional requirements including: provide an original receipt/invoice/junking certificate/sheriff’s approval dated within 30 days; upon sale, the original receipt/invoice/junking certificate/sheriff’s approval will be marked to indicate the catalytic converter was sold; and a copy of the photo ID, a copy of the marked receipt/invoice/junking certificate/sheriff’s approval and a photo of the catalytic converter must be retained by the scrap metal dealer for two years.

  • Purchasers of catalytic converters must have a fixed location in Iowa to purchase catalytic converters in the state.

  • Requires all catalytic converter transactions be paid by check or electronic funds transfer.

  • Pre-empts all local ordinances regarding scrap metal regulations.

  • Creates civil penalties for violations of the record-keeping requirements: 
  • $1,000 on the first offense
  • $5,000 on the second offense within two years
  • $10,000 on the third offense within two years

  • Allows purchasers that conduct a transaction in violation of the record-keeping and verification procedures to be charged with aiding and abetting the underlying theft of the catalytic converter and to be charged with being an accessory after the fact.

  • Creates the scheduled fines for violations of 714.27A:  
  • $1,000 on the first violation
  • $5,000 for the second violation within two years
  • $10,000 for the third violation within two years.
    [3/2: 44-4 (No: Dotzler, Lykam, Petersen, J. Smith; Absent: Kinney, Zumbach)]

SF 2305 – Port authorities

SF 2305 (SSB 3070) modifies requirements for the creation of port authorities, making it easier for local government entities to have joint projects and public-private partnerships. It allows for the creation of a port authority by one or more political subdivisions rather than by two or more, and a port authority may be created anywhere in Iowa, regardless of proximity to a body of water. The bill states that a port authority is separate from its political subdivisions, and powers granted to the port authority may be exercised whether or not the political subdivisions exercise those same powers.

Political subdivisions comprising the port authority may make contributions to it, in addition to appropriating or expending public funds as currently allowed by law to finance or subsidize the operation and authorized purposes of the port authority, and pay the costs and expenses incurred by the port authority. The subdivisions may enter into agreements with each other or the port authority under certain circumstances. Loan agreements or lease contracts can be secured by a trust agreement between the port authority and a corporate trustee. Political subdivisions comprising the port authority, the state or any political subdivisions of the state, and the holders or owners of obligations owed under a loan agreement or lease contract cannot have taxes levied by the state or by a state governmental taxing authority for payment of the principal of or interest owed on such obligations.

There is no House companion. Supporters include the Iowa League of Cities, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa Chamber Alliance, Central Iowa Water Trails, Iowa State Bar Association, Professional Developers of Iowa, Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Master Builders of Iowa and the Ames, Quad Cities, Dubuque, Council Bluffs and Marshalltown area chambers of commerce.
[3/2: 48-0 (Absent: Kinney, Zumbach)]

SF 2310 – Reorganization of multiple housing cooperatives

SF 2310 (SSB 3124) establishes reorganization options for cooperatives organized under Ch. 499A – Multiple Housing.   Entities organized under 499A have no avenue for reorganization and are also prohibited from making distributions unless they dissolve the entity. Cooperatives organized under Chapters 497, 498, 499 and 501 have reorganization and distribution opportunities. The bill adds – Multiple Housing to the definition of “domestic cooperative” and “traditional cooperative” in Ch. 501– The Iowa Cooperative Associations Act. This allows a 499A entity to merge with a limited liability company under Ch. 489, similar to the reorganization options cooperatives organized under Chapters 497, 498, 499 and 501 have. There are no new tax implications; owning rental property organized as a cooperative or an LLC are treated the same.
[3/2: 48-0 (Absent: Kinney, Zumbach)]

SF 2325 – IEDA omnibus

SF 2325 is an Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) proposal to modify provisions involving Workforce Housing Tax Incentives, the High-Quality Jobs Program and the Iowa Energy Center.

Workforce Housing Tax Incentives: IEDA may extend the project completion deadline for a project receiving workforce housing tax incentives only once, for up to 12 months. Recently, many projects have experienced construction delays caused by the increased cost of building materials, supply chain issues and workforce shortages due to the pandemic. Many projects will not be able to finish on time, even with an extension. The bill allows approval of one additional project completion deadline extension of up to 12 months in extenuating circumstances.

High Quality Jobs Program: IEDA may aid a business in an economically-distressed area that creates or retains jobs that pay a lower wage than that generally required for participation in the High-Quality Jobs Program. For the purposes of applying different wage thresholds, “economically distressed area” means a county that ranks among the bottom 33 of all Iowa counties, as measured by the average monthly unemployment level for the most recent 12-month period or the average annualized unemployment level for the most recent five-year period. The bill adds criteria to the “economically-distressed area” definition to include average weekly wage, family poverty rate, percent of population loss and percent of population older than 65. These changes will likely allow more rural counties to receive this designation. It also changes definitions of “small city” and “urban area” and streamlines burdensome reporting requirements for smaller communities. 

The Iowa Energy Center within IEDA: The Center has several purposes, including the support of public-private partnerships to assist with the development and commercialization of new energy technologies; support of rural and underserved areas and vulnerable populations by increased access to energy efficiency expertise, training and programs; cyber security preparedness for small utilities; encourage the growth of the alternative fuel vehicle market and the necessary infrastructure; and support efforts to modernize the electric grid infrastructure to bolster grid capacity.

The Energy Center Governing Board oversees existing loan agreements under the former Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program and will oversee the newly-established Energy Infrastructure Revolving Loan Program, as well the Energy Center Grants Program. This section sunsets in July. In June 2021, Executive Order 9 established the Carbon Sequestration Task Force to explore carbon sequestration and the opportunities it presents for economic development. The bill adds support of carbon management strategies to the purposes of the Energy Center, and extends the sunset to July 1, 2027.

Supporters include the Iowa Housing Partnership, Iowa Environmental Council, Iowa Chamber Alliance, Hubbell Realty, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Principal Financial, Metropolitan Coalition, Council Bluffs Chamber, Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives, Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities, Alliant Energy, MidAmerican Energy and Summit Carbon Solutions. Companion HF 2519 is on the House Ways and Means Calendar.  
[2/28: 45-0 (Absent: Carlin, Hogg, J. Taylor, Zaun, Zumbach)]


HF 2167 – Definition of ‘autism spectrum disorder’ for certain health care coverage

HF 2167 updates and conforms definitions of “autism spectrum disorder.” Currently, “autism spectrum disorders” are defined as any of the pervasive developmental disorders, including autistic disorder, Asperger’s disorder and pervasive developmental disorders not otherwise specified. Later definitions from private insurers included autism coverage as a “medical condition,” rather than a behavioral health condition. The Insurance Commissioner will define “autism spectrum disorder” consistent with definitions provided in the most recent edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This definition will cover group health policies, including State employees, other public employees in Iowa and applicable private group policies that offer autism spectrum disorder benefits beginning January 2023. HF 2167 by Human Resources passed the House unanimously.
[3/2: short form]