ABI Priorities Advance Ahead of Next Week’s First Legislative Funnel

February 25, 2021

Week seven of the 2021 Iowa legislative session is finished, and ABI legislative priorities continue to advance. In action that started Monday and concluded early Tuesday morning, the Iowa House Labor Committee passed HSB 203, which makes reforms to the Iowa Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund (IUITF) long sought by ABI. For a summary of the legislation, click here. The bill passed and is now eligible for floor debate. A Senate companion, SSB 1172, received approval from the Senate Labor Committee on Thursday afternoon and is eligible for debate in the full Senate. Please consider contacting your legislator and asking them to support the legislation. You can view a list of other key bills that saw action this week below.

Related: Des Moines Register: Iowa Republicans, labor groups square off over plan to cut unemployment benefits

  • HSB 233 – Manufacturing 4.0 Legislation – On Tuesday, HSB 233 advanced through a subcommittee in the House. The legislation includes language that would increase investment in community and quality of life initiatives, but also focuses on Manufacturing 4.0 and smart technologies. Included in the bill is language that provides funding for companies that invest in new technologies. The legislation also includes accelerated first-year depreciation. A similar bill, SSB 1197, has been introduced in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. ABI served on the advanced manufacturing workgroup that provided feedback to establish the recommendations released by Gov. Reynolds last week. ABI position: For.
  • SSB 1049 – Freight Forwarder Tax Issue – ABI is fortunate to have members that are engaged in interstate consumer shipping and delivery. Surprisingly, those members find themselves treated differently under the Iowa corporate income tax law based on the early structure of those entities. The legislation, which passed the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, will create an even playing field without raising taxes. ABI position: For.
  • HSB 217/SSB 1210 – Motor Vehicle Tort Reform – Both chambers have held subcommittees on legislation that limits the tort liability of businesses that employ drivers for trucking and delivery. The bills limit the legal exposure of such firms for the acts of their employee drivers. ABI position: For.
  • SSB 1126/HF 555 – The legislation preempts local counties and cities from passing ordinances that would ban the use of natural gas and propane in their jurisdictions. SSB 1126 passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee this week and a companion bill in the House is currently on the House debate calendar. Actions in the state of California have several states looking to take similar preemptive action. California is now phasing out natural gas service for new construction. The bill would prevent local governments from doing the same in Iowa. ABI position: For.
  • HF 309 – Individual Privacy Protections – On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that relates to the protection of privacy of individuals who are involved with tax exemption organizations. The bill prohibits a public agency from seeking the disclosure of, or publishing, personal information from a 501(c) tax-exempt organization that would reveal the identity of a member, supporter, volunteer or donor of a tax-exempt organization, or from requesting from a contractor a listing of tax-exempt organizations that the contractor has supported. The bill, which passed 84-9, is important as it mitigates the opportunity for individuals to be negatively targeted for supporting a particular organization. It now heads to the Senate where a subcommittee has been assigned. ABI position: For.
  • HSB 218 – Adoption Mandate – A subcommittee and subsequently the House Commerce Committee passed HSB 218 this week. The bill requires that employers treat employees who adopt a child in the same manner as they would a biological parent of a newborn for purposes of employment policies, benefits and protections in the first year. The bill applies to children up to the age of 18. The Senate Labor Committee has passed identical legislation and both bills are now funnel-proof. ABI has encouraged lawmakers to consider narrowing the scope of this year’s bill to what the House passed last year in which the mandate would only apply to children up to the age of six. ABI position: Undecided.