Legislative action on bills

February 16, 2017

There are two weeks left until the first legislative funnel, and ABI’s public policy team is monitoring 300 bills on behalf of members. Committee action continued this week and pro-business legislation continues to advance. Below are a few bills we are monitoring on behalf of members. Some have been listed in prior newsletters and others are new this week.

SSB 1047:  This is Gov. Terry Branstad’s priority bill, and it encourages school districts to establish a computer science program. The goal is to expose students to opportunities, especially since so many jobs in the workforce involve computers. The Senate Education Committee addressed this bill Wednesday afternoon. Senators on both sides of the aisle commented on the bill and ultimately the bill advanced with no opposition. The House version, HF 107, was just introduced this week and has not yet moved forward.
ABI position:  For
Staff Contact:  Brad Hartkopf

SSB 1097/HSB 108: The companion bills were brought forward as recommendations of an Alcoholic Beverage Division/Economic Development Authority Task Force. ABI members include companies which manufacture wine and distilled spirits in the state of Iowa. These companies provide a benefit to the local economy and encourage tourism, many times in rural Iowa. ABI supports the legislation to level the playing field for our distilled spirits members and encourage growth of the industry in Iowa.
ABI position: For
Staff contact: Nicole Crain

SSB 1101 / HSB 109: Another is another priority of Branstad’s focused on keeping Iowans safe on the road and preventing distracted driving. The bill would ban the use of electronic devices while driving and make texting while driving a primary offense. A subcommittee has been scheduled for Mon. Feb 20 at noon in the Iowa House. ABI is monitoring this legislation and seeking feedback from members.
ABI has not taken a position on this bill.
Staff contact:

HSB 86: This proposed legislation defines what is considered a commercial installation and subject to inspection. When the electrical licensing bill passed in 2007, agriculture was exempt from the legislation. Through decisions by the Electrical Examining Board, some agriculture installations became subject to inspection. This bill’s intent is to clarify those installations are not subject to inspection. Brad Hartkopf attended a subcommittee on Thursday where several questions were raised including a request to define industrial installation. ABI will watch this bill for any changes to industrial or commercial inspections.
ABI position: Undecided
Staff contact: Nicole Crain/Jessica Harder/Brad Hartkopf

SSB 1046 /HF 61: The bills would require assignment of benefits in dental insurance that would disincentivize dentists from being part of an insurance network, thus potentially driving up costs for employers who provide dental insurance to their employees. The bill also requires coordination of benefits which could change how employers control costs for employees within the same organization who may have double coverage. The House version passed out of subcommittee on Monday and a subcommittee took place on the Senate version this afternoon.
ABI position: Opposed
Staff contact: Nicole Crain/Jessica Harder

SF 165: The Senate State Government Committee on Monday took up SF 165, which allows companies who manufacture products in Iowa the opportunity to competitively bid for contracts from state agencies and departments. Currently, a department or agency must receive a waiver from the Department of Corrections in order to buy outside of Iowa Prison Industries. An amendment came forward and was approved. The amendment provided clarity to say that Iowa Prison Industries can also submit bids. The bill was approved and is now SF 252. A companion bill, HF 293, has already passed the House State Government Committee.
ABI Position:  For
Staff Contact:  Brad Hartkopf