Many New Laws Passed in 2021 Session Now in Effect

July 1, 2021

July, 1, 2021 marks the first day of the new fiscal year for the State of Iowa. Legislation passed and signed by the Governor defaults to the first day of the new fiscal year if it does not provide specific dates for when the laws go into effect. 

Here are a few examples of these laws:

HF 283 - Penalties for Defrauding Drug and Alcohol Tests - ABI members reported that job applicants at multiple manufacturing sites were attempting to pass drug testing requirements by using synthetic urine. No penalties existed for this behavior and those caught in such behavior were free to attempt to defraud the next employer. The new law allows employers to refer those that attempt to defraud drug tests for criminal prosecution. ABI was a proponent of this change.

HF 302 -  Eliminate “Cliff Effect” for Child Care Assistance - ABI members have relayed instances where employees have turned down career advancement opportunities and promotions because accepting such opportunities would eliminate the employee’s eligibility for tax credits supporting child care, leaving families worse-off. HF 302 seeks to solve this problem by reducing benefits gradually as income rises over time. ABI was a proponent of this change.

HF 775 -  Agricultural Trespass -  Responding to animal rights groups and aggressive tactics by other groups that trespass onto animal feeding and food processing facilities with the intent of disrupting the food supply, the legislature acted to make certain trespass and surreptitious recording or sampling of animals a criminal activity. ABI was a proponent of this change. 

HF 813 -  Charter Schools - Charter schools have been legal in Iowa for some time but proponents of this legislation argued that requiring a local school board to sign off on the new charters stifled the development of such schools.  Now a charter school must receive permission to form and is subject to oversight from the Iowa Department of Education.

SF 342 - Back the Blue - This is an omnibus bill to support law enforcement in Iowa by providing qualified immunity to officers in the conduct of their duty along with enhanced workers compensation benefits and health care coverage.  ABI was involved to help tailor the changes to workers’ compensation to the public employees that were the subject of the legislation.