New Laws Go into Effect on July 1

June 28, 2018

Each year, the Iowa Legislature passes hundreds of pieces of legislation. Some bills go into effect immediately, but many of the reforms advocated for by ABI this year will go into effect on Sunday, July 1. To get a more comprehensive list of the key bills ABI tracked during the legislative session, click here. If you missed the sine die edition of the Voice of Iowa Business, you can read it here

  • Future Ready Iowa (HF 2458): Workforce was the top priority for ABI in 2018. The Future Ready Iowa legislation took a comprehensive approach to addressing Iowa’s workforce shortage. Many components are focused on upskilling Iowa’s workforce. More details on the legislation can be found here.
  • Final Stage Motor Vehicle Manufacturing Regulatory Relief (SF 2262): Alleviates the regulatory burden on Iowa’s multi-stage vehicle manufacturers by allowing a clean transfer of the manufacturer’s statement of origin to the end customer. Prior to the passage of this law, these manufacturers had to sell their new products as used vehicles. Beginning July 1, companies can now pass title to Iowa customers, saving companies money and administrative time.
  • Water Quality (HF 2440): Adds industries named in the nutrient reduction strategy to the definition of “eligible entity” for purposes of the new revolving loan fund created by the legislation. The bill gives industry a seat at the table in water quality discussions as they move forward and evolve. The first water quality bill (SF 512) that sets up the structure for water quality projects also goes into effect Sunday.
  • Agency Discretion (HF 2343): Restricts agencies from implementing a standard, requirement or threshold without clear federal or state authority.
  • Association Health Plans (SF 2349): Legislation changes requirements for association health plans that reflect federal regulatory changes to provide small businesses and employees with more affordable healthcare plans. Legislation also allows Farm Bureau to provide plans to their members that do not conform with the mandates of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Alcohol Testing (HF 2383): Conforms Iowa’s testing for alcohol to the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMSCA) guidelines. Iowa has .04, and the federal guideline for transportation and safety-sensitive positions is .02. The legislation states Iowa cannot test for a level less than .02.
  • Employer Wage Statements (HF 2240): Clarifies the code to make clear the process for employers’ electronic notification of employees’ wage statements. Provides the opportunity for employee to request in writing to receive the wage statements in a format other than electronic.
  • Land Recycling Program (HF 2464): Raises the cap on reimbursable costs to DNR from $7,500 to $25,000 for companies that voluntarily enroll in the Land Recycling Program. It does not affect sites that were enrolled in the program before July 1, 2018. DNR issues a “No Further Action Letter” to companies once they remediate a contaminated site. The letter reduces the company’s liability in regards to “Superfund.”
  • Equipment Sales Tax Exemption (HF 2478): Clarifies that equipment dealers are not required to pay sales tax on construction equipment purchased.
  • Dram Shop Reform (SF 2169): Limits the liability of restaurants and establishments that serve alcoholic beverages by capping “non-economic” damages to $250,000. There is an exception to the cap, which allows juries to award an unlimited amount of money for “permanent or substantial”  damages sustained from a drunken driving accident. The bill is designed to help control liability insurance costs for establishments that have to purchase dram shop.   
  • Texting While Driving Commercial Vehicles (HF 2196): This bill prohibits a person subject to the department of transportation motor carrier safety rules from operating a commercial motor vehicle while engaged in texting or while using a hand-held mobile telephone as prohibited by federal regulations, except in an emergency or as otherwise permitted under federal regulations.
  • Economic Development Budget Provisions (HF 2493): Contains provisions funding the Iowa Economic Development Authority and various programs including money for the registered apprenticeship program, the summer youth pilot program and a Future Ready Iowa coordinator position. Also includes an authorization to use $39 million in federal Reed Act dollars from the Unemployment Trust Fund for an Iowa Workforce Development technology systems upgrade. Contains a provision changing the definition of insurer so that self-insured companies are now covered by the existing workers' compensation fraud statute.