Senate and House Unveil New Omnibus Bills Related to Economic Growth; House Passes Broadband Funding

April 23, 2021

With one week to go until per diem expenses expire for lawmakers in the 2021 legislative session, the Senate and House Ways & Means Chairs have dropped different versions of significant bills aimed at facilitating economic growth in Iowa. 

SSB 1269, which ABI is registered in favor of and has already passed through full committee, contains a number of policy pieces, including the expansion of the workforce housing tax credit program, Manufacturing 4.0 language and a technical fix aimed at allowing fiscal year 2019 tax filers who received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to couple with the federal deduction for state tax purposes. The bill also eliminates the 2018 tax triggers.

HSB 274, which ABI is monitoring, expands the workforce housing tax credit program, removes the legislative cap on how much money can flow into local housing trust funds, allows the Iowa Economic Development Authority to consider the creation of day care centers as a component of a larger project for purposes of qualifying under the high quality jobs programs and creates tax incentives for rural communities under the high quality jobs program.

On Wednesday, the House approved HF 867, which is the Administration & Regulation budget. One key line item in that bill is an appropriation of $100 million into the Empower Rural Iowa broadband grant fund. ABI is supportive of the provision as it provides the monies necessary to incentivize private industry to facilitate broadband expansion across the state. It will work in conjunction with the policy piece that passed the Legislature earlier this month. The budget bill now moves to the Senate.
With only 7 days to go until April 30, it’s very likely that the conclusion of the 2021 legislative session will push past that date because there are still a number of agreements that have yet to be reached between the Senate and the House on the budget, tax and other policy measures.