Two Weeks Until the First Funnel Deadline

February 18, 2021

The first legislative deadline of the 2021 session is fast approaching as lawmakers look to advance their priorities ahead of the first funnel in two weeks.

Most policy bills must advance through a full committee in either chamber by March 5 to be eligible for further consideration in the session. There are exceptions to this rule including bills related to appropriations, ways & means, government oversight and a few other areas. ABI staff is working to ensure that member priorities are also advancing, which is the case on a number of issues that you can read more about below.

HSB 203/SSB 1172 – Unemployment Insurance Tax Reform – The House and Senate both held subcommittees on this ABI priority legislation. The bill does a number of things to make the Iowa unemployment insurance tax climate more competitive including implementing a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits, strengthening the integrity of payments related to dependents, enhancing suitable work requirements, eliminating business closing wage credits and benefit weeks, and more. The legislation was considered by both subcommittees and is eligible to be considered in both chambers’ Labor Committees. ABI staff encourages you to contact your legislator and ask that they support this legislation. You can find your legislator here. If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact JD Davis. ABI position: For. 

HF 283 – Synthetic Urine Prohibition – The House on Tuesday, and the Senate on Wednesday, passed this workplace safety legislation sought by ABI. The bill creates criminal penalties for those who would use synthetic urine, expel their urine beforehand or use somebody else’s urine in an effort to defraud a drug or alcohol test. The bill passed both chambers with bipartisan support and now heads to Gov. Reynolds for her consideration. ABI would like to thank Rep. Brian Lohse and Sen. Waylon Brown for their leadership in managing this bill. ABI position: For.

HF 582 – Governor’s Housing Bill – The legislation came out of the Economic Growth Committee on Wednesday. The bill doubles the workforce housing tax credit and increases the rural set aside within that tax credit program. HF 582 also has other elements designed to facilitate the construction of affordable and available workforce housing across the state. The bill now heads to the Ways & Means Committee and is eligible for consideration for the remainder of the session. ABI position: For.

SF 390 – Governor’s Broadband Bill – The legislation moved out of the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday. Incentives are offered to private industry for facilitating the expansion of broadband in targeted service areas as defined in the bill. There are no appropriations in SF 390, as that will be considered in another piece of legislation later on during session. ABI is advocating to preserve the 100x100 upload and download speeds in the bill as introduced. ABI position: For.

HF 517 – Medical Malpractice Caps – The legislation would impose a $1 million dollar hard cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits. The bill advanced out of subcommittee on Tuesday and out of the full Human Resources Committee today. ABI position: For.

HF 555/SSB 1126 – Prohibiting Gas Bans – The legislation would prohibit counties and cities from regulating the sale of natural gas and propane. HFF 555 passed out of House Commerce with bipartisan support and is now eligible for floor debate in the House. SSB 1126 was approved in a Senate subcommittee today. Some states and municipalities in other parts of the country have implemented gas bans that will increase energy and construction costs. The legislation is necessary to preempt this kind of public policy from being implemented at the local level in Iowa. ABI position: For.