Week Three at the Capitol is Complete
January 30, 2020
The Legislature concluded its third week of the 2020 legislative session this week. ABI staff has been busy working to ensure that ABI members' interests are being heard, as over 500 new bills have already been filed between the House and the Senate. Below are recaps of some of the key issues we tracked in week three:
- SSB3077/HSB607 – Future Ready Iowa. These companion bills have been filed by Gov. Reynolds. The comprehensive legislation has several divisions including creating a new Future Ready Iowa expanded registered apprenticeship program aimed at providing financial assistance to encourage apprenticeship sponsors of apprenticeship programs with 20 or fewer apprentices to maintain apprenticeship programs in high-demand occupations. It creates a child care challenge program, which provides matching moneys to qualified businesses, non-profits and consortiums for establishing local child care facilities. It also establishes a workforce diploma pilot program, instructs schools to increase computer science education and expands the definition of an eligible student under the Last-Dollar Scholarship program. ABI supports this legislation, as workforce is the association’s top priority this year.
- HSB519 – Criminal background checks. The bill would prohibit cities from banning employers from requesting from an applicant information related to the applicant's criminal history. Rep. Holt, who chaired the subcommittee, announced that there would be a strike-after amendment, as the bill in its original form is unnecessary because it’s already the law. The amendment states should someone challenge a city or county ordinance, motion, resolution or amendment and that is ruled unlawful, the court will award attorney fees and costs to the party who prevails in challenging it. ABI is undecided on the original bill, but in favor of the amendment. Related: The Courier: Legislator says Iowa law prohibits 'ban the box' policies.
- HSB539 – Synthetic urine prohibition. The legislation creates criminal penalties for those who defraud a drug or alcohol test. The bill passed a subcommittee in the House this week. A companion bill passed a senate subcommittee last week. There was talk of amending the bill to include the public sector. ABI views this as a workplace safety issue and supports the legislation.
- SF459 – Guns in employer parking lots. The bill prohibits employers from having a policy banning employees from having weapons in their vehicles on the employer’s property. This bill moved through a senate subcommittee last week, but was not considered yet in full committee this week. ABI is strongly opposed to the legislation, as it infringes upon an employer’s private property rights. Contact your senator and encourage them to oppose SF459.