Iowa 2021 Legislative Report – Week 14

The 110th day of the legislative session is two weeks from today.  Debate is now limited to: bills passed by both chambers, Appropriations bills, Ways and Means bills, Government Oversight bills, Administrative Rules Review Committee bills, conference committee bills, leadership bills, concurrent/simple resolutions, and bills placed on the unfinished business calendar (note: there are a few exceptions that are not listed). 

A version of every budget bill, including the Senate version of HHS which was introduced on Thursday, April 15, has now been introduced.  Legislators have two weeks to wrap up work on the FY2021-2022 budget and a number of outstanding policy issues, including major tax issues, before per-diem payments end on April 30.


Work this week was largely focused on appropriations. This week, the Senate introduced and voted five budget bills out of the full Appropriations committee:

  • Agriculture and Natural Resources budget (SSB1261)
  • Judicial Branch budget (SSB1262)
  • Education budget (SF596)
  • Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) budget (SF600)
  • Justice Systems budget (SF599)

The House introduced and voted out their version of the Economic Development budget (HF871). 

Each chamber has now finished committee work on most of the budget bills, with two exceptions: 

  • The Health and Human Services budget (HHS) was just introduced in the Senate on Thursday, April 15 (SSB1267); the House has yet to introduce its version of the HHS budget.
  • The Standings budget, which includes Standing appropriations and typically a number of outstanding policy provisions, is not yet introduced and is not expected until the final days of the session (this bill is typically the last train out of the station).

Even though each chamber has approved its own versions of almost every budget bill, the House and the Senate have not yet agreed on joint targets.  The House and the Senate will still need to agree on an overall number for the FY2021-2022 budget as well as the details for every budget.  There are a lot of negotiations ahead for budget subcommittee chairs, Appropriations chairs, and leadership.

Appropriations billsHouseSenateFinal
Supplemental FY21SF284SF284 (Signed by Gov 2/23)
SSA In-PersonHF532
Admin & RegulationHF 867SF594
Ag & Natural ResourcesHF860SF598
Economic DevelopmentHF871SF595
EducationHF 868SF596
Judicial BranchHF864SF597
Justice SystemHF861SF599
Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF)HF862SF600

Floor work

The House and the Senate continue to send bills back and forth, at least half a dozen bills were returned to their originating chamber for reconsideration (with new amendments).  Time is running short to resolve differences in these bouncing bills. 

On Tuesday, in a rare move, House leadership adopted a Time-Certain motion to finish debate on Commercial Vehicle Claims (HF772) by 6:30 PM, but then the chamber did not take up the bill.  This is one of two bills limiting liability (Commercial Vehicle Claims HF772 and Medical Malpractice Awards HF592) that have stalled on the House calendar.

The majority of the floor work on Wednesday in the House was devoted to the “Back the Blue” debate.  Much of the debate time was spent on a procedural issue; the House called up their Officer Discipline bill HF698 and attempted to–and after much conversation in the well, eventually did–conform it to the Senate Brady List Study bill SF342 and made additional changes. 

The original Senate bill restricted the use of Brady lists to discipline officers and called for an interim study on the issue; the Senate approved this bill unanimously.  The House offered a strike-after amendment and replaced SF342 with a number of new provisions, including: 

  • qualified immunity for law enforcement
  • increased penalties for crimes related to protests
  • allowing retired officers to use accrued sick leave to pay for insurance
  • changes to worker’s comp payments

The amendment also added back in the provision of the original bill related to the Brady List. 

Democrats were disappointed that Republicans did not provide the opportunity to add provisions to stop racial profiling by police and other criminal justice matters (earlier this session, Governor Reynolds introduced a criminal justice reform bill that included provisions on both “Back the Blue” and racial profiling). 

Democrats also stated during the debate that the amendment violates state law because Republicans did not have a correctional impact statement drawn up before passing the amendment.  SF342 as amended passed the House 63-30 with eight Democrats voting with the Republicans for the bill and two Republicans voting with the Democrats against the bill.  The bill now returns to the Senate for reconsideration.

Executive Branch

The Governor signed 11 bills on Monday, April 12.  All but two of these bills, Childcare Numbers HF260 and Fuel Choice HF555, were sent down with unanimous approval in both chambers.  See full Governor bill list below.

Governor Reynolds released a statement on the death of State Patrol Trooper Jim Smith, who was shot in the line of duty on Friday, April 9:

“It’s with deep sorrow that we recognize the loss of Iowa State Patrol Sergeant Jim Smith, a courageous hero who died in the line of duty. Sergeant Jim Smith was a loving husband, father of two, and a pillar of the community. I along with the entire state of Iowa grieve for his family and friends as they try to cope with this devastating loss. Today we are once again reminded of the selfless sacrifices the brave men and women in uniform make. Let us never forget their bravery and that of their loved ones.”

BillBill TitleDate PassedGovernor Signature
SF 160A bill for an act relating to temporary in-person and remote learning instruction and instructional time requirements for school districts and accredited nonpublic schools, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 1064.) Effective date: 01/29/2021.1/28/20211/29/2021
SJR 7A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Iowa relating to the right of the people to keep and bear arms. (Formerly SJR 1.)1/28/20212/8/2021
SF 269A bill for an act relating to public school funding by establishing the state percent of growth and the categorical state percent of growth for the budget year beginning July 1, 2021, modifying provisions relating to the regular program state cost per pupil, modifying provisions relating to the property tax replacement payment and the transportation equity payments, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 1159.) Effective date: 02/23/2021.2/17/20212/23/2021
SF 284A bill for an act relating to financial and regulatory matters by making appropriations for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 1162.) Effective date: 02/23/2021.2/18/20212/23/2021
HF 200A bill for an act relating to the military code and duty performed by a member of the United States coast guard. (Formerly HSB 43.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/3/20213/8/2021
HF 231A bill for an act relating to a special sentence for sexual abuse committed during a burglary. (Formerly HSB 18.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
HF 232A bill for an act relating to the crime of disorderly conduct and making penalties applicable. (Formerly HSB 29.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/9/20213/8/2021
HF 235A bill for an act relating to service charges on consumer credit transactions. (Formerly HSB 69.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/9/20213/8/2021
HF 283A bill for an act creating the criminal offense of defrauding a drug or alcohol test and providing penalties. (Formerly HSB 22.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
HF 308A bill for an act relating to eligibility requirements for students under the senior year plus program and including effective date and applicability provisions. (Formerly HSB 110.) Effective date: 03/08/2021.2/23/20213/8/2021
HF 386A bill for an act striking certain reporting requirements related to nonprofit school organizations established by school districts. (Formerly HSB 107.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
HF 418A bill for an act relating to property tax levies, exemptions, classifications, assessment limitations, and administration, and including effective date and applicability provisions. (Formerly HSB 93.) Effective date: 01/01/2022. Applicability date: 01/01/2022.2/23/20213/8/2021
SF 130A bill for an act relating to a temporary exception to a limitation on compensation for a member of a board of directors of a school corporation, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly SSB 1041.) Effective date: 03/08/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
SF 173A bill for an act relating to trusts, including requirements for certifications of trust and the general order of abatement. (Formerly SSB 1012.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20213/8/2021
SF 231A bill for an act regarding driving privileges of persons issued a special minor’s driver’s license, and making penalties applicable. (Formerly SF 79.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20213/8/2021
SF 239A bill for an act relating to proper parties in causes of actions following the death of persons entitled or liable to such causes of actions and including applicability provisions. (Formerly SSB 1009.) Effective date: 07/01/2021. Applicability date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20213/8/2021
SF 240A bill for an act relating to the creation, administration, and termination of custodial trusts. (Formerly SSB 1016.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/10/20213/8/2021
SF 285A bill for an act relating to suspension of a student’s participation in the all Iowa opportunity scholarship program. (Formerly SSB 1068.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
SF 314A bill for an act relating to approval of executive branch employee travel claims. (Formerly SSB 1119.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/23/20213/8/2021
SF 343A bill for an act relating to authorized access to certain confidential records by employees of the department of corrections, a judicial district department of correctional services, and the board of parole. (Formerly SSB 1102.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/17/20213/8/2021
SF 413A bill for an act relating to the conduct of elections, including absentee ballots and voter list maintenance activities, making penalties applicable, and including effective date and applicability provisions. (Formerly SSB 1199.) Effective date: 03/08/2021. Applicability date: 01/01/2022.2/24/20213/8/2021
HF 560A bill for an act relating to financial assurance instruments and surety bonds required for collecting, processing, or transporting waste tires, and making penalties applicable. (Formerly HSB 177.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/10/20213/22/2021
SF 129A bill for an act relating to specialty areas, service commitment area distance requirements, and practice-related requirements under the rural Iowa primary care loan repayment program. (Formerly SSB 1042.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20213/22/2021
SF 232A bill for an act relating to notice and reclamation requirements for abandoned vehicles taken into custody by a police authority or private entity. (Formerly SSB 1025.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/9/20213/22/2021
SF 235A bill for an act relating to the denial and contest of probate claims. (Formerly SSB 1037.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/8/20213/22/2021
SF 261A bill for an act authorizing the college student aid commission to organize a nonprofit corporation. (Formerly SSB 1069.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/8/20213/22/2021
SF 289A bill for an act relating to the powers and duties of the boards of directors of area education agencies, school districts, and school corporations, and to the election of a director as school board president. (Formerly SSB 1133.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/9/20213/22/2021
SF 307A bill for an act relating to the examination and transportation of dead bodies, including associated fees and costs. (Formerly SF 106.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/8/20213/22/2021
SF 353A bill for an act relating to drainage and levee districts, by providing for notices to interested persons including landowners in the district, and for repairs that require a report by an engineer or soil and water conservation district conservationist. (Formerly SSB 1180.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/9/20213/22/2021
SF 482A bill for an act regulating the application of pesticides, including by providing for the certification of applicators, and certain actions taken by the department of agriculture and land stewardship against private applicators, and providing penalties. (Formerly SSB 1214.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/10/20213/22/2021
HF 280A bill for an act authorizing the department of transportation to renew certain valid commercial driver’s licenses without examination, including by electronic renewal, and including effective date provisions. (Formerly HSB 99.) Effective date: 04/02/2021.3/29/20214/2/2021
HF 382A bill for an act authorizing the department of transportation to issue special permits allowing the transportation of loads of relief supplies that exceed statutory weight limits during periods of national emergency. (Formerly HSB 100.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/29/20214/2/2021
HF 389A bill for an act relating to chauffeurs and exempting certain persons from the requirement to be licensed as a chauffeur. (Formerly HSB 83.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/2/2021
HF 621A bill for an act establishing which actions may be brought against firearm, firearm accessory, and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, importers, trade associations, sellers, or dealers. (Formerly HSB 116.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/2/2021
HF 756A bill for an act relating to the acquisition and possession of weapons and providing penalties. (Formerly HSB 254.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/2/2021
SF 230A bill for an act relating to wrecked or salvage motor vehicles. (Formerly SSB 1028.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20214/2/2021
HF 260A bill for an act relating to the number of children receiving child care at any one time in a child care home. (Formerly HSB 7.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/29/20214/12/2021
HF 368A bill for an act relating to the administration of the reimbursement for rent constituting property taxes paid and related matters and including effective date provisions. (Formerly HSB 120.) Effective date: 04/12/2021.3/22/20214/12/2021
HF 495A bill for an act relating to certain reporting dates for cities which receive road use tax fund moneys. (Formerly HSB 101.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/12/2021
HF 552A bill for an act relating to requirements for using a dog to track a wounded deer. (Formerly HF 23.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/29/20214/12/2021
HF 555A bill for an act prohibiting counties and cities from regulating the sale of natural gas and propane. (Formerly HSB 166.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/29/20214/12/2021
HF 559A bill for an act relating to financial assistance provided by the economic development authority to certain apprenticeship sponsors and lead apprenticeship sponsors, and including applicability provisions. (Formerly HSB 202.) Effective date: 07/01/2021. Applicability date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/12/2021
HF 655A bill for an act prohibiting interference with the transportation of an agricultural animal, and providing penalties. (Formerly HSB 188.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/22/20214/12/2021
SF 172A bill for an act relating to the definition of sex act or sexual activity for purposes of the Iowa criminal code. (Formerly SSB 1013.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/10/20214/12/2021
SF 253A bill for an act relating to sexual abuse in the second degree and sexual abuse in the third degree. (Formerly SSB 1014.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.2/16/20214/12/2021
SF 444A bill for an act relating to motor vehicles, including the surrender or transfer of registration plates and cards to a county treasurer, documentary fees charged by motor vehicle dealers, and motor vehicle franchise obligations. (Formerly SSB 1206.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/29/20214/12/2021
SF 548A bill for an act relating to the regulation of advertising devices near certain highways. (Formerly SSB 1220.) Effective date: 07/01/2021.3/11/20214/12/2021
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Tim R. Coonan

About Tim R. Coonan

Tim Coonan is a lawyer with a fundamental understanding of the legislative process and a proven track record of success, regardless of which party is control. He is Chair of the Dentons Davis Brown Government Relations Department with over 15 years of lobbying experience before the Iowa Legislature and executive branch agencies and nearly 25 years of public policy experience including three years doing policy work in Washington D.C. with Williams and Jensen PLLC.

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Sydney J. Gangestad

About Sydney J. Gangestad

Sydney is an attorney and lobbyist with over seven years of public policy experience. In her various policy roles, she has developed a fundamental understanding of the legislative process and a non-partisan and bi-partisan approach to lobbying to help advance clients’ legislative agendas.

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