ABI Priorities Have Advanced as Second Funnel Ends
March 16, 2018
The Legislature just completed its 10th week, and several key bills ABI supports have “survived” the second funnel of the 2018 legislative session. Several anti-business bills were considered throughout the session, and many of those are now "dead" because of the deadline. For a bill to be eligible following the second funnel, it must have passed in either chamber and then come out of a full committee in the opposite chamber. Certain bills are immune to this deadline including appropriations, ways and means, and government oversight. As with every legislative session, no bill is really “dead” until the Legislature adjourns sine die, as the policy proposals could come back in amendment form or part of the final budget bills.
In addition to ABI priorities, there are several other bills that cleared the funnel. Below are just a few of the bills that remain "alive."
- HF 2458 – Future Ready Iowa. This is a key ABI priority that seeks to upskill our workforce by ensuring at least 70 percent of Iowans have education beyond the high school level by 2025. The legislation passed the Iowa House on a vote of 98-0. ABI position: Support.
- HF 2440 – Water quality. The legislation adds industries named in the nutrient reduction strategy to the definition of “eligible entity.” The legislation gives industry a seat at the table in water quality discussions as they move forward and evolve. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2330 – Water filter certification. This regulatory reform bill seeks to align Iowa with all other 49 states in regards to water filter certification. The legislation uses a national standard for testing and eliminates the Department of Public Health from having to certify third-party tests. The bill passed unanimously out of the House Commerce Committee Thursday. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2382 – Criminal Omnibus. This large bill contains changes to expungement of criminal records and was amended significantly in House Judiciary to remove several sections of the bill. The legislation now goes to the House floor. ABI position: Undecided.
- HF 2383 – Alcohol testing. The legislation conforms Iowa’s testing for alcohol to the federal motor safety carrier guidelines. Iowa has .04, and federal guidelines for transportation is .02. The bill states Iowa can’t test for a level less than .02. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2353 – WIOA conformity. Conforms state workforce development and local workforce boards to federal law in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Expands the membership of the state board. Also requires the chair to be a business representative and for the makeup of the board to be over 50 percent business representation. The bill passed out of the House Labor Committee, but there is some discussion it may be amended on the House floor. ABI position: Support.
- HF 2377 – Prescription drug abuse. Comprehensive legislation that addresses opioid abuse. It will help reduce workplace accidents and help prevent opioid addiction and overdoses. ABI position: Support.
- SSB 3078 – Energy efficiency. The legislation would eliminate the mandate of public utilities to offer energy efficiency plans to customers. Currently in Senate Ways and Means Committee. ABI position: Undecided.
- HF 2391 – Dram Shop insurance. Liability limits for restaurants and bars when alcohol-related injuries occur. Bill was moved to unfinished business and will be eligible for debate next week. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2342 – Agency discretion. The legislation would restrict agencies from implementing a standard, requirement or threshold without clear federal or state authority. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2311 – Energy Omnibus. This bill makes several changes to public utilities regarding how they are governed and how they serve their customers. Includes changes to energy efficiency and demand response programs for industrial users.
- HF 2364 – Allows certain agriculture organizations to contract with Wellmark to provide health care coverage to members. Provides flexibility and relief from some of the ACA mandates. Bill was moved to unfinished business and will be eligible for debate next week. The Senate version of the bill passed on a vote 40 to nine. ABI position: Undecided.
- SF 2390 – Increases fees for food establishments and food processors. The bill was amended out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee to address ABI concerns with a proposed policy change in the legislation. The fees are increased to address the inability of counties to perform an inspection given reduced revenue. ABI position: Undecided.
There are several bills that didn't clear the funnel. Below are just a few of the bills that are most likely “dead” for the 2018 legislative session.
- HF 2453 – Nonmedical switching. The bill would prevent health insurance companies from holding down drug costs by substituting generic drugs when safe and appropriate, and removing harmful drugs from the formulary for coverage. ABI position: Against.
- SF 2305 – Work Comp Fraud Reform. This bill would create a division within the existing insurance fraud bureau to investigate and prosecute workers compensation fraud claims. The bill also would ensure self-insured companies would be considered “insurers” for purposes of workers compensation fraud. The bill didn’t advance out of the House Commerce Committee. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2319 – Rules reductions. Limits the number of rules that can be included in the Iowa Administrative Code. Requires a one-third reduction of rules. ABI position: Support.
- SF 2338 – Religious freedom. Legislation enacts strict scrutiny when businesses use religion as a reason for not doing business with a customer. ABI position: Against.
- SF 2313 – Cannabis oil expansion. Would allow the cannabidiol board to allow oil with higher than three percent THC to be available for patients. Also provides the board with the authority to add to the list of debilitating medical conditions currently allowed under the law. ABI position: Undecided.
- SF 2354 – Disqualification of unemployment. Legislation defines misconduct and outlines when a former employee isn’t eligible for unemployment benefits because of misconduct. ABI position: Support.
- HF 2155 – Bottle bill expansion. Legislation would have increased the handling fee from one to two cents and added a five-cent deposit to more types of beverage containers. ABI position: Against.