Week 3 of the 2023 Legislative Session is in the Books 

January 26, 2023

The issue that consumed the first few weeks of session was the Governor’s school choice legislation. With that legislation having been passed by both chambers and signed into law on Tuesday, policy makers are now looking to advance other priorities as dozens of subcommittees were held this week. ABI staff attended several meetings and below are some of the key issues that were considered in the third week of session.

SF 148/HF 102: Hard Caps in Med Mal Cases - ABI priority legislation moved through the legislative process in both chambers this week. On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would impose a hard cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases. A House subcommittee advanced similar legislation on Thursday. The legislation caps damages at $1 million and includes an inflationary factor of 2.1% that commences in 2028. Tort reform is a priority for ABI this year.

  • ABI position: Support

HSB 70: Air Freight Forwarder Tax Apportionment - On Wednesday, a House Ways & Means subcommittee unanimously advanced legislation to bring tax parity to companies that are in the package delivery business - Think FedEx and UPS.  Currently, similar companies can be taxed for income purposes as either a service company or a transportation company.  The distinction matters as it defines tax load.  The legislation would allow for a ten year phase-in of tax parity in the freight-forwarding business sector.

  • ABI position: Support

HF 47: Childcare Income Tax Exemption - A key piece of ABI’s Workforce priority is childcare. Governor Reynolds and the Legislature have made tremendous strides in creating policy to make childcare more affordable and available over the last few years. On Wednesday, a House Ways & Means Subcommittee unanimously approved legislation that exempts wages earned by employees engaged in providing childcare services from income tax. The subcommittee members considered expanding the bill to those who invest and create childcare facilities. 

  • ABI position: Support

SSB 1073: Boiler Inspections - ABI member Koch Industries owns a fertilizer plant near Ft. Dodge, Iowa whose total output is consumed by ag customers in Iowa. The plant has a sophisticated boiler system and a continuous production cycle. Koch has been working with the Labor Commissioner on maintaining a boiler inspection interval that will coordinate with company-scheduled outages. This bill reflects that collaboration.

  • ABI position: Support

HSB 12: Data Privacy for Consumers - Prompted by inaction at the federal level, on Monday of this week, a subcommittee of the Iowa House Economic Growth and Technology Committee unanimously approved a bill establishing ground rules for consumer data privacy. The bill has two main focuses. First, the bill defines the care a business must demonstrate as a custodian of such customer data and second, the bill enumerates the rights that customers have in controlling the use of their personal data. Multiple amendments to the bill will be presented to the members of the full committee in an effort to find consensus and a path forward. 

  • ABI position: Undecided

SF 108: Mandatory E-verify - On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered legislation that would require employers to utilize the federal e-verify system when hiring employees. The bill permits any member of the public to file complaints against employers who they think have hired someone illegally. It also contains draconian penalties such as the second violation of the bill being the revocation of all business licenses for that company. The bill passed through the committee and is eligible for debate in the Senate.

  • ABI position: Against