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Final Deadline Hits; Few Bills Survive

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The second and final legislative deadline (called a "funnel") hit on Friday, April 5, and with it went hundreds of bills that failed to make it through all committee processes before the clock ran out.  To "beat the funnel" a bill needs to have been voted out of one chamber, and ready for debate in the other.  Bills that spend money or deal with taxes are exempt from the funnel, so they can be discussed at any time.

By all accounts, this was the slowest funnel many have witnessed in two decades.  Very few committees met, and even fewer bills emerged. What that means is the list of bills left to be discussed is very, very small.  But the list of bills still alive includes some very complicated and politically charged issues - like education reform, Medicaid expansion, property tax reform, expanding the bottle bill, ongoing MH/DS reform, and a handful of bills addressing Iowa's sex offender laws. 

Here are a few issues from our Bill Tracker that remain alive (and are not yet signed into law):

  • Implementing MH/DS Reform recommendations & providing funding for regions (SF 415 & HSB 229)
  • Implementing DHS/Judiciary Work Group recommendations, including Mental Health Advocate changes (SF 406)
  • Allowing up to five individuals on ID or Habilitation waivers to live together without affecting licensing laws (SF 351
  • Expanding Medicaid as allowed by the federal Affordable Care Act (SF 296)

Here are a few issues from our Bill Tracker that didn't make the cut this year, and are no longer eligible for debate:

  • Requiring fuel pump accessibility (SF 401)
  • Allowing nursing homes and residential care facilities to refuse to accept sex offenders, even if court-appointed, and requiring resident notification and safety plans if admitted (HF 552)
  • Establishing an Iowa "Health Benefits Marketplace" as allowed under the Affordable Care Act - however Iowa has chosen to have a partnership exhchange with the federal government, so this wasn't necessary at this time (SF 375)
  • Requiring teacher continuing education on trauma-informed care and suicide prevention (SF 337)
  • Creating a special olympic lottery game (SF 328)
  • Requiring schools to have anti-bullying policies that go beyond school buildings (HF 593)
  • Requiring voters to show ID in order to vote (HF 
  • Creating new penalties for people that misuse temporary accessible parking passes (HF 493)
  • Protecting information between peer support counselor and peace officer (HF 224)

You can see the full list of active and inactive bills in our Bill Tracker here.