Legislative Update

PHCC of Iowa takes an active role in advocating for the best interests of our industry at both State and Federal legislative levels. On the State level, our lobbyist works alongside staff and board members to tackle issues that are crucial for our industry. On the Federal level, our National Association and their lobbyist assist staff and board members in pursuit of higher levels of change and give us a voice in Washington. PHCC of Iowa advocates for the best on behalf of our members and the p-h-c trades overall.

Regulatory Update

The Iowa Department of Public Health has published updates to the Iowa State Plumbing Code and Iowa State Mechanical Code.
Read the changes to plumbing code here
Read the changes to the mechanical code here

 

House File 2627 established guidelines for considering and reviewing the criminal history of license applicants or prospective applicants, including a process by which any person may petition the board for a determination of whether their criminal history would disqualify them from receiving a license. The proposed amendments to Chapters 28, 29, 32, and 57 explain the “eligibility determination” process and incorporate other legislative guidelines for considering and reviewing criminal history in the course of deciding whether to issue a license or whether to impose discipline on an existing licensee.

House File 2627 also established alternative pathways to Iowa licensure for (1) military spouses; (2) newly established Iowa residents who possess a license or certification from another jurisdiction; and (3) newly established Iowa residents whose practice in the profession in another jurisdiction did not require a license. The proposed amendments to Chapters 28, 35, and 62 add structure and detail to those alternative pathways. 

Read Full Changes here

Weekly Legislative Summaries

April 2, 2021
Week 12 Legislative Update

The Budget Negotiations Begin
The Second Funnel is behind us with week 13 starting on Monday.  The legislature is scheduled to end April 30 so we should be heading into the home stretch over the next couple of weeks.  Budget targets are starting to come out but there is still a lot of uncertainty with affordable housing, tax reform, ed reform, and other budget pieces still a mystery as the House and Senate appear to have differing goals.  With more federal funds coming into the state than many departments and agencies can spend and a healthy revenue outlook for the state combined with relatively conservative budgeting principals in both chambers will make for an interesting few weeks.

House members have been sending out their weekly newsletters informing their constituents that the Senate plans to spend $7.999 billion dollars this next fiscal year and also making it clear that it is still a mystery to the House how that will be allocated to each budget area.  The tone between the chambers is…interesting.  The next two weeks should clue us in to how likely an April 30 or earlier “Sine Die” (end of session) resolution is coming.

Broadband
The House passed its revised version of the Governor’s broadband expansion bill unanimously (94-0).  The Senate has attached it to their version of the bill and placed it on its unfinished business calendar. The Senate’s plan is unclear.  The House version appropriates $100 million this next fiscal year and creates a three-tier matching system based on internet speed being provided to rural areas along with additional percentages for those willing to service harder-to-reach areas of the state.  The Governor is looking for $150 million each year over three years.  The Senate has said that one-time spending on broadband was not included in their budget targets.

Child Care
The House passed 10 bills attempting to make child care more accessible for many Iowans.  Not all of them survived the funnel in the Senate but this is another area the two chambers will need to work out an agreement on which pieces will be sent to the Governor.

Renewable Fuels
One of the Governor’s more controversial bills mandating more ethanol at Iowa gas pumps and changing how renewable fuels are marketed in the state is changing rapidly as amendments are filed and adopted as it goes through the process.  It looks like premium (higher octane) fuel without ethanol may still be available around the state but no one knows what the final version of the bill will look like.

School Choice And Education Reform
The House and Senate are negotiating the details of the Governor’s school choice bill which passed the Senate with a small Education Savings Account (Scholarship) fund for private school tuition, open enrollment reform, charter school expansion, and other reforms.  The House took that bill and split it in to three pieces and passed one - the charter schools piece - which, ironically, is the only part of the plan without a built-in grassroots constituency or demonstrable public support.  There is no telling what the chambers will end up doing at the end outside of open enrollment reform which both chambers seem to agree on.

Notable Articles:


Bills We Declared On/Funnel Week Action
Below I’ll focus on bills we have declarations on that had action this last week or two.  Please let me know if you have questions about other bills we are declared on or would like information about:

HF 561- Perfection of Mechanics’ Liens - Passed Senate unanimously and placed on unfinished business calendar in the House.  We are declared FOR the bill.

SF 487- Operation of State Government including review of state boards and regulation of licenses - this bill passed subcommittee but I don’t think it got attention in the committee meaning it may be dead for the year. An amendment was filed today, however, so I’m not sure what is happening yet. We are undecided on the bill.  I will get more information soon.

Inspections Bill - Our bill is in House Ways and Means after passing State Government Committee and is technically still alive IF it were to pass Ways and the Senate were to assign it to Ways.  Big IFs right now but I’m working on it.

March 19, 2021
February 19, 2021
February 5, 2021
January 30, 2021
January 22, 2021

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