2022 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 17 Summary

Week 17 at the Capitol slowed to a crawl.  The Senate debated on Monday and moved several bills to the Governor and a couple back to the House.  The debated bills included a proposal from the Governor’s Child Care Task Force Recommendations - HF 2127.  This bill would allow child care providers to collect the rate difference between families who do participate in the state-funded Child Care Assistance (CCA) program and those who do not receive CCA assistance, so long as the family agrees in writing to pay the additional amount.  According to the task force’s report, a total of 31,152 children (16,652 families) accessed child care services through the CCA in FY21.  Republicans advocated that the proposal will encourage providers to accept more CCA-participating families.  Democrats argued the proposal makes child-care more expensive for low-income families.  HF 2127 passed the Senate on Monday, and it passed the House a month earlier on March 2.  Votes in both chambers were along party lines.

The Governor signed 26 bills into law on Monday including several bills that the BW GR team had worked on for various clients: HF 2154 - Municipal Fire & Police Retirement System of Iowa; HF 2097 - Lederman Bonding; SF 2310 - B.A. Housing Cooperative; and HF 2330 - Federation of Iowa Insurers.  Of note, the Governor also signed HF 2552 which was the Department of Revenue’s omnibus administrative bill.  While most of the changes implemented in this bill are minor, a significant provision changes the process for the business property tax credit.  Division XI changes the credit to an exemption and alters how local governments are reimbursed by the State for the property tax reductions associated with the exemption.  For a detailed explanation of these changes, see the LSA’s Fiscal Note.  

With the June 7 primary election fast approaching, many lawmakers are in full campaign mode. Several members have primaries, but only the House has primaries that feature sitting incumbents pitted against each other:  

  • Dean Fisher v. Dave Maxwell - House District #53
  • Steve Bradley v. Lee Hein - House District #66
  • Joe Mitchell v. Jeff Shipley - House District #87

Other House primaries featuring incumbent legislators as one of the contenders are: 

  • Skyler Wheeler - House District #4
  • Dennis Bush - House District #5
  • Matt Windschitl - House District #15
  • Jon Thorup - House District #37
  • Eddie Andrews - House District #43
  • Jane Bloomingdale - House District #60
  • Dustin Hite - House District #88

The Senate has a few primaries as well.  The following are incumbent Senators who have primaries or incumbent House members running for the Senate who face a primary:

  • Senator Dave Rowley - Senate District #5
  • Representative Molly Donahue - Senate District #37
  • Representative Liz Bennett - Senate District #39
  • Representative Charlie McClintock - Senate District #42

The delay in adjourning impacts those legislators who may have needed/wanted contributions to assist in funding a primary challenge.  Iowa Code Section 68A.504 prevents registered lobbyists and PACs from making contributions to sitting legislators until the session is adjourned for the year.  Even though the House and Senate are not meeting, they haven’t adjourned sine die so the prohibition is still in place.  The Governor cannot receive money from restricted donors (e.g. lobbyists and PACs) until 30 days after final adjournment.  

In the Know:

Iowa Democratic Party Chairperson Ross Wilburn, also a State Representative from Ames, sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday, May 4 offering that Iowa Democrats will make changes to the Caucus process.  As reported a couple of weeks ago, the DNC voted to change how the first in the nation caucus state is decided rather than continue to grant Iowa the right to be first.  Details about how the Iowa Democrats propose to change the caucus process to make it more transparent and participatory are not yet public.  The Republican National Committee reaffirmed its rules on April 14 to keep Iowa’s caucus positioned first in the nation.

Health & Managed Care Committee News:

The Health and Managed Care Committee’s legislative priority (HF2330) was signed by Governor Reynolds on Monday, May 2nd. The bill previously passed the Iowa House and Senate with unanimous support.  The new law will become effective on July 1, 2022.   

Pharmacy Benefit Manager (“PBM”):  We continue to advocate and meet with legislators on this important legislation (HF2384) as the 2022 legislative session slowly progresses toward adjournment.  As a reminder, the Federation recently prepared two new documents (here) and (here) to further explain the industry’s concerns.  We are sharing these two documents with the group as a quick update and to ensure all members are on the same page.  These new documents are in addition to our prior materials developed on the topic (PBM Resource here) and (Business Letter (here).

BrownWinick Government Relations:

To view additional summaries from the 2022 Iowa Legislative session or to learn more about BrownWinick’s Government Relations Team, visit our Lobbying and Public Policy team page.