© 2022 Iowa Public Radio
IPR20012_Website_Header_Option2_NewsNavy.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

See which bills are alive and dead after Iowa's second Statehouse deadline of 2022

Statehouse.jpg
John Pemble
/
IPR file
Iowa lawmakers have reached their second deadline of the year for bills to advance in the legislature.

Questions about the legislative session? Send them to IowaAmplified@iowapublicradio.org, then tune in Monday, March 28 for a live Q&A with our politics reporting team.

Iowa lawmakers have reached their second deadline of the year for bills to advance in the legislature.

Bills that have failed to get approved by one full chamber and a committee in the other chamber are likely dead for the year, but there are exceptions. This year, Republican leaders have used procedural moves to keep several major GOP-backed bills eligible for debate.

Here are some of the bills that can move forward this session, some that are likely dead, and some that are no longer subject to Friday’s deadline.

Alive

Child care: Lawmakers have advanced bills that would allow each child care worker to take care of more toddlers, allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work without supervision in limited situations, and allow people receiving child care assistance to enter into an agreement to pay more for care.

Permanent daylight saving time: The bill would make daylight saving time permanent if the U.S. Congress acts to allow states to make this change.

Banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates in schools: The bill passed in the House and was advanced by a Senate committee. It would apply to child care centers, K-12 schools and colleges.

Eminent domain: A new, last-minute bill was advanced ahead of the funnel deadline that would block the use of eminent domain for carbon pipelines until March 1, 2023.

E15: The House passed Reynolds’ bill with bipartisan support that would require gas stations to sell gasoline with higher blends of ethanol at more pumps. An amendment to the bill would allow some gas stations to seek waivers from the requirement.

Not subject to deadline

Unemployment cuts and caps on trucking damages:  Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill would cut the maximum duration of unemployment benefits by 10 weeks, add a one-week waiting period to get benefits, and require claimants to accept a lower-paying job offer more quickly. It would also cap noneconomic damages awarded in trucking accident lawsuits. The House voted against considering the trucking damages cap combined with language that would ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but the Senate moved the whole bill to the “unfinished business” list, which keeps bills eligible for debate through the funnel deadline.

Other workforce provisions: The second bill in Reynolds’ workforce package would expand health care provider recruitment programs, waive various fees for veterans, change professional licensing laws, and establish a statewide building code.

Private school scholarships: It's still not clear if Reynolds' proposal to create state-funded, voucher-style scholarships that could be used for private school tuition will get enough GOP support in the House to move forward.

Obscene books in schools: Reynolds' bill that would require school districts to put a list of all textbooks, school library books and other classroom materials online has been moved to a committee that keeps it eligible for debate. Republican leaders say they want to move forward with some kind of book-related policy, but the details are not yet clear. Top GOP lawmakers have said they don't support criminal penalties for teachers.

Mental health: The House passed bills to create a psychiatric residency program, establish a higher rate of payment for hospitals providing psychiatric intensive care, and start a loan repayment program for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who can prescribe medication. The Senate is keeping these bills eligible for debate.

Public assistance changes: This bill would require Iowans applying for food assistance to cooperate with child support recovery. It would also require applicants for all public assistance programs to complete a questionnaire to check their identity.

Election changes: The bill would require Iowans who vote absentee to include their voter ID or driver’s license number when returning their ballot. Current law requires voters to provide that number when requesting an absentee ballot. This would also standardize election recount procedures for the whole state and prohibit election officials from accepting private donations to fund elections.

Distracted driving: A bill to ban handheld phone use while driving is still eligible for debate, but may not have enough Republican support to pass this year. Hands-free phone use to take phone calls would still be allowed. Current law bans texting and driving, which law enforcement officials say is very difficult to enforce.

Dead

Criminal penalties for teachers who give obscene books to students: Senate President Jake Chapman, R-Adel, proposed this bill that would also allow parents to sue schools over materials provided to students. It failed to advance ahead of Friday's legislative deadline. House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said he and a majority of the House GOP do not support the bill.

Banning vaccine mandates: A House bill to ban Iowa employers, schools and government entities from requiring vaccines of any kind failed to advance. Grassley said it didn’t have enough support among House Republicans to pass. A similar proposal tailored to COVID-19 vaccine mandates failed in a House vote. But the concept may not be completely dead for the session.

Medication abortion reversal: A bill that would require abortion providers to tell people that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion failed to advance. Republican lawmakers often find ways to vote on new abortion-related legislation later in the session.

Katarina Sostaric is IPR's State Government Reporter