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3/18/22 Legislative Update

18 Mar 2022 11:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


With the fall of the gavel earlier today, the second procedural hurdle of the Legislative Session for policy bills, the “Second Funnel,” arrived at the Statehouse.

The so-called “Second Funnel” is the date by which a bill has to be approved by a committee in the opposite chamber - meaning a House File must be approved by a Senate committee and a Senate File by a House committee - to remain eligible for further consideration this year.

As with most rules, there are some exceptions. Identical bills, with one passed out of a committee in the House and one in the Senate, can remain eligible for further consideration as long as they are placed on the “unfinished business calendar” in both chambers.

There are also three types of bill’s exempt from the procedural rules.  Bills in the Appropriations Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Government Oversight Committee are not governed by procedural deadlines requiring committee approval by specific dates.

Bills of Interest:

(HF - House File, HSB - House Study Bill, SF - Senate File, SSB - Senate Study Bill)

Bills that did not meet the second procedural deadline are struck through.

SF 2369 (formerly SF 2349 and SSB 3080) - Governor’s School Omnibus (M) - Included in this 20-page bill are provision that establish a student first scholarship program and a student first enrollment supplement fund; require the boards of directors of school districts to publish certain specified information regarding curriculum; as well as modifying provisions related to required social studies instruction, open enrollment, teacher librarian endorsements, competent private instruction, and special education.

Approved by the Appropriations Committee. On Senate debate calendar

SF 2307 (formerly SSB 3114) - Licensing Board Transcripts (M) - The bill prohibits a licensing board, other than the board of medicine and board of nursing, from requiring an applicant to submit an official transcript or an official diploma in connection with an application for a license, registration, or certificate, and requires a licensing board, other than the board of medicine and board of nursing, to accept a copy of an applicant’s transcript or diploma.

Approved by the Senate 37-10. House State Government subcommittee of Lundgren, A Meyer and Winckler

SF 2197 (formerly SF 168) - Nonpublic School Special Services (M) - The bill requires the Department of Education to convene and provide administrative support to the task force. The bill requires the task force to study and make recommendations regarding how to better serve students enrolled in nonpublic schools who receive special education services. The bill requires the task force to submit a report that includes findings and recommendations for policy changes to the General Assembly by December 1, 2022.

Approved by the Senate 46-0. On House debate calendar

SF 2195 (formerly SSB 3003) - Mental Health Professional Loan Program (M) - This bill establishes the mental health professional loan repayment program within the college student aid commission. The bill provides that the commission is to administer the mental health professional loan repayment program for purposes of providing loan repayments for mental health professionals who agree to practice in an eligible practice area.

The bill limits the annual amount of loan repayment a mental health professional may receive to $8,000 for an eligible loan. The bill provides that the total loan repayments from the commission to a mental health professional shall not exceed $40,000.

“Mental health professional” means a non prescribing individual who holds at least a master’s degree from an eligible institution in a mental health field, including  psychology, counseling and guidance, social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling.

On Senate debate calendar

HF 2549 (formerly HF 2137 and HSB 537) - MH Professional Loan Repayment Program (F) - This bill establishes a mental health practitioner and mental health professional loan repayment program, and provides an appropriation. The bill requires the Iowa Student Aid Commission to establish a mental health practitioner loan repayment program for the purposes of providing loan repayments for mental health practitioners who agree to practice in service commitment areas for at least five years and meet the requirements of the program. “Mental health practitioner” means a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a mental health professional, a physician assistant practicing under the supervision of a psychiatrist, or a psychiatric advanced registered nurse practitioner. “Mental health professional” means an individual who holds at least a master’s degree from an eligible institution in a mental health field, including psychology, counseling and guidance, social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling. 

Approved by the House 94-2. 

HF 2505 (formerly HSB 702) - Mandatory Reporters/School Employee Investigations (M) - The bill requires the Department of Education to develop and implement a process for the reporting and investigation of any incident that arises which may reasonably lead to the conclusion that a licensed practitioner employed by the board of directors of a school district or the authorities in charge of an accredited nonpublic school has violated any law. The bill establishes that the process requires the creation of a committee to investigate these incidents. The bill requires the committee to meet to evaluate the incident and determine whether the licensed practitioner should be placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Approved by House Education Committee. Approved by Ways and Means subcommittee.

HF 2398 (formerly HSB 656) - Doctors or Masters BOEE One Time Licenses and Nonpublic School Background Checks (M) - The bill allows the Board of Educational Examiners to have no renewal requirements for a practitioner who has been employed as a practitioner for at least ten years and has a master’s or doctoral degree. The bill also requires nonpublic schools to utilize the Iowa courts online system, sex offender registry and child abuse registry for employee background checks.

Approved by House 99-0. On the Senate debate calendar.

HF 2385 (formerly HSB 527) - Counselor, Therapist or School Employee Exploitation (F) - The bill adds a person employed by, performing volunteer services for, or providing contract services to a nonpublic elementary or secondary school or charter school to the definition of “school employee”.

On House debate calendar

HF 2298 (formerly HF 2040) - Covid Vaccination Not Required For School (A) - This bill prohibits requiring an immunization against COVID-19 for a person to be enrolled in any licensed child care center, elementary or secondary school, or postsecondary school in Iowa prior to July 1, 2029, notwithstanding whether a person’s attendance is in person or virtual.

Approved by the House 57-36. On the House debate calendar.

HF 2294 (formerly HF 2109) - Your Life Iowa Info on School IDs (F) - This bill requires public schools to include on either side of identification cards issued to students in grades seven through twelve the your life Iowa crisis telephone and text numbers. The bill authorizes a public school that issues identification cards to students in grades five and six to do so as well.

On House debate calendar

Approved by both the House and Senate:

HF 2416 (formerly HF 2309) - Athletic Participation (A) - The bill requires an college, junior college or interscholastic athletic team, sport,or athletic event that is sponsored or sanctioned by an accredited nonpublic school, school district, or athletic organization must be designated as females, women, or girls; males, men, or boys; or coeducational or mixed based on the sex at birth of the participating students. The bill also requires that only female students, based on their sex, may participate in any team, sport, or athletic event designated as being for females, women, or girls. The bill defines “sex” to mean a person’s biological sex as either female or male, and provides that the sex listed on the student’s official birth certificate or certificate issued upon adoption may be relied upon if the certificate was issued at or near the time of the student’s birth.

Approved by the House 55-39. Approved by the Senate 31-17. Signed into law by the Governor.

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