Notable Bills Effective July 1, 2014

The following is a list of notable bills passed during the 2014 legislative session which became effective July 1, 2014.

Agriculture

House File 2427-- CORN PROMOTION ASSESSMENT CAP INCREASE, REFUND & VOTING TASK FORCE-

House File 2427 proposes a two stage increase in the maximum assessment cap that corn producer can vote to apply to their corn purchases from the current 1-penny per bushel to no more than 2-cents between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2019 and no more than 3-cents on and after September 1, 2019.   The bill creates an ‘Iowa Corn Check-off Task Force’ composed of 5 voting members.  The Task Force is charged with developing and submitting a report regarding its findings and recommendations to the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture by September 1, 2014 concerning the development and implementation of a system to allow corn referendum ballots to be cast through the mail, and increasing refund awareness with first purchasers.

House File 2454—BEGINNING FARMER TAX CREDIT CARRY-FORWARD EXTENSION-House File 2454 proposes to extend the timeframe for several different types of Beginning Farmer Tax credits (past, present and future-- Ag Asset Transfer Tax Credits, and Custom Farm Tax Credits earned between 2013 and 2017) from 5-years beyond the year the credit is earned to 10 years.  The bill is unusually complex and seemingly redundant because of legislation passed and enacted last year that increased the rate of ag asset transfer tax credits for a five year period between 2013 and 2017, and then reverting to pre-2013 rates and also created a new 5-year custom farm tax credit in effect between 2013 and the end of 2017.  

 

Commerce

House File 398 INSURANCE AGENT DUTIES-The new law overturns Iowa Supreme Court precedents that expanded the scope of potential legal liability for insurance agents and, thereby, restores the duty of care owed by insurance agents to only those beneficiaries that have a contractual relationship with the agent.  

House File 2109 E-CIGARETTES-The new law will enable the state to regulate “electronic cigarettes” as it currently regulates tobacco products.  It provides penalties for minors possessing them and for vendors selling them to minors.  The law will also prohibit e-cigarette sales through vending machines and ban sampling within 500 feet of a school.

House File 2296 GIFT CERTIFICATES-The bill eliminates the presumption that certain unused gift certificates are abandoned property, allowing the consumer to use them indefinitely.  In doing so, it also eliminates the onerous requirement that businesses issuing the gift certificates keep track of the unspent balance and forfeit the proceeds to the state treasurer. 

House File 2297 REGULATION OF PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS-The new law regulates pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) by authorizing the insurance commissioner to require disclosure of PBM’s pricing methodology for pharmaceuticals to pharmacies.  It also regulates contracts between PBMs and pharmacies regarding drug prices.

House File 2333 UNCLAIMED LIFE INSURANCE-Effective July 1, 2015 (passed within SF 2342):  The law will require life insurance companies to periodically review their policies against a database to determine whether any insured lives have passed away.  If the insurer learns of the death, it is obligated to contact any policy beneficiaries.   

Senate File 2255 ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER IMMUNITY-The bill extends the state’s sovereign immunity protections to architects or professionally licensed engineers when they provide services in certain emergency circumstances.  

 

Education 

House File 215 – EDUCATION REFORM Division 9 – Instructional Hours-Changes the instructional time requirement for school districts from to allow the count in either days or hours.  Current law requires 5.5 hours minimum instruction time and 180 days beginning on or around September 1.  The bill allows the year to be counted as 1080 hours instead, equal to 6 hours of instructional time per day.  Instructional hours include time between classes but do not include lunch or parent-teacher conferences.  Any change proposed by the school board shall receive a public hearing prior to approval. 

Senate File 2347 – EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS

Sections 7, 11, 24 – English Language Learners Pilot Program

Establishes, subject to an appropriation, an English Language Learners (ELL) grant program available for all school districts.  Priority is given to the districts with the highest percentage of students identified as limited English proficient.  The grant is for up to 3 years, renewed annually with the Department of Education.  Funding is set at $500,000 in the Education Appropriations bill.

Sections 10 and 28 – Administrator Coaching and Support Systems

Amends current language regarding school administrator coaching and support systems by gearing the coaching and support towards the new teacher leadership system established by the legislature in 2013.  The Governor has requested $2 million in funding for this provision in the Education Appropriations Bill.

House File 2271 – OPERATIONAL SHARING INCENTIVES-Creates new operational sharing incentives for school districts that share specific positions.  It extends current sharing incentives but places new parameters on the program and adds new positions eligible.  Changes the weighting from a “per-pupil” formula to a “per position” formula, meaning incentives are based on the position rather than how many pupils the district has.  A superintendent position generates the equivalent of 8 students extra funding, while a business manager generates 5 students worth, and a curriculum director generates 3 students worth.  This creates equity among large and small districts.  Eligible positions are superintendent, business manager, human resources, transportation, operation and maintenance, and curriculum directors. 

House File 2388  – FOSTER CARE SERVICES AND LEARNING CONTINUITY-Meant to ensure Continuity of Learning for children in foster care.  Requires school districts to work with AEAs (AEAs are to hire child welfare liasisons) to provide services and guidance to schools to develop systems for ease of transition for students in the foster care system.  This would include academic credit, extra-curricular activities, etc.

House File 2389 – RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN TEACHERS AND FORMER STUDENTS-The Board of Educational Examiners promulgated a rule this summer regarding teachers dating former students.  The rule, and this bill, state that a relationship within 90 days of a student graduating constitutes unethical conduct and may result in disciplinary action by the Board.

Senate File 220 – RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM AGE LIMITS-The bill expands the option for school districts to offer early retirement incentive packages paid for out of the district’s management levy to those who retire over the age of 55, striking the previous statutory cap of age 65. 

Senate File 2319 – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EARLY LITERACY AND DYSLEXIA DEFINITION

Expands on the early literacy language from 2012’s Education Reform bill regarding third grade literacy and retention for non-proficient readers.  Requires the Iowa Reading Research Center to collaborate with the AEAs and the DE to provide professional development to school districts at no cost to the district.  Reading assistance provided shall include strategies to identify and address dyslexia.  The bill also defines dyslexia for purposes of this language. 

 

Economic Growth

House File 2448 HIGH QUALITY JOBS PROGRAM REFORMS-The law makes reforms to the High-Quality Jobs program by eliminating redundancy and administrative overhead in the Enterprise Zone program.  It also adds the “Brownfields” and “Grayfields” designations (see next, SF 2339) into High Quality Jobs and the new workforce housing program established under the bill.

Senate File 2339 BROWNFIELDS/GRAYFIELDS REFORMS-The law reforms the current Brownfield-Grayfield Redevelopment program by making improvements to an “abandoned public building” eligible for tax credits, making the credits refundable for non-profits and empowering the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) to use a merit system when dispensing awards to projects.  

House File 2453 HISTORIC TAX CREDITS REFORMS-The law makes changes to the Historic Tax Credit program administered by the Department of Cultural Affairs, altering the process through which tax credit applications are approved and providing greater scrutiny for their dispensation.   

Environmental Protection

Senate File 2197--REPEAL OF DORMANT ENVIRONMENTAL ‘CONDITIONAL PERMIT’ PROVISIONS

Senate File 2197  strikes from the Code an environmental protection regulations provision that has never been used since it was enacted more than two decades ago.  This law provided for air program conditional permits that at the time the Iowa Utility Board (ABU) required such a permit before it would grant a rate increase for additional generation capacity or clean air retrofitting expenses prior to completion or even initiation of required air quality permit work needed for the project.  However shortly after this law was enacted, the ABU changes their administrative rules to no longer require this regulatory paper work. 

Judiciary

House File 2278-REGIONAL TRANSIT DATA-House File 2278 limits how data about regional transit riders can be shared. The bill allows aggregate data to be shared with different organizations, but prevents data specific to an individual from being shared. HF 2278 protects individual riders privacy while still allowing transit information to be collected and shared.

Senate File 2092- FRAUD-Senate File 2092 expands the definition of 1st degree fraud to include services above $10,000. The current code does not have services listed under 1st degree fraud. The calculation of a value in fraudulent practices can come from multiple events that can be traced to one scheme. 

Senate File 2311- HUMAN TRAFFICKING-Protects children who are involved in prostitution. The bill would allow people under 18, who have been forced in to prostitution to be assisted by the Department of Human Services as a child in need of assistance, instead of facing prosecution.  The bill also adds a new code section for sexual exploitation of a minor and extends the statute of limitations for sexual exploitation of a minor from 3 to 10 years after the victim turns 18. Allows an Affirmative Defense against a pimping charge, if a person was a victim of prostitution under age.  NOTE: The section of this bill addressing a Victim Surcharge, does not take effect until January 1, 2015. The rest of the bill is effective July 1, 2014 

Senate File 2118- PROTECTIVE ORDERS ANIMALS- Allows a person who requests a protective order to include pets or companion animals owned or held by the petitioner, respondent or minor child of the petitioner or respondent do be protected. The bill would prevent the respondent from having contact with the animal while the order is in place.

Senate File 2239- ELDER ABUSE-Provides additional protection for persons 60 and over who cannot protect themselves from elder abuse. The bill allows for vulnerable elders to request protective orders in cases of elder abuse.

 

Human Services

Senate File 2193 – RETENTION OF ADULT DAY SERVICES-People that are bed bound, require more than part time health related care, have unmanageable incontinence, are medically unstable, or require maximal assistance with activities of daily living will be able to participate in adult day services.  People under 18 years old; people who require routine three person assistance with standing, transfer, or evacuation; and people who pose a danger to themselves, other participants, or the staff will not be able to participate in adult day services.

Senate File 2276 – ADOPTION INVESTIGATIONS AND REPORTS-The bill requires a pre-placement investigation and report must include an examination of the criminal and child abuse records of the prospective parents, including all of the following: criminal, child abuse, and sex offender registries; child abuse registries maintained by other states in which the parents have lived in the last 5 years; and national biometric identification-based criminal records.  A post-placement investigation and report will consist of no less than 3 face-to-face visits with the child to be adopted.  They will include documentation verifying that any unique needs of the child are being met before the adoption is finalized and a background information investigation of the medical and social history of the biological parents.

House File 2159 – MILLER TRUSTS-This bill raises the Miller Trust upper limit to 125% of the average statewide cost of nursing care.  This would allow more people to utilize the Miller Trust option to pay for their care without having to take extraordinary measures such as divorce to lower their income.

A Miller Trust is a trust used to obtain Medicaid eligibility for a person who would not be eligible if their income was considered in the eligibility determination.  A Miller Trust is used only in limited instances where a person’s income is greater than the Medicaid eligibility amount, but less than the statewide cost of nursing care.  If a person has too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but has less income than necessary to pay for their long term care, then a Miller Trust can be set up for them.

HF 2159 raises the Miller Trust upper limit to 125% of the average statewide cost of nursing care.  This would allow more people to utilize the Miller Trust option to pay for their care without having to take extraordinary measures such as divorce to lower their income.

Senate File 2320 – CONSUMER DIRECTED ATTENDANT CARE-This bill relates to providers of Medicaid Consumer Directed Attendant Care (CDAC) and Consumer Choices Option (CCO) services. n the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver program in Iowa Medicaid, people may reach a point where they need help to remain in their own home.  This may happen because of an accident, a lengthy illness, disability, or aging problems.  There is an opportunity for these people to have a person assist them in their home.  CDAC providers help people do things that they normally would for themselves if they were able, thus preventing the person from having to go into a full time care facility (such as a nursing home).

 

Natural Resources 

House File 2216 – OFF ROAD UTILITY VEHICLES-This bill revises the definition of “off-road utility vehicle” in the Iowa Code.  The bill was brought by stakeholders because some off-road utility vehicles in the market today do not fit within the current Iowa Code definition. The bill creates three off road utility vehicle definitions based on width and weight of the vehicle.  “Off-road utility vehicle” means a motorized vehicle with not less than four and not more than eight non-highway tires or tracks that have a seat that is not intended to be straddled by the operator, and a steering wheel.  Off-road utility vehicle includes the following vehicle types:

1.              Off-road utility vehicle type 1 – an off-road utility vehicle with a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less and a width of 50 inches or less.

2.              Off-road utility vehicle type 2 – an off-road utility vehicle with a dry weight of 2,000 pounds or less and a width of 60 inches or less.

3.              Off-road utility vehicle type 3 – an off-road utility vehicle with a dry weight of more than 2,000 pounds or a width of more than 65 inches, or both.

House File 2067 – YOUTH WILD TURKEY HUNTING LICENSES-This bill allows a person who is issued a youth spring wild turkey hunting license and does not take a wild turkey during the youth spring wild turkey hunting season may use the license and tag during any other wild turkey season.

Senate File 2198 – PADDLEFISH FISHING LICENSE-The bill authorizes the Natural Resource Commission to issue paddlefish fishing licenses for use on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers.  Residents fishing for paddlefish on either river are required to have a fishing license in addition to an annual paddlefish fishing license that costs $20.

 

Public Safety

House File 475-GPS TRACKING-Allows peace officers to apply for warrants to place GPS monitoring devices. Current law only allows special state agents the ability to apply for these warrants. 

Senate File 2259- SECURITY BREACH NOTIFICATION-Amends the privacy breach notification law. The bill updates the law by expanding the situation in which breaches must be reported and requiring the Attorney General to be notified when breach notices go out to customers. 

Senate File 2360 CANNABIDIOL-Allows Iowans diagnosed by an Iowan neurologist with intractable epilepsy to seek permission to obtain Cannabidiol for treatment. An Iowan who has been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy can apply to receive a card from the Department of Public Health allowing them to have up to 32 oz of Cannabidiol. A patient or a guardian who has the card issued to them and who follows the law will not be prosecuted by the state for possession of Cannabidiol. People who do not have the Cannabidiol Card are still prohibited from having Cannabidiol. The cards must be renewed every year. The University of Iowa shall submit a yearly report detailing scientific literature, studies and clinical trials regarding the use of Cannabidiol around the country. This bill will be repealed July 1, 2017. 

Senate File 2310- UNDERAGE POSSESSION OR CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL-Prohibits the owner or lessee from permitting an underage person from consuming or possessing alcohol. The bill implements penalties for those under 18, not 21. The bill has exceptions for religious purposes.

House File 2289- UNMANNED ARIAL VEHICLES-Regulates the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The state and its political subdivisions cannot use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for enforcing traffic laws. Information obtained by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles cannot be used as evidence unless the information is collected through the use of a search warrant or incompliance with state or federal law. HF 2289 also requires the Department of Public Safety to work with other agencies and interested parties to determine if changes should be made to Iowa’s criminal code to address Unmanned Aerial Vehicle use. 

 

State Government

House File 381- HORSE DOSAGE AMOUNTS- went to conference committee, where an agreement was reached that allows the Racing and Gaming Commission to place restrictions on the dosage amounts of phenylbutazone (horse aspirin) in stakes races. It also includes House File 2290 which expands the uses of standardbred harness racing purse moneys to include breeder’s awards at the state and other county fairs.  This report also adds construction of harness racing tracks at the fairgrounds or other harness racing tracks approved by the commission as an acceptable use of the purse moneys, so long as the tracks are located in Iowa.  Finally, the report states an unlicensed advance deposit wagering operator or an individual taking or receiving wagers from residents of Iowa is guilty of a Class D felony. 

House File 2274 – ENHANCED NOTICE ON FEE INCREASES-House File 2274 requires the Chief Information Officer to create and maintain, by December 1, 2014, an internet site through which each state agencies must display their fees and imposed charges, and the public can use.  Additionally, the bill requires state agencies to provide timely and enhanced notification to interested parties of any fee modifications or changes in charges.

House File 2406 – GREYHOUND RACING-Gives an option and describes an option created for the state’s two greyhound tracks to end live races at their facilities by agreeing and paying cessation fees, in addition to other described moneys, into a retirement fund for the greyhound industry.  This bill was then redrafted as House File 2469 in the House Ways & Means Committee, and amended to conform to Senate File 2362 on the floor which described a new process for the state’s greyhound tracks to end live racing by agreeing and paying cessation fees, while allowing each facility to maintain a gambling license, setting up a greyhound retirement fund and finally, describing a process for the Iowa Greyhound Association to obtain a live dog racing license and governing provisions.

House File 2366 – TERMS FOR APPOINTEES TO VACANCIES IN ELECTIVE CITY OFFICE-Under current law, a city council may make an appointment to fill a vacancy in elective city office with the term lasting until the next pending election.  House File 2366 clarifies the definition of pending election and makes other conforming changes.  It also includes portions of House File 2354 relating to the administration of elections and voter registration by changing the registration close day prior to primary elections, and requiring absentee ballots be received before the polls close and changes to absentee voter envelopes. Effective upon enactment.

House File 2406– GREYHOUND RACING-Section 10 of this bill allows Dubuque to be licensed under 99F as a pari-mutuel racetrack, after obtaining such license through the application process from the Commission, without paying any additional fees or other costs and is exempt from other investigation and examination for a license to conduct gambling games, so long as all other requirements (outlined above) are met.  Section 13 states that this provision will be effective upon enactment. Effective upon enactment.

 

Transportation

Senate File 2228 – MINOR’S SCHOOL PERMIT DRIVING DISTANCES-This bill addresses school permits by allow minors with school permits the ability to drive from their high school of enrollment to other high schools in order to participate in extracurricular activities, with conforming changes.

House File 2181 – DEFINITION OF MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER LEMON LAW-This bill changes the definition of “motor vehicle” for purposes of Iowa’s “lemon law” (Iowa Code Ch. 322G) by raising the upper gross vehicle weight rating for motor vehicles covered from 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds, originally purchased or leased by consumers on or after July 1, 2014.

House File 2230 –EXCEPTION FOR CONSERVATION CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT-House File 2230 grants equipment used primarily for construction of permanent conservation practices on agricultural land the same oversize/overweight permit exceptions as other implements of husbandry, subject to certain requirements and restricts as imposed by state or local authorities. Effective upon enactment.

 

Ways & Means

House File 2446 – DIESEL FUEL TRAILERS AND SEED TENDERS-This bill provides for a sales tax exemption for the sales price of a diesel fuel trailer or seed tender that is used primarily in agricultural production, regardless of the vehicle either is attached to. Under current law, such items are not exempt unless they are directly and primarily used in the production of agriculture products and are customarily drawn or attached to self-propelled farm implements.

House File 2459 – VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY WORKER TAX CREDIT-This bill increases the tax credit for volunteer fire fighters and volunteer emergency medical services personnel from $50 to $100. It also adds reserve peace officers to the list of eligible recipients. This credit is currently non-refundable and stays non-refundable under the bill.

House File 2464 – KNOXVILLE RACEWAY-This bill provides for a sales tax rebate for certain transactions at the Knoxville Raceway. The rebate is for two types of transactions:

•                State sales tax collected from purchasers at the raceway facility.

•                State sales tax paid by the raceway facility related to a construction project for the facility (limited to one project).

The rebates apply to transactions occurring on or after January 1, 2015 but before January 1, 2025 and are limited to a maximum of $2 million or an amount equal to 25 percent of the project costs—whichever is less. Additionally—the rebate will not include LOST or SAVE money. 

House File 2466 – SECTION 42 HOUSING-Current law provides that assessors of property that is rented to low-income persons (Section 42) will use the productive and earning capacity from the actual rents received as a method of appraisal and requires assessors to take into account the extent to which that use and limitation reduces the market value of the property. Current law also prohibits the assessor from considering any tax credit equity or other subsidized financing as income provided to the property in determining the assessed value. Currently, these properties are no longer subject to those assessment procedures when the property is no longer eligible under Section 42 and notice is provided to the assessor.

These sections allow a Section 42 property owner to elect to withdraw the eligible property from the above assessment procedures by filing a notice with the assessor by March 1 of the assessment year. An election to withdraw from those procedures is irrevocable for as long as the person who made the election is the owner of the property.

 House File 2468 – ADOPTION TAX CREDIT-This bill creates an individual income tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid or incurred in connection with the adoption of a child (an individual under the age of 18). The tax credit cannot exceed $2,500. The adoption qualifies for the tax credit if the adoption is completed by the Department of Human Services, a licensed agency, or a person petitioning for an independent placement. Qualifying expenses are expenses that are incurred by the taxpayer during the tax year, are not otherwise reimbursed, and are connected with the adoption. These expenses can include medical and hospital expenses of the biological mother which are incidental to the birth of the adopted child, adoption agency and legal fees, and all other fees and costs relating to the adoption. These expenses cannot include expenses paid or incurred in violation of state or federal law. Any credit in excess of the taxpayer’s liability is refundable or may be carried forward one tax year.

Under Iowa law, a taxpayer may claim an itemized deduction for the amount of certain adoption expenses that exceed 3 percent of net income. This bill provides that taxpayers who claim the itemized deduction are required to reduce that deduction by the amount of expenses used to calculate the adoption tax credit.

Senate File 303 – HOME BASE IOWA

•                Exempts federal retirement pay received for military service from the state individual income tax retroactive to January 1, 2014.

•                Exempts military survivor benefits from Iowa income tax.

•                Eliminates the special plate issuance fees ($25 or $35) charged for certain special motor vehicle registration plates associated with military service but requires the $5 annual validation fee to still be paid.

•                Clarifies that property owned by veteran associations can be rented or leased irregularly without jeopardizing their property tax exemption.

•                Allows private sector employers to grant a preference in hiring and promotion for veterans and some spouses. (Permissive, not mandatory)

•                Requires community colleges, regent universities, and private colleges to file certain reports on educational credits awarded to veterans.

•                Requires all professional and occupational licensing boards to adopt rules to provide credit towards licensure for veterans with appropriate military education, service, and training.

•                Makes changes to County Commissions of Veteran Affairs including adding to the list of responsibilities of the director of the County Commission, making changes to record-keeping, and making changes to policies dealing with care and maintenance of graves. 

Divisions I, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and IX effective July 1. Division II effective upon enactment. 

SENATE FILE 2338– TAX ON NATURAL GAS AND SPECIAL FUEL-This bill changes the excise tax on compressed natural gas used as special fuel to 21 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. This is the rate that makes it equivalent to the motor fuel tax. Under current law the rate of tax is measured in pounds. This bill also establishes an excise tax on liquefied natural gas used as special fuel of 22.5 cents per diesel gallon equivalent. This is the rate that makes it equivalent to the diesel fuel tax. This bill also clarifies how these two fuel sources will be taxed. It ensures the new measurement terminology (GGEs) and additional fuel type (LNG) are reflected in all the applicable sections of the chapter. It also outlines the point of taxation for LNG.

SENATE FILE 2343 – WIND ENERGY/COGENERATION TAX CREDIT-This bill provides a two-year extension for the in-service date of the tax credit for wind energy and other renewable energy facilities that have been awarded production tax credits under 476C. The bill also adds methane gas, landfill gas, and biogas as allowed fuel sources for an existing cogeneration subcategory.

SENATE FILE 2344 – RENEWABLE FUELS-This bill provides that the E-15 tax credit will remain at 3 cents per gallon except for the summer blend period, which extends from June 1 through September 15. During this period, the per-gallon credit will increase to 10 cents per gallon. Divisions I and III effective July 1.  Division II effective upon enactment.

SENATE FILE 2340 – SOLAR ENERGY TAX CREDIT-This bill increases the total amount of solar tax credits available for residential or business installations from $1.5 million to $4.5 million. The bill also increases the percent of the federal credit available per project from 50 percent to 60 percent. The federal credit is set to expire on January 1, 2017—Iowa’s credit is tied to the federal credit and will expire on that date as well unless it is extended.  Effective upon enactment.

SENATE FILE 2341 – NEWTON SPEEDWAY-This bill eliminates the requirement that the Iowa business that owns the racetrack have at least 25 percent of its equity owned by residents of Iowa. This bill is also related to the receipt of a rebate of the sales tax imposed and collected by retailers at the Newton Speedway facility. The rebate is currently limited to sales occurring before January 1, 2016 and is capped at $12.5 million. This bill extends that date to apply to sales occurring before January 1, 2026 (ten year extension). The cap is left in place. Effective upon enactment.

SENATE FILE 2352 – DISABLED VETERAN PROPERTY TAX CREDIT-Currently there is a disabled veteran tax credit under Iowa Code 425.15. That provides a property tax credit on the homestead of an eligible veteran (who received special adaptive housing because of a service-connected disability) equal to the entire amount of property tax levied. This bill modifies the qualifications for this total property tax credit by adding the following as qualified recipients:

•                Veterans with a service-connected disability rating of 100 percent

•                Former member of the national guard of any state who otherwise meets the service requirements for Iowa National Guard members service-connected disability rating of 100 percent

•                Surviving spouses or children who are receiving dependency and indemnity compensation for a spouse or parent who died in action or dies because of a service connected injury

This bill also strikes the maximum income limitation qualification for the credit (was at $35,000).

Effective upon enactment.

 

Veteran’s Affairs

Senate File 2321 — SEXUAL HARRASSMENT IN THE MILITARY-This bill gives Courts-Martial primary jurisdiction of certain military offenses specifically listed in the Iowa Code of Military Justice (ex.: conduct unbecoming, dueling, aiding the enemy, etc). This bill makes it a court-martial offense if a member of the state military interferes with or retaliates against another member who makes or intends to make a report of certain serious crimes (murder, robbery, sex abuse, etc) that are under the exclusive jurisdiction of civilian courts to civilian law enforcement.

This bill also requires a commander who is made aware of an allegation that a crime that the civilian courts have exclusive jurisdiction over has been committed by a member of the state military forces against another member to report it without delay to civilian law enforcement. In a case of an allegation of sexual abuse-the commander’s obligation to make this report to civilian law enforcement does not apply in the case of a restricted report as defined by federal military regulations. This bill further details that if that allegation is of sexual abuse, the commander is required to provide the person making the allegation with written notice of the person’s right to notify local civilian law enforcement independently (but the commander is still required to notify civilian law enforcement if the report was unrestricted). Further, this bill states that military members retain the right to notify civilian law enforcement of crimes that civilian courts have primary or exclusive jurisdiction over.

This bill requires the Adjutant General to submit an annual report to the Governor and the Veterans’ committees in each chamber of the number of offenses that are under the primary or exclusive jurisdiction of civilian courts that were reported to civilian authorities.


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