It's the law: New measures passed by Iowa Legislature take effect today

New laws cover areas including DNA samples, background checks, E-911 surcharges

[Editor's note: This is an updated version of the previous article. An earlier version of this included the DNA sample law that does not go into effect until 2014.]

Here are some of the measures passed by the split-control Iowa General Assembly during the 2013 legislative session and signed by Gov. Terry Branstad that will take effect today:

Reinvestment districts

  • THE LAW: Communities will be able to establish reinvestment districts to capture shares of state sales tax and local hotel/motel fees to help fund big-ticket projects.
  • WHAT IT DOES: The split-control Legislature achieved bipartisan support for cities and counties to designate special 25-acre development zones and use a share of sales tax and hotel-motel tax revenues to assist private projects of at least $10 million as a way to spur “big ideas.”

Background checks

Liability protection

  • THE LAW: Land owners will have expanded liability protections for farm tours. (HF649)
  • WHAT IT DOES: The change is designed to abrogate an Iowa Supreme Court decision holding that farmers who offer educational tours are not shielded from personal injury lawsuits under Iowa’s recreational use law. The court ruled 5-2 last February that the owners of a dairy farm could be sued by a chaperon injured when she fell through a hole in a hayloft during a kindergarten class field trip.

Other laws of note

Curated by Rod Boshart, Jim Riley/The Gazette

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