Government

What did Iowa lawmakers do (or not) in their 2020 session?

A look toward the rotunda from a stairway at the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (T
A look toward the rotunda from a stairway at the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (The Gazette)

Here is a look at how some issues fared during the Iowa Legislature’s 2020 session:

Everything the Iowa Legislature DID do in the 2020 session

• Ban police chokeholds/address police officer misconduct (HF2647)

• Create 24-hour abortion waiting period for women (HF594)

• Craft a $7.78 billion fiscal 2021 state budget (HF2643)

• Require felons to pay victim restitution before voting rights are restored (SF2348)

• Give businesses/medical providers immunity protection from COVID-19 lawsuits (SF2338)

• Raise tobacco/vaping possession age to 21 (SF2268)

• Give schools more power to manage disruptive students (SF2360)

• Expand provisions of Iowa’s medical cannabis program (HF2589)

• Increase state aid 2.3 percent to 327 K-12 school districts (SF2164)

• Provide more school transportation/equity funding (SF2164)

• Expand criminal penalties for animal mistreatment (HF737)

• Establish a 2-cent per gallon gas tax exemption for E15 fuel (SF2403)

• Expand incentives for broadband in rural areas (SF2400)

• Exempt COVID-19 federal stimulus checks/grants from state taxation (HF2641)

• Set local parameters for weapons/gun range regulations and security (HF2502)

• Create criminal offense of food operation trespass (SF2413)

• Made changes to state election laws limiting commissioner’s emergency powers (HF2486)

• Exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales tax (HF2641)

• Expand Future Ready Iowa workforce incentives (HF2384)

• Allow manufacture/sale of consumable CBD products from hemp (HF2581)

• Raise upper age limit for 8-year driver’s license from 72 to 78 (HF2360)

• Allow immunity to minors seeking help for alcohol-related emergencies (HF684)

• Recognize out-of-state professional licenses for several occupations (HF2627)

• Expand the definition of barbering to include mobile cosmetology (SF155)

• Direct a study of the value of solar as an energy option (SF583)

• Exempt some farm buildings from county zoning ordinances (HF2512)

• Allow breweries to manufacture canned cocktails (SF2134)

• Designate U.S. 20 in Iowa as “Medal of Honor Memorial Highway” (SF388 )

• Allow debt offset on sports-wagering winnings (HF2623)

• Enhance penalty for eluding law enforcement vehicle (SF2275)

• Modify provisions for final disposition/disinterment of human remains (SF2135)

• Boost flood recovery assistance to $21 million (SF2144)

• Set parameters for asbestos exposure lawsuits (SF2337)

• Update/streamline criminal surcharges/court fees (SF457)

• Exempt farmers from chauffeur license requirement to transport goods (HF2372)

• Expand indecent exposure criminal offense (SF2097)

• Allow coyote hunters to use infrared lights mounted to method of take (SF537}

• Disqualify commercial driver’s license for trafficking conviction (HF2235)

• Create Department of Public Safety blue alert in cases of violence against law officers (SF526)

• Allow College Savings Iowa funds to be used for out-of-state education (HF2340)

• Create voluntary human sex trafficking prevention training program for hotel/motel owners (HF2259)

• Allow hunters to use dogs to track wounded deer (HF657)

• Bar release of child sex abuse victim ID except by court authority (HF2445)

• Create crime for continuous sexual abuse of a child (HF2554)

• Allow certain residential buildings to install commercial elevators (SF2195)

Everything the Iowa legislature DIDN’T do in the 2020 session

• Seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment to restore voting rights for felons (HJR14)

• Approve governor’s IWILL tax relief/mental health plan (SSB3116/HSB657)

• Seek voter approval of a constitutional amendment on abortion (SJR2001/HJR2004)

• Ban hand-held electronic devices while driving (SF2248/HF2375)

• Increase speed limits on Iowa roadways (HF2166)

• Change statute of limitations for child sexual abuse (SSB3032)

• Allow financial compensation for college athletes (SF2330/HF2282)

• Make daylight saving time permanent (SF2077/HF2059)

• Allow end-of-life options for patients with terminal conditions (SF2156/HF2302)

• Close loopholes to protect mobile home occupants/tenants (HF2351/SF2238)

• Remove gender identity from civil rights protections (HF2164)

• Increase state minimum hourly wage to $10.25 on July 1 (HF2076)

• Provide “religious freedom” protections for businesses (SF508)

• Raise state tobacco tax by $1 to $2.36 per pack (HF2167)

• Modify Iowa’s bottle bill law (SSB3109/HSB507)

• Require able-bodied welfare/Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer (SF2366)

• Create offense/fine for highway “left lane camping” vehicles (SF389)

• Direct Iowa Department of Transportation to install/maintain adult changing stations at highway rest areas (HF2097)

• Designate honeybee as official state insect (SSB3187)

• Create $2,500 fine for illegally hunting black bears out of season (HF2341)

• Create a “right to be forgotten act” to remove internet content (SF2236)

• Clarify no “escape clause” for mandatory life prison term (SF2093)

• Install rumble strips at rural highway intersections (SF2180/HF2004)

• Bar businesses from requiring employee microchip implants (HSB580)

• Create $60 fine for texting violation near school (HF2153)

• Create crime for defrauding a workplace drug/alcohol test (SF2273/HSB539)

• Require helmets for minors operating motorcycles/motorized bikes (HF2233)

• Eliminate criminal penalties for possessing marijuana (HF2208)

• Establish moratorium on constructing large-scale animal feeding facilities (HF2127/SF2254)

• Include vaping in Iowa’s smoke-free air act (SSB3052/HSB627)

• Establish Central Standard Time as permanent time in Iowa (SF2020)

• Approve July 4 sales tax exemption for guns/ammunition (HSB648)

• Bar seclusion rooms in public/private schools (HF2386)

• Require front and rear lights on bicycles (SF2090)

• Limit flags at public buildings to U.S., state, local, POW/MIA (SSB3017)

• Eliminate diversity plans affecting open enrollment in five school districts (SF199)

• Exempt show choir students from high-school PE requirement (SF2041)

• Require Declaration of Independence preamble display in schools (SF2101)

• Bar optional school health screenings unless parents consent (SF2153)

• Mandate 75 percent of UI medical/dental school students be Iowans (HF2383)

Provide court-awarded attorney fees for successful local “ban-the-box” challenge (HF2309)

• Limit county supervisors’ salaries to county median income (HF2035)

• Require state license to offer medication abortions (HSB678)

• Conduct study for revitalizing Iowa’s highway rest areas (HSB687)

• Review public assistance recipients’ eligibility (SF2272)

• Raise fine to $2,500 for illegally selling, taking or possessing an eagle (HF326)

• Allow permit-holders to carry guns on school grounds (SF2224/HF2162)

• Require pregnant women to view ultrasound image/wait 72 hours for an abortion (SF2215)

• Allow students to appeal grades based on alleged political bias (SF2057)

• Prohibit cities from annexing fertile farm land (HF2286)

• Bar conversion therapy regarding sexual orientation/gender identity (HSB698/SF2257)

• Create “extreme risk” firearms protective order (HF2367)

• Establish policies to limit students’ smartphone use at school (HF2347)

• Expand legislative oversight of Iowa Supreme Court decisions (SSB3181)

• Require pole-vaulting competition at high-school track meets (HF2100)

• Require seat belt/harness for all rear-seat passengers (HF2003/SF2012)

• Establish education savings grants for pupils in low-performing districts (SF2206)

• Repeal bottle deposit law in July 2023 (HF2205)

• Allow life prison term with parole for people charged as murder accessories (SF2231)

• Authorize electronic monitoring in nursing facilities (SF2229)

• Allow permit-holders to carry guns on college campuses (SF2161)

• Bar doctors from performing sex-change procedures with criminal penalties (SF2213)

• Require applicants to disclose sexual orientation on marriage certificates (SF2130)

• Bar smoking in car with passenger under age 14 (SF2028/HF2093)

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• Require large rental building owners to disclose utility costs to apartment-seekers (HSB635)

• Preserve health insurance protection for preexisting conditions (HF2327/SF2064)

• Require high-school athletes to compete based upon sex designation at birth (HF2202)

• Allow college student ID cards for voter registration (SF2126)

• Exempt medical cannabis products from state sales tax (SF2124)

• Create crime for sexual activity with 16-, 17-year-olds without adult consent (HF2248)

• Bar school-administered vaccination without parental consent (SF2174)

• Increase redemption center container fee to 2 cents (HF2206)

• Establish “Protect freedom of conscience from government discrimination” act (SF2194/HF2273

• Create study panel to evaluate inclusion of transgender in civil rights protections (HF2274)

• Require schools to notify parents of lessons on sexual orientation/gender identity (HF2201)

• Expand oversight of privately managed Medicaid program (SF2177)

• Change window tint standards/procedures for motor vehicles (SF2149)

• Expand cities’ authority to declare a public safety nuisance (SSB3127)

• Ensure regional/geographic balance on the DOT Commission (HF2251/SF2002)

• Expand insurance requirements for transportation network drivers (SF2167)

• Offer competitive grants for anti-bullying/harassment training (SF2207)

• Require local governments/schools to publish Nov. 1 salary report (SF2072)

• Create a life imprisonment review committee (HF2433)

• Establish state licensure of clinical art therapists (SF2021)

• Modify family planning services program requirements (SF2033/HF2172)

• Bar state/local governments from accepting virtual currency payments (SF2079)

• Require free menstrual products in school/state building bathrooms (SF2039)

• Enhance assault protections for sports officials/referees (SF2023/HF2043)

• Require regent university outdoor stadium safety reports (HSB585)

• Add African-American history to education standards (HF2385)

• Enact campaign finance reform (HF2371)

• Increase REAP funding to $25 million a year indefinitely (HF2342)

• Set 10-cent retail fee for plastic bags and ban restaurant plastic straws (HF2332)

• Require volunteer service as a condition of high-school graduation (HF2329)

• Expand operation of all-terrain vehicles on secondary roads (SF2158)

• Expand Iowa Utilities Board to five members serving five-year terms (HF2247)

• Establish education scholarships for private school students (HF2261)

• Bar after-school activities/events on political precinct caucus dates (HF2227)

• Establish paid sick/medical/family leave for employees (HF2223)

• Bar teachers from political advocacy in classroom (HF2184)

• Give neighbors 48-hour notice before spreading livestock manure on nearby field (HF2178)

• Bar smoking on state-licensed casino gambling floors (HF2143)

• Eliminate 40-acre per farm limit on hemp production (HF2105)

• Establish multistate compact to phase out corporate welfare (HF2095)

• Strike 2017 union recertification vote requirement (HF2075)

• Regulate wild mushroom sales at retail food services (HF2420)

• Direct Iowa DOT passenger rail study from Dubuque to Black Hawk County (HF2400)

• Replace Iowa State Patrol cruisers at 130,000 miles (HF2399)

• Require landlord/tenant inventory checklists (SF2291)

• Require regent universities to hire a public policy events director (HF2185)

• Change law on confidential law enforcement reports (HSB623)

• Create DPS cold-case investigative unit (HF2430)

• Enact Healthy Moms/Babies Act to address maternal health care issues (SF2062)

• Require suicide hotline number on school-issued student IDs (SF2081)

• Raise the financial cap allowed for in-home bakeries (HSB645)

• Establish periodic review/possible “sunset” of state boards (SSB3142)

• Allow more frequent veterans card game tournaments (SF2266)

• Modify sex offender registry requirements (HF2068)

• Implements process for collection/tracking of sexual abuse evidence collection kits (HSB694)

• Allow 5-year-olds to participate in voluntary preschool for a two-year period (HF2048)

• Amend constitution to clarify lieutenant governor line of succession (SJR2003)

• Create transparency in prescription drug pricing (HF2551)

• Allow county attorneys/assistants to carry weapons (SF2095)

• Restrict local authority to regulate rental housing (HSB690/SSB3178)

• Require blaze orange apparel on public land/ by tree stand in hunting season (HSB654/SF2270))

• Change provisions for maximum jobless benefits duration (HF2462/SF2333)

• Create special farm driver’s license for minors aged 14-18 (SF2094)

• Allow EMTs to carry guns in tactical emergency situations (SF2096/HF2036)

• Provide immunity to money advisers who report financial exploitation of adults (HSB574)

• Authorize law officers to carry guns on school grounds (SF2184}

• Grant liability immunity for veterinarians aiding authorities in a civil/criminal case (HF2374)

• Provide public bodies alternatives to traditional low-bid process on projects (HSB586/SSB3115)

• Increase the number of out-of-state deer hunting licenses (HF2014/SSB3129)

• Expand program for rural doctors’ loan repayments (HF2460)

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.