Legislative Update

Pederson Consulting

Weekly Update

WEEK #12: April 1st – 5th


This week, former Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht passed away.  Hecht practiced for 22 years in Sioux City for before being appointed to the Court of Appeals in 1999, then the Supreme Court in 2006. In December, Hecht resigned from the Supreme Court to focus on his treatment for melanoma. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady released a statement, “I always looked forward to spending time with Daryl when we both would travel to Des Moines for oral arguments and meetings. He was an enthusiastic student of the law and a strong advocate for his position when we discussed cases. He was also a great friend and we spent many hours talking about our families and events in our lives. I will miss him, greatly.”

HJR 14 FELONY VOTING AMENDMENT was removed from the Senate committee agenda by Senator Zaun this week, stating that many Senate Republicans are still concerned about what will constitute the discharge of a sentence.  The proposed amendment, which was proposed by Governor Reynolds, will not make it past the  funnel. The resolution will be eligible next year, only needing to be approved once in a General Assembly.  Governor Reynolds said she was disappointed, but will not give up the fight for an amendment to restore voting rights.


SF 246 ALL-IOWA SCHOLARSHIPS: Senate PASSED the bill 48-0, as did the House. It now goes to the Governor.

Strikes age requirements for All-Iowa Scholarships for foster children and for a surviving child who parent was a firefighter, peace officer or sheriff.

HF 694 EMS COMPACT:  PASSED in Subcommittee 14-0; (FM: Chapman)

Establishes an EMS licensure compact. Includes various provisions on EMS licensing, use of fees and for states to recognize licensing from another state. Makes the Department of Public Health the lead agency. Becomes effective when ten states have approved the compact.

HSB 254 PREP SCHOOL FIRE RULES: Introduced to the Government Oversight Committee.  Sub committee of Klein, Kaufmann and Lensing

Directs the State Fire Marshal to exempt college prep schools and boarding and day schools established in 1890 from international fire code regulations. Directs the Fire Marshal to consult with the Department of Health Services and Department of Internal Affairs on rules for such facilities.

SSB 1255 JUSTICE SYSTEMS APPROPRIATIONS: PASSED on Party Lines, 14-7 (Appropriations Committee, FM: Garrett) Makes the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations for the Department Of Justice, the Department of Corrections, DPD, DPS/EM, ILEA, Public Defender, BOP, Civil Rights Commission, CJJP and the DHR.

This bill was presented to the Committee as a whole on Thursday, April 4th, with the Democrats noting that there was no time for public input.  The bill increases the Fire Service training dollars by $50,000.00. While this is not enough to cover the increased rent from ISU it at least is a step in adding more dollars to the Fire Service Training budget which has not seen an increase in about 5 or 6 years.

$875,520 is the proposed amount given for costs associated with the training and equipment needs for fire service training.  This allows any unexpended funds appropriated for firefighter training and equipment needs to remain available through the end of Fiscal Year 2021 for the purposes designated.  It also specifies that the Department of Public Safety may reallocate funds for firefighter training and equipment needs necessary to best fulfill the needs provided for in the appropriation. The Department must notify the LSA and the DOM of any reallocation, and provide information regarding the rationale for reallocating moneys.

SF 442 Emergency Responder Updates:  Passed Full House Transportation Committee.

This bill is now funnel proof and ready for floor debate.  An amendment was filed adding Emergency Management vehicles to the language; the amendment passed along with the bill on a party line vote with the exception of Representative Judge (D), who voted with the Republicans to support this bill.

IFA has THREE major bills waiting to be debated on the HOUSE floor. They are as follows:

SF 478 deals with proper use of lights on emergency vehicles and snow plows

SF 377 is a bill that extends immunity from tort liability to non-profit organizations providing emergency response services

SF 442 is an emergency responder bill authorizing emergency vehicles and clarifying and updating the code to situations currently happening.

It would help if you would encourage your SENATORS to support these bills and for the Majority Leader, Jack Whitver to put these bills on the debate calendar. Sen Whitvers email is:  jack.whitver@legis.iowa.gov

We are looking forward to seeing you all at the Mid-Year convention in Coralville next weekend!

John & Cyndi Pederson