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Davis Brown Government Relations Report

2019 Legislative Report - Week Nine - March 15, 2019

This week was the first of four weeks between the funnels.  Most effort right now is dedicated to getting bills passed by one chamber so the other chamber can begin committee work. In total, 50 bills were messaged between the chambers (26 bills to the House from the Senate; 34 bills to the Senate from the House). By the end of the second funnel all House bills must be out of Senate committees and Senate bills out of House committees to survive except for Ways and Means and Appropriations bills.  Additionally, the Senate must confirm all Gubernatorial appointees by April 15.

Significant Floor Action

Judicial Nominating Commission

SF 237 passed the Senate 32-17 along party lines.  The bill was amended to match the House version which is currently eligible for debate but is not on the debate calendar.  This bill would change the structure of the Judicial Nominating Commission - the body which chooses judicial nominees for the Governor to consider for appointment. This change was proposed and amended in Week Four and Week Six.

Firearms Rights

SJR 18 passed both chambers along party lines with exception of Senator Rich Taylor who voted with the Republicans in favor of the resolution.  This Constitutional Amendment would require courts to apply strict scrutiny when examining any laws or regulations dealing with firearms.  In order for this language to become part of the Iowa Constitution, both chambers must pass this exact language during the next General Assembly which will convene in 2021. If that happens the language will be on the ballot in 2022 to be voted on by the electorate.

Senate Confirmations

  • Frederick Lindenmayer, Board of Regents
  • Stephan Bayens, Public Safety Commissioner
  • Debi Durham, Executive Director of the Iowa Finance Authority
  • Matt Strawn, CEO of the Iowa Lottery

Revenue Estimating Conference

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) meets three time a year (October, December and March) to determine state revenue forecasts. The Governor and the Legislature use the December numbers to prepare their budget recommendations. If the March REC estimates show an increase in projected revenue, the Governor and Legislature must use the lower figures estimated in December. However, if the March estimates are lower than December estimates, the Governor and the Legislature must use the new, lower figure.

The March REC met today (March 15) and adjusted the Net Receipts Plus Transfers for FY19 to $7.733 billion (up $5M) and for FY20 to $7.848 (down $20M). Lawmakers are currently considering a budget of about $7.6 billion, which is within the March estimate.

Bills Sent to Governor

Through the end of session, we will provide a summary of the bills that have been sent to the Governor, when she signed, and the effective date for each.

Bills to Governor Signed Effective

SF 113 OWI Habitual Offenders


SF 220 Section 179 Expensing

3/15/19 1/1/18 (retroactive) 

SF 367 Eliminating Councils


SF 519 Ag Facility Trespass



SF 668 Wine/Beer/Liquor License


HF 482 DOT Officer Powers


HF 487 Single Point-of-Contact Towers


SF 274 Free Speech on Campus


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