State Government – All-Bill Summary 2020

All bills assigned to the Senate State Government Committee, passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor for her signature in 2020.

SF 155 – Removes prohibition on mobile barber shops

SF 155 removes the prohibition on mobile barber shops. This bill was inspired by a barber who wanted to launch a mobile barbershop to better meet the needs of the homeless and others in Waterloo.
[3/2: 49-0 (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2134 – Manufacturing canned cocktails

SF 2134 allows a manufacturer of beer to obtain and possess alcoholic liquor to manufacture canned cocktails. Previously, a liquor manufacturer could make canned cocktails in a bottle, not a sealed can. Current Code has been interpreted to define all sealed cans as beer, so liquor manufacturers have been prohibited from using cans to avoid deviating from Iowa’s three-tiered system. Iowa liquor businesses can now manufacture in sealed cans.
[2/6: 44-4 (No: Celsi, Costello, Guth, Hogg; Excused: Whiting, Zaun)]

SF 2135 – Disinterment permits for cremated remains

SF 2135 clarifies the Code regarding cremated remains. An Administrative Rule (ARC 4849C) would have exempted cremated remains from the requirement that a permit be issued for relocation of remains from the original site if the purpose is autopsy or burial. ARC 4849C would have gone into effect upon the adjournment of the 2020 session if the Legislature did not act on the rule. This bill is aimed at removing remains from cemeteries, but does not impact remains buried on private property because they do not have a public health burial permit. As signed into law, the bill clarifies the disinterment process, which mirrors the funeral director’s role under rules to supervise or administer, and adds additional consideration to include a person that has final rights or control, and any court order.
[2/27: 46-3 (No: Dotzler, Hogg, R. Taylor; Excused: Miller-Meeks)]

SF 2188 – Department of Homeland Security bill – hazard mitigation

SF 2188 deals with hazard mitigation during a disaster emergency/flooding. Under the bill, if financial assistance for hazard mitigation/flood recovery is granted by the federal government (but not by a Governor’s proclamation), the state may participate in the funding of the financial assistance authorized to a local government in an amount not to exceed 10% of eligible expenses. In addition, if financial assistance is granted for state-related hazard mitigation, the state may participate in funding an amount not to exceed 50% of eligible expenses. Local governments must have a state-approved comprehensive emergency plan to participate.
[3/2: 49-0 (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2268 – Raising age of vaping to 21

SF 2268 increases the minimum age to buy and use tobacco, tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, vapor products and cigarettes from 18 to 21.
[3/4: 43-6 (No: Carlin, Edler, Schultz, Sinclair, Zaun, R. Taylor; Excused: Rozenboom, Wahls)]

SF 2357 – Scope of practice for physician assistants

SF 2357 expands the scope of practice for physician assistants (PAs) in these ways:

  • PAs may prescribe, dispense, order, administer or procure prescription drugs for which they have been prepared by education, training or experience, and are competent to perform.
  • A physician may delegate the function of prescribing drugs, after the supervising physician determines the physician assistant’s proficiency and competence.
  • Includes physician assistants relating to the scope of recovery in an action for damages for personal injury and wrongful death.
  • Strikes the reference to a physician assistant examination that may be completed in lieu of graduation from an approved program.
  • A physician must be accessible at all times for consultation with a physician assistant. The supervising physician has ultimate responsibility for determining the medical care provided by the supervising physician-physician assistant team.
  • The bill also includes physician assistants as approved providers of health care services, including primary care for purposes of managed care or prepaid services contracts under the Medicaid program.
    [3/2: 49-0 (Excused: Wahls)]

SF 2373– Public safety telecommunicators

SF 2373 changes the term “telecommunicator” to “public safety telecommunicator,” and specifies that the term refers to a first responder who receives requests for, or dispatches requests to, emergency response agencies.
[6/5: 49-0]

HF 310 – Scope of practice for optometrists – injections

HF 310 allows optometrists to administer sub-conjunctival injections for the medical treatment of the eye, intra-lesional injections for the treatment of chalazia, and injections to counteract an anaphylactic reaction. Previous law prohibited an optometrist from administering injections other than to counter an anaphylactic reaction. The bill prohibits an optometrist from administering any injection prior to receiving approval from the board. The board will not approve the use of injections by an optometrist, except for injections to counteract an anaphylactic reaction, unless the optometrist demonstrates sufficient educational or clinical training from or equivalent to an accredited college or university. As signed into law, the bill also allows Botox injections.
[3/3: 41-8 (Excused: Wahls)]

HF 2238 – Unlicensed food stands by minors

HF 2238 says that a municipality must not adopt or enforce an ordinance that requires a license, permit, or fee to sell or otherwise distribute food at a stand operated by a minor. The bill:

 [6/13: 47-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Greene)]

HF 2259 – Human trafficking prevention lodging certification for state employees

HF 2259 requires the Office to Combat Human Trafficking (OCHT), in collaboration with other relevant partners, to develop a human trafficking prevention training program. Lodging providers within the state may choose to voluntarily participate in the training. The Commissioner of Public Safety must develop and maintain a way to certify a lodging provider’s voluntary completion of human trafficking prevention training by December 31, 2021.

The bill specifies that a public employer or a public employee must confirm a lodging provider’s current certification status prior to using any public funds for or at that establishment. This applies to all public funds expended on or after January 1, 2022. Under the bill, a lodging provider’s employee who acts in good faith is immune from civil liability for reporting suspected human trafficking to law enforcement. There is a fiscal note of $156,000 for FY21 and $137,000 for FY22 for the Department of Public Safety.
[6/10: 49-0 (Excused: Bisignano)]

HF 2267 – Regulation of dental hygienists and dental assistants

HF 2267 removes the requirement that services performed by a dental hygienist or dental assistant be performed in a dental office, public or private school, public health agency, hospital or armed forces facility. The bill allows the dental board to impose an administrative penalty of up to $500 on licensees who practice without the proper license, registration or qualification. The bill allows a dental assistant, with additional training, to perform expanded functions and participate in dental radiography. The bill prohibits a dental assistant from placing sealants on teeth unless the dental assistant has completed expanded training accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
[3/4: 48-0 (Excused: Rozenboom, Wahls)]

HF 2389 – Administrative Code Editor’s technical clean up

HF 2389 is the Administrative Code Editor technical clean-up bill that allows the Editor the authority to update agency address rather than requiring those changes to go through the rules process. It requires a fiscal impact for any rule that costs more than $100,000 or combined expenditures of at least $500,000 within five years. This conforms the Code to current practice. The bill consolidates the rule delaying Code sections and aligns committee membership with General Assembly service terms. The bill makes other technical changes in timeframes for committee action and agency reporting.

[6/13: 49-0 (Excused: Hogg)]

HF 2412 – Refines the definition of public improvement

HF 2412 refines the definition of “public improvement” to allow a city utility to perform work on their own system or have a third party perform work without the need to bid out certain projects. Public improvement includes construction, repair or maintenance work performed for a city utility, when the work is performed by its employees or relates to existing utility infrastructure.

[6/13: 47-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Greene)]

HF 2486 – Treasurer’s Seal/Voter Suppression

HF 2486 relates to the design and use of county seals. Under current law, a county treasurer must keep the official county seal. The bill strikes the requirement that the county seal include the word “treasurer.” Republicans took this a one-sentence, non-con bill about the design of county seals and replaced it with divisive voter suppression changes.

Key points include:

  1. Striking the requirement for the printed name, signature, address and phone number of the person responsible for circulating the petition page for nomination papers.
  2. SOS Emergency Powers: The state commissioner’s decision to alter any conduct for an election using emergency powers must be approved by the legislative council. If the legislative council does not approve the secretary of state’s use of emergency powers to conduct an election, the legislative council may choose to present and approve its own election procedures or choose to take no further action.   
  3. Prohibiting county auditors from reducing polling locations by more than 35%.
  4. Allowing alternate electors and requires any elector to vote for presidential nominee.
  5. Fixing county hospital trustee or township trustee language.
    [6/13: 31-16 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Greene)]

HF 2540 – Creation of a charity wine, beer or spirits permit

HF 2540 creates a charity wine and beer event permit for a charity event held by a nonprofit. An authorized nonprofit can hold a charity event and serve attendees beer, spirits and wine, regardless of whether the entity charges an admission fee to the event or collects the cost of the beer, spirits and wine served from the event’s attendees. An application for a charity beer, spirits and wine event permit must include the location, date and time when the event is to be conducted. A certification that proceeds from the charity beer, spirits and wine event are solely for educational, religious or charitable purposes must be displayed.

                  Additional highlights of the bill as adopted include:

  • HF 2514, which passed the House 98-0 on March 12, allowing for the sale of wine in containers no larger than 72 ounces (growler). This applies to a person holding a class “B” wine permit, class “B” native wine permit and a class “C” native wine permit.

HF 2565 – Setoff enforcements move from DAS to DOR

HF 2565 moves the setoff procedures administered by the Department of Administrative Services to the Department of Revenue. This change was requested by both departments. The bill also includes changes to modernize, update and increase efficiency of the offset program.
[6/5: 49-0]

HF 2585 – Deaf and hard-hearing terminology modernization

HF 2585 replaces the term “deaf” with “deaf or hard of hearing” or “deaf and hard of hearing” and the term “hearing impaired” with “hard of hearing.”
[6/13: 47-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lykam, Greene)]

HF 2623 – Establishes set off procedures for gambling winnings

HF 2623 makes everyone subject to the setoff if winnings must be reported on Internal Revenue Service form W-2G for gambling winnings. The requirements to file the form depend on the amount of winnings and the type of wager: $1,200 on bingo or slots; $1,500 on keno (reduced by wager); $5,000 on poker tournament (reduced by wager); and $600 on other gambling winnings when the payout is at least 300 times the amount of the wager.

The bill also amends provisions relating to qualified sponsoring organizations (QSO) licensed to operate gambling games. Members of the board of directors of a QSO must be residents of the state and the board must include a member of the county board of supervisors and city council of each county and city that has a licensed facility as ex officio nonvoting members. Selection of nonvoting members is at the option of the county or city, and the ex officio members are not be required to enter into a nondisclosure agreement. The QSO and an organization that receives contributions from the QSO to distribute grants must conduct and submit to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission an audit on the organization’s activities.

The bill clarifies that credit cards cannot be used for gambling in the fantasy sports and sports betting games that the Legislature established in 2019. Credit cards are not allowed for any other gambling opportunity in Iowa.
[6/5: 48-0 (Absent: Zaun, Zumbach)]

State Government Items in Other Bills

HF 2643 – Omnibus Budget Bill – Absentee Ballot Changes

Changes were added to the budget bill on the last day of session to make it harder for Iowans to vote by mail. It provides new identification requirements and does not allow county auditors to use verified information to fill in missing details on an absentee ballot request.

HF 2627—Professional Licensing (Labor Committee)

HF 2627 narrows the ability of licensing and professional boards to disqualify individuals holding certain licenses because of a criminal conviction. In addition, the bill addresses the issuing of licenses, certifications or registrations without exams to those who have licenses in other states when they establish residency in Iowa.

The bill allows (with certain exceptions) out-of-state individuals without licenses who relocate to Iowa to be issued a license without the required Iowa education and training requirements as long as they have three years of relevant work experience.

Division II of the bill includes many provisions that are not relevant to licensing. Some items in Division II are from bills the Senate passed and the House did not take up. Some items are related to COVID-19 and the Governor’s Proclamations.

Details of the bill:


Disqualification provisions for criminal convictions

  • The bill eliminates certain subsections in Code chapters for electricians and plumbers regarding denying, revoking or suspending licenses based on certain crime convictions.
  • The bill narrows the ability of licensing and professional boards to disqualify individuals holding certain licenses because of a criminal conviction. For a conviction of a crime to serve as disqualification for a professional license, the offense must directly relate to the duties and responsibilities of the profession. “Offense directly relates to” means actions customarily performed within the scope of practice of a licensed profession or the circumstances under which an offense was committed are circumstances customary to a licensed profession. The Education Examiners can still deny a license due to a founded report of child abuse against the person.
  • A licensing board may grant an exception to disqualification for a license if the board determines by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant is rehabilitated and an appropriate candidate for licensure.
  • A person’s conviction of a crime maybe be grounds for a denial, revocation or suspension of a license only if unreasonable risk to public safety exists because the offense directly relates to the duties and responsibility of the profession and the appropriate license board or agency does not grant an exception. This applies to everyone under 272C (professional licensing—many different professional licenses fall under this chapter), but not to chapter 272 (educational examiners).
  • Petitions and new fee: Allows an applicant to petition the professional licensing board for a determination of whether the applicant’s criminal history results in the denial of a license before applying and allows the professional licensing board to charge a fee to the applicant for administrative work involving the petition. The fee cannot exceed $25.

Reciprocity of licenses and recognition of work experience

  • (Section 26) Licensure of persons licensed in other jurisdictions: Requires that a professional or occupational license, certificate or registration be issued to a person without an examination if:
    • That person establishes residency in Iowa, or is married to an active-duty military member and is accompanying them on an official permanent change of station to a military installation in Iowa.
    • Certain conditions must be met to allow for licensing, certification or registration without examination in Iowa. Those conditions include similar scope of practice in the other jurisdiction, having been licensed or registered in the other jurisdiction for least a year, the other jurisdiction imposed minimum education requirements (not substantially equivalent to Iowa), the person does not have discipline imposed on them from a regulating entity, etc. This applies to individuals who come from states that require a license, a certification or registration for their profession; and applies to a license, certification, or registration issued by the professional boards covered by Chapter 272C, as well as to the Board of Educational Examiners.
  • (Section 27) A person applying for a professional license, certificate or registration in Iowa who relocates from another state that did not require a professional occupational license, certificate or registration to practice their profession/occupation may be considered to have met education, training or work-experience requirements in Iowa if they have three or more years of related work experience with a substantially similar scope of practice within the four preceding years as determined by the professional licensing board. If Code or administrative rules require a person applying for a professional occupational license, certificate or registration in this state to pass an exam, the applicant must do so. This does not apply to a license, certificate or registration issued by the boards of medicine, nursing, dental, pharmacy or education examiners.

Fee Waiver

  • A licensing board must waive any fee for a license if the applicant’s household income does not exceed 200% of federal poverty guidelines, and it is the applicant’s first time applying in Iowa. 


  • Public records – allow for electronic examination in lieu of in-person.
  • Allows record request in writing, by telephone or electronic means – and cost accordingly.
  • Private security business does not include bails bond businesses.  This was a non-con part of SF 2372, a bill that was passed out of State Government but not taken up on floor.
  • Allows the Elevator Safety Board to reduce elevator fees for nonprofit associations. This was a non-con part of SF 2372, a bill that was passed out of State Government but not taken up on floor.
  • Eliminates the Hospital Licensing Board. This is SF 2327, which passed the Senate 49-0, but was not taken up in the House.
  • Amends the substance abuse treatment Code Chapter by allowing meetings with counsel or family and friends to be telephonically or electronically.
  • Allows personnel certified by BOEE to provide continuing education requirements online, if available.
  • Deer hunting licensing for out-of-state hunters – SF 2201, which passed the Senate 48-2 but wasn’t taken up in the House.
  • Allows real estate appraisers to complete contact hours under supervision in a bordering state, not to exceed 50% of the state requirement.
  • Architect exam flexibility – don’t have to retake modals you’ve already passed.
  • (Section 44) Repeals Travel Agent registration with Secretary of State requirement. This was SF 2133, which passed the Senate 32-17, but was not taken up by the House.
  • Covid Impact: Pushed back repeal of old immunization law. In 2018, a bill was passed that added Iowa Code 155A.46, allowing pharmacists to independently order and administer immunizations. Rules were needed from Medicaid to ensure pharmacists could bill for the immunizations. Rules were noticed this spring, but were delayed because of COVID-19. Pushing back the repeal of the old immunization law for one more year will provide time for education and to enroll with Medicaid, as well as to ensure there is no gap in coverage for Medicaid members who get immunizations at a pharmacy.
  • Covid Impact: School Physicals – extension on requirement for athletics until Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Covid Impact: Shareholder Meeting – allows tele meetings through Dec. 31, 2020.
    [6/13: 32-17, party-line (No: Democrats; Excused: Hogg)]

**HF 2556 – Veto of Sale of Government Property

House Original Passage: 97-0, March 4, 2020
Senate Passage (amended): 33-14, June 13, 2020
House Passage (as amended by Senate): 52-40, June 14, 2020

Total Dollars Vetoed: $0
Vetoed: June 30, 2020


HF 2556 is a government purchase or lease oversight bill. First, the bill requires prior written notice of any property purchase or lease to the Legislative Services Agency (LSA). LSA must submit the notification to the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee.

Second, at least 30 days prior to entering into a contract for a lease renewal of $50,000 or more, the state agency must notify LSA and the Government Oversight Committee. The report must contain a description of the buildings and office space; proposed terms of the contract; cost of the contract; source of payment of the contract; and an analysis of the consequences of delaying or abandoning the contract. 

The Senate and House agreed to the following strike-all amendment:

  • Division I is the original bill, HF 2556.
  • Division II is essentially SF 2326, dealing with the sale of public property and is amended to provide that if real property belonging to the state or a local political subdivision is disposed of, the property must be sold to the highest responsive, responsible bidder, unless the executive council, by at least a two-thirds vote, agrees to accept a different bidder for good cause.
  • Division III concerns official publications for bids. Official proceedings must be published in the newspaper with the largest number of yearly subscribers within the county, or located within 25 miles of the border of the county. If no newspaper meets either requirement, the applicable governing body may waive the requirement and designate the closest located newspaper.
    [6/13: 33-14, party-line (Yes: Republicans, Boulton, Quirmbach; Excused: Greene, Hogg, Lykam)]

Veto — Governor’s Justification

The Governor seemed to support the original portions of the bill dealing with transparency in leasing. However, she did not approve of the prohibition of or the proposed two-thirds majority vote required for selling property to other than the highest bid. Her veto message argues that factors other than price may determine to whom a property should be sold.

The Governor’s veto message reads:

I hereby transmit House File 2556, an Act concerning governmental real property and official publications.

House File 2556 contains a number of provisions with which I have no objection. But Division 1 of the bill imposes new requirements on local governmental bodies and the State of Iowa prohibiting the sale of real property unless it is sold “to the highest responsive, responsible bidder” or the governmental body, by a two-thirds vote, approves a different bidder for “good cause” or a different process.

I understand the concern that a governmental body may occasionally make a decision to sell property with which many of its constituents disagree. But I am not convinced that this bill is the appropriate solution.

Governmental bodies may reasonably conclude that factors other than price — such as a potential developer’s jobs and economic impact, environmental cleanup, or improvements to the property and infrastructure — should determine to whom a property should be sold. And imposing a two-thirds vote requirement to make this choice would unnecessarily complicate a local government’s decision making and could unintentionally hurt redevelopment and economic growth efforts in our state. I am also concerned that the new language lacks clarity and could lead to litigation, confusion, and unintended consequences surrounding governmental real estate transactions even where a unaniilu0us vote approves of the transaction.

For these reasons, I respectfully disapprove of House File 2556 in its entirety.