Capitol Report: Week Six Update

February 26, 2020

By: Paula S. Dierenfeld, Katie Graham



This Funnel’s No Cake. The first funnel of the 2020 legislative session occurred last Friday, making this past week a hectic one. One hundred seventy-nine subcommittee meetings were held and two hundred forty-nine bills were voted out of the standing committees in both houses. For bills to remain alive this session, they had to be reported out of their originating committees by end of the week and headed for the Debate Calendar. Appropriations bills, Ways and Means bills, and Government Oversight bills are exempt from the funnels.


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Notable Mentions. Among the bills that survived and died in the first funnel are…. drumroll, please...


What Made It:


  • I-WILL Tax Relief/Mental Health Plan – Governor’s Invest in Iowa Act – SSB 3116/HSB 657 – Reduces income taxes, and provides funding for mental health services and the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust.
  • Constitutional Amendment on Abortion – SJR 2001/HJR 2004 – States that the Iowa Constitution “shall not be construed to recognize, grant, or secure a right to abortion or to require the public funding of abortion.”
  • Handheld Cellphone Use – SF 2248/HF 2375 – Bans any use of a handheld cellphone while driving, not just texting.
  • Vaping/Smoking Minimum Age – SF 2268/HF 2135 - Increases the minimum age for smoking and vaping to 21 years.
  • College Athlete Compensation – SF 2330 – Allows athletes at Iowa colleges and universities to hire agents and to be paid for the use of their names, images or likenesses, or athletic reputations. (A similar bill in the House, HF 2282 died.)
  • Employee Microchips – HF 2361 – Prohibits employers from requiring employees to have microchips implanted in their bodies.
  • Permanent Daylight Saving Time – SF 2282/HF 2059 – Establishes daylight saving time as the official time in the state throughout the year.
  • Official State Insect – SJR 2004 –Designates the honeybee as the state’s official insect.


What Died:


  • Speed Limit Increase – HF 2166 – Increases the speed limit on the state’s highways and interstates by 5 mph.
  • Religious Freedom Bill – SF 509 – Specifies that the government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion unless it is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.
  • Confinement Feeding Operation Moratorium – SF 2254/HF 2127 – Establishes a moratorium on constructing large-scale animal feeding facilities.
  • Mobile Home Resident Rights – SF 2238/HF 2351 – Restricts rent increases and requires 180-day notices of rent increases at mobile home parks. Also requires park owners to have good cause for evicting tenants.


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Life at the End of the Funnel. Just a reminder, no bill is ever really “dead” until the Legislature adjourns sine die. The language of a bill that does not make it through the funnel can always reappear later in the form of an amendment to another bill, a newly drafted funnel-proof bill or as a provision in the Standing Appropriations bill at the end of session.