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Legislative Representative

 

Iowa Legislative Session
March 8, 2018

Emily Piper, Contract Specialist

Emily Piper

Contract Lobbyist
515-202-7772

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Under the Golden Dome

The Legislature has focused primarily on floor debate in both chambers in anticipation of the next legislative funnel deadline.  To remain alive, a policy bill must have passed one chamber and a committee in the other chamber.   A number of big picture issues are slowly percolating but substantive work on the deappropriations bill, tax reform and development of the FY 2019 budget will not take place until after the March 9 meeting of the revenue estimating conference.

Bills Of Interest

SF 2235:  This bill makes it a Class “B” felony to sabotage critical infrastructure including water and wastewater infrastruture.  SF 2235 passed the Senate and is on the House debate calendar.  IRWA is registered in support of the bills.

HF 2440:  This bill is the “technical” clean-up bill for the water quality legislation passed earlier this year.  The bill makes two changes that were specifically requested by IRWA.  First, it clarifies that a public water supplier that uses a surface water supply listed on the state’s impaired water list is eligible for the newly created loan and grant program.  Second, it applies the same language to eligibility for the in-field agricultural practices portion of the water quality bill.  IRWA is registered in support of the bill which has passed the House and the Senate Agriculture Committee.

HF 2307: This bill addresses the Iowa Utilities Board jurisdiction over the acquisition of water or sewer facilities by for-profit utilites regulated by the board.  IRWA and IAMU have worked to develop language that provides protections to cities who receive purchase offers from for-profit utilities and to ensure that other options, such as franchising with rural water systems, is considered in this process.   The House passed HF 2307 and it is currently on the Senate debate calendar.  IRWA is registered as undecided on both bills.

Impact of SF 512 – Water Quality Legislation
The water quality bill that was signed into law earlier this session changes the sales tax collected on water to an excise tax.  The excise tax is set at 6% which is the equivalent of the current 5-cent state sales tax and the 1-cent sales tax collected for school infrastructure.   The bill makes no provision to collect a 1-cent local excise tax on water sales.   Those localities with a locally imposed 1-cent sales tax will lose approximately $3 million a year in revenue.