05/14/21 Legislative Update

14 May 2021 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Stalemate Continues

The budget impasse between the House and Senate continues at the Iowa Statehouse.

When lawmakers return to Des Moines next week they begin their third week of “legislative session overtime.” 


Senate Advances Major Tax Policy Bill - Includes Telehealth Payment Parity

The Senate Ways and Means and Appropriations Committees each gave their go-ahead to Senate File 619  a 72-page omnibus tax policy bill.

Included in the bill is a provision which requires insurance companies to reimburse mental health services delivered via telehealth at the same rate as they would for in person services. 

Talks between the two chambers on this major tax policy proposal continues.


Bills of interest :

SF 619 (formerly SSB 1276) - Omnibus Tax Policy and Extras (F) - Included in this 72-page bill is a provision that provides for payment parity for mental health services delivered via telehealth.

On Senate debate calendar


SF 596 - Education Appropriations (M) - Included in this bill is a $2.1 million appropriation for the continuation of the Student Mental Health School-Based Program. The bill also contains language to all for shared funding of bachelor level social workers. (ISSWA and others are working on removing this troublesome language and replacing it with appropriate provisions.)

On Senate debate calendar


SF 524 (formerly SSB 1227) - Psych Bed Tracking (F) - This bill establishes an inpatient psychiatric bed tracking system study committee.

The department of public health shall submit a report of the study committee detailing the committee’s findings and recommendations, including a proposed date to implement real-time electronic data tracking, to the general assembly and the governor no later than December 15, 2021.

The House also added an amendment  which would require insurance companies to reimburse mental health services delivered via telehealth at the same rate as they would for in person services.

Passed the Senate 48-0. Amended and passed by the House 92-0. On the Senate debate calendar.


SF 354 (formerly SF 163) - CEU Hardship Relief (M) - The bill authorizes a licensing board to extend the deadline to satisfy continuing education requirements by up to 90 days if a board finds that a licensee is experiencing an unforeseen financial or medical hardship and the licensee submits a request to a licensing board to extend the deadline due to the financial or medical hardship accompanied by evidence that the licensee or a member of the licensee’s family is experiencing a financial or medical hardship.

Passed the Senate 48-0. On House debate calendar


SF 258 (formerly SF 117) - Surtax for School Safety Officers (M) - This bill authorizes school districts to raise additional amounts of property tax or income surtax under the instructional support program for certain school resource officer expenses.

Approved by the Ed Committee. Approved by Ways and Means Subcommittee


SSB 1260 - AEA Funding Equity (F) - This bill relates to area education agencies by modifying certain categorical funding supplement calculations and enrollment determinations to better provide funding to rural and urban agencies.

Approved by subcommittee


HF 893 (formerly HSB 278) - Omnibus Tax Policy and Other Issues (F) - 35 page, mostly tax focused bill is a provision that provides for payment parity for mental health services delivered via telehealth.

On House debate calendar


HF 891 - Health and Human Services Appropriations (F) - Included in this bill is: 1) payment parity for mental health services delivered via telehealth; 2) more funds to increase psychiatric medical institutions for children (PMIC) provider rates; 3) funds to reduce the children's mental health HCBS waiver waiting list and ; 4) ends the requirement of the Board of Social Work and the Board of Behavioral Science that require the supervision for licensure of marital and family therapists and mental health counselors be in-person.  The same provision also ends similar requirements for hours in excess of the hours required by the Board of Social Work for the licensure of any class of social worker.

On the House debate calendar.


HF 868 - Education Appropriations (F) - Included in this bill is a $3.1 million appropriation for the continuation of the Student Mental Health School-Based Program.

Approved by the House 51-38. On the Senate debate calendar.


Passed by both chambers:

SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (M) - The bill as amended by the Senate would require all mental health professionals providing services at a school to have a Board of Educational Examiners recognition.

Approved by the Senate 47-0. Amended and approved by the House 93-0. Approved by the Senate 46-0.


SF 160 - Get Back Into the Classroom (A) - This bill, a priority of Governor Reynolds, sets forth the criteria for a school district to provide in-person instruction.

Passed the Senate 29-18; Passed the House 59-39. Signed into law by Governor Reynolds 1/29


HF 813 (formerly HSB 242) - Charter Schools (A) - The bill establishes a new statewide charter school program.  

Approved by the House 55-40. Approved by the Senate 30-18. Awaiting Governor’s action.


HF 802 - Training Rules and Requirements (A) - This bill provides requirements related to racism or sexism training, and to diversity and inclusion efforts, at or by school districts and public postsecondary educational institutions.

Approved by the House 59-38. Amended and approved by the Senate 30-18. Approved by the House 53-35. Awaiting Governor’s action.


HF 285 (formerly HSB 61) - Music Therapist Certification (M) - This bill requires any person claiming to be a music  therapist to hold a music therapist board-certified credential granted by the certification board for music therapists or a professional designation in good standing listed on the national music therapy registry. The bill as proposed would also likely impede the use of therapeutic music by non music therapists.

Approved by the House 89-4.  Approved by the Senate 44-4. Awaiting Governor;s action.



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