2/19/21 Legislative Update

19 Feb 2021 7:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

First Funnel Two Weeks Away

The first procedural hurdle of the 2021 Iowa Legislative Session is approaching.

The so-called “First Funnel,” arrives on Friday, March 5th.  That is the date by which a bill must be approved by a standing committee of its house of origin to remain eligible for further consideration that year.

Appropriations, Ways and Means and Government Oversight committee bills are the exceptions to the “funnel” rules, as they are exempt from procedural deadlines.


Bills of interest:

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. Referred to House State Government


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


SF 168 - AEA Special Ed Service Mandate (M) - This bill requires that certain services and support that an area education agency (AEA) must provide to a nonpublic school student must, if the parent or guardian of the student receiving the services grants permission, be provided on the nonpublic school premises.

Approved by subcommittee


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


SF 159 (formerly SSB 1065) - Governor’s Public Education Plan (A) - The bill relates to the funding and operation of educational offerings in the state by establishing a student first scholarship program for certain pupils attending a nonpublic school, modifying provisions governing voluntary diversity plans, and creating a new charter school program.

Approved by the Senate 26-21 Referred to House Education.


SF 80 - Student Pronouns (A) - This bill requires a school district, if a student will be asked by a school employee or in a school communication to identify the pronoun by which the student prefers to be called, or will be asked to take a survey on pronoun preference, to provide written notification of such action to the parent or guardian of the student at least one week before such action occurs. After the identification or survey has occurred, the bill requires the school district to provide the student’s identification or survey response to the student’s parent or guardian upon request.

Subcommittee: Sinclair, Carlin and Celsi


SF 58 - Human Growth and Development Curriculum (F) - This bill provides that the age-appropriate and research-based instruction in human growth and development, which each school board must provide, must include instruction regarding dating violence and affirmative, conscious, and voluntary consent to engage in sexual activity.

Subcommittee: Sinclair, Rosenboom and J Smith


SF 9 - 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.

Subcommittee: Whiting, Giddens and Schultz


SSB 1070 - Safe and Sound Program (A) - This bill provides for the establishment of the safe and sound program within the department of public safety, for participation in or use of the program by schools and students, and for penalties for providing false identification information through the program.

The safe and sound program is established for purposes of developing and implementing a system for receiving anonymous reports and other information from the public in regard to potential self-harm and potential harm or criminal acts including threats of violence, sexual abuse, assault, or bullying directed at school students and school entities.

The proposal does not provide anonymity for those who make reports of suspected incidents of concern.  The bill also provides immunity from liability to the department of public safety yet does not provide such protections for school employees.

Not approved by subcommittee


HF 585 (formerly HSB 76) - Safe and Sound Program (A) - This bill provides for the establishment of the safe and sound program within the department of public safety, for participation in or use of the program by schools and students, and for penalties for providing false identification information through the program.

The safe and sound program is established for purposes of developing and implementing a system for receiving anonymous reports and other information from the public in regard to potential self-harm and potential harm or criminal acts including threats of violence, sexual abuse, assault, or bullying directed at school students and school entities.

Disappointingly the proposal as written does not provide anonymity for those who make reports of suspected incidents of concern.  The bill also provides immunity from liability to the department of public safety yet does not provide such protections for school employees.

On House debate calendar.


HF 485 (formerly HF 107) - In-Person Clinical Supervision (M) - The bill provides that the board of social work and the board of behavioral science shall not require that supervision of an applicant for a license as a social worker, marital or family therapist, or mental health counselor be completed in-person.

On House debate calendar


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. 


HF 101 - Teacher Recruitment and Retention Task Force (M) - This bill directs the director of the department of education to establish and convene a teacher recruitment and retention task force. If the bill does move forward it should be expanded to include school social worker recruitment and retention.

Referred to Education


HSB 172 - Nonlicensed Practitioners (M) - This bill requires the department of human services to amend the Medicaid state plan relating to preventive services for early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment benefits, to provide that the types of unlicensed practitioners providing such services may include, in addition to non certified staff with a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech language pathology, those unlicensed practitioners who hold a registered behavior technician certification from a nationally recognized accrediting body including but not limited to the behavior analyst certification board.

Not approved by subcommittee


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