05/07/21

10 May 2021 7:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Double Overtime

The end of the 2021 Session of the Iowa Legislature session does not appear to be on the horizon.

The two chambers of the Legislature are reportedly not yet “close” on a spending and tax policy agreement.

The House has decided to debate appropriations bills and send them to the Senate.  No word yet on when that chamber plans to consider spending plans.

House To Debate HHS Budget Next Week?

The House may vote on HF 891, the Health and Human Services Appropriations bill, next week.

Included in the bill are the following provisions of interest:

  • Payment parity for mental health services delivered via telehealth;

  • More funds to increase psychiatric medical institutions for children (PMIC) provider rates; 

  • Increased funds to reduce the children's mental health HCBS waiver waiting list;

  • 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.


Education Spending Bill Passed By The House

Following a long, and at times contentious debate, the House voted to approve House File 868 the Education Appropriations Bill on a 51-38 vote.

Included in the bill is a $3.1 million appropriation for the continuation of the Student Mental Health School-Based Program.

No word yet on when the Senate will consider this and the other spending bill.


Bills of interest :


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


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.

Subcommittee: Dawson, Jochum and Schultz


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 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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