Legislative Updates

  • 21 Jan 2022 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Bill To Expand School Employee Definition Approved by Subcommittee

    A House subcommittee has given its approval to House Study Bill 527. 

    The bill makes sure that employees or persons providing services to a charter school or nonpublic school are included in the definition of “school employee” as it relates to laws regarding the sexual exploitation of a student.

    Specifically, the bill clarifies that a person employed by, performing volunteer services for, or providing contract services to a nonpublic elementary or secondary school or charter school are included in the definition of “school employee.”

    The bill is now ready for consideration by the full House Judiciary committee.


    Bills of Interest:

    (HF - House File, HSB - House Study Bill, SF - Senate File, SSB - Senate Study Bill)

    SF 2025 - School Bathrooms (M) - This bill requires elementary and secondary public and nonpublic schools to designate and allow the use of multiple occupancy toilet facilities only by persons of the same biological sex. The bill prohibits a person from entering a school single and multiple occupancy toilet facility that does not correspond with the person’s biological sex. The bill provides that such designations and prohibitions do not 6 constitute unfair or discriminatory practices in violation of the Iowa civil rights Act.

    Referred to Education


    SF 2024 - Gender Identity Curriculum (M) - This bill establishes that the curriculum utilized by a school district or accredited nonpublic school in accordance with the state’s educational standards for elementary students shall not include instruction relating to gender identity. However, the prohibition does not apply to the curriculum provided to a student enrolled in grades one through six if the school district or accredited nonpublic school obtains the prior written consent of the student’s parent or guardian. If a school does not obtain a parent’s or guardian’s written consent, the student may opt out of instruction relating to gender identity. Gender identity, for purposes of the bill, means a gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.

    Referred to Education


    SF 2003 - At Risk Student Funding (M) - This bill modifies the maximum modified supplemental amount calculation (funds for a school district’s program for at-risk students, secondary students who attend alternative programs and alternative schools, or returning dropouts and dropout prevention) for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2022, but before July 1, 2026, by increasing the 2.5 percent ratio figure by .5 percent each fiscal year until the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2026, and each fiscal year thereafter, when the maximum ratio percentage is set at 5 percent for all school districts.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Goodwin and Trone Garriott


    SF 168 - Nonpublic School Special Services (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.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Giddens, Johnson


    SSB 3003 - Mental Health Professional Loan Program (M) - This bill establishes the mental health professional loan repayment program within the college student aid commission. The bill provides that the commission is to administer the mental health professional loan repayment program for purposes of providing loan repayments for mental health professionals who agree to practice in an eligible practice area.

    The bill limits the annual amount of loan repayment a mental health professional may receive to $8,000 for an eligible loan. The bill provides that the total loan repayments from the commission to a mental health professional shall not exceed $40,000.

    “Mental health professional” means a non prescribing individual who holds at least a master’s degree from an eligible institution in a mental health field, including  psychology, counseling and guidance, social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Quirmbach and Sweeney


    HF 2008 - At Risk Student Funding (M) - This bill modifies the maximum modified supplemental amount calculation (funds for a school district’s program for at-risk students, secondary students who attend alternative programs and alternative schools, or returning dropouts and dropout prevention) for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2022, but before July 1, 2026, by increasing the 2.5 percent ratio figure by .5 percent each fiscal year until the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2026, and each fiscal year thereafter, when the maximum ratio percentage is set at 5 percent for all school districts.

    Approved by subcommittee


    HSB 531 - MH Bed Expansion (M) - This bill appropriates to the Department of Human Services for FY 2022-2023 an amount necessary to expand the bed capacity of the Mental Health Institute at Cherokee by an additional 12 adult beds and 6 adolescent beds, and to expand the bed capacity of the Mental Health Institute at Independence by an additional 20 adult beds and 8 adolescent beds.

    Subcommittee; Fry, Brown-Powers and A Meyer


    HSB 527 - Counselor, Therapist or School Employee Exploitation (F) - The bill adds a person employed by, performing volunteer services for, or providing contract services to a nonpublic elementary or secondary school or charter school to the definition of “school employee”.

    The bill adds a person currently enrolled in or attending a charter school, or a person who was a student enrolled in or attending a charter school within 30 days of any sexual exploitation by a school employee in violation of Code section 709.15(3) to the definition of “student”.

    Approved by subcommittee





  • 14 Jan 2022 7:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Mental Health Proposals Captures Early Session Spotlight

    Proposals to create new opportunities for mental health professional training, residency opportunities and educational funding were all introduced during the first week of the 2022 Session of the Iowa Legislature.

    We expect subcommittee work to begin on some of these proposals next week.  We will keep you updated.


    Bills of Interest:

    (HF - House File, HSB - House Study Bill, SF - Senate File, SSB - Senate Study Bill)


    SF 2025 - School Bathrooms (M) - This bill requires elementary and secondary public and nonpublic schools to designate and allow the use of multiple occupancy toilet facilities only by persons of the same biological sex. The bill prohibits a person from entering a school single and multiple occupancy toilet facility that does not correspond with the person’s biological sex. The bill provides that such designations and prohibitions do not 6 constitute unfair or discriminatory practices in violation of the Iowa civil rights Act.

    Referred to Education


    SF 2024 - Gender Identity Curriculum (M) - This bill establishes that the curriculum utilized by a school district or accredited nonpublic school in accordance with the state’s educational standards for elementary students shall not include instruction relating to gender identity. However, the prohibition does not apply to the curriculum provided to a student enrolled in grades one through six if the school district or accredited nonpublic school obtains the prior written consent of the student’s parent or guardian. If a school does not obtain a parent’s or guardian’s written consent, the student may opt out of instruction relating to gender identity. Gender identity, for purposes of the bill, means a gender-related identity of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth.

    Referred to Education


    SF 2003 - At Risk Student Funding (F) - This bill modifies the maximum modified supplemental amount calculation (funds for a school district’s program for at-risk students, secondary students who attend alternative programs and alternative schools, or returning dropouts and dropout prevention) for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2022, but before July 1, 2026, by increasing the 2.5 percent ratio figure by .5 percent each fiscal year until the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2026, and each fiscal year thereafter, when the maximum ratio percentage is set at 5 percent for all school districts.

    Referred to Education


    SF 168 - Nonpublic School Special Services (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.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Giddens, Johnson


    SSB 3003 - Mental Health Professional Loan Program (F) - This bill establishes the mental health professional loan repayment program within the college student aid commission. The bill provides that the commission is to administer the mental health professional loan repayment program for purposes of providing loan repayments for mental health professionals who agree to practice in an eligible practice area.

    The bill limits the annual amount of loan repayment a mental health professional may receive to $8,000 for an eligible loan. The bill provides that the total loan repayments from the commission to a mental health professional shall not exceed $40,000.

    “Mental health professional” means a non prescribing individual who holds at least a master’s degree from an eligible institution in a mental health field, including  psychology, counseling and guidance, social work, marriage and family therapy, or mental health counseling.

    Subcommittee: Cournoyer, Quirmbach and Sweeney


    HF 2008 - At Risk Student Funding (F) - This bill modifies the maximum modified supplemental amount calculation (funds for a school district’s program for at-risk students, secondary students who attend alternative programs and alternative schools, or returning dropouts and dropout prevention) for fiscal years beginning on or after July 1, 2022, but before July 1, 2026, by increasing the 2.5 percent ratio figure by .5 percent each fiscal year until the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2026, and each fiscal year thereafter, when the maximum ratio percentage is set at 5 percent for all school districts.

    Subcommittee; Ingles, Smith and Thompson


    HSB 531 - MH Bed Expansion (M) - This bill appropriates to the Department of Human Services for FY 2022-2023 an amount necessary to expand the bed capacity of the Mental Health Institute at Cherokee by an additional 12 adult beds and 6 adolescent beds, and to expand the bed capacity of the Mental Health Institute at Independence by an additional 20 adult beds and 8 adolescent beds.

    Subcommittee: Fry, A Meyers and Brown-Powers


    HSB 527 - Counselor, Therapist or School Employee Exploitation (F) - The bill adds a person employed by, performing volunteer services for, or providing contract services to a nonpublic elementary or secondary school or charter school to the definition of “school employee”.

    The bill adds a person currently enrolled in or attending a charter school, or a person who was a student enrolled in or attending a charter school within 30 days of any sexual exploitation by a school employee in violation of Code section 709.15(3) to the definition of “student”.

    Subcommittee: Jones, Hansen and Klein



  • 09 Jan 2022 7:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ISSWA Proposes National Certification Recognition Program 

    Iowa lawmakers are being asked to create a national board certification program for school social workers, school counselors and school psychologists similar to the current program for classroom teachers.

    The program would provide a cash “bonus” for school social workers, school counselors and school psychologists who receive certification from an accredited national professional organization.

    Please contact the key members of the Education Appropriations Subcommittee (listed below) and urge them to:


    • Establish a “national board certification program,” that mirrors the current teacher program, for school social workers, school psychologists and school counselors.


    • The program for teachers is in code section 256.44


    • For FY 2023, increase the Student Achievement and Teacher Quality Program appropriation by $25,000, with the new funds designated for school social workers, school psychologists and school counselors.  The funds would be made available on the same basis as the current teacher program.


    Contact:

    Rep. Dave Kerr - david.kerr@legis.iowa.gov


    Rep. Garrett Gobble - garrett.gobble@legis.iowa.gov


    Rep. Cindy Winckler - cindy.winckler@legis.iowa.gov



    Student Aid Commission Proposes Last Dollar Program Change


    The Iowa Student Aid Commission is asking lawmakers to approve a change to the Future Ready Iowa Skilled Workforce Last-Dollar Scholarship eligibility.


    Currently the scholarship is only available to full time students.  The Commission is asking lawmakers to make both full time and part time students eligible for financial assistance.




    2022 Legislative Session Timetable


    The 2022 edition of the Iowa Legislature begins on Monday, January 10, 2022.


    Here are they key dates for the Session:


    • First Day, January 10


    • First Funnel, February 18 - This 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.


    • Second Funnel, March 18 - This is the date by which a bill has to be approved by a committee in the opposite chamber - meaning a House File must be approved by a Senate committee and a Senate File by a House committee - to remain eligible for further consideration this year. Appropriations, Ways and Means and Government Oversight committee bills are the exceptions to the “funnel” rules, as they are exempt from procedural deadlines.


    • Final Day For Lawmaker Per Diem, April 19


  • 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.




  • 10 May 2021 7:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Iowa School Social Workers Association

    2021 Legislative Update

    April 30, 2021


    Overtime!

    The 2021 Session of the Iowa Legislature moves into “overtime” starting next week as the 110 calendar days that make up the session end today, April 30.

    Beginning this upcoming Monday lawmakers will not receive their per diem payments, yet work on budget and tax policy will likely continue for at least another week and maybe more.


    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. On House 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 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.

    On House debate calendar


    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. On Senate 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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate debate calendar



    Passed by both chambers:


    SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (F) - 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 Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. Approved by the Senate 30-18




  • 23 Apr 2021 7:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    House Adds Telehealth Reimbursement Policy To Bed Tracking Bill

    The House has sent Senate File 524 back to the Senate with a major addition.

    That addition would require insurance companies to reimburse mental health services delivered via telehealth at the same rate as they would for in person services.

    No word on if or when the Senate may take up SF 524 with the House amendment.

    BOEE Recognition Loophole Closed

    Thanks to the efforts of the ISSWA, a loophole allowing non-Board of Educational Examiners recognized persons to offer mental health services to students, will soon be closed.

    The provisions in Senate File 532, which is now on its way to the desk of Governor Reynolds, will require all mental health professionals providing services at a school to have a Board of Educational Examiners recognition.

    Thanks again to all the ISSWA members who helped in this important effort.


    Bills of interest :

    SF 598 - 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. On House 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 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.

    On House debate calendar

    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 Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Senate debate calendar

    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. On Senate 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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate 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.  On 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



  • 16 Apr 2021 8:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    End of 2021 Session Coming Soon?

    The end of the 2021 Session of the Iowa Legislature is beginning to loom on the horizon.

    The House and Senate have each introduced their versions of spending bills and negotiations on tax policy changes are underway.


    Bills of interest :

    SF 598 - 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.

    On Senate debate calendar


    SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (F) - 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. 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.

    Passed the Senate 48-0. On House 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 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.

    On House debate calendar


    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 Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Senate debate calendar


    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. On Senate 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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate 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.  On Senate debate calendar



    Passed by both chambers:


    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



  • 12 Apr 2021 6:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    AEA Funding Update Bill Introduced

    In an effort to begin the discussion regarding proper funding for Area Education Agencies (AEA), Senate Study Bill 1260 has been introduced.

    The proposal seeks to address AEA funding inequities, especially between urban and rural areas.

    We will keep you updated on this important effort.


    Increase in School Mental Health Program In House Budget Bill

    The House Education Appropriations Bill was given the go-ahead by that chamber’s appropriations subcommittee yesterday.

    Included in the bill is an increase in funding for the ISSWA-backed Children’s Mental Health School Based Training and Support program.  For the first two years, the program was funded at $2.1 million. Thanks to our support for the program, the House has proposed a $1.0 million dollar increase, bringing the total appropriation to $3.1 million.

    The funds will be used by area education agencies to provide mental health awareness training for educators, support mental health needs of schools, and maintain a clearinghouse of mental health resources.

    The full House Appropriations Committee is expected to consider the bill early next week.

    It is important to note that the House and Senate are very, very far apart on spending plans for FY 22.  We will likely need to send emails of support for the program and the funding increase to the Senate beginning the middle of next week.


    Bills of interest :

    SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (F) - 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. On House 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.

    Passed the Senate 48-0. On House 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.

    Subcommittee: 


    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 Education Committee. Approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Senate 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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate 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.  On Senate debate calendar



    Passed by both chambers:


    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


  • 02 Apr 2021 9:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Second Procedural Deadline Claims Victims

    The second procedural hurdle of the 2021 Iowa Legislative Session arrived at the close of Legislative business earlier today.

    The so-called “second funnel” is the date by which  bills must be approved by at least one standing committee in the house opposite of its origin.  So, a House File needs to be approved by a Senate Committee and vise versa to remain eligible for consideration this year.

    Bills to eliminate the tenure system at the state’s public universities, allow for wagering on e-sports and prevent employers from requiring employees to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus all failed to clear the April 2 procedural hurdle.

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



    Bills of interest :

    SF 532 (formerly SSB 1231) - BOEE Recognition and Certification (F) - 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. On House 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.

    Passed the Senate 48-0. On House 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


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

    Approved by the House 55-40. On Senate 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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate 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.  On Senate debate calendar



    Passed by both chambers:


    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



    Not approved by a committee in the opposite chamber:


    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.


    HF 820 (formerly HSB 527) - Eviction Records (F) - The bill provides that a court shall seal the court records of an eviction action not later than three days from the date of the hearing if any of the following have occurred: 1) the defendant is found not guilty, 2) the court finds there is no genuine issue of material fact between the parties or dismisses the plaintiff’s claim; 3) the plaintiff withdraws the claim; 4) the plaintiff does not appear for the hearing; or 5) by consent of both parties.

    Approved by House 92-0. Approved by subcommittee


    HF 784 (formerly HF 706) - Telehealth Reimbursement (F) - This bill requires a health carrier (carrier) to reimburse a healthcare professional (professional) or facility for health care services (services) provided to a covered person by telehealth on the same basis and at the same rate as the carrier would apply to the same services provided to the covered person by the professional or facility in person. As a condition of reimbursement, the carrier is prohibited from requiring that an additional professional be located in the same room as the covered person while services for a mental health condition, illness, injury, or disease are delivered via telehealth by another professional to the covered person.

    On House debate calendar


    HF 773 (formerly HF 479) - MH Services Study (F) - This bill requires the department of human services (DHS) to conduct a statewide study of the current availability of mental health services in the state, including the potential value of pursuing a section 1115 demonstration waiver as specified under the federal 21st Century Cures Act, to provide for reimbursement for services provided in settings that qualify as institutions for mental diseases. DHS shall submit a final report of the results of the study to the governor and to the  general assembly by February 15, 2022. The bill takes effect upon enactment.

    Passed the House 97-0. Not approved by subcommittee


    HF 691 (formerly HSB 172) - Nonlicensed Practitioners (M) - This bill requires the department of human services to amend the Medicaid state plan approved March 10, 2015, and retroactively effective to December 1, 2014, relating to preventive services for early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment benefits, beginning July 1, 2021, to provide that the types of nonlicensed practitioners providing such services may include, in addition to noncertified staff with a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech language pathology.

    On House debate calendar


    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 294 (formerly HF 89) - MH Telehealth Care (F) - This bill requires a health carrier to reimburse a health care professional or a facility for health care services for a mental health condition, illness, injury, or disease provided to a covered person via telehealth on the same basis and at the same rate as the health carrier would apply to the same health care services provided to the covered person by the health care professional or facility in person.

    Passed the House 95-1. Senate Human Resources subcommittee Edler, Costello and Mathis


  • 26 Mar 2021 1:54 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Contact House Subcommittee To Approve SF 532

    The subcommittee assigned to consider ISSWA-backed Senate File 532 has been appointed.

    You may recall that the original Senate proposal originally dealt with Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) recognition for licensed behavioral analysts. A significant amendment requested by ISSWA was added to the bill that requires “any mental health practitioner who holds a master’s degree and who also provides mental health services to students at a school obtain such a statement” from the BOEE.

    Please take a moment and send a short email to the members of the subcommittee assigned to consider SF 532 and urge them to approve the bill:

    Rep. Garrett Gobble - garrett.gobble@legis.iowa.gov

    Rep. Cecil Dolecheck - cecil.dolecheck@legis.iowa.gov

    Rep. Tracy Ehlert - tracy.ehlert@legis.iowa.gov


    Second Procedural Deadline Arrives Next Friday

    The second procedural hurdle of the 2021 Iowa Legislative Session comes this upcoming Friday, April 2.

    Next Friday policy bills must be approved by at least one standing committee in the house opposite of its origin.  So, a House File needs to be approved by a Senate Committee and vise versa to remain eligible for consideration this year.

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


    Bills of interest :

    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.

    Passed the Senate 48-0. Approved by subcommittee


    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


    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.


    HF 820 (formerly HSB 527) - Eviction Records (F) - The bill provides that a court shall seal the court records of an eviction action not later than three days from the date of the hearing if any of the following have occurred: 1) the defendant is found not guilty, 2) the court finds there is no genuine issue of material fact between the parties or dismisses the plaintiff’s claim; 3) the plaintiff withdraws the claim; 4) the plaintiff does not appear for the hearing; or 5) by consent of both parties.

    Approved by House 92-0


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

    Approved by the House 55-40. Senate Education subcommittee: Sinclair, Johnson and Quirmbach


    HF 784 (formerly HF 706) - Telehealth Reimbursement (F) - This bill requires a health carrier (carrier) to reimburse a healthcare professional (professional) or facility for health care services (services) provided to a covered person by telehealth on the same basis and at the same rate as the carrier would apply to the same services provided to the covered person by the professional or facility in person. As a condition of reimbursement, the carrier is prohibited from requiring that an additional professional be located in the same room as the covered person while services for a mental health condition, illness, injury, or disease are delivered via telehealth by another professional to the covered person.

    On House debate calendar


    HF 773 (formerly HF 479) - MH Services Study (F) - This bill requires the department of human services (DHS) to conduct a statewide study of the current availability of mental health services in the state, including the potential value of pursuing a section 1115 demonstration waiver as specified under the federal 21st Century Cures Act, to provide for reimbursement for services provided in settings that qualify as institutions for mental diseases. DHS shall submit a final report of the results of the study to the governor and to the  general assembly by February 15, 2022. The bill takes effect upon enactment.

    Passed the House 97-0. Not approved by subcommittee


    HF 691 (formerly HSB 172) - Nonlicensed Practitioners (M) - This bill requires the department of human services to amend the Medicaid state plan approved March 10, 2015, and retroactively effective to December 1, 2014, relating to preventive services for early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment benefits, beginning July 1, 2021, to provide that the types of nonlicensed practitioners providing such services may include, in addition to noncertified staff with a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech language pathology.

    On House debate calendar


    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.

    Approved by the House 96-0. On Senate 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.  Subcommittee: Smith, Cournoyer and Giddenns



    Passed by both chambers:


    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


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