Post-funnel week bills we support, are against, or are monitoring

Mar 28, 2019

The first funnel week of the 2019 Iowa legislative session ended on Friday, March 15. The first funnel week ends with the deadline for when bills are required to pass at least one chamber’s committee to remain eligible for action this session. If a bill failed to advance through a committee, it is considered “dead” for the session. The funnel does not apply to budget or tax bills, which are where most Economic Alliance issues fall, and why our issues tend to be dealt with last in the session.

Nonetheless, there were several pieces of legislation of interest that have been brought up leading up to the first funnel week.

We support:

  • A bill to fund Future Ready Iowa, including $1.2 million for the Employer Innovation Fund and over $18 million for scholarships and grants for high demand occupations.
  • The Secure Advanced Vision for Education bill, better known as SAVE, overwhelmingly passed the House.
  • A bill that increases expensing allowance deduction (section 179 of the Internal Revenue Code) when computing net income by corporations, financial institutions, and partnerships and limited liability companies taxed as corporations passed the House and Senate this week. The governor has signed this into law.
  • The Iowa Hemp Act. The 2018 federal Farm Bill gave states the authority to regulate the industrial production of hemp that can be used for fabric, paper, biofuels and other products. We support the legislation because of the economic growth possibilities for our region.
We are registered against:

  • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This passed a Senate committee to survive the funnel. We are registered against this legislation and voiced our objection, along with many other business groups, of it at a hearing. A company’s ability to attract a diverse workforce and a community’s ability to recruit community events would be jeopardized if this bill became law.

We are monitoring:

  • An immigration bill that would make businesses face harsh penalties and fines if they knowingly employed illegal workers and requires employers to use the federal employment verification (e-verify) system to check workers documentation. The Economic Alliance is monitoring this legislation. We support a federal e-verification system, but the current system has proven to be unreliable.

The second and final funnel week ends on Friday, April 5. After that date, lawmakers will only consider bills have been voted out of one chamber (House or Senate) and have also made it out of a committee from the other chamber. Tax and budget bills are still exempt from this funnel deadline.

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