Iowa Legislative Update—April 5, 2022

Environment
Small Business

This week marks the 13th of this year’s legislative session. There are rumblings at the capitol that the end is in sight—but probably not just yet. We expect the session to last a few more weeks before things wrap up. 

Since our last update, there has been promising movement on clean energy legislation, specifically the two companion bills that would pay out the waitlist for the Iowa Solar Energy Tax Credit. On March 30, House File (HF) 2556 passed the House on a 94-0 vote, and Senate File (SF) 2326 passed out of its first subcommittee.    

We were also encouraged to see $1 million of funding slated for the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program in an appropriations bill, a $250,000 increase from last year. The bill now heads to its subcommittee, composed of Sens. Carrie Koelker, William A. Dotzler, and Mark S. Lofgren. If you live in any of these senators’ districts, and would like to show support for this funding increase, please reach out to our staff. 

If you have any questions, or would like to share the rural issues that are important to you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at kateh@cfra.org or 515-215-1294.

Thank you for making your rural voice heard. 

Water quality

Senate Study Bill 3157 - For, with note:—Introduced by Senate Ways and Means Chair, Sen. Dan Dawson, this legislation would modify sales and use taxes, including raising the state sales tax by a penny through 2050. This would fund the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, or IWILL. The Center is registered in support of this legislation specifically as it relates to Watershed Management Authorities and the Local Conservation Partnership Program in section 91. 

Renewable energy

HF 2556 — For: Introduced by Rep. Michael R. Bergan as HF 2395, this bill would pay out the Iowa Solar Energy Tax Credit residential waitlist. The tax credit would be available to any homeowner who installed solar during the 2021 calendar year. The deadline for anyone who has not yet submitted a tax credit application has been extended to June 30. HF 2556 was approved on the House floor with a 94-0 vote on March 30 and has been assigned a subcommittee in the Senate.

SF 2326— For: Introduced by Sens. Mike Klimesh, Dawn Driscoll, Craig Johnson, and Jeff Reichman on Feb. 17, this bill is a companion bill to HF 2556 and would pay out the Iowa Solar Energy Tax Credit residential waitlist. The tax credit would be available to any homeowner who installed solar during the 2021 calendar year. The deadline for anyone who has not yet submitted a tax credit application would be extended to June 30. The bill passed out of subcommittee on March 30 and currently waits to be heard by the Ways and Means Committee in the Senate.

Rural development

HF 2470 - For: Introduced by Rep. Chad Ingels, this legislation would implement the recommendations of the Artisanal Butchery Task Force instituted by the Legislature in 2021. Recommendations include establishing a framework for a one-year community college certificate butchery education program, developing a library of resources for Iowa-based meat processing businesses, and building out a direct-to-consumer toolkit. The bill passed the House on March 2 by a vote of 99-0, and passed the Senate Commerce Committee on March 16. It now heads to the Senate floor. 

HF 2564 - For, with note: This legislation is an appropriations package for multiple departments. The Center is registered in support of a section that outlines funding for the Butchery Innovation and Revitalization Program, grants that support Iowa’s small meat processors established by the legislature in 2021. The legislation lists $1 million in funding for the program, a $250,000 increase from last year. It passed the House on March 24, and has been assigned a subcommittee in the Senate.  

HF 2581 - For, with note: This bill makes changes to programs and regulations administered by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The Center is registered in support of Division V of the legislation, which details changes to the Local Food and Farm Program. Such changes include required membership of the Local Food and Farm Program Council and details related to program administration. Previously HF 2572, this bill was approved by its committee in the House on March 30 and renumbered. It now heads to the House floor and is expected to be debated in the coming days.