Iowa Legislative Update—March 22, 2022

Environment
Small Towns

We’re in the 11th week of the Iowa legislative session. Last Friday was the second funnel deadline, which means legislation needed to pass its committee in the alternate chamber from which it was introduced to remain viable. The deadline does not include tax and spending bills. 

Bills of interest still under consideration include House File (HF) 2470, which would implement the recommendations of the Artisanal Butchery Task Force. It was passed by the House on March 2, and now awaits a Senate vote. 

Also alive are HF 2556 and Senate File (SF) 2326, which would pay out the residential waitlist for the Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit. The House version passed out of the Ways and Means Committee and now moves on to floor debate. 

SF 2321, the controversial bill that would establish statewide regulations for siting renewable energy systems, failed to clear the second funnel and is officially dead. The Center was opposed to this legislation. 

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, 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. This legislation passed out of the House Ways and Means committee unanimously as HF 2395 and was renamed HF 2556. This bill is waiting to be debated and voted on on the House floor.


SF 2326 - For: Introduced by Sens. Mike Klimesh, Dawn Driscoll, Craig Johnson, and Jeff Reichman, 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 has been extended to June 30. The bill was assigned to a subcommittee on Feb. 22, but the subcommittee has yet to schedule a meeting.

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.