Rep. Skyler Wheeler (R-Orange City) recently released information on a few notable bills that were passed during the 2018 legislative session went into effect July 1.
“We had a very productive legislative session this past year and passed several bills that addressed issues related to education, health care and our workforce,” said Wheeler. “The important work we accomplished in 2018 will ensure that Iowa kids receive a world-class education, Iowa families have access to affordable health care and Iowa employers have the workforce necessary for the 21st century economy. I look forward to meeting with Iowans over the coming months and listening to their ideas and priorities for next year’s legislative session.”
According to Rep. Wheeler, the following is a brief list of bills that took effect July 1:
House File 2441 – School District Fund Flexibility
This law provides K-12 schools with more flexible funding for dollars in district at-risk and dropout prevention funds and student activity Funds. It also removes the department of education from the approval process for district at-risk and dropout prevention plan adoption, giving local school boards authority to develop the plans that meet their needs.
Senate File 2113 – Suicide Prevention and Adverse Childhood Experiences Identification and Training
This law requires annual training for all licensed school employees in suicide prevention and identification of adverse childhood experiences and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response for grades K through 12.
Senate File 2364 – School Security Plans
This law requires school districts and nonpublic schools to develop security plans for response to active shooter scenarios and natural disasters. The plans are to apply to each building in which students are located and shall be in place no later than June 30, 2019. Development of the plan shall include recommendations from the department of education and shall include consultation with local emergency management and local law enforcement. A drill shall occur at least once annually and it may include students.
House File 2305 – Telehealth
This law requires telehealth care to be covered by health insurance providers. Telehealth systems allow an Iowan to speak with, visually see and be treated by a doctor using audio/visual technology. This will make health services and mental health services more available to people in rural Iowa.
House File 2377 – Combatting the Opioid Epidemic
This law will help officials in Iowa combat the opioid epidemic by preventing doctor shopping, reducing overprescribing and supporting those suffering from an addiction. The new law ensures we have a state-of-the-art prescription drug monitoring program, requires prescribers to record controlled substance prescriptions and puts limits on highly-addictive medications. Additionally, it makes Iowa the 41st state with a Good Samaritan Law, providing immunity when someone in danger seeks medical help.
Senate File 2349 – Affordable Health Care Coverage
This law will provide Iowans with additional options for high-quality, affordable health coverage. The new law allows the purchase of health benefit plans and association health plans, providing Iowans with more choice, lower health care costs and greater access to the care they deserve.
House File 2199 – Skimming Devices
This law takes several steps to ensure those who use skimming devices face appropriate consequences. Changes in definitions close loopholes and keep Iowa code up to date with quickly changing technology. In addition to other changes, the bill would make it an aggravated misdemeanor to possess a skimming device with the intent to obtain unauthorized credit card information. Using a skimming devices is a Class D felony.
House File 2458 – Future Ready Iowa
Iowa has a skilled workforce shortage and this new law takes a number of steps to upskill Iowa’s workforce. This includes creating a program for small- and medium-sized apprenticeship sponsors. It also creates a volunteer mentor program to support future-ready programs, a summer youth internship program, an employer innovation program, an education last dollar scholarship program, an education grant program, and a program for high school students to attend college-level classes during the summer. It also creates and establishes a list of high-demand jobs in the state.
House File 2240 – Electronic Wage Statements
This law will allow employers to send their employee’s statement of earnings electronically. This reduces costs and red tape for small businesses allowing them to modernize their accounting practices.
A more detailed list of laws can be found at www.iowahouserepublicans.com.
(Information provided by Colin Tadlock, communications director, Iowa House Republicans.)