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2014 Legislative Session Summary

11 Jun 2014 2:52 PM | Lara Marsh (Administrator)

In this issue:

·        A list of the enacted bills from the 2014 session that relate to public health:  click here

·        Final Action: HHS Appropriations Bill

·        Final actions on bills on the last days of session

·        FYI: The Legislative Council will meet on June 25. The Council’s Studies Committee will establish legislative interim councils for the 2014 Interim in addition to those that may have been established in enacted legislation.


2014 End of Session Update

The second and final session of the 85th General Assembly came to a close on May 3. The Governor completed his actions on the 142 enrolled bills sent to him by the legislature on May 30.

Thank You

To my colleagues at IDPH, I greatly appreciate your dedication to session. I sincerely thank you for helping us through yet another one filled with successes.  It takes a village to navigate the session waters and it would be impossible to do without your hard work, subject matter expertise, flexibility, and patience. It’s an honor to represent our department. Thank you so much for the opportunity to do so. 

Governor’s Actions

The following is an excerpt from the Legislative Services Agency’s “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” It provides a brief explanation of the Governor’s veto powers. The full document is located here:          

Bills passed by the Legislature must be reviewed by the Governor. The Governor takes final action on all bills passed by the Iowa General Assembly. The Governor has three options: sign the bill, veto the bill (or item veto an appropriations bill), or take no action. In the case of a veto, the Legislature may override the veto with two-thirds of the members of each chamber voting to reconsider and pass the bill a second time. If, during session, the Governor does not sign or veto a bill, it becomes law after three calendar days (except Sundays). Bills received by the Governor during the last three calendar days of session (except Sundays) must be signed or vetoed within 30 calendar days.


The Governor has the option to use three types of vetoes: the veto, item veto, and pocket veto. The veto indicates the Governor’s disapproval of an entire bill. The item veto may be used only for bills which appropriate funds. It strikes a specific item of an appropriations bill. A pocket veto occurs when the Governor fails to take action within 30 calendar days on a bill received within the last three calendar days of session (except Sundays). The entire bill fails to become law. When the Governor vetoes or item vetoes a bill, a veto message explaining why the veto was made is delivered to the chamber of origin with the bill and is filed with the Secretary of State. The Governor’s veto messages can be accessed on the Iowa General Assembly web site in the “Enrolled Bills” section.


Health and Human Services Appropriations Act

·        HF 2463 was item-vetoed by Governor Branstad on May 30. To view the item-veto letter please click here. The following are some highlights from the bill:

o   IDPH’s total FY 2015 General Fund budget is $58.8 million. This is an increase of $1.4 million compared to FY 2014.

o   The Legislature appropriated $150,000 from the Technology Reinvestment Fund for a new and combined EMS and trauma system database. Achieving this budget goal will ensure better and more efficient collection and reporting of EMS and trauma system data. IDPH is currently implementing the request for proposal process.

o   Another budget goal for IDPH, which was recommended by Governor Branstad, was a request for $75,000 for a benchmark study of Iowa’s trauma system by the American College of Surgeons. This recommendation did not receive funding from the legislature.

o   The Legislature increased funding for the following existing IDPH programs:

§  $100,000 for tobacco use prevention and control programming (Total allocation  = $5.2 million)

§  $300,000 for the 1st Five Program to continue statewide implementation (Total allocation = $1.6 million)

§  $37,500 for the IDPH Direct Care Professional Advisory Council (Total allocation  = $213,400)

o   The Legislature increased funding for several programs that are not administered by IDPH. The following organizations have subcontracts with the department to implement directives from the Legislature:

§  $43,043 for  the Donated Dental Services Program that is administered by Delta Dental of Iowa (Total allocation  = $74,640)

§  $50,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska for epilepsy education and outreach (Total allocation  = $149,823)

§  $37,500 for Iowa Caregivers Association for activities  targeting direct care professionals (Total allocation = $216,375)

§  $100,000 for the Iowa Donor Network (Total = $250,000)

o   The Legislature provided  the following allocations for three new programs and directives that will be administered by IDPH:

§  $50,000 to add additional questions relating to Adverse Childhood Experiences to the department’s annual Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS).

§  $25,000 for the implementation of SF 2360, the Medical Cannabidiol Act.

§  $100,000 for a burial grant program for low-income families that experience the death of a child. Each eligible family will receive a maximum award of $2,000.

o   HF 2364 directs IDPH to lead the following Interim activities:

§  A study on the reimbursement for services provided by substance abuse providers. Topics will include, but are not limited to, the current reimbursement formula and the impact the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan (IHAWP) may have on substance abuse providers. A report is due by December 15.

§  IDPH will collaborate with the Department of Education on options for continuing the foundation established by the Young Adult Suicide Prevention Program Project. IDPH achieved a federal grant that will fund the Program for the next 2-3 years. A report is due by December 15.

o   Other public health-related studies in HF 2364 that are not IDPH-led include:

§  By December 15, the University of Iowa‘s College of Dentistry is required to submit a proposal to offer a residency program in geriatric dentistry. Specific requirements are provided for in the legislation.

§  An interagency collaboration to address the medical and psychosocial needs of persons released from correctional facilities. The Departments of Human Services, Public Health, Aging, Workforce Development, and Corrections are listed as the participating agencies in the legislation. A report is due December 15.

§  The Legislative Council is requested to establish two Interim committees. One that would examine issues relating to aging Iowans and long-term care and a second that would review the array of child welfare services in Iowa. Each Interim committee would report its findings before the 2015 session.  

o   Additional policy directives that are new include the following:

§  The IDPH Medical Residency Matching Grants Program is required to prioritize psychiatric residency positions and family practice residency positions in awards made to grantees.

§  The Legislature directed the Iowa Medicaid Enterprise to request an amendment to the Iowa State Plan from the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services that would allow matching funding to be drawn down for the Iowa State Poison Control Center.

§  EMS providers will receive a 10.0% increase in reimbursement from the Iowa Medicaid Program.

  • o   The Governor exercised his line-item veto power on the following public health-related policy directives:

§  To have the Department of Human Services work with the Iowa Collaborative Safety Net Provider Network and the Iowa Primary Care Association to explore mechanisms for long-term sustainable funding for the Network. The item-veto message indicated that it would be duplicative of the continued efforts by DHS to work with all stakeholders to study methods to modernize the Medicaid system.

§  To have IDPH convene a stakeholder workgroup that would provide recommendations for making Iowa’s children the healthiest in the nation by January 1, 2020.

Governor Branstad has a goal to make Iowa the Healthiest state in the nation by 2016. The item-veto letter indicated that the idea included in HF 2463 would be duplicative of this private sector led initiative that is working. The Healthiest State Initiative is privately led and publically endorsed. It encourages all Iowans, including children, to improve their overall health and well-being so they can live longer, happier, and healthier lives. The Governor believes that making Iowa the healthiest state in the nation is not only critical to the economic viability of our state, but is also critical to the quality of life for all Iowans. Iowans have made great strides in improving their health and continue to work toward the Governor’s goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation by 2016.


IDPH Legislative Package Summary

·        SF 2083 Board of Dietetics Bill.This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on March 14.

·        SF 2196 Department Omnibus Bill.This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 23.

·        The Iowa Health Information Network (IHIN) legislation (HF 2187) did not pass the Legislature this year.


Other bills of interest

The following bills were passed by the legislature in the final days of session:

·        SF 2360 Medical Cannabidiol Act. This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 30.

·        SF 2297 Criminal Transmission Act.This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 30.

·        SF 2239 Elder Abuse Act. IDPH is listed as a member on a task force in section 30 of the bill. This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 23.

·        HF 2109 Vapor Products Act (aka E-Cigarette Bill). This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 23.

·        SF 303 Home Base Iowa Act. Includes provisions to expedite licensure for veterans and their spouses if they have taken relevant trainings and/or have relevant work experience. This bill was signed into law by Governor Branstad on May 26.

·        SF 2363 One-Time Spending Act. Includes provisions relating to radon and short-term testing. Provides DOE with $1.0 million for reimbursement to school districts for testing. Compliments SF 366 that passed earlier in session. Also includes $2.8 million in pass-through funding for substance use providers to implement use of electronic health records. The Governor exercised his veto power on SF 2363 on May 30. The provisions of this legislation will not be implemented.


Other Information

The Legislative Update is also posted on the IDPH website at http://www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/legislative_updates.asp.

To subscribe to the IDPH Legislative Update, please send a blank email to join-IDPHLEGUPDATE@lists.ia.gov.

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