Good bills/bad bills we’re tracking (2013 legislative session)

Here are the good and bad policy bills we are tracking for you this legislative session.

Good bills that put people first

*indicates this bill is being drafted, and introduction is pending



 Our Money, Our Priorities – A Budget That Puts People First

  • *Combined Corporate Reporting: requires out-of-state corporations to combine their reporting of profits and pay their fair share of taxes to the state of Iowa on those profits rather than funneling them out of state.  This would keep at least $100 million per year in revenues in the state and ensure Iowa-based businesses have a fair and level playing field with huge out-of-state corporations.
  • *Corporate Tax Transparency Act: This bill would simply require publicly traded corporations to disclose the amount of taxes they paid to the State of Iowa. Filings would be delayed two years, but would show taxes paid vs. tax credits received from the State, and allow us to see if big corporations are paying their fair share.
  • Senate File 88 – Earned Income Tax Credit: This is a tax credit for people who work and have relatively low wages. Currently the credit maxes out at $379 a year for a married couple with three children making about $43,000 a year, or $32 for a single adult making up to $13,450. An increase would provide millions of dollars in tax relief to working families with incomes less than $45,000 a year. Supporters estimate this would help more than 500,000 people in Iowa.

Our Farms, Our Air, Our Water – Environmental Policy That Puts People Before Polluters

  • *Local Control: allows counties to pass siting ordinances that determine where and when a factory farm can be built.  This gives counties and local people – who know their area best – the final say in whether a factory farm can be constructed.  LC & SPS
  • *Stronger Factory Farm Permitting Standards: Will double the current separation distance a factory farm can locate from neighbors, public use areas, etc from ¼ mile to ½ mile. Will also cut the permitting threshold in half from 2500 hogs, to 1250 hogs.
  • House File 92 – Funding Natural Resources: this bill would increase the state sales tax by 3/8 of one cent to fund the Iowa and Water Land Legacy, approved by voters in 2010. This, combined with more funding from Iowa’s $800 million surplus, would ensure full funding for Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources.

Our Wages, Our Work – Labor Policy That Puts People Before Profits

  • House File 38 – Protecting Employee Pay (Wage Theft): Requires an employer to determine that a deduction from an employee’s pay is lawful and for the employer to get written authorization from the employee in advance.  Requires an employer to give employees notice about wages that are paid based on mileage, piecework or loads.  Creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer did not pay the minimum wage if the employer does not keep adequate records.  Requires employers to mail out or give at the place of work, a statement of earnings and deductions for each pay period.  Prohibits retaliation against employees and establishes penalties.
  • House File 39 – Minimum Wage: Raises the state minimum wage to $7.75 (January 2014), $8.25 (July 2014), and $9 (January 2015).  Raises the minimum wage for employees with less than 90 days $6.85 (January 2014), $7.35 (July 2014), and $8.10 (January 2015).  Increases the minimum wage annually, as of July 2015 by the Social Security cost of living increase.
  • House File 41 – Employee Misclassification: Establishes penalties for an employer who has previously been found by the DWD to have not paid unemployment contributions due to the misclassification of an employee on a 1099 form.  Makes the subsequent misclassification subject to a 100% penalty of the amount of the unemployment contribution that the employer failed to pay.

Our Paychecks, Our Security – Financial Policy That Puts People Before Profits

  • Senate File 132 – Payday Loan Interest Rate Caps: limits the interest rates on payday loans to 36%.  This is down from an average of 400% and will help break the cycle of debt caused by predatory payday loans.

Our Lives, Our Schools – Education Policy That Puts People Before Politics

  • House File 44 – Abolishing Official English: Repeals the provisions making English the official language of the state and related provisions.
  • Senate File 80 & House File 183- IOWA Act: allows undocumented immigrant students who have lived in Iowa at least five years to qualify for in-state tuition at Iowa’s public universities.  It would encourage immigrant students to stay in school, find a pathway to citizenship, and find higher-paying jobs that add to Iowa’s tax base.

Our Government, Our Voice – Electoral Policy That Puts People Before Politics

  • House File 43 & Senate Study Bill 1072  – Voter Owned Iowa Clean Election:  Establishes voluntary, publically-funded Voter Owned Iowa Clean Election (VOICE) campaigns and contribution limits for candidates who do not participate in the voluntary program.  Includes spending limits, mandatory debates and other provisions in the voluntary program.
  • House File 45 & Senate File 127- Restoring Voting Rights: Restores voting rights for persons who have been discharged from a criminal sentence, including any period of parole, probation or supervised release.
  • House Joint Resolution 5: establishing a constitutional amendment opposing the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” ruling.
  • Senate File 121 – Reporting Gift Filings: This common sense legislation would ensure that state department heads report gifts in excess of $100 if related to their office.


Bad bills that don’t put people first


Bad budget and tax policy that puts corporations before people

  • House File 1 & Senate File 86 – Taxpayer Trust Credits: This bill squanders Iowa’s built up budget surplus and reserves by sending check proportionate to taxes paid back to residents and corporations. This surplus would be better served being used to fund the Dept. of Natural Resources, Iowa Workforce Dev., and other vital public services that have faced cuts over the last several years.
  • House File 3 – Alternative Flat Tax: Establishes an alternative flat income tax of 4.5% of a taxpayer’s base income. Flat Taxes have been proven time and again to be regressive, overwhelmingly benefiting the super rich. Senate File 112  would offer an optional flat tax only to corporations. Senate File 260 would establish a 6% flat corporate tax.
  • Senate Study Bill 1022 –  Economic Development Funding: Allows the EDA to transfer funds received from various sources (loan repayments, interest and other monies) into a fund established by the EDA.  This is one more way Governor Branstad wants to use more taxpayer money from Iowa’s budget for corporate give-aways. Senate Study Bill 1025 & House Study Bill 62 also weakens reporting and contract requirements for EDA grantees.
  • Senate File 262Capital Gains give-aways: Exempts the sale of an equity investment in a qualified Iowa business from the individual income tax.

Agribusiness policy that puts polluters before people

  • Senate Study Bill 1005 –  Water Quality: Strikes the requirement for the publication of notice in newspapers for NPDES storm water permits.  Awards such a permit by default if the DNR does not act on the application within 90 days of receipt.  This bad bill further deregulates the factory farm industry.
  • House File 65/Senate File 168 –  Implementing Federal Standards: Prohibits a state agency from exceeding the specific requirements of a federal statute, rule or policy when implementing that statute, rule or policy, and deems any part of the rule that does so to be superseded. This would prevent Iowa from cracking down on factory farm polluters. What works for clean water in South Carolina won’t be the same for Iowa.
  • Senate File 166 – Negotiated Rulemaking Process: This bill would allow an agency to create an ad hoc rulemaking group before rulemaking proceeding. The agency chooses members of the group so it could be heavily weighted with industry people and not giving the public a fair voice. The current rulemaking process is already tilted against us, this would make it worse.
  • Senate File 169 – EPC Rule Review: This bill would require the DNR to issue a report on fiscal impact of every rule adopted by the EPC and would allow the EPC to eliminate existent rules if they are too costly for the city. Current rules and regulations are in place for a reason – to protect Iowans and our environment. We know the EPC is full corporate ag industry people, this could open a door to deregulate factory farms.  We need more funding to make sure we can enforce our laws; not throw out laws if there isn’t enough funding.

Labor policy that puts big business before workers rights

  • Senate File 43 Social Security Numbers: Requires that DHS verify the Social Security number of applicants for programs and services.

Electoral policy that puts money before people

  • Senate Study Bill 1013 & House File 209 – Ethics Complaints: Gives the chair of the Ethics & Campaign Board the authority to determine the legal sufficiency of a complaint filed with the Board.  This bill concentrates the power of reviewing ethics complaints in the hands of one person rather than a board that is open and accountable to the public.


Last updated 2.18.13


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