The legislative session adjourned on May 20, 2021 and the Governor has 30 days from the time of adjournment to act on legislation.  That deadline has passed and following is the status of legislation of interest to the engineering profession. 

PPP Loans exempt from state income tax
Signed in law 
Under Iowa law and rules issued by the Iowa Department of Revenue recipients of loans in 2020 or later through the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program that were forgiven and excluded from federal gross income will not pay taxes to Iowa on that income for tax year 2020 or later. 

Billboards and Road Fund (SF 548)
Signed into law
Brings Iowa’s roadside billboard laws into compliance with federal requirements. Failure to conform would result in loss of $53 million in federal transportation funds.

Construction Manager at Risk (SF 183)
Passed Senate, Not brought up in the House
The legislation passed the Senate on a party line vote, with all but one Republican voting for the bill and all Democrats voting against the legislation
The bill allows for the use of CMAR on public projects.  The bill also prohibits the use of design build.  There is language in the bill that prohibits the use of fee-based selection of an architect or engineer on state or local projects. 
The bill died on the last day of the session.  The Republican controlled House would not bring the bill up for debate unless there were at least 51 Republican votes for the bill.  The unions, among others, were opposing the bill, and the House insisted there had to be 51 of the 59 Republicans voting for the bill.  Following are five Representatives who were a “No” all session long:  Dave Deyoe (Nevada), Dean Fisher (Montour), Henry Stone (Winnebago),  Norlin Mommsen (DeWitt), Thomas Moore (Griswold).  The following three individuals advised at the very end of the session they would be voting “No”: Brent Siegrist (Council Bluffs), Robert Bacon (Slater) and Cherielynn Westrich (Ottumwa).  With these eight no votes, that put us at 51 BUT two of our YES votes had advised us they would be YES ONLY if they were not the 51st vote.

Design Build (HF 195)
Died in committee
This legislation calls for the use of design build.  The design build team would be selected on qualifications but is silent on the selection of the engineer.

Licensing Boards and temporary license (SF 487)
Passed Senate. Died in the House.
This legislation impacts all licensed professions as well as occupations.  Its intent is to limit legislation that requires licensure of some occupations, however, in doing so it has impact on all licensed occupations and professions.
The bill establishes guidelines on criteria for submitting licensing legislation. It establishes a state government review committee charged with reviewing all boards and commissions for “efficiency and usefulness” and requires the board to “bear the burden of demonstrating its needs for existence.”  Any new Boards would be sunset after five years.
The bill uses the term “least restrictive regulation” as the criteria to be followed by the state.  This term needs clarification.  As used, it appears to say Iowa will have no regulations any more restrictive than any other state. 
The bill strikes the requirement that a land surveyor moving to Iowa must be granted a temporary 3–6-month license before taking the Iowa specific exam.  The legislation does require the licensing board to provide for taking the Iowa specific exam within 30 days of application. 

Continuing Education Requirement Hardships (SF 354)
Passed the Senate – died in the House
The bill allows a board to extend the deadline for continuing education needed for license renewal for 90 days if a licensee or his or her family is experiencing financial or medical hardship. 

Drainage District and Engineering Reports (SF 353)
This legislation has been signed into law.
The bill amends the requirement for a board of supervisors or board of trustees to provide notice of a hearing regarding a report to classify tracts within a drainage or levee district.  The notice is to be delivered to each landowner within the district and by publication.  The bill requires a board to order a report from an engineer regarding a proposed repair estimated to exceed $50,000 or the adjusted competitive bid threshold, whichever is more. 

Disciplinary Hearings (HF 764 & SSB1112)
Failed to advance out of committee
The bill allows hearings before a licensing board to be conducted by an administrative law judge, in addition to board panels currently used. The legislation provides that disciplinary charges shall be public records and may contain investigative information to “inform the licensee and the public.”  

Ban on Federal/State Swap on road funds (SF 158)T
The legislation died in committee.
Legislation passed a few years ago allows for the state DOT commission to allocate moneys from the primary road fund in exchange for retaining all or a portion of federal aid road funds that would have been allocated to counties or cities.  This allows county city projects to be expedited.  This legislation would have stopped this practice. 

Taking PE and Fundamental Exam (HF 284 & SF 401)
Signed into law
The bill allows for an applicant to take the PE exam any time after passing the fundamental exam.  The applicant would no longer have to wait for the four-year experience requirement before taking the exam.  BUT the applicant may  not use the PE license until the four-year experience requirement has been met.  

Interior Design and Architects (HF 781 & SF 445)
The House version has passed the House.  Failed to advance in Senate
This legislation was proposed by the interior designers and opposed by AIA. The bill defines interior design as including interior technical submissions as defined in the bill and removes an exclusion from the term that constitutes the practice of architecture. 

Restrictions on online learning (HF 132)
Bill died in committee.
The legislation would have prohibited a licensing board from limiting the number of hours that could be obtained remotely in satisfying education requirements. 

Building Code (SF 216)
Died in committee.
Would require all building code rules conform to the most recent edition of the international code council’s energy conservation code.  Also states that nothing in the state building code shall be construed to prohibit a governmental subdivision from adopting building regulations that contain more stringent energy conservation requirements than those in the state building code.

Mandate ethanol and biodiesel
Failed to advance
This legislation was brought by the Governor and was supported by the Farm Bureau and other commodity groups.  It would have mandated the sale of E15 and biodiesel at all retail facilities.  From the perspective of those who work to protect road funding, the bill was revenue neutral.  However, from the perspective of those mandated to use or sell the product, it was very controversial.  Governor Reynolds has already stated she will be bringing the issue back in 2022.

Tax Cuts
Governor Reynolds signed what many are referring to as the centerpiece of the 2021 legislative session. The legislation puts into effect income tax cuts that were passed in 2018 but were not to be implemented until certain “triggers: were met. The legislation also eliminates the state inheritance tax over time, aids families with childcare and housing by providing incentives to both through tax credits, couples state tax policy with federal action to provide bonus depreciation of major assets. 
The bill provides property tax relief with the elimination of the county mental health levy and the replacement of those funds with state dollars. 
Reduction in income taxes from a high of 8.53% to 6.5%, reduction in the number of tax brackets from 9 to 4 and the elimination of federal taxes paid from state tax liability – Effective January 1, 2023.
Phase out the inheritance tax by 20% per year beginning January 1, 2021, until fully eliminated on January 1, 2025. 
Increase income eligibility for childcare tax credits from $45,000 to $90,000 – Retroactive to January 1, 2021. 
Increase the available amount of workforce housing tax credits from $25 million to $35 million – Effective July 1, 2021. 
State bonus depreciation to match federal policy – Retroactive to January 1, 2021.
Eliminate the Mental Health property tax levy over two years beginning July 1, 2021.

Broadband funding (HF 867)
The Governor has signed into law an appropriation of $100 million creating a broadband grant fund to expand access to high-speed internet for the “benefit of Iowans to “live, work and learn” in rural Iowa.

 Bonding for Flood Mitigation (HF 523)
The Governor has signed into law legislation making it easier for counties to apply for funds for flood mitigation. 

Fluoride Notification (HF 390)
Signed into law
Requires water systems to provide 90-day notification of the discontinuance of fluoride.