2019 Legislative Session Comes to an End
Education Appropriations Bill Increases Healthcare Loan Repayment Program Funds
The bipartisan team of Rep. Dave Kerr of Morning Sun and Rep, Lindsey James of Dubuque worked together to increase the amount of funds available for an important nurse educational program.
Included in the Education Appropriations bill, House File 758, is an additional $50,000 for the Healthcare Loan Repayment Program. This increase will allow for 5 more program participants.
The program repays the qualified student loans of registered nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, physician assistants, and nurse educators who practice full-time in a service commitment area or teach in this state.
To qualify for the program, applicants must complete and return to the student aid commission an affidavit of practice verifying that the applicant is or will be practicing full-time in a service commitment area in this state. A service commitment area is a city in Iowa with a population of less than 26,000 that is located more than 20 miles from a city with a population of 50,000 or more.
The annual amount of loan repayment to a program applicant is $6,000 or 20 percent of the recipient’s total qualified student loan, whichever amount is less.
House Human Services Budget Leader Insists on Change to BON Policy
Representative Joe Fry successfully rebuffed the requests of his Senate counterpart to drop a major policy initiative included in the Health and Human Services Appropriations bill.
Included on pages 80 to 82 of the massive 113-page House File 766, are provisions to give the power to hire and supervise the executive directors of the boards of nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and medicine to the Director of the Department of Public Health.
The INA opposed this proposed policy when it was a stand alone bill and continued to oppose it as part of a large spending bill.
Please know the INA has already sent a letter to Governor Reynolds urging her to exercise her line item veto power to not approve this portion of the spending bill.
ARNP and PA Psychiatric Training Funds Approved
New funding will soon be available to increase the access to mental health care services through the training of additional physician assistants and nurse practitioners.
The Health and Human Services budget included a new appropriation of $150,000 for ARNP and PA psychiatric training at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
New Student Mental Health Program Funding Approved!
The education spending plan, House File 758, agreed to by the House and Senate contains $2.1 million dollars for a new school mental health awareness program.
During budget negotiations, Representative Dave Kerr of Morning Sun was able fend off Senate efforts to not fund the program.
Of the $2.1 million dollars appropriated, $1,200,000 will be allocated to the area education agencies to provide mental health awareness training for educators and schools.
$750,000 will be allocated to the area education agencies to be used to identify a range of approaches to best meet the mental health needs of students and to strengthen community support for students.
Finally $150,000 be used by the area education agencies to create a clearinghouse of mental health resources for use by schools and community providers.
Thanks to all the INA members who contacted lawmakers to make sure that school mental health programing and community mental health programs are as integrated as possible. Without your efforts, this would not have taken place!
Whistleblower Protections Bill Sent To The Governor
Senate File 502, a bill to add protections for school district and state employees who report suspected illegal activities, is awaiting the signature of Governor Reynolds.
The bill prohibits adverse employment actions (i.e. firing or demotion) for disclosures of information by an employee of the state or a political subdivision of the state. The bill specifically authorizes disclosure of information by an employee to a person providing human resource management for the political subdivision of the state.
The bill provides that an aggrieved employee may recover civil damages in an amount up to three times the employee’s annual wages and benefits at the time of the inappropriate adverse employment action.
The bill also requires each political subdivision of the state to provide information to new employees of the authority of the office of ombudsman to investigate complaints and to provide information to all employees of the political subdivision, including the toll-free telephone number of the ombudsman.
Other Bills Sent To The Governor:
HF 732 (formerly HSB 244) - Medical Cannabidoil (F) - The bill adds ARNP’s to the persons allowed to certify a person to receive a medical cannabis card.
Passed the House 96-3. Approved by the Senate 40-7. Awaiting Governor’s action.
HF 731 - Mandatory Reporter Training (M) - Moves the responsibility for child abuse and dependent adult abuse curriculum from the Department of Human Services to the Department of Public Health. The bill also changes the frequency when the curriculum must be completed from the current 5 years to 3 years.
Passed the House 96-0. Approved by the Senate 49-0. Awaiting Governor's action.
HF 690 (formerly HSB 206) - Children’s Mental Health (F) - The bill establishes a children’s behavioral health system and a children’s behavioral health system state board, and requires certain children’s behavioral health core services be provided. The bill also includes the establishment of a single statewide 24-hour mental health crisis telephone hotline.
Passed the House 83-14. Passed by the Senate 46-2. Awaiting Governor’s action.
SF 609 (formerly SSB 1251) - Ag and DNR Appropriations (F) - Included in the spending bill is a new appropriation of $130,000 for Iowa’s Center for Agricultural Safety and Health (I-CASH.) The center focuses on rural health issues such as mental health, suicide prevention and painkiller abuse. INA was singled out for its support of the appropriation.
Approved by the Senate 32-18. Amended and approved by the House 54-45. Amended and approved by the Senate 33-16. Amendment approved by the House 55-44. Awaiting Governor's action.
Bill of interest:
These bills remain eligible for continued consideration during the 2020 session of the Iowa Legislature.
SF 564 (formerly SF 60) - Newborn Screen Panel (M) - This bill authorizes the congenital and inherited disorders advisory committee Iowa newborn screening panel subcommittee to evaluate and make recommendations, annually, regarding additions to the Iowa newborn screening panel.
Passed the Senate 48-0. Referred to House Human Resources Committee
SF 535 (formerly SSB 1035) - Fireworks Expansion, etc (A) - This bill modifies provisions relating to the regulation and sale of certain fireworks.
The bill provides that a city or county shall not adopt or enforce any zoning regulation under Code chapter 335 or 414 to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures used for the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to Code section 100.19, in any location zoned for commercial or industrial purposes regardless of NFPA or building code requirements.
Also the bill provides that the state fire marshal shall adopt rules to prohibit the sale of consumer fireworks in any residential zone or district. The bill provides that the state fire marshal shall have the sole authority to require or authorize inspections relating to consumer fireworks seller licensure. A city or county shall not have the authority to require or authorize any such inspection.
On Senate debate calendar
SF 500 (formerly SF 125) Needle Exchange Pilot Program (F) - The bill creates a needle exchange pilot program to be administered by DPH in cooperation with the department of public safety, the governor’s office of drug control policy, cities, counties, and nongovernmental organizations.
On Senate debate calendar
SF 438 (formerly SSB 1190) - Student Health, School Omnibus (M) - This omnibus bill strikes current law that requires a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in public and accredited nonpublic elementary schools or high schools to provide evidence to the school that the child has had a dental screening, a child’s vision screening and blood lead test. Instead the bill requires the person who performs the child’s screenings and tests to submit the information regarding completion to the department of public health.
Passed the Senate 32-17. Amended and and Approved by House subcommittee
SF 376 (formerly SF 270) - Health Education Requirements (F) - This bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills, and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in the unit of health education which school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must offer and teach in grades 7-12.
On Senate debate calendar
SF 342 - Alcohol Overdose Reporting Protection (F) - The bill provides that a person under the age of 21 shall not be charged or prosecuted for public intoxication, possession of alcohol under the legal age, use of a driver’s license by an underage person to obtain alcohol, or possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, if the person in good faith sought emergency assistance for the person or another person due to an alcohol overdose or because the person or other person is a victim of assault, sexual abuse, or human trafficking.
On Senate Debate Calendar
HF 700 (formerly HF 447) - Emergency Insulin Access (F) - Allows a pharmacist to execute professional judgement to refill an insulin prescription without prescriber authority.
Passed the House 97-0. Amended and passed by the Senate 49-0.
HF 684 (formerly HSB 175) - Alcohol Overdose Reporting Protection (F) - The bill provides that a person under the age of 21 shall not be charged or prosecuted for public intoxication, possession of alcohol under the legal age, use of a driver’s license by an underage person to obtain alcohol, or possession of an open container in a motor vehicle, if the person in good faith sought emergency assistance for the person or another person due to an alcohol overdose or because the person or other person is a victim of assault, sexual abuse, or human trafficking.
On House debate calendar
HF 504 - Health Education Requirements (F) - This bill adds mental health awareness, coping skills, and suicide prevention to the subject matter that must be included in the unit of health education which school districts and accredited nonpublic schools must offer and teach in grades 7-12.
Subcommittee: Approved by subcommittee
HF 419 (formerly HSB 60) - Music Therapist Certification (M) - This bill requires any person claiming to be a music therapist to hold a music therapist board-certified credential granted by the certification board for music therapists or a professional designation in good standing listed on the national music therapy registry.
Approved by the House 96-3.
HF 274 - School PE Stats (M) - The bill requires the department of education, beginning with the school year starting July 1, 2019, to annually compile reports on statistics and data relating to physical education classes and instruction offered by each school district as a whole and by attendance center in a format determined by the department.
Approved by subcommittee
HF 98 - Center For Suicide Prevention (M) - This bill establishes the Iowa center for suicide prevention in the department of education to provide, in a coordinated and comprehensive way, ongoing support to Iowa’s schools relating to suicide prevention and postvention and the identification of adverse childhood experiences and strategies to mitigate toxic stress response, in the form of information, resources, and evidence-based training content.
Subcommittee: Mommsen, Hanusa and Mascher