Week 13 April 8-12, 2019

House HHS Budget Includes Significant Funding for Mental Health
Last week, the House Appropriations Committee passed House File 766, the Health and Human Services Budget for
FY2020. This budget appropriates a total of $1.94 billion from the state general fund to the Department on Aging,
the Department of Public Health, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the
Iowa Veterans Home. When combined with federal block grants, federal matching funds, and other revenue sources,
the HHS budget tops $5 billion to fund human services in the state for the next fiscal year.

Importantly, this budget provides significant funding for mental health including an additional $1.2 million in state
funding and a total of $3.1 million in funding for next year to eliminate the waiting list for the children's mental
health home and community-based services waiver. There are currently around 1,000 children on this waiting list,
and this appropriation will allow these children and their families to receive much-needed services close to home.

Additionally, this bill funds the single statewide 24-hour crisis hotline for all ages and funds our current and soon to
be 22 Assertive Community Treatment teams statewide. This funding amounts to about $2.8 million and is currently
being subsidized by the 14 Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS) Regions.

This budget also addresses Polk
County MHDS Region by allowing the county to transfer funds from other areas for one year, and provides a $5.2
million increase to Medicaid to pay for the additional mental health services passed last year, like Access Centers
and Intensive Residential Service Homes, in the Mental Health Complex Needs Act (HF2456).
This budget also focuses on the mental health workforce by funding 4 additional psychiatric residencies in rural
communities and increases psychiatric training for physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

These increases are in addition to the status quo appropriation of $96 million to Iowa Medicaid for children’s mental
health services, $1.4 million towards children’s systems of care, $2 million towards the Medical Residency Training
State Matching Grants Program, which has funded 8 new psychiatric medical residency slots in central Iowa, and
continues the appropriation to Des Moines University to partner with NAMI to prepare family physicians and other
medical providers to help those suffering from mental illness. There are also additional funds appropriated through
the federal community mental health block grant, Iowa Medicaid, and Public Health for substance abuse, 1st Five,
home visitation, and other mental health prevention work for Iowa children, to name a few.
House Ways & Means Committee Passes Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Update Measure
On Thursday, April 4, 2019, the

House Ways & Means Committee passed House File 647 (which became House
File 768) by a unanimous 24-aye vote. The bill was placed on the House Ways & Means Calendar and is awaiting
full consideration by the House in the final days of this session.
HF 768 restructures/reinstates the beginning farmer tax credit program that was originally created in 2007 and
significantly amended in 2013 with provisions that included automatic sunset of some provisions added in 2013. It
was then modified by 2014 legislation with the automatic repeal occurring on January 1, 2018. This legislation
reinstates a restructured form of the ag asset transfer tax credits program, but renames it the ‘Beginning Farmer Tax
Credit Program.’ However, it does not reestablish the custom farming contract tax credits that expired on January 1,

HF 768 modifies and codifies certain beginning farmer program eligibility criteria that:

• allows an aggregate maximum aggregate net worth of multiple family member beginning farmer entities, to
twice the low or moderate net worth (but still retains the maximum low to moderate net worth for each
specific person that is part of the entity);

• requires eligible taxpayer landowners (the beginning farmer tax credit beneficiaries) not to have been at
fault for terminating a prior agreement with a beginning farmer in which the taxpayer was able to claim a
tax credit;

• restricts to $50,000 of beginning farmer tax credits per year that any taxpayer can claim;

• details the specific of ‘risk-sharing arrangements’ that must be met to qualify for the 15% tax credit rate
share-rent agreements;

• Specifies in Code how the tax credit amount is to be calculated; and

• limits issuance of beginning farmer tax credits to no more than $12-million per year.

The bill changes how the application fee that IFA may charge from the current $300 limit regardless of size and
length of an agricultural lease agreement and replaces it with sliding assessment that application fees will be:

• $300 for a lease up to 100 acres,

• $400 for > 100 acres but not more than 250-acres,

• $500 for leases more than 250-acres.

The measure then repeals these Code specified fees on January 1, 2022, and replaces it with language specifying the
Iowa Finance Authority (IFA) calculate the level of fees needed to administer the program and use the
administrative rules process to establish the fees that will be charged with applications. A fiscal note projects that
the bill will decrease general fund revenues by $400,000 in FY 2020, $1.4-million in FY 2021; $2.5-million in FY
2022; $3-million in FY 2023; $3.3-million in FY 2024; $3.4-million in FY 2025; $3.6-million in FY 2026; and $3.8-
million in FY 2027 and thereafter.

The measure will also reduce statewide local sales tax option collection by $100,000 starting in FY 2022.

Click here to view Gov. Reynold's full news release.

Iowa Utilities Board Takes Comments Regarding Alliant’s Proposed Rate Increase

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) has issued an order scheduling ten public comment meetings and approving
customer notices, regarding an upcoming application by Alliant Energy-Interstate Power and Light Company
(Alliant), for increases in its Iowa retail electric and natural gas rates.

The order, filed in dockets RPU-2019-0001 (electric) and RPU-2019-0002 (natural gas), sets the specific dates,
times and locations for the public meetings at which Alliant customers and the general public may express their
views about the proposed rate increases and the overall quality of Alliant’s service to representatives of Alliant, the
IUB, and the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA). The OCA represents the general interests of customers in all
Board proceedings.

In addition to attending and speaking at the public meetings, customers can submit comments online through the
IUB’s electronic filing system at https://efs.iowa.gov/efs/ShowWelcome.do

The following public meetings are scheduled throughout Alliant’s Iowa service territory:

Marshalltown: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Iowa Valley Education Center, 3702 S. Center St.

6 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at the Bridge View Center, 102 Church St.

5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, at Clinton Community College, Tech Center, 1951 Manufacturing Drive.

11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Hotel Julien, 200 Main St.
Cedar Rapids:

5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Kirkwood Community College, Main Campus, Iowa Hall, 6301
Kirkwood Boulevard S.W.

Conditions for Learning Surveys Taking Place Statewide

If you’re the parent of a 3rd through 12th grader, you may be hearing about a survey students are currently taking in
schools. This spring, students across the state will take the Conditions for Learning survey. The survey gauges
student perception on issues like physical and emotional safety, student and adult relationships, and expectations for
students. It’s been issued for a number of years now and was recently integrated into Iowa’s measurements for the
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

What is it?

The survey was designed under the Iowa Safe and Supportive School (IS3) grant from the US Department of
Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, which was awarded to Iowa in 2010. Iowa was one of 11 states
to be awarded nearly $14 million in federal money over a four year period, through the grant program, to study
issues such as bullying, school safety, attendance, and student engagement.

The Conditions for Learning survey measures 3 “domains” and 5 “constructs” and other demographic questions:

1. Safety: The extent to which students are safe from physical harm while on school property, as well as safe
from verbal abuse, teasing, and exclusion.

2. Engagement: The extent to which students and adults demonstrate respect for each other’s differences; the
extent to which students demonstrate care for, respect for, and collaboration with one another; and the
extent to which adults demonstrate caring and respect for students and acknowledge students’ work.

3. Environment: The extent to which clear rules are delineated and enforced.

4. Five constructs: Physical Safety, Emotional Safety, Adult-Student Relationships, Student-Student
Relationships, and Expectations/Boundaries.

5. Demographic questions: Includes age, grade, gender, and race and ethnicity.

Who takes it?

Two versions of the Survey will be administered; one for students in grades 3-5, which has been adapted to be age
appropriate for the lower grades, and one for students in grades 6-12. Participation is confidential and voluntary.
Schools were to provide parents with a letter notifying them of the survey and giving them the choice to opt their
student out of taking the survey; in addition, at any point, students could also choose not to participate in this
voluntary survey.

What happens with the data?

All data is collected through a platform which does not identify individual students. The survey does provide
aggregated information that may be used by a school building to identify their strengths and weaknesses and serves
as a foundation on which to build an action plan for improving the learning environment for all students. The
information will also help to determine the level of support needed by schools, and the resources they may need to
provide an optimal learning environment for all learners. School leaders can use the survey data to identify both
areas of strength and opportunities to improve the school culture and climate.

Why is it being given?

According to the Department of Education, studies have shown this work matters. Improving skills such as solving
problems, working out conflict, and working with other people in a group has led to double-digit increases on
achievement test scores, improved classroom behavior, and improved attitudes. Therefore, this work to improve
safety, student engagement and the overall learning environment will have a lasting impact on the future. Research
demonstrates students succeed academically when they feel safe, engaged, and when they have positive
relationships with adults and peers at school. Iowa is at the cutting edge in taking a comprehensive statewide
approach to utilizing student voice in school improvement efforts.

Additionally, it is for Iowa’s ESSA Accountability Index. This Index is a broad indicator of a school’s needs,
comprised of several measures such as student participation, academic achievement, student growth in academic
areas, graduation rate, progress in achieving English language proficiency, postsecondary readiness - and Conditions
for Learning. These are all a part of Iowa’s approved federal education plan.

Learn more here: https://educateiowa.gov/pk-12/every-student-succeeds-act/conditions-learning-cfl

See the results for your schools here: https://www.iaschoolperformance.gov/Home/Index

Budget Passes House in Bipartisan Vote

The House passed the Education Budget this week on a bipartisan vote of 58-38. This budget funds the Department
for the Blind, the College Student Aid Commission (scholarships and grants for students), the Department of
Education, Community Colleges, Vocational Rehabilitation, Iowa Public Television, and the Board of Regents.

It’s the first time the Education Budget has received bipartisan support in recent memory. And for good reason. It’s
a good budget with no reductions in funding over FY19 and increases many priority programs.

The budget proposed for the coming fiscal year FY2020 is a $48.3 million increase over FY2019. It’s slightly less
than the Governor’s proposal and about $15 million above the Senate’s proposal, at this time.

• $963,275,618 – Governor’s FY 2020 proposal

• $960,833,480 – House FY 2020 proposal

• $946,955,971 – Senate FY 2020 proposal

• $912,675,487 – Estimated Net FY 2019

Here are some of the highlights:

? All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship = $159,146 increase, $3 million total

o This will provide scholarships to about 35 more economically-disadvantaged students.

? Rural Primary Care Loan Program = $300,000 increase, $1.4 million total

o New funding here will help put new doctors into rural areas that need coverage.

? Health Care Loan Repayment Program = $50,000 increase, $250,000 total

o New funding here will help put nurses into rural areas that need coverage.

? Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship = $14,789,209 total

o About 7500 Iowans will benefit from this funding, meant to get students into high-demand fields
of study and employment.

? Future Ready Iowa Grant Program = $1,000,000 total

o This funding will help Iowans who were unable to finish their degree by incenting their return to
their program of study for degree completion.

? Career Technical Education = $355,823 increase, $3 million total

o Funding to help provide on-the-job experience for high school students.

? Early Childhood Iowa = $1 million increase, $23.2 million total

o This increase will help fund programs that help families with young children to help with
education, health care, and other identified local needs.

? iJAG (Jobs for America’s Grads) = $1 million increase, $2.7 million total

o This additional funding will help open about 20 new programs, providing opportunity for kids at
risk of not graduating from high school.

? Mental Health Awareness Training = $3,000,000 total
o Funding designed to help train teachers in mental health awareness.

? $7 million increase for the Community Colleges, $209.7 million total

? $15.9 million increase for Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI, $497 million total

? $400,000 increase for the Iowa School for the Deaf, $10.4 million total

? $167,000 increase for services for Blind and Visually Impaired, $4.3 million total
The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration. View the details of the bill here:

House Republicans Pass Bill Supporting Child Care Tax Credit

This week the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed House File 227—a bill that doubles the
income limitation for the Iowa child and dependent care tax credit. This is a credit that supports working Iowa
families who spend large portions of their paychecks on childcare.

Currently, the federal tax code provides for a Child and Dependent Care Credit equal to 20 percent to 35 percent of
qualified expenditures paid to care providers for a child under the age of 13 and for certain other dependents of the
taxpayer. Qualified expenditures are limited to $3,000 per year for one qualified dependent or $6,000 for two or
more qualified dependents. The federal tax credit does not have an upper-income limit.

Iowa provides its own tax credit as a percentage of the amount of the federal credit. The Iowa tax credit is allowed
on a sliding scale, based on the taxpayer's net income. The Iowa tax credit amount ranges from 75 percent of the
federal credit for net income of less than $10,000, to 30 percent for taxpayers with net income of $40,000 to
$44,999. Currently, there is no Iowa child care tax credit available for a net income of $45,000 or higher.
House File 227 doubles the Iowa income limit and makes the credit available to taxpayers with net incomes of less
than $90,000. The legislation does not change the income-based percent ranges—so all taxpayers with income over
$40,000 will receive a credit of 30 percent of the federal credit.

House File 227 makes the change apply to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2019. The legislation would
have a state fiscal impact of -$5.4 million in the fiscal year 2020. The bill is now ready for further consideration on
the House floor.

VA Continues Community Suicide-Prevention Challenge

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse,
and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) convened seven teams March 27-29 in Arlington, Virginia,
for the Mayor’s Challenge to Prevent Suicide Among Service Members, Veterans and their Families.

With the goal of eliminating suicide by promoting a comprehensive public health approach that empowers
communities to take action, the sites that participated in the mayor’s challenge policy academy were: Clarksville,
Tennessee; Kansas City, Missouri; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Mecklenburg County, North Carolina; Tulsa,
Oklahoma; Reno/Truckee Meadows, Nevada; and Suffolk County, New York.
Suicide is a major public health concern that affects everyone. It is estimated 45,000 Americans, including 6,000
Veterans, die by suicide each year.

At the policy academy, representatives from the sites developed strategic action plans to implement in their
communities. The collaborative teams included community, municipal and military stakeholders, among others. VA
and SAMHSA provided technical assistance to support local efforts, document outcomes and share strategies with
other municipalities.

The Mayor’s Challenge was launched in March 2018, bringing together representatives of eight cities to develop
local action plans to prevent Veteran suicide. Since then, the Mayor’s Challenge program has expanded to a total of
24 cities. An inaugural Governor’s Challenge that involved seven state teams took place in February, replicating the
effort on the state level. Participants in both programs form interagency teams to bolster Veteran suicide-prevention
efforts in their communities.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can contact the
Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255
and press 1, send a text message to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

Reporters covering this issue are strongly encouraged to visit www.reportingonsuicide.org for important guidance
on how to safely communicate about suicide.

Transportation Bills Surviving the Second Funnel Deadline
The second legislative funnel came and went on April 5th. A bill must pass one chamber and a committee in the
other chamber or has been assigned to the Appropriations, Ways and Means, or Government Oversight committee,
to receive further consideration this legislative session. The following bills survived the second legislative funnel
through the Transportation Committee.

HF482/HSB 37 – Motor Vehicle Enforcement Authority
DOT employees designated as peace officers have the same powers, duties, privileges, and immunities as peace
officers relating to enforcement of laws and apprehension of violators, within certain limitations. The sunset on this
authority is extended until July 1, 2022
Status: Signed by Governor

HF 343/HSB 39 – Pickup Trucks as School Bus
This bill includes pickup trucks in the definition of a school bus.
Status: House Unfinished Business

HF 769/HF 483/HF 75 – Special Truck Weight Limit Registration
This bill increases the allowed gross weight for special trucks (noncommercial use).
Status: Ways and Means Calendar

HF 387/HSB 127 – Following Too Closely
This bill prohibits all vehicles from following closer than is reasonable and prudent. It makes the standard for
following too closely the same for personal and commercial vehicles.
Status: Passed Senate Transportation

HF 418/HSB 43 – CDL Federal Training Requirements
This bill requires CDL applicants to have driving records checked against a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
Status: Senate Unfinished Business

HF 517/HF 237 – Private School Permits
This bill increases the distance a private school student can travel from home to school from 25 miles to 50 miles.
Status: Passed both chambers

HF 767/HF 725/HSB 197 – Electric Vehicle Registration
This bill creates a supplemental registration fee for electric vehicles to make RUTF whole. It also creates an excise
fee for hydrogen fuel of $0.65/gallon and a $0.026/kWh excise fee on electric fuel. Funds are directed to RUTF.
Status: Ways and Means Calendar

SF 303 – 21st Birthday Driver’s License
This bill allows a 21-year-old to electronically apply for an updated driver’s license or non-operator ID. It also
requires the DOT to notify eligible individuals prior to their birthday and raise awareness for this option.
Status: Passed House Transportation Committee

SF 319 – Peace Officers Providing Driving Instruction
This bill allows peace officers and retired peace officers to provide driving instruction without prior approval from
the board of educational examiners.
Status: Passed House Transportation Committee

SF 436 – Salvage Title
This bill changes the percentage of repair costs for a salvage vehicle from 50% to 70% of fair market value.
Status: Passed House Transportation Committee

SF 442 – Authorized Emergency Vehicles
This bill sets parameters for the use of authorized emergency vehicles. It also provides immunity to employers and
employees responding to emergency calls or dangerous incidents.
Status: Passed House Transportation Committee

SF 435 – Towable Recreation Vehicles
This bill defines travel trailers and fifth wheel recreational vehicles as towable recreational vehicles. It also
establishes requirements regarding manufacturer – dealer agreements.

Status: Passed House Transportation Committee

Flood Relief
If you would like to donate to the flood-devastated farmers in southwest Iowa, please either go to this Facebook
page or mail a check to the address in Vinton listed below:


100% of the money raised will go to helping farmers who have been affected by the recent flooding. Benton
County Corn will be working with the Iowa Corn District 7 Committee (SW Iowa) to assess what farmers in the area
need most at this time, whether it is cleaning supplies, fencing supplies, clothes, groceries, or feed. Not only do these
farmers need material things, but they need our support in every aspect, as they try to move forward from this
catastrophe. Please feel free to reach out to anyone on the Benton County Corn board, District 7 Committee or
District Field Managers with Iowa Corn. Danielle Balvin - District Field Manager, 515-802-9923. Checks may be
sent to Benton County Corn Growers, 5736 28th Ave., Vinton IA 52349.

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