The Weekly Scoop: Edition 13
This week, the House passed several bills for lowan’s and our farmers. My friend Representative Wulf was successful in running HF 572 which the House passed. This Bill prohibits the use of remotely piloted aircraft flying over certain property, and providing penalties. The goal of this bill is to protect lowa farmers, ranchers’ privacy, and safety of farmers’ livestock operations to prohibit drones being able to fly over their facilities without consent.
After careful consideration and rewording the language of SF 315, I am glad to report the House passed SF 315 unanimously. This bill allows for the sale of raw milk, raw milk products, and raw milk dairy product from producers on a raw milk dairy with no more than 10 dairy animals. With the passing of this bill there are requirements. Producers are required to test monthly to determine Coliform count and standard plate of dairy animals. An annual physical with a blood test shall be conducted by a licensed veterinarian. The bill is very clear that associated products are not allowed to be used for retail food processing or home-based goods. If a person who consumes raw milk later becomes ill, HHS or a local board of health may request the test records of the raw milk dairy from the previous three years.
lowan’s passed a constitutional amendment to protect the right to bear arms. By passing House File 654, we are listening to lowans and eliminating needless regulations on law-abiding citizens’ right to bear arms. It includes allowing firearms in locked vehicles on most publicly-owned property, striking a DDHS rule prohibiting foster parents from having firearms in their vehicle, and allows casinos to determine their own firearm policy.
As many of you are aware, Property Tax Assessments were delivered late last week. You may have noticed that your property assessments went up and I was just as shocked as you may have been. I understand disagreements between individual homeowners and their County Assessor’s Offices often happen due to the fair market value of a property. The law clearly states an individual property owner may protest when they disagree with the assessed value. You can file the form at your local County Assessor’s Office anytime between April 2nd and April 30th. If the board determines your assessed value is fair, you can write to appeal their decision by filling in District Court or with the property Assessments Appeal board at the Department of Revenue. For more information please check out the website:
lowa House Republicans have been working diligently on a plan to provide real relief to lowan’s and certainty to the taxpayer. This week the Ways and Means committee passed House File 1 with an amendment. This bill would reduce the 5.40 levy by $1 and has the State fund the difference and delivers more than $200 million in real, immediate tax relief to lowans. It would also cap annual property tax increases per parcel to 3% for residential and agricultural properties and 8% for commercial and industrial properties. This bill will increase transparency by requiring notice to the taxpayers and moving all elections for bonding to the general election date.
HF1, which addresses state property tax reform, was discussed by the Ways and Means Committee late last week. Property taxes are not set by the State Legislature but it is the intent as Ways and Means works on this topic to do two things: 1.) deliver transparency for property owners; 2.) provide for predictable budgeting and fairness for local residents of property tax revenue.
Ways and Means committee also passed HSB 245 to protect the integrity of lowa’s caucuses and keep lowa first in the nation. HSB 245 includes requiring participating in a precinct caucus to be in-person, requires voters to declare their party status 70 days before the caucuses to limit bad actors attempting to meddle in the opposing party’s caucus, and removes the state from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). ERIC has become less effective of a tool to maintain voter rolls as key states have left the center. lowa’s Secretary of State has other tools it can use to maintain lowa’s voter registration list.
In last week’s Weekly Scoop, I talked a little about SF 494 and am happy to report it passed the House. This bill implements reasonable accountability measures to lowa’s public assistance programs.
Rep. Meggers’ district, Iowa House District 54, includes all of Grundy and Hardin counties and several rural townships on the far western edge of Black Hawk County. He can be reached via email: email@example.com.