Re-elect State Representative Bob Kressig Democrat Iowa House District 59


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New Laws

7/1/2014   

William Petroski, bpetrosk@dmreg.com 5:58 a.m. CDT July 1, 2014

Dozens of new state laws will take effect Tuesday affecting many Iowans, including holders of gift certificates, farmers who raise corn, people who puff electronic cigarettes, and operators of drone aircraft.

The new laws include tougher rules on romances between teachers and former students, and laws to help keep children forced into prostitution out of the criminal justice system and allow pets to be included in domestic protective orders.

But one new measure that has generated many headlines and extensive public debate — permitting an oil derived from marijuana to be used to treat some medical patients — is expected to affect a relatively small number of Iowans.

Those whom Iowa neurologists diagnose with intractable epilepsy may seek permission to be treated with cannabidiol — a non-psychoactive medicine derived from marijuana. Under the law, they can apply to the Department of Public Health for a card allowing them to possess up to 32 ounces of cannabidiol.

A patient or a guardian issued the card will not be prosecuted by the state for cannabidiol possession. People who do not have the card are still prohibited from having or using the substance. The cards must be renewed every year.

Under the law, the University of Iowa will be required to submit annual reports detailing scientific literature, studies and clinical trials regarding cannabidiol use around the country. The law will be repealed July 1, 2017, unless the Legislature acts to extend it.

State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said Friday that an interim legislative committee will oversee the implementation of the law, and he hopes lawmakers will have a discussion about allowing the use of cannabis to treat other medical conditions, such as cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis. "But this is an important first step going forward," he said.

Maria La France of Des Moines, whose son, Quinn, has severe epilepsy, said she isn't worried about the cannabidiol law expiring in 2017. "My hope is that the law will be expanded; maybe this law will go away and be replaced by a full medical cannabis program, one that allows it to be grown in this state and sold in this state," she added.

However, Gov. Terry Branstad, who signed the cannabidiol legislation, is not proposing any more changes for now regarding medical marijuana. "Governor Branstad believes the state needs to be cautious about expanding a law that has not even taken effect yet," said Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers.

State Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, who is challenging Branstad for governor, said, "I support the expansion of medical cannabis oil by prescription only for conditions for which it has been demonstrated to have significant pain-relief value."

The new laws are the result of actions by the Iowa Legislature during this year's session. Most state laws take effect July 1 each year, unless there is a specific provision designating another date.

Here is a look at some of the other laws taking effect Tuesday:

CORN CHECKOFF: The state's corn promotion checkoff can be increased from 1 cent per bushel to a maximum of 3 cents per bushel. The legislation will require approval in a referendum by corn producers before the checkoff is increased. The maximum rate for the next five years, from Sept. 1, 2014, through Aug. 31, 2019, cannot exceed 2 cents per bushel. The maximum rate for all future years, beginning Sept. 1, 2019, cannot exceed 3 cents per bushel.

E-CIGARETTES: The new law will enable the state to regulate "electronic cigarettes" as it currently regulates tobacco products. Iowa retailers are banned from selling alternative nicotine products and vapor products to individuals under age 18. The law also prohibits e-cigarette sales through vending machines and bans sampling within 500 feet of a school.

DRONES: The state and its political subdivisions will be prohibited from using unmanned aerial vehicles for enforcing traffic laws. Information obtained by unmanned aerial vehicles cannot be used as evidence unless the information is collected through the use of a search warrant or in compliance with state or federal laws. The new law also requires the Department of Public Safety to work with other agencies and interested parties to determine if changes should be made to Iowa's criminal code to address unmanned aerial vehicle use.

GIFT CERTIFICATES: This eliminates the presumption that certain unused gift certificates are abandoned property, allowing the consumer to use them indefinitely. In doing so, it also eliminates the requirement that businesses issuing the gift certificates keep track of the unspent balance and forfeit the proceeds to the state treasurer.

TEACHER/EX-STUDENT ROMANCE: Teachers who engage in relationships with former students can face revocation of their teaching licenses. A teacher who pursues or engages in a romantic relationship with a person who was a student within the previous 90 days is considered guilty of unprofessional and unethical conduct and can be disciplined by the Board of Educational Examiners.

PETS IN DOMESTIC ORDERS: Household pets may be included in protective orders that victims of domestic abuse file against their abusers.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING: This allows people under 18 who have been forced into prostitution to be assisted by the Department of Human Services as a child in need of assistance, instead of facing prosecution. This also adds a new code section for sexual exploitation of a minor and extends the statute of limitations for sexual exploitation of a minor from three years to 10 years after the victim turns 18.

MILITARY VETERANS: Lawmakers approved a package of bills that were a cornerstone of Gov. Terry Branstad's Home Base Iowa plan to attract military veterans from other states. The legislation exempts military pensions from state income tax, and surviving spouses are included in the exemption. It also allows companies to give preference to veterans in hiring decisions and eases occupational licensing for veterans who learned relevant skills in the service. Higher education facilities will also be charged with determining a standard to offer veterans academic credit for military experiences.

UNDERAGE DRINKING: Prohibits the owner or lessee of a property from permitting an underage person from consuming or possessing alcohol. The bill implements penalties for those under age 18, not 21. The bill has exceptions for religious purposes.

SCHOOL HOURS: Changes the instructional time requirement for school districts to allow the count in either days or hours. Current law requires 5.5 hours minimum instruction time and 180 days beginning on or around September 1. The new law allows the year to be counted as 1,080 hours instead, equal to 6 hours of instructional time per day. Any change proposed by the school board must receive a public hearing prior to approval.

MILLER TRUSTS: This bill raises the Miller Trust upper limit to 125 percent of the average statewide cost of nursing care. This will allow more people to utilize the Miller Trust option to pay for their care without having to take extraordinary measures such as divorce to lower their income. A Miller Trust is a trust used to obtain Medicaid eligibility for a person who would not be eligible if their income was considered in the eligibility determination. A Miller Trust is used only in limited instances where a person's income is greater than the Medicaid eligibility amount, but less than the statewide cost of nursing care. If a person has too much income to qualify for Medicaid, but has less income than necessary to pay for their long term care, then a Miller Trust can be set up for them.

OFF-ROAD UTILITY VEHICLES: This revises the definition of "off-road utility vehicle" in the Iowa Code. The legislation was brought because some off-road utility vehicles in the market today do not fit within the current Iowa Code definition. This creates three off road utility vehicle definitions based on width and weight of the vehicle. "Off-road utility vehicle" means a motorized vehicle with not less than four and not more than eight non-highway tires or tracks that have a seat that is not intended to be straddled by the operator, and a steering wheel.

ELDER ABUSE: Provides additional protection for persons 60 and over who cannot protect themselves from elder abuse. The new law allows for vulnerable elders to request protective orders in cases of elder abuse.

YOUTH WILD TURKEY HUNTING LICENSES: This allows a person who is issued a youth spring wild turkey hunting license and does not take a wild turkey during the youth spring wild turkey hunting season to use the license and tag during any other wild turkey season.

INSURANCE AGENT DUTIES: The new law overturns Iowa Supreme Court precedents that expanded the scope of potential legal liability for insurance agents and restores the duty of care owed by insurance agents to only those beneficiaries that have a contractual relationship with the agent.

PADDLEFISH FISHING LICENSES: This authorizes the Natural Resource Commission to issue paddlefish fishing licenses for use on the Missouri and Big Sioux rivers. Residents fishing for paddlefish on either river are required to have a fishing license in addition to an annual paddlefish fishing license that costs $20.

NATIONAL GUARD SEXUAL ASSAULTS: The Iowa National Guard will be required to file an annual report with the governor and the Iowa Legislature regarding incidents of sexual assault within its 9,200-member ranks. The legislation also prohibits a Guard commander from interfering with a victim's right to report an incident of sexual assault to civilian law enforcement officials.

GREYHOUNDS: Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs, which operates Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, will be permitted to shut down its greyhound track on Jan. 1, 2016, while Mystique Casino, which operates Dubuque Greyhound Park, will get out of dog racing on Nov. 1. But the Iowa Greyhound Association will be authorized to keep the Dubuque track open for greyhound races. The law requires the two casinos to provide a total of $92 million in compensation to the greyhound industry, including money to no-kill adoption agencies to place dogs for adoption that no longer have a place to race.

REGULATION OF PHARMACY BENEFIT MANAGERS: This regulates pharmacy benefit managers by authorizing the state insurance commissioner to require disclosure of pharmacy benefit manager's pricing methodology for pharmaceuticals to pharmacies. It also regulates contracts between pharmacy benefits managers and pharmacies regarding drug prices.

ARCHITECT AND ENGINEER IMMUNITY: Architects and engineers will be designated as "employees of the state" and protected from lawsuits if they voluntarily and without compensation provide help at disaster scenes to determine if houses and other buildings can be occupied by people.

VOLUNTEER EMERGENCY WORKER TAX CREDIT: This increases the tax credit for volunteer fire fighters and volunteer emergency medical services personnel from $50 to $100. It also adds reserve peace officers to the list of eligible recipients. This credit is currently non-refundable and stays non-refundable under the bill.

FOSTER CARE SERVICES AND LEARNING CONTINUITY: Meant to ensure continuity of learning for children in foster care. Requires school districts to work with area education agencies to provide services and guidance to schools to develop systems for ease of transition for students in the foster care system.

RETIREMENT INCENTIVE PROGRAM AGE LIMITS: This expands the option for school districts to offer early retirement incentive packages paid for out of the district's management levy to those who retire over the age of 55, striking the previous statutory cap of age 65.

GPS TRACKING DEVICES: All Iowa law enforcement officers can apply to a judge for a search warrant to place a global positioning device on a motor vehicle. The legislation expands a previous state law, which only allowed special agents of the Iowa Department of Public Safety to obtain a search warrant to use a vehicle-tracking GPS device.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR EARLY LITERACY AND DYSLEXIA DEFINITION: Expands on the early literacy language from previous Iowa education reform legislation regarding third grade literacy and retention for non-proficient readers. Requires the Iowa Reading Research Center to collaborate with area education agencies and the Iowa Department of Education to provide professional development to school districts at no cost to the district. Reading assistance must include strategies to address dyslexia.

KNOXVILLE RACEWAY: The Knoxville Raceway, which claims the title of "Sprint Car Capitol of the World," will receive a state sales tax rebate of up to $2 million to help pay for a major expansion project at the Marion County Fairgrounds that could cost up to $8 million. The track attracts about 200,000 admissions annually, including fans from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

TAX ON NATURAL GAS AND SPECIAL FUEL: This changes the excise tax on compressed natural gas used as special fuel to 21 cents per gasoline gallon equivalent. This is the rate that makes it equivalent to the motor fuel tax. Under current law the rate of tax is measured in pounds. This also establishes an excise tax on liquefied natural gas used as special fuel of 22.5 cents per diesel gallon equivalent. This is the rate that makes it equivalent to the diesel fuel tax.

WIND ENERGY/COGENERATION TAX CREDIT: This provides a two-year extension for the in-service date of the tax credit for wind energy and other renewable energy facilities that have been awarded production tax credits. The new law also adds methane gas, landfill gas and biogas as allowed fuel sources for an existing cogeneration subcategory.

RENEWABLE FUELS: This provides that the E-15 tax credit will remain at 3 cents per gallon except for the summer blend period, which extends from June 1 through Sept. 15. During this period, the per-gallon credit will increase to 10 cents per gallon.

ADOPTION INVESTIGATIONS AND REPORTS: This requires a pre-placement investigation and report must include an examination of the criminal and child abuse records of the prospective parents, including all of the following: criminal, child abuse, and sex offender registries; child abuse registries maintained by other states in which the parents have lived in the last 5 years; and national biometric identification-based criminal records. A post-placement investigation and report will consist of no less than three face-to-face visits with the child to be adopted. They will include documentation verifying that any unique needs of the child are being met before the adoption is finalized and a background information investigation of the medical and social history of the biological parents.


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Update
 
Governor Culver appoints Recovery Commission
 
Flooding information
 
Storm Help Available for Iowans
 
HOUSE RAISES EDUCATION STANDARDS; CONTINUES PROGRESS IN PRESCHOOL, TEACHER PAY & AFFORDABLE TUITION
 
Iowa #1 in Producing Energy from Wind Power
 
Committee OKs penny tax for schools
 
Link to UNI
 
Panthers cap roller-coaster season with 1A state title
 
HOUSE APPROVES $3 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR VETERANS TRUST FUND
 
HOUSE APPROVES $3 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR VETERANS TRUST FUND
 
HOUSE APPROVES $3 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR VETERANS TRUST FUND
 
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program
 
NATIONAL GUARD LEADER DELIVERS ADDRESS
 
GOVERNOR CULVER HONORS IOWA’S VETERANS
 
March of Dimes Recognizes Newborn Screening
 
ONE-HOUR SPECIAL ABOUT IOWA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS AND FAMILIES
 
A.G. Miller asks Legislature to enact measures against mortgage lending fraud.
 
COMMISSION HOSTS ITS 19TH ANNUAL STATE OF IOWA
 
GOVERNOR CULVER ANNOUNCES NEW INCENTIVES TO IOWA'S FILM INDUSTRY
 
Caucus Locations for January 3rd
 
Patches available to help quit smoking
 
IOWA’S PLAN FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE
 
Kressig for Iowa House Fundraiser December 10th
 
Latest News
 
UNI FORUM ON THURSDAY
 
Energy Costs
 
Veterans Day
 
TUITION INCREASE LOWEST SINCE 1980
 
Consumer Advocate Opposes Interstate Power and Light Company Proposed Coal Plant
 
Jury-Duty Scam Hitting Iowa
 
Presidential Candidate Forum
 
The Cedar Valley Solar/Energy Efficiency Tour
 
Board of Regents approves $5.5 million request for Mathematics andScience Education Collaborative Initiative.
 
Community Foundations
 
U.S. uninsured rate climbs again
 
Local Health Care Reform Listening Post
 
Healthcare System
 
Greetings to you all!
 
Senator Edwards Fundraiser
 
New Laws Take Effect
 
RAGBRAI XXXV
 
Passport Travel Requirement Temporarily Relaxed
 
GOVERNOR CULVER SIGNS HISTORIC POWER FUND INTO LAW
 
Safety tips for persons traveling in flooded areas
 
Governor signs Greenhouse Gas Emissions
 
House Approves Bill to Bring Filmmakers to Iowa
 
EXPAND ACCESS TO QUALITY PRESCHOOL
 
Hog Facility releases 10,000 gallons of Manure
 
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
 
GOVERNOR CULVER APPOINTS FOUR NEW REGENTS
 
Proposed livestock bill
 
Price Laboratory School
 
Inside the Iowa Legislature
 
Miller Asks Lawmakers to Tackle Predatory Mortgage Lending
 
Task force on property taxes
 
FUNDS APPROVED FOR VETERANS
 
HOUSE APPROVES LIMITS ON CAR TITLE LOANS
 
Gilchrist Fire Arrests
 
Change at Statehouse
 
Governor Culvers Inaugural Address
 
Study: Road-building shortfall nears $28 billion
 
Iowa's Education System
 
Enact “Car-Title Loan” Law
 
LEGISLATORS APPOINTED TO KEY COMMITTEES
 
Thank You!
 
New Iowa Speaker stresses property tax cuts
 
REGENTS UNIVERSITIES HELP IOWA'S ECONOMY
 
Negative Campaigning
 
Court Orders End Sales of “See Clearly Method” Kit
 
More than 2 million Iowans registered to vote
 
Re-Elect Bob Kressig
 
Strong Economy for Iowa
 
Letter to Editor
 
Vilsack to Seek $20 Million for Water Quality Improvement Projects
 
Website Exposes GOP Smear Tactics in Iowa
 
Iowa could land first large-scale biorefinery
 
DIRTY MONEY = DIRTY CAMPAIGNS
 
Democrats cry foul over Republican campaign tactics
 
Negative Campaigning
 
Statehouse candidate denounces brochure
 
Pigskin and Politics and Senator John Kerry
 
Governor Vilsack announces strong state revenues
 
Statement by Governor Vilsack
 
National report fails Iowa on college affordability
 
Governor and Lt. Governor’s Labor Day Statement
 
Vilsack emphasizes education while campaigning for Shoultz, Kressig
 
Volunteer Service Awards
 
BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT
 
Charter School Scores Down
 
Re-elect Bob Kressig
 
Evan Bayh stumps for Kressig
 
Reception with Sen. Evan Bayh
 
UNIVERSITY AVENUE IMPROVEMENTS ON THE WAY
 
HARKIN ANNOUNCES EDUCATION FUNDING
 
Vilsack, Pederson announce appointment to Iowa Supreme Court
 
Governor Vilsack Launches Online Petition on Gas Prices
 
ETHANOL PRODUCTION REACHES A MILESTONE
 
Editorial response
 
VILSACK URGES STUDENTS TO APPLY FOR $790 MILLION IN NEW GRANTS
 
Kressig Fundraiser July 1st
 
Keeping Kids Safe
 
Polling conducted in House District 19
 
People to People Student Ambassador Program
 
VILSACK APPROVES RENEWABLE ENERGY PACKAGE
 
BEACH MONITORING BEGINS; SWIMMING ADVISORY POLICY UPDATED
 
Governor and Lt. Governors Memorial Day Message
 
Vilsack/Pederson Administration act to ensure all Iowans have access to quality healthcare
 
I need your Help!
 
OVER $1.5 MILLION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP
 
Maytag Plant Closing
 
EDUCATION, RENEWABLE ENERGY HEADLINE 2006 SESSION
 
Benjamin J. Allen selected as the ninth President of the University of Northern Iowa.
 
Vilsack, lawmakers cut budget deal
 
Credit Union Times Article
 
President Koob
 
Area lawmakers assume committee duties
 
John Deere Community CU Director Bob Kressig Gears Up for Re-election
 
Freshman legislators make themselves heard
 
Employed by Wal-Mart; Insured by the State of Iowa
 
Democrats talk about bills before the Legislature during forum
 
Keeping Iowa's Young Folks at Home After They've Seen Minnesota
 
New lawmakers get acquainted with Statehouse
 
Economic development tops local lawmakers' priorities
 
Business agenda could stall in evenly split Legislature