In This Issue
Important Dates
Legislation
Committee Assignments

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February 14, 2014   

Issue Briefs Available Online  

AIWP's 2014 issue briefs are available to download as PDFs on AIWP's website.

 

State Policy Update 

The Governor's proposed budget bill that includes adult basic education and workforce training funding was introduced in the Legislature this week. It maintains level funding for the next fiscal year for adult education and literacy programs, PACE, and Gap Tuition Assistance (see details in the Legislation section).

 

Next Friday, February 21, is the first "funnel" of the session. It's the deadline by which bills must be passed out of committee in their chamber of origin to stay alive. 


Federal Policy Update
Barb DeVore attended the National Skills Coalition's Skills Summit in Washington D.C. this week on behalf of AIWP, along with her MATURA/IowaWORKS colleague Elizabeth Waigand, Elisabeth Buck from United Way of Central Iowa, and Pat Steele from Central Iowa Works. They met personally with Congressman Dave Loebsack to discuss the skills gap and WIA. They also met with staff members for Senators Harkin and Grassley, Congressmen Braley and Latham, and Governor Branstad's staffer in Washington D.C. (the Director of State-Federal Relations for Iowa). Materials and resources from the Skills Summit are available here.
Important Dates

February 21 - First Funnel

Final date for House bills to be reported out of House committees, and Senate bills out of Senate committees, to stay alive.

 

March 14 - Second Funnel

Final date for Senate bills to be reported out of House committees, and House bills out of Senate committees, to stay alive.

 

April 22 

Target adjournment date (100th calendar day of session) 

Legislation
Senate File 2076 Establishes an Iowa Employment Rides initiative in the Department of Transportation to provide funds to public transit systems for programs and services that provide employment transportation to Iowans. Appropriates $1 million per year for the next three fiscal years, to be distributed on a competitive grant basis. Introduced, referred to Transportation. Subcommittee, Danielson, Behn, and Brase. Sponsored by Mathis.

Senate File 2039 Increases the state minimum hourly wage to $9.00 on July 1, 2014, and $10.25 on July 1, 2015. Also increases state minimum hourly wage for employees employed for less than 90 days to $8.10 on July 1, 2014, and $9.35 on July 1, 2015. Introduced, referred to Labor and Business Relations. Subcommittee, Dearden, Anderson, and Dotzler. Sponsored by Quirmbach.

Senate Study Bill 3167 Governor's proposed budget bill with FY 2015 appropriations for departments including Education, Workforce Development, and Economic Development Authority. Highlights: $5.5 million to community colleges for adult education and literacy programs; $5 million for Pathways for Academic Career and Employment (PACE) fund; $2 million for Gap Tuition Assistance Fund; $1.5 million for Statewide Work-Based Learning Intermediary Network Fund; $200,000 for a Workforce Preparation Outcome Reporting System; $100,000 to develop a long-term sustained program to train unemployed and underemployed central Iowans to advance to higher-paying jobs with full benefits. Subcommittee, Dvorsky, Chapman.

Senate Study Bill 3071 Prohibits employers from refusing to hire job applicants based on certain criminal history and providing penalties. Specifically, prohibits a person from refusing to hire a job applicant because the applicant has been arrested for or convicted of a public offense more than 10 years before the date of application, unless the elements of the public offense are substantially related to the qualifications to perform the job they are applying for. Proposed Judiciary Committee bill by Chairperson Hogg. Subcommittee, Hogg, Petersen, Schneider.

Senate Study Bill 3052 and House Study Bill 541 Iowa Apprenticeship and Job Training Act. Makes changes to the job training program and fund under Code Chapter 260F. Changes the parties and process for training agreements: The Economic Development Authority (EDA) (instead of a community college) would make an agreement with an eligible business for a training/education arrangement that meets the business's workforce needs. (This is instead of allocating funding to community colleges to conduct these projects.) Moves the Job Training Fund from the EDA's Workforce Development Fund to the State Treasury. Transfers $5 million from the Workforce Development Fund to the Job Training Fund. Makes the match from all businesses participating in a job training project under Chapter 260F permitted instead of mandatory. Allocates 40% of the money in the Job Training Fund for financial assistance to eligible businesses and 60% of the money for financial assistance to apprenticeship programs. Provides for what type of financial assistance may be offered depending on the type of training provided. Financial assistance is generally a loan for the full cost of a project with 50% repayment required. However, if the training is provided by a statewide industry association that facilitates training utilizing industry-recognized standards resulting in portable credentials for the skilled trade, or the project is conducted by community college faculty or staff, the financial assistance is a grant or forgivable loan for the full cost. An apprenticeship sponsor may apply to EDA for financial assistance for apprenticeship programs in Iowa for apprentices who will be employed at Iowa worksites. Repeals Code sections relating to EDA's duty to coordinate the job training program and allocation of funding to community colleges, as that no longer applies to the newly required agreements and available funding. Repeals Code sections relating to the business network training and the high technology apprenticeship program. Provides transition provisions, stating that financial assistance awards through the job training program under agreements between community colleges and businesses entered into prior to July 1, 2014, remain in effect. Loan payments, repayments, recaptures, and any other moneys accruing pursuant to those agreements will be transferred to the Job Training Fund, as amended by the bill. Proposed Governor's bill. In Economic Growth. Senate subcommittee: Dotzler, Bowman, Chelgren. House subcommittee: Baltimore, Jorgensen, Wood.

House File 2234 (Formerly HSB 512) Allows private employers to grant a preference in hiring and promotion to veterans and certain spouses. Introduced, referred to Economic Growth. Sponsored by Veterans Affairs.

House File 2224 (Formerly HSB 615) Requires reporting on certain educational credits awarded to veterans. Introduced, referred to Education. Subcommittee, Stanerson, Hanson, Hanusa. Passed subcommittee. Sponsored by Veterans Affairs.

House File 2215 Requires the Iowa Workforce Development,  as part of the department's integrated workforce delivery  efforts, to implement in the department's IowaWORKS system  a notification feature whereby workers and businesses participating in the system can determine what actions have  been taken through the system to meet their workforce-related needs and goals. Introduced, referred to Labor. Subcommittee, Jorgensen, Forristall, and Hunter. Sponsored by Pettengill.

House File 2199 (Formerly HSB 601) Conforms the voluntary shared work program under  the state unemployment insurance law to the requirements of  the federal Middle Class Tax  Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Introduced, placed on calendar. Sponsored by Labor.

House File 2041 Requires various actions by applicants/participants in certain public assistance programs administered by the Department of Human Services: Family Investment Program, food assistance, and medical assistance (Medicaid). Requires, as conditions of program eligibility, an applicant/participant to provide a work history and participate in various work-related activities, possess a high school diploma or equivalent or be engaged in activities to attain such diploma, and be subject to random drug testing. Introduced, referred to Human Resources. Subcommittee, Forristall, Fry, and Murphy. Sponsored by Heartsill.

House File 2024
Provides for a task force to develop common statewide service delivery districts. Introduced, referred to State Government. Subcommittee, Costello, Hein, and Prichard. Sponsored by Heartsill.

House File 2011 Increases the state minimum hourly wage and provides subsequent increases by the same percentage as the increase in federal social security benefits. Minimum hourly wage increases to $7.75 on July 1, 2014; $8.25 on Jan. 1, 2015; $9.00 on July 1, 2015; and $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2016. Increases state minimum hourly wage for employees employed for less than 90 days to $6.85 on July 1, 2014; $7.35 on Jan. 1, 2015; $8.10 on July 1, 2015; and $9.20 on Jan. 1, 2016. Beginning in 2016, increases the state minimum hourly wage annually on July 1 by the same percentage as the cost-of-living increase in Social Security benefits. Introduced, referred to Labor. Subcommittee, Forristall, Murphy, and Watts. Sponsored by Murphy, M. Smith, Mascher, T. Taylor, R. Olson, Meyer, Gaskill, Staed, Kearns, Ourth, Anderson, Thede, H. Miller, Wolfe, Dawson, Steckman, Hunter, Stutsman, Wessel-Kroeschell, Lensing, and Hanson. Sponsors added: Abdul-Samad, Berry, and Gaines.

House Study Bill 616 Relates to professional and occupational licensure of veterans and veterans' spouses. Requires all professional and occupational licensing boards to adopt rules to provide credit toward licensing for education, training, and service obtained or completed by an individual while serving on military duty; requires licensing boards to expedite licensing in Iowa of veterans and spouses of veterans who are licensed to practice in a similar profession or occupation in another state; and other provisions. Proposed Committee on Veterans Affairs bill by Chairperson Alons. Subcommittee, Stanerson, Bacon, and Muhlbauer. Passed subcommittee.

House Study Bill 613 Appropriates $1 million to Iowa Workforce Development to fund research linking military occupational  education, training, and service to existing licensing requirements in Iowaand to support additional demand for workforce development  services for veterans. Also appropriates $1 million to Iowa Workforce Development to provide a grant in that amount to a nonprofit workforce services organization administered by a state agency to pay for expenses of marketing Iowa to veterans through public-private partnerships. Proposed Committee on Veterans Affairs bill by Chairperson Alons. Subcommittee, Gustafson, Staed, and Stanerson. Passed subcommittee.
Committee Assignments
Click here to view members of workforce-related committees and their corresponding workforce development region.

This update is a bi-weekly publication intended to share information and resources regarding legislative activities, events, and bills related to workforce issues in Iowa. If you have questions or need more information, please contact Stacie Bendixen at sbendixen@sppg.com or 515-237-0338.