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Legislative Update

Filed under "ISOSWO/SWANA"
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Friday, March 8, 2019

Legislative Update 3/8

For the first time in over half a decade, a bill to make changes to Iowa’s bottle and can deposit law has advanced past the first legislative session procedural hurdle. Senate File 520, which would double the handling fee from 1-cent per can to 2-cents per can and allow retailers to opt out of accepting bottles and can for redemption, is now eligible for Senate consideration.

The first procedural hurdle is the so-called “first funnel” is the date by which bills must be approved by at least one committee in their chamber of origin to remain eligible for further consideration. 

Bills that are in the appropriations, ways and means and government oversight committees are exempt from any procedural rules.

Bills of Interest:

SF 534 (formerly SSB 1194) - Gasification Plants (M) - The bill creates definitions for the processes of gasification and pyrolysis, the facilities where those processes take place and the materials used in those processes.

On Senate debate calendar 

SF 520 (formerly SF 59) - Handling Fee Increase (M) - Under this bill, a consumer must return an empty beverage container to a redemption center if the consumer seeks to redeem a refund value paid for the beverage container. Additionally, the handling fee paid by a distributor is increased to 2 cents for each empty beverage container. A distributor must pick up from a redemption center empty beverage containers on at least a weekly basis. Lastly, the bill requires all redemption centers to be approved by the department of natural resources; any unapproved redemption center that currently exists can continue operating without approval until December 1, 2020.

On Senate debate calendar

SF 409 (formerly SSB 1119) - DNR Omnibus (M) - Included in this bill is a provision that creates a 60-day period during which an entity may appeal an order issued by the director or the department pursuant to the department’s authority in Code chapter 455B.

On Senate debate calendar 

SF 93 - Abandoned Buildings (M) - This bill changes certain procedures relating to abandoned structures and abatement.

The current definition of “abandoned” or “abandonment” requires a property to have been in violation of a housing or building code for at least six months. The bill removes the time element from the definition and states that evidence of financial obligations in respect to the building does not rebut a finding of abandonment if the property is substantially in need of abatement. The bill requires a property to remain vacant for 135 days before a person may request a responsible building official to inspect a building to determine whether it is abandoned and in need of abatement. Responsible building official is defined in the bill.

The bill allows the responsible building inspector to make an application to the court for an administrative warrant if necessary to conduct an inspection of a building.

On Senate debate calendar 

HF 486 (formerly HSB 91) - Disaster Eligibility For Building Remediation Program  (M) - Under the community catalyst building remediation program, this bill allows an “emergency project” to be eligible for a grant.  “Emergency project” is a remediation of an underutilized building that may present a unique and immediate opportunity or a unique and immediate threat. A unique and immediate opportunity is time-sensitive and remediation is expected to result in economic growth. A unique and immediate 3 threat is a remediation that may involve unforeseen challenges or problems.

On House debate calendar 

HF 412 - Redemption System Changes (M) - The bill allows a dealer to refuse to accept beverage containers for redemption after providing notice to the department of natural resources. The bill eliminates the approval process for a redemption center and instead requires all redemption centers to provide written notice of operation to the department. The bill also requires all redemption centers to meet applicable health standards.

Subcommittee: Not yet assigned

HF 181 - Redemption System Overhaul (M) - This bill expands the definition of “beverage” and excludes certain substances from that definition such as medicines and milk The bill also increases the handling fee that a dealer, dealer agent, or redemption center will charge a distributor from 1 cent to 2 cents.

Subcommittee: Approved by subcommittee

HSB 232 Handling Fee Increase (M) - The bill increases the reimbursement amount received by a dealer or person operating a redemption center who redeems empty beverage containers from 1 cent per container to 2 cents per container.

Subcommittee: Fisher, Bacon and Steckman 

HSB 220 - Gasification Plants (A) - The bill creates definitions for the processes of gasification and pyrolysis, the facilities where those processes take place and the materials used in those processes.

Subcommittee: Sorensen, Landon and Williams 

HSB 172 - Abandoned Buildings (M) - This bill changes certain procedures relating to abandoned structures and abatement.

The current definition of “abandoned” or “abandonment” requires a property to have been in violation of a housing or building code for at least six months. The bill removes the time element from the definition and states that evidence of financial obligations in respect to the building does not rebut a finding of abandonment if the property is substantially in need of abatement. The bill requires a property to remain vacant for 135 days before a person may request a responsible building official to inspect a building to determine whether it is abandoned and in need of abatement. Responsible building official is defined in the bill.

The bill allows the responsible building inspector to make an application to the court for an administrative warrant if necessary to conduct an inspection of a building.

Subcommittee: Thompson, Deyoe and Nielsen