IowaBio Bill Tracker - April 26, 2019
The Iowa Legislature is pushing toward adjournment, debating budget bills and bouncing bills in an effort to close session, likely yet today. This newsletter contains information as of this morning. You will receive a full session wrap up next week.
SF608, the economic development appropriations bill, was amended and passed by the house and the Senate concurred and passed the bill, which now goes to the Governor. The bill includes $1M for STEM internships, appropriations to help implement Future Ready Iowa and Empower Rural Iowa, and now includes $3 Million divided among the three Regents universities to implement Iowa’s commercialization of research code chapter 262B, specifically for capacity building infrastructure in areas related to technology commercialization, marketing and business development efforts in areas related to technology commercialization, entrepreneurship, and business growth, and infrastructure projects and programs. The universities must provide a one-to-one match of additional moneys for the activities funded through this appropriation, and the state board of regents must submit a report by January 15, 2020, to the governor, the general assembly, and the legislative services agency regarding the activities, projects, and programs funded with this appropriation.
SF288, a bill IowaBio supports passed the senate 49-0 and House 99-0 Thursday, to change the focus of the state’s innovation corporation to expanding bioscience-based economic development opportunities in the state of Iowa and for Iowa businesses, and to further the overall development and economic well-being of the state. The focus will be on bioscience platforms including vaccines and immunotherapeutics, biobased chemicals, precision and digital agriculture, and medical devices and medical diagnostics.
The RIIF budget, HF765, passed the House which concurred with the Senate amendment that retained the $3M IowaBio supports for the renewable fuels infrastructure fund. The bill now goes to the Governor; However, biofuels tax differential bill, SF628 stalled in the Senate and will not make it out of the chamber.
HF 772 The Iowa Senate debated the Empower Rural Iowa bill Wednesday, sending the legislation to the Governor on a 50-0 vote. The Governor’s priority bill, which IowaBio supports, enacts several changes to the state’s broadband policy to encourage more investment in underserved areas of the state. It also increases the workforce housing tax credit cap by $5 million and allocates those funds to the rural set-aside portion of the program, which is over subscribed. The bill makes the tax credit program competitive instead of first come first served. The bill contains a one-time use of funds in the program to help clear out the rural set-aside backlog.
Representative Andy McKean of Anamosa announced in a press conference Tuesday that he will switch parties to become a Democrat. This means an already fairly close Republican Majority in the 100-member House becomes even closer with a 53-member majority--down from 59 last session. McKean cited his opinion of President Trump as the reason for his departure from the Republican Party.
It’s the last chance to register for the annual IowaBio Partnering for Growth conference. We’d love to see you in Ankeny April 30 and May 1. Click here to register for the premier event connecting Iowa’s biotech innovators, investors, and leaders!