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March 5, 2021
Today marks the first funnel deadline when most policy bills must pass out of a committee in one chamber or be dead for the session. Legislation including Appropriations and Ways and Means bills are funnel proof. Committees worked long hours this week to push bills through to make the funnel. The next funnel date is April 2, which requires bills to move out of a full committee in the opposite chamber to remain alive. This newsletter highlights action this week and ends with a rundown of the legislative disposition of other bills on IowaBio’s tracking list.

Anti-vaccine legislation has been a hot topic all session, with anti-vaccine groups showing a growing presence at the capitol. Three anti-vaccine bills have survived the funnel.
  • One bill IowaBio opposes, SF193 a comprehensive bill with many broad provisions, was narrowed down and passed through the Senate Human Resources Committee this week. The remaining provisions of the bill prohibit employers from discriminating against, firing, or refusing to hire someone that will not get the COVID-19 vaccine, or for failure to show a COVID-19 vaccination card. (Prior to amendment, this section of the bill applied to all vaccines, not just the COVID-19 vaccine.) The bill allows the employee to sue if violated. It also prohibits vaccination status from being included on a drivers’ license or ID or require the COVID-19 vaccine to be issued an ID card. 
  • Another live Senate bill, SF125, would require the medical examiner’s investigation form used by a state medical examiner to include requests for information about whether a child who passes away when three or under was vaccinated and what types of vaccines the child was given.
  • The House Human Resources Committee amended HF632 with a strikeafter amendment and passed the bill out of committee. The amendment creates a state-level Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reporting requirement for health care providers up to eight weeks after a vaccine is administered. We expect that the 8 week reporting timeframe in the amendment to be reduced. Additionally, it requires providers to register with the Iowa Statewide Immunization Registration System (IRIS) and report administration of vaccines.
The Governor has proposed a biofuel standards bills in both chambers HSB 185 and SF 481. The proposals create a diesel fuel standard of B5 in October-March, B11 in April-September of 2022-23 with the option to increase that to a B20 standard in 2024. It also creates an E10 standard for all gasoline sold in the state with a one-pump exception for small and off-road engines, older cars, and marinas. It also contains a trigger for 2025 that would give the governor the option to change the E10 standard to an E15 standard. Both these bills are moving. The House bill is in Ways and Means. The Senate bill passed the ag committee, but was then assigned to Transportation. The Senate Transportation subcommittee and committee also moved the bills this week. The legislation is safe through the funnel, but both chambers say the bills “need work”. Casey’s, Kum & Go, FUELIowa and the Motor Truck Association oppose the bills, while Farm Bureau, other ag groups, biofuels producers and companies like John Deere and Bayer support the bills, along with IowaBio.

Drug pricing transparency legislation was brought up in the House earlier this session. HF 526 creates an annual reporting requirement to the insurance commissioner for wholesale acquisition costs for drugs sold in Iowa. The reporting requirements are triggered when costs increase 40% or more over a 3-year period or 15% over one year. The bill received support during the subcommittee and passed out of the full Commerce Committee keeping it alive through the first funnel. We will continue to keep you updated on the status of this transparency legislation, which survived the funnel and can now be eligible for floor debate in the House; However, there does not seem to be an appetite in the Senate to move this bill.

The House passed HF263, insulin affordability, which caps the amount a patient has to pay for insulin products to $100 per month by type. This bill passed the House earlier this month and it is now in the Senate and survived the first funnel. 

A subcommittee on the non-medical switching bill IowaBio supports, SF178, was held last month with the subcommittee not recommending passage. The House bill HF656, moved through the Human Resources Committee and made it through funnel. These bills create protections for patients who are being forced to switch medications by their insurance companies because of formulary changes.
Alive (support/oppose/undecided):
Anti-Vaccine  SF193, SF125, HF632
Angel Investor Credit Flexibility (funnel-proof Ways and Means bill)—SSB 1196
Insulin Out-of-Pocket CapHF 263 (registered undecided)
House Drug Pricing TransparencyHF 526 (currently registered undecided)
Vaccinations on Death Certificate Forms--SF125
Non-Medical Switching--HF 656
Biofuels Standards-- SF 481/HSB 185

Dead (support/oppose):
Anti-vaccine billsHF 217, HF 247, HF 329, HF 330, HF 631
View Bill Tracker Report

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
Copyright © 2021 Iowa Biotech Association, All rights reserved.

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