Legislative Funnel Week Update
This week is the first funnel week in the Iowa legislature. Funnel week is an important benchmark as all policy bills must pass out of subcommittee and their full committee to move forward in the legislative process.
We are tracking several bills that align with our 2020 Legislative Priorities. Read the full update below of House Files (HF), Senate Files (SF), House Study Bills (HSB), and Senate Study Bills (SSB) that have passed full committee approval, passed out of subcommittee and are awaiting full committee approval, or are still awaiting subcommittee approval.
Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
- HF 2154 – School-Based Child Sexual Abuse Prevention: This bill has passed sub-committee approval, and is awaiting full House Human Resources Committee approval.
- This bill requires school districts to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse prevention as part of human growth and development education for all children in kindergarten through 12th grade. Additionally, this bill adds child sexual abuse prevention and child sexual assault awareness and prevention to the options of continuing education activities of education professionals. The bill also requires that school districts make age-appropriate and research-based materials and lists of resources on child sexual abuse and child sexual assault awareness and prevention available for parents.
- We believe that this is an important first step in ensuring that adults working with children are fully equipped to protect those children from sexual abuse and assault. We further urge the legislature to make this training mandatory for all school employees.
Child and Family Resilience
- HF 2203 – Child-Care Assistance Phase-Out Program: This bill has passed full House Human Resources Committee approval!
- This bill seeks to resolve the child-care assistance cliff effect* by putting in place a graduated eligibility phase-out program. This bill introduces a sliding fee scale for families at 185-225% of federal poverty level for basic needs, or 200-250% of federal poverty level for families with children requiring special needs at the time of 12-month eligibility re-determination, based on family size.
- SF 2110 – Childcare Assistance Income Eligibility Requirements: This bill is currently awaiting subcommittee approval.
- This bill provides a schedule for 10% annual increases in the income eligibility requirements to receive childcare assistance. The bill proposes an increase 145% of the federal poverty level to 200% of the federal poverty level by July 1st, 2025. Addressing the issue of eligibility for the childcare assistance program ensures that people who are currently ineligible to enter the program but would meet the requirements of staying in the program are provided with access to these services.
- SF 2062 – Maternal and Child Health: This bill is currently awaiting subcommittee approval.
- This bill requires the Iowa Department of Human Services to leverage funding resources to expand home visiting services prenatally and postpartum to support healthy delivery and child development. The proposed services include mental and physical health, social, educational, and other services identified through risk assessments. The bill would require the coverage of maternal care for prenatal and postpartum services through fee-for-service and managed care administration for a period of 12 months after the birth of a child, including labor and delivery. Lastly, the bill requires safety requirement mandates for licensed hospitals providing labor and delivery services.
Children’s Mental Health Funding
- HSB 657 and SSB 3116 Invest in Iowa (not-declared)
- Governor Reynolds has introduced the Invest in Iowa bills in both the House and Senate. These bills broadly cover how the Governor proposes to fund the children’s mental health network. Prevent Child Abuse Iowa is currently working with its partners on reviewing the bill to ensure that it will meet the needs of children and families in our state. These bills both include tax and appropriations issues and are therefore exempt from the funnel process.
*The child-care assistance cliff effect is an income eligibility threshold that creates a disincentive for parents to advance toward jobs that pay a financially self-sufficient wage. When parent’s wages meet the income threshold, their public benefits drop off sharply before the family has become self-sufficient. Thus, parents often find themselves facing a budget dilemma: If they earn just slightly more, the pay increase does not offset the loss in benefits – and often the effect is so dramatic that the family goes from having some discretionary income to being unable to cover basic necessities.