What to Watch: Week of February 22

22 Feb 2021, by Kristin Cundiff Share :

Keep an eye on House Bill 149 which extends the sunset date on the Coronavirus Limited Immunity Act that was passed in the 2020 Special Session. The sunset date would be changed from July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022. This bill was introduced early last week and will likely receive a full hearing later this week in the House Judiciary and Rules Committee. The IAC Legislative Committee voted to support this legislation during the Special Session and continues to support it with the extended date.

House Bill 197 sponsored by Representative Barbara Ehardt, would remove the authority for local governments to use the misdemeanor penalty when creating local ordinances under the justification that misdemeanors carry a criminal element, so they should only be created and carried out by the state. It is possible this bill could be heard in House Judiciary and Rules this week. They have not released any agendas for the upcoming week yet, so please keep an eye out for this bill.

We are continuing to monitor House Bill 133 which would be a huge boost to local government transportation funding. We are hearing that there is an alternate transportation funding proposal on the way. We will continue to keep watch for this and will inform you as soon as we know more. In addition, we are watching the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee for Governor Little’s surplus supplemental recommendations for $126 million for transportation which would be allocated one-time monies for transportation projects at the state and local level.

Senate Bill 1108 which would limit the amount of new construction that can be budgeted to 75% (with a 50% limit on urban renewal) passed out of the Senate Local Government and Taxation Committee on a 6-3 vote last Thursday. It will likely receive a floor vote later this week. During the committee hearing, Chairman Rice committed to running a trailer bill that would fix how the new construction rate is calculated which would address one of the concerns IAC has with the bill.