Smith releases new law information

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Rep. Jeff Smith

Today Rep. Jeff Smith (R-Okoboji) released information on a few notable bills that will go into effect on July 1.

"July 1 is the traditional day that new laws go into effect. I look forward to talking with Iowans this summer and fall to get their feedback on these laws as well as ideas on how to save taxpayers' money and help our businesses hire and expand," Smith said.

According to Rep. Smith, the following is a brief list of bills that will go into effect on July 1:

* Auctioneers and Real Estate Sales -- The state will implement clearer rules for what auctioneers without a real estate license can and cannot do when they are involved in the sale of real property. Senate File 2294

* Background Checks for School Bus Drivers -- Requires school districts to check the sex offender, child abuse, and dependent adult abuse registries prior to hiring a school bus driver, and check every 5 years. Also requires suspension of a bus driver's license if they are added to those registries. Senate File 2221

* Mental Health Funding -- As part of the state's redesign of mental health and disability services, the state will assume responsibility for paying the cost of Medicaid-funded mental health and disability services on July 1. Previously, the state gave counties money, which is paid back to the state to cover the cost of these programs. Senate File 2336

* IowaCare Cancer Patients -- Starting July 1, the state will help IowaCare enrollees to stay in Iowa City so they can complete their chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Senate File 2336

* Human Trafficking and Obscene Materials -- The bill strengthens Iowa's human trafficking laws by eliminating loop holes some have used to exploit children and others. Additionally, this bill allows for a charge to be filed for each child in a pornographic pictorial representation. House File 2390

* Volunteer Firefighter and EMS Income Tax Credit -- Provides volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical services personnel with an individual income tax credit. The credit equals $50 to compensate the taxpayer for voluntary services if the volunteer served for the entire tax year. If they didn't serve the whole year, the tax credit is prorated. Senate File 2322

* Waiving CDL Driving Test for Certain Veterans -- Authorizes the Department of Transportation to waive the driving skills testing requirement for an applicant for a commercial driver's license who is currently on active military service or was separated from service within the last 90 days. Federal motor carrier safety regulations allow such an exemption provided the applicant meets certain experience and safety requirements. House File 2403

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  • Thanks to Jeff Smith for keeping us up to date on legislation that sometimes misses media coverage. The Congressman that keeps his constituents informed of new laws, regardless of his political ideology, is one I can support.

    -- Posted by Culture Warrior on Thu, Jul 5, 2012, at 8:37 AM
  • Agreed! Thank you Jeff!

    -- Posted by acerdj on Fri, Jul 6, 2012, at 5:53 AM
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