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Overview / Major Events
The first week post-funnel #1 has been dominated by floor work in the House and Senate as policy committees take a break and bills are debated and sent to their opposite Chambers. Most current work involves legislation that is not controversial or has a high level of consensus amongst the members. That said, next week expect debate on more controversial subjects such as the energy omnibus bill (SF 2311) and workers’ comp fraud (SF 2305), which do not have House companion legislation and will need to clear a House committee prior to March 16 to remain eligible.
The biggest news of the week arrived with the release of the Senate Republicans’ tax reform package—the most significant overhaul of the tax code proposed in more than three decades.
Senate Republicans Propose Sweeping Tax Reform and Relief
On Wednesday, Senate Republicans introduced SSB 3197, a sweeping and comprehensive reform of Iowa’s state income tax code (both personal and corporate). The bill was quickly fast-tracked through subcommittee and full Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday and will be eligible for full Senate consideration next week.
Many attendees have called CBI's 44th Annual Convention "the best conference with the best speakers in a long time". Were you with us in Okoboji last week? If you skipped it, here's what you missed:
ATM card skimming is on the rise in the nation, and hit home in Iowa last week. Two men have been charged with using skimmer devices to capture bank account information at three locations around Des Moines.
A skimmer device fits over the ATM's card reader slot and has its own memory chip to record the information on the card as it is swiped. Skimmers secretly record bank account data when a user inserts an ATM card into the machine. Criminals then can encode the stolen data onto a blank card and use it to access the customer's bank account. Skimmers also come in different colors like the green one used in Des Moines, or in a grayish color that would look similar to an ATM, making it hard to tell it's fake. Original card readers are usually concave in shape (curving inward), while skimmers are more convex (curving outward).
The use of keypad overlays placed directly on top of the factory-installed keypad is a relatively new technique that takes the place of a concealed camera. Instead of visually recording users punching in PINs, circuitry inside the phony keypad stores the actual keystrokes.
View the gallery below for examples of skimmers and keypads being used to steal account info from ATMs:
by CBI Lobbyist Jeff Boeyink - Senior Vice President, LS2 Group
Overview / Major Events
The 2015 Session of the Iowa General Assembly ended late afternoon on Friday, June 5 (it was the 145th day of the session) when the Iowa Senate voted to concur with the House in passage of HCR 9, a concurrent resolution to provide for adjournment sine die.
At 145 days, this session ran 35 days beyond the soft closing date of 110 days and, in recent memory, was eclipsed only by the June 30 end date in 2011 (the very last day of the fiscal year).
Decisions Key to Adjournment - Two key decisions paved the way for final action in 2015:
1. School finance: the House and Senate agreed on a total spending amount for K-12 school spending. This had been at a stalemate since late January with Majority Republicans in the House standing firm for an increase of 1.25% and Majority Democrats in the Senate at 4.0% (though, they did offer to split the difference with the House and settle on 2.62%).
The final decision was an increase in base spending on K-12 schools at 1.25% (the House-preferred number) with an additional $55 million in one-time spending on K-12 schools that brought the overall increase for the upcoming fiscal year to 2.62% (the Senate had offered a compromise of a 2.62% increase in the base, but settled on this combination of base and one-time money).
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