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Federal Assistance Programs Legislation : Public Policy Update

The Iowa legislative session is quickly drawing to a close and scheduled to end on April 30th. In the last days of the session legislators are primarily drafting, reviewing, and voting upon appropriation bills. Earlier this session, the Iowa Academy Public Policy Team was closely monitoring a bill related to public assistance programs including SNAP, Medicaid and CHIP. SF 389 had many different pieces, but specifically had language implementing identification verification systems and an asset test required of individuals receiving benefits. This bill had the possibility to not only add barriers to access to these programs, but it may potentially remove individuals who currently receive assistance if they do not ‘pass’ the new asset test. The bill initially had traction and passed the full Senate. It did not receive as much support when it made it to the House. Per our lobbyist, Brittany Lumley from LS2 Group, the House had little interest in pursuing the bill . It ultimately ‘died’ in the second funnel of the session when it wasn’t voted on by a House Committee. After a bill dies, one of the few ways it can come back is by being added in appropriation bills, which is what happened with SF 389. Much of the language from the original bill was added to the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriation Bill. The Senate has been working on this bill for several years and reports having support from the Governor on aspects of this legislation. However, in order for this legislation to take effect, the House would have to support the language as appropriation bills must be agreed upon by both the House and the Senate. Given that the House has never been interested in pursuing this bill, our lobbyist is thinking that a majority of the language will be taken out when it is brought forward for final consideration. At this point in time, the Public Policy team is monitoring the situation closely, especially as things move very quickly towards the end of the session. We will share more information as things progress. Always feel free to contact Lexie Stoneking, Public Policy Coordinator, with any further questions regarding this update or any other public policy questions. Lexie Stoneking Iowa Academy Public Policy Coordinator



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