Business leaders say results of ‘23 session will enhance Iowa’s economic vitality
Michael Crumb May 26, 2023 | 6:00 am
2 min read time508 wordsBusiness Record Insider, Economic Development
The business community is celebrating key wins for its agenda during the recent legislative session, issues that leaders say will help make Iowa more competitive.
With the 2023 legislative session now in the books, here’s a look at bills that were passed that business leaders say will make it easier for Iowa to attract and retain top talent, and make Iowa more attractive to do business.
Here are some of the bills that addressed priorities of Iowa’s business community this session. This list is not intended to be inclusive of all business-related measures introduced during the 2023 session.
- Property tax reform: Supporters say House File 718 will save Iowa property owners an estimated $100 million. Business leaders sought property tax reform, saying it is one tool that could be used to make housing more affordable. The bill was signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds. Reynolds also signed Senate File 181, which clarifies the rollback calculation for residential and multi residential property and delivers $127 million in property tax relief to Iowa homeowners, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
- Trucking liability cap: Senate File 228 places a noneconomic damage cap of $5 million on damages a plaintiff can be awarded in a lawsuit against a trucking company following an accident.
- Government reorganization: Senate File 514 begins the process of reducing the number of executive-level agencies from 37 to 16. Reynolds, who made this a priority of the session, signed it into law in early April.
- Medical malpractice award caps: House File 161 sets limits on liability for doctors and hospitals from medical malpractice lawsuits. It sets a cap of $1 million for clinics and doctors and $2 million for hospitals. It was signed by Reynolds in February. Business leaders said capping medical malpractice judgments will help Iowa attract and retain health care professionals.
- Child care eligibility: House File 707 raises eligibility requirements for child care assistance, raises child care provider reimbursement rates, and increases work requirements for parents who have children who qualify for assistance.
- Create state office of apprenticeships: Senate File 318 creates an office of apprenticeship that will adopt rules and develop standards to create a nationally recognized apprenticeship completion credential for a registered apprenticeship program.
- Mental health: House File 671 enables Iowa to participate in a national Counseling Compact, helping increase the pipeline of mental health professionals into the state.
In a statement released after the Legislature adjourned on May 4, Iowa Business Council President Joe Murphy said the measures passed during the 2023 session will help enhance Iowa’s “long-term economic vitality.”
“Passing critically needed legislation including property tax reform, tort reform, investments in mental health and workforce initiatives such as the Iowa Registered Apprenticeship Act makes Iowa more competitive,” he said.
In a newsletter to its members, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry said the session resulted in “favorable outcomes” for the organization’s legislative priorities.
ABI leaders said property tax reform was the cornerstone of the Legislature’s work this year and sets the stage for further reforms in the future.
Michael Crumb is a senior staff writer at Business Record. He covers economic development, transportation, energy & environment, culture, sales & marketing.