Assistance needed for ISBA’s top legislative priorities
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The legislature is expected to adjourn sometime in the next three weeks or so making this an important time in the legislative session, according to ISBA Legislative Counsel Jim Carney. He and his legislative team are working on two top-priority bills that are being considered by the legislature and asking for ISBA members to contact local representatives to support these priorities.

The supplemental appropriations bill (SF2109) provides for an additional $3 million for the State Public Defender’s budget. The additional funding is approximately 10 percent of the entire annual contract attorney budget.  Claims from contract attorneys will exceed the $29.5 million budget for fiscal year 2016, and a supplemental appropriation is needed, said Carney. 

"To avoid the disastrous situation of 2011 when payments were delayed for three to four months or longer,” Carney said, "the supplemental appropriation in SF 2109 is needed.” He urges members to contact their Representatives to request support the bill which is currently in the House.

Another top legislative priority of the ISBA is the probate cost bill (HSB 645). By unanimous vote, the House Ways and Means Committee passed the bill today, March 30, and it will now go on to the House calendar. Members are urged to contact their House of Representative members to support the bill. 

"The bill establishes a uniform approach to the taxation of probate cost throughout the state of Iowa,” Carney said, "and ensures that assets, which pass by operation of law without the need for court administration, are not taxed for court cost purposes. Assets such as joint tenancy, insurance, annuities, payable on death accounts etc. The bill also provides that if costs have been assessed in a conservatorship on the assets, when the ward passes, the same assets are not taxed a second time when transferred to the estate of the deceased ward.

For phone numbers and email addresses for House of Representative members, visit the legislators contact page. For details regarding the status of other ISBA legislation, review the most current affirmative legislative program and the ISBA Legislative Report.