Affirmative Legislative Program
Affirmative Legislative Program

Each year, the ISBA’s affirmative legislative program includes proposals for enactment by Iowa’s Legislature for the benefit of Iowa’s citizens. For example, after extensive study, the Association has recommended adoption and/or amendment of the Probate Code, Trust Code, Commercial Code and Business Corporation Act. It has also been active in studies and recommendations concerning community-based corrections programs for drug-addicted, non-violent criminal offenders; for improvements in laws governing electronic commerce; and in proposed legislation for the modernization of real estate records.

2019 Affirmative Legislative

Bill #

Subject
Business Law

The Uniform Protected Series Act provides a comprehensive framework for the formation and operation of a protected series limited liability company. A protected series LLC has both “horizontal” liability shields, as well as the standard “vertical” liability shield. All modern business entities provide the traditional, “vertical” shield – protecting the entity’s owners (and their respective assets) from automatic, vicarious liability for the entity’s debts. A series limited liability company provides “horizontal” shields – protecting each protected series (and its assets) from automatic, vicarious liability for the debts of the company and for the debts of any other protected series of the company. A horizontal shield likewise protects the series limited liability company (and its assets) from creditors of any protected series of the company. The legislation integrates the Act into Iowa’s existing chapter 489 on LLCs. Repeals Iowa Code § 489.407(2)(f), viz., “Approve a merger, conversion, or domestication under Article 10.”, and leave § 489.407(2) otherwise intact.  Article 10 already requires unanimous consent as a default rule.

Bill Status
Being drafter in House and Senate

   
Bill #
HF 324
SF 112

Subject
Probate & Trust Law

Certification of Trust Code Changes

Amend Section 633A.4604(2) to allow any current trustee or an attorney for a current trustee to sign off on and execute certification of trust documents instead of requiring every trustees signature.

Bill Status House: Unanimously passed House Judiciary Committee, read first time and placed on House Calendar

Senate: Unanimously passed Senate Judiciary Committee, read first time and placed on Senate Calendar

   
Bill #
HSB 20
SF327

Subject
Probate & Trust Law

Calculation of Probate Court Costs
Iowa Code §633.31 is currently being applied inconsistently throughout the state. There are now several district court cases declaring the clerks in at least six counties to be calculating court fees inappropriately.  The bill addresses how the clerk of probate court determines and collects charges in connection with services provided in probate matters.  Excludes from the determination of court fees property over which the court lacks probate jurisdiction and for which the clerk renders no services.

Bill Status
House: Subcommittee recommended passage. Senate: Subcommittee recommended passage.
   
Bill #
HF 336
SF158

Subject
Criminal Law

PCR Record

Revisions to Chapter 822.  Over approximately the last four years, county attorneys, defense lawyers, and the Attorney General have had significant problems obtaining access to underlying files for postconviction cases. In particular, effective postconviction litigation generally requires the underlying criminal file, as well as any prior postconviction files. Currently, the way that court clerks handle these postconviction file requests can vary widely from county to county. These inconsistent practices have resulted in attorneys and indigent defendants representing themselves pro se encountering extreme difficulty or confusion in acquiring the necessary documents for their cases.  Working in collaboration with the Iowa Judicial Branch, the proposed legislation works to implement a uniform process for clerks and attorneys to follow that would resolve this confusion, for both the prosecution, the defense, and judicial branch employees.

Bill Status
House: Unanimously passed House Judiciary Committee, read first time and placed on the House Calendar.


Senate: Unanimously passed Senate Judiciary Committee, read first time and placed on Senate Calendar.

   
Bill #


Subject
Probate & Trust Law Family Law

Guardianship & Conservatorship Update
Update and Revisions to Iowa’s guardianship and conservatorship laws based upon the Probate Section’s review of chapter 633 and the Iowa Supreme Court’s Guardianship & Conservatorship Reform Task Force.

Bill Status
House/Senate: LSA finished drafting and sent bill draft to editors, LSA editors expect to be finished by 2/18/19.
   

Bill #

Subject
Government Practice

ABD "Good Moral Character"

Amends Iowa Code section 123.3(34)(a) definition of “Person of Good Moral Character” to clarify what to consider when determining good moral/financial standing.  This is partially addressed in the Administrative Rules but the Government Practice Section believes this should either be more clearly defined in rule or be codified to provide better implementation and uniformity.

Bill Status
Working with Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division to include the ISBA definition in their division bill covering licensing reform or by Administrative Rule.

   
Bill #
HF 238
SF 152

Subject
Elder Law Section

Clarifying definition for Vulnerable Edler in Iowa’s Elder Abuse Law

This proposal amends Iowa Code section 235F.1(17), the definition of vulnerable elder. Currently, “Vulnerable elder” is defined as “a person sixty years of age or older who is unable to protect himself or herself from elder abuse as a result of age or a mental or physical condition. This proposal changes the definition of "vulnerable elder” to mean “a person sixty years of age or older who is unable to protect himself or herself from elder abuse as a result of a mental or physical condition or because of a personal circumstance which results in an increased risk of harm to the person. ”This change aims to clarify a Supreme Court decision that held that age alone was enough to prove that an individual is vulnerable, making every person over the age of 60 in Iowa a vulnerable adult unable to protect themselves. This change makes it clear that age alone is not enough, but must be accompanied by something more. This amendment ensures that older Iowan’s autonomy in decision making is protected.

Bill Status
House: Unanimously passed House Judiciary Committee, read first time and placed on House Calendar.


Senate: Passed full Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 10-4, read first time and placed on Senate Calendar.



In addition to the above legislative proposals, The Iowa State Bar Association supports the following standing positions as a part of its 2019 Affirmative Legislative Program:

Caps on Damages
Civil Justice System Reform
Funding for Legal Services
Indigent Defense
Judicial Branch Budget
Jury Nullification
Title Insurance

Our Legislative Program

Legislative Resources

LawPAC

ISBA Legislative Counsel

Jim Carney
Legislative Counsel
(515) 689-3189
(email)

Doug Struyk
Assistant Legislative Counsel
(402) 510-1576
(email)

Jenny Dorman
Assistant Legislative Counsel
(515) 282-6803
(email)