Legislative News May 2014

Legislative news – 05/01/2014

The 2014 session ended (sort of), 9 days after the statutory adjournment deadline and much later than had been anticipated when it convened in January.   The early agreement on the joint budget targets gave hope that the stage was set for a quick resolution to the budget.  However, efforts to agree on priorities within the budget targets as well as how much and where to spend the “one-time” money slowed that process down.  The House and Senate endured a marathon session that began Wednesday morning and concluded Thursday morning.  The Senate is technically still in session but all regular work has been completed and will adjourn sine die on Friday.

From a policy standpoint, it was a relatively quiet year for IMHCA members.  Below is a brief summary of legislation of interest to IMHCA.

SF 2261:  Suicide Prevention & Trauma Informed Care

This bill establishes an office within the DE on suicide prevention and trauma informed care.  The purpose of this office is to guide districts in implementing training on suicide prevention, adoption of guidance or practices for trauma informed care and overseeing efforts statewide to address youth suicide.  The bill languished in the Senate Appropriations Committee and was not approved by the Legislature.  However, language that required the DE to develop training and protocols for suicide prevention and trauma informed care for school employees was included in the Senate-passed version of the health and human services budget bill (see below for more information).   IMHCA was registered in opposition to SF 2261 because of concerns about the imposition of trauma informed care requirements on school personnel.

HF 2364:   Professional Licensure Interim Committee

This bill authorizes a legislative interim committee to examine Iowa’s professional licensure requirements.  The purpose of the study is to study the impact that such licensure programs have on entry into the profession, how other states handle similar licensure programs  and make recommendations on elimination of any licensure programs.  The bill as originally introduced passed the House Human Resources Committee and was referred to the House State Government Committee where it saw no further action.  IMHCA was registered undecided on the bill.  A legislative interim committee is still possible as authorizing language is not a requirement to appoint a committee.  That decision will be made this summer.

HF 2463:  FY 15 Health & Human Services Budget Bill

This bill contains a variety of provisions that may be of interest to IMHCA members including:

  • DE and DPH to develop recommendations to continue youth and young adult suicide prevention program once the federal grant expires (Dec. 15, 2014)
  • $50,000 for survey of children with adverse childhood events (ACEs)
  • Medicaid is funded at the bottom of the estimating group’s range – approx. $30 M below the group’s midpoint
  • Rebasing reimbursement rates for inpatient mental health services October 1, 2015 (previously frozen at June 30, 2014 rate
  • $250,000 to Department of Inspection and Appeals to create a mental health advocate division
  • Gives community mental health centers the option to be reimbursed :
    • 100% of reasonable costs of services OR
    • an alternative reimbursement rate methodology established by Magellan
  • Requires study of community based service placement options for persons with serious mental illness

As this is a budget bill, it is subject to the line item veto.  The governor has 30 days to take action on this bill.  If any item of interest to IMHCA members is stricken from the bill, I will update you.

Submitted by: 

Emily Piper | emily@ialobbyresources.com Piper Consulting Services P.O. Box 12011 | Des Moines, Iowa 50312-2011 Phone: 515-202-7772 | Fax: 866-869-2842