‘Uber Bill’ passes Iowa House

Uber AppBy Bob Eschliman


The Iowa House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to provide for the regulation of “transportation network companies,” such as Uber, during morning debate Tuesday.

House File 394’s floor manager, state Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights), said the proposed legislation was meant to provide “one uniform set of state laws” that would override any other city rules. Recently, the City of Des Moines enacted an ordinance to regulate Uber; if adopted, HF 394 would negate those regulations.

State Rep. Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn) said she could not support the bill because it “doesn’t go far enough” to protect the general public. She indicated she felt insurance requirements for TNC drivers needed to be higher.

Ultimately, the proposed legislation passed on a 92-5 vote. The five representatives voting against the bill were state Reps. Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines), Dave Heaton (R-Mount Pleasant), Bruce Hunter (D-Des Moines), Brian Meyer (D-Des Moines), and Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn).

Another bill adopted during the morning debate by a similar margin was passed with surprisingly little debate. House File 227, which allows for “visual” prisoner strip searches, without probable cause, for anyone entering the general population of a jail or prison, was adopted 97-3.

Those voting against HF 227 were: state Reps. Hunter, Pettengill, and Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (D-Ames).

CLICK HERE to see video of the full morning debate.

During afternoon debate, the House adopted House File 552, a bill to delete a provision of Iowa Code that requires accident or health care coverage to permit an unmarried child of an insured or enrollee to continue or re-enroll in such coverage so long as he or she is a full-time student in an accredited institution of postsecondary education. The bill was adopted, 57-42, without debate.

The following bills were adopted Tuesday on unanimous, or nearly unanimous, votes:

  • House File 172 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the regulation of nonprofit corporations, adopted 98-0.
  • House File 203 – an act to provide for the licensure of sleep medicine technicians, adopted 100-0.
  • House File 507 – an act to provide that legal entities created pursuant to Iowa Code 28E agreements for the purposes of providing wastewater, sewer system, storm water drainage, or sewage treatment services have the same powers and duties as a city utility or enterprise under Iowa Code 384.84 with respect to account holders and subsequent owners, or with respect to properties and premises, associated with a delinquent account, adopted 99-0.
  • House File 569 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to notices of garnishment and levy to a judgment debtor, adopted 99-0.
  • House File 595 – an act to create the Manufactured Housing Program Fund, adopted 94-4.
  • Senate File 198 – a substitute bill for House File 246, which amends Iowa Code as it relates to the regulation of certified public accountants and CPA firms, adopted 98-0.
  • Senate File 392 – a substitute bill for House File 577, an act to amend hunter education license requirements, and to provide for the issuance of hunter licenses to apprentice hunters, adopted 99-0.