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Iowa’s Legislature has signed about 70 bills into law in 2022 so far. This article will highlight the changes that have been made to laws regarding  

  • Schools  
  • Liquor  
  • Hemp  
  • Property Law  
  • Afterlife Services  


Iowa Schools

In 2022, Iowa’s House, Senate, and Governor signed many bills concerning K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. The first bill passed in February 2022 increased the state’s public education budget by 2.5% per student. House File 2316 (Effective February 17, 2022). This increase provides more funding to public schools in Iowa through the 2023 fiscal year.  

Another bill signed in March 2022 was House File 2416 (Effective March 3, 2022). This bill prohibits transgender girls and women from being involved in female teams for K-12 and college sports, including universities and community colleges. The bill states that the sex designated on the student’s birth certificate must be used to determine a student’s eligibility to participate in female teams.  

Additionally, retired Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System or “IPERS” members, including teachers, will start to earn more money. Additionally, the amount of money a school board member can receive from a school district will increase if there is no conflict of interest. Senate File 2266 (Effective March 23, 2022).  

Furthermore, a new task force will be created to make recommendations by December 1, 2022, on how to better serve special education students who do not attend public schools. Senate File 2197 (Effective July 1, 2022).  

Classroom full of desks and other educational tools.

In April 2022, the Iowa legislature voted to update language in its statutes to follow the terminology from the Department of Education regarding English-language learning students. The language changed from “limited English proficient” to “English learners.” The bill also updates the standards for hiring committees for community college instructors and faculty. It specifies that a community college instructor’s master’s degree must be received from an accredited institution under the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act. Senate File 2128 (Effective July 1, 2022).  

The language regarding institutions registering with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and refund policy language was also updated. Now, for-profit colleges must follow the refund policies that other schools do, which the Iowa Code outlines. Senate File 2130 (Effective July 1, 2022).  

In the summer of 2021, the NCAA approved name-image likeness policies that allow college athletes to make money from their image. To follow this policy change, Iowa is implementing laws that help student-athletes as they navigate the process of working with an NCAA agent. House File 364 (Effective July 1, 2022).  

Finally, in May 2022, House File 2080 (Effective July 1, 2022) was passed to prevent K-12 schools, charter schools, and innovation schools from performing health screenings on students without written consent from their parents or guardians unless there is an emergency health situation. The House also voted that COVID-19 vaccination is not required for children enrolled in childcare centers or schools. House File 2298 (Effective July 1, 2022).  


Iowa Liquor Law Changes

In June 2022, Senate File 2374 (Effective July 1, 2022) was signed by Iowa’s governor, which imposes new restrictions on third-party delivery services by requiring third-party delivery services to enter into a formal agreement with restaurants from which they deliver. Furthermore, the Legislature outlines eight classes of retail alcohol licenses and changes the annual license fee in certain circumstances.  

The Iowa legislature also passed House File 2340 (Effective July 1, 2022), allowing city and county attorneys to bring a lawsuit against alcohol establishments for creating public safety concerns and allow them to seek a temporary injunction before trial. A serious threat to public safety would exist if a person (the owner, an employee, or patron) in or near the establishment fires a gun, assaults another person, or participates in a riot.  

A person pulling a liquor botte out of the fridge.

Growing Hemp in Iowa

Iowa’s governor signed House File 2380 (Effective April 21, 2022) in April 2022, which increased the number of hemp acres a person can grow from 40 to 320 acres.    


Iowa Cosmetology Licensing

The Iowa legislature removed licensing requirements for cosmetic hair removal by threading. Senate File 2119. This means that a person offering hair threading services is no longer required to have a cosmetology license in the State of Iowa. This will be effective on July 1, 2022.  


New Born Screenings

The governor also signed a bill in April 2022 that will increase the conditions for Iowa newborn screenings and create a committee to ensure the state keeps up with the latest recommendations. This will ensure the Iowa Department of Health provides an annual report on newborn screening, including new conditions added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (“RUSP”) and why the addition of a disorder has been delayed. The bill implements a 2 ½ year timeline in which screening must be performed to check for new conditions added to the RUSP. Senate File 2345 (Effective July 1, 2022).  


Changes to Autism Definition

The new bills will also update legal definitions regarding autism spectrum disorder to align with the current mental health language. The update allows persons with autism to be protected by the federal mental health parity law, which also allows persons with autism more medical coverage in Iowa. House File 2167 (Effective July 1, 2022).  


Changes to Search and Seizure Laws in Iowa

In 2021, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that police searching a defendant’s trash for evidence while it was on the defendant’s property was unconstitutional under the Iowa Constitution. Starting July 1, 2022, law enforcement agencies will be again allowed to search and seize any garbage placed outside someone’s home without a warrant. Senate File 2296 (Effective Jule 1, 2022).  


Changes to Iowa Criminal Law and Procedure

All the criminal law and procedure updates below will be effective July 1, 2022, except the law regarding more than one attorney for an Indigent person under “Other.”  

Updates to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Laws

When someone is arrested for a sexual abuse charge, the person cannot be released from custody until they appear before a magistrate judge. House File 2079. New laws will also bring a few changes to Iowa’s restraining orders. The new laws make it easier for judges to implement orders of protection in domestic and sexual abuse cases. House File 825.  

Sex offenders registering on Iowa’s Sex Offender Registry and who go through the proper channels and procedures will have to wait longer to apply for an opportunity to have their name removed from the registry. Some tier I offenders must wait ten years before applying, and other tier I offenders can apply within five years. Tier-II and III offenders must wait 15 years before applying. Senate File 2363.  


Modified statutes will now make the penalty for manufacturing, possessing, or delivering more than one hundred grams (was one kilogram) “of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin” a class B felony that is punishable by jail time of no more than 50 years and a fine of not more than $1,000,000. And a Class B felony for manufacturing, possessing, or delivering five grams (was 100 grams) but not more than one hundred grams (was one kilogram) “of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin” that is punishable by a fine of not less than $5,000 but not more than $100,000. House File 2462.  

Nonconsensual Termination of Pregnancy

A person will be able to be found guilty of a class “D” felony if the person “attempts to intentionally terminate a human pregnancy without the knowledge and voluntary consent of the pregnant person.” House File 2372.  


Iowa DUI law does not change much in 2022, but there is one change to operating while intoxicated. Read more on Iowa DUI and OWI changes in 2022.  

A car being pulled over by a police officer.

Other Changes to Iowa Law

New laws allow an indigent person to have two court-appointed attorneys in particular class “A” felony cases and if the additional attorney comes from the wrongful convictions division. House File 2516 (Effective May 2, 2022).  

The number of days a person out on bail must appear before they forfeit their money will increase. A new bill adjusts the time frame from the previous ten days to 30 days once in effect. House File 2097 (Effective July 1, 2022).  


Afterlife Services in Iowa

The Iowa legislature has granted additional protections for people that pay for afterlife funeral services in advance and streamlined some processes for funeral-related businesses in House File 2155 (Effective July 1, 2022). Iowa law requires that these types of contracts be in writing, outline how the funds will be deposited, give a 3-day grace period to revoke without penalty, specify items to be purchased and services that will be provided, total purchase price, terms of payment, specify substitution of items if needed, and disclosures in plain language.  


If you want to know more about your rights, please reach out to us. To request a consultation with an Iowa O’Flaherty Lawyer, call our office at (630) 324-6666, or you can also fill out our confidential contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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