This week marked an important point in the 2022 Iowa Legislative Session: first funnel. Any non-budgetary bills that have not been voted out of a House or Senate committee by this point are effectively dead (with some exceptions).
On Monday, February 14, a subcommittee meeting was held for HSB 698. This was a re-combined bill that included many of the proposed bills concerning public assistance programs we saw introduced at the start of the session.
Thanks to the hard work of advocates like you, the proposed asset limit for SNAP was not included in HSB 698. This would have been incredibly harmful. However, there were still a few pieces of the bill, such as requiring custodial parents to cooperate with the child support recovery unit or lose access to SNAP benefits, that were still problematic. Despite these concerns from advocates, HSB 698 was voted out of subcommittee on Monday on a party-line 2-1 vote.
Then, the next morning of Tuesday, February 15, HSB 698 was already on the agenda for consideration before the full House Human Resources Committee. After some discussion, an amendment to tighten the timeline for implementation, and Democrats voicing their concerns with the bill, HSB 698 was voted out of committee on a 13-8 party-line vote.
Now that this is no longer a “study bill,” it has been renamed as House File 2438. It now is eligible for debate and a vote on the floor of the full House of Representatives. Please contact your Representative and let them know you do not support HF 2438.
While we are disappointed to see this bill advance past the first funnel, we do want to praise the work of advocates in stopping the proposed asset limit for SNAP. Give yourself a pat on the back – we don’t get to celebrate our wins often enough.
And the fight isn’t over yet – if HF 2438 does pass the House, it will move to the Senate, and we will need to make sure there are no attempts to re-introduce some of the incredibly harmful policy proposals that we stopped in the House.
Thank you for all you have done, and will continue to do, in the fight to end hunger and food insecurity in Iowa.