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Governor Reynolds signs three remaining legislative bills into law, vetos another

DES MOINES, Iowa (KWWL) -- Today Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds took action on all remaining legislation of the 2020 session, signing two bills, part of a third, and vetoing a fourth.

Governor Reynolds signed both HF2642, regarding payments to state agencies from the rebuild Iowa Infrastructure fund and HF2644, related to transportation and funding for the department of transportation, today.

Both bills will go into effect tomorrow, July 1st.

Gov. Reynolds also signed parts of the HF2643 bill, regarding state and local finances by making appropriations, with the exception of sections 57 and 91, which she vetoed.

Section 57 related to the funding of the Iowa Veterans Home to limit the amount of revenues or appropriations that the organization may carry forward.

Section 91 would have allowed the Iowa Economic Development Authority to assist broadband providers in obtaining federal funds.

Click here to read more about the vetoed sections and the Governor's reason behind it.

Reynolds vetoed HF2556 related to government property and official publications. The bill would have required local government bodies to sell real property to the 'highest responsive, responsible bidder' or the sale would be prohibited unless by a two-thirds vote, it was approved for 'good cause'.

However, Reynolds sited multiple reasons for the veto, pointing out price may not always be the biggest factor in a sale and agencies may want to consider other factors.

“House File 2556 contains a number of provisions with which I have no objection. But Division II of the bill imposes new requirements on local governmental bodies and the State of Iowa prohibiting the sale of real property unless it is sold “to the highest responsive, responsible bidder” or the governmental body, by a two-thirds vote, approves a different bidder for “good cause” or a different process.

“I understand the concern that a governmental body may occasionally make a decision to sell property with which many of its constituents disagree. But I am not convinced that this bill is the appropriate solution. 

“Governmental bodies may reasonably conclude that factors other than price — such as a potential developer’s jobs and economic impact, environmental cleanup, or improvements to the property and infrastructure — should determine to whom a property should be sold. And imposing a two-thirds vote requirement to make this choice would unnecessarily complicate a local government’s decision making and could unintentionally hurt redevelopment and economic growth efforts in our state. I am also concerned that the new language lacks clarity and could lead to litigation, confusion, and unintended consequences surrounding governmental real estate transactions even where a unanimous vote approves of the transaction.

“For these reasons, I respectfully disapprove of House File 2556 in its entirety.”

said Gov. Reynolds in a transmittal letter

Reynolds has now completed action on all legislation passed in the 2020 legislative session.

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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