A- A+

Government & Public Policy Information

As governments respond to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), The Partnership continues to monitor the status at all levels in an effort to keep our Members, Investors and the community updated. We’ve compiled the updates and resources available.

Federal  |  State  |  Local

Federal

White House Coronavirus Task Force streaming: whitehouse.gov/live

  • U.S.-Canadian border closed for non-essential traffic on March 18
  • U.S.-Mexico border closed for non-essential traffic on March 20

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates: cdc.gov/coronavirus

  • All CDC guidelines have been extended through April 30
  • No more than 10 people at any gathering from March 16 – April 30

U.S. Housing and Urban Development updates: hud.gov/coronavirus

  • Foreclosures and evictions have been suspended through the end of April

U.S. Small Business Administration updates: sba.gov/coronavirus

  • The State of Iowa is working with small businesses through each of the 99 counties to draw down funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. A link to request assistance can be found here
  • The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll, information can be found here

U.S. Department of Education updates: ed.gov/coronavirus

  • Waiving federal student loan interest
  • Federal student loan payments suspended through Sept. 30
  • Standardized testing won’t be enforced for elementary through high school students

U.S. Department of Treasury updates: treasury.gov/coronavirus

  • Allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest
  • Allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest
  • Federal tax deadline delayed until July 15, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updates: uscis.gov/coronavirus

  • Adopting a new measure to assist applicants and petitioners who are responding to requests for evidence (RFEs) and notices of intent to deny (NOIDS) dated between March 1 and May 1, 2020
  • Any responses submitted within 60 calendar days after the response deadline set forth in the RFE or NOID will be considered by USCIS before any action is taken

U.S. Department of State updates: state.gov/coronavirus

  • Level 4: Do Not Travel advisory "advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19"
  • U.S. citizens who live outside the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): transportation.gov

  • The deadline of Oct. 1 to obtain a Real ID has been postponed until Sep. 30, 2021

U.S. Department of Environmental Protection (EPA): epa.gov/coronavirus

The EPA has issued a temporary policy regarding reinforcement of environmental legal obligations during the COVID-19 pandemic for civil violations only, with variances depending on category.

Congressional updates: congress.gov

  • The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074) passed the U.S. House on March 4, the U.S. Senate on March 5 and signed by President Trump on March 6. The $8.3 billion legislative package does the following: 
    • $7.8 billion will be used to bolster vaccine development, research, medical equipment stockpiles and for state and local health budgets
    • $500 million will be used for telehealth medicine
    • $20 million for SBA loans and $20 million for SBA operations
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) passed the U.S. House on March 14, the U.S. Senate on March 18 and was signed by President Trump on March 18. The legislation does the following:
  1. Provides supplemental funding for nutrition assistance through USDA programs SNAP, WIC and the Emergency Food Assistance Program along with U.S. Department of Human Services programs to provide nutrition assistance to the elderly population
  2. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires certain businesses to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect health care workers
  3. Establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak
  4. Expands unemployment benefits and provides grants to states for processing and paying claims
  5. Requires employers (fewer than 500 employees) to provide paid sick leave to employees (applies April 1 - Dec. 31, 2020)
    1. Up to two weeks (80 hours, or part-time employee's two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave
    2. 100% of pay (up to $511 daily) for Federal, State or Local quarantined isolation order due to COVID-19. Or advised by health provider to self-quarantine. Or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis
    3. 67% of pay (up to $220 daily) for caring of individual affected by COVID-19 symptoms or quarantined
    4. Up to 12 weeks of paid leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 67% (up to $200 daily) if caring for child whose school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19
  6. Establishes requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers
  7. Treats personal respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures that are eligible for certain liability protections
  8. Temporarily increases the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP)
  • The third phase of Coronavirus aid legislation, “Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES Act” (S. 3548) was signed into law on March 27. A summary of the legislation, provided by the U.S. Chamber can be found here.

State

Governor Reynolds holds daily press conferences and deploys frequent press releases: governor.iowa.gov/newsroom

  • Governor Reynolds declared the initial State of Public Health Disaster Emergency on March 17
  • Temporary suspension of evictions and foreclosures
  • Temporary lifting of regulations on some alcohol sales
  • Follow CDC recommendations with 10 or fewer people in a group at any given time
  • Iowa schools to be closed until April 30
  • The following venues are closed through April 30:
  1. Restaurants and bars (carry-out, delivery and drive-through is allowed)
  2. Salons and barbershops
  3. Tattoo shops
  4. Fitness centers, spas and aquatic centers
  5. Theaters
  6. Casinos and gaming facilities
  7. Retail stores, including bookstores, clothing and jewelry stores and furniture stores (pick-up and delivery is allowed)
  8. Senior citizen centers and adult daycare facilities
  9. All mass gathering, including but not limited to parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, spiritual and religious gathering, sporting events, etc.
  10. Suspending all elective medical and dental surgeries and procedures without undue risk to patients until April 16

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) updates: idph.iowa.gov

  • There are currently 614 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iowa as of April 2

Iowa Economic Development Authority updates: iowaeconomicdevelopment.com

  • The application for deferral of the eligible taxes and waiver of penalty and interest remins open, apply here
  • A fund has been created to support Targeted Small Businesses (TSB) with zero employees that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, apply here
  • Questions can be sent to businessrecovery@iowaeda.com

Iowa Utilities Board updates: iub.iowa.gov

  • All electric and natural gas utilities to cease disconnection of residential service due to nonpayment until May 1
  • All other utilities, including water and sewer, encouraged to follow similar policy

Iowa Department of Revenue updates: tax.iowa.gov

  • State tax filing deadlines extended to July 31
  • No late-filing or underpayment penalties will be due for qualifying taxpayers who comply with the extended filing and payment deadlines

Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) updates: news.iowadot.gov

  • The Iowa DOT has suspended rules on drivers’ license and vehicle registration renewal
  • Commercial Driver's Licesnse (CDL) holders in Iowa who have an expired medical examiner's certificate or a certificate that is about to expire will not have their CDL downgraded at this time
  • Any driver license that expired after Jan. 16 or later will not be enforced during this emergency period
  • The deadline of Oct. 1 to obtain a Real ID has been postponed until Sep. 30, 2021

Iowa Board of Regents updates: iowaregents.edu

  • Iowa Board of Regents President Mike Richards has declared a state of emergency at the institutions (Iowa State University, University of Iowa, University of Northern Iowa) on March 18
  • All three state universities canceled commencement and will only offer online classes

Iowa Secretary of State: sos.iowa.gov

  • Closed their office through April 16
  • The office is directing customers to their online filing system, Fast Track Filing (FTF)
  • Extended the absentee voting period for mailed ballots in the June primary to 40 days. Iowans can vote by mail beginning April 23. Iowans can request an absentee ballot from their county auditor now
  • The state will mail an absentee ballot request form to every active registered voter in the state for voting in the June 2 primary
  • Temporary authorization of remote notarization

Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) updates: iowaworkforcedevelopment.gov

  • Accepting applications for CARES Act benefits and will be processed as soon as IWD receives guidance from the federal government
  • Self-employed, independent contractors, nonprofit employees and gig economy workers or requesting an extension of benefits and are not currently filing weekly claims, please submit your initial application now
  • Iowans will no longer have to use all paid leave before being eligible for unemployment benefits

The Iowa General Assembly updates: legis.iowa.gov

  • The Iowa Legislature has been suspended for 30 days, adjourned until April 15, 2020
  • Legislators can be reached via email during this time; contact information can be found here
  • Following #ialegis on Twitter is a tool to keep tabs on legislative news
  • Prior to the legislative suspension, Senate File 2408 was passed and signed by Governor Reynolds on March 17; the legislation does the following:
  1. Provided a supplemental appropriation to the State Hygienic Laboratory for additional COVID-19 testing
  2. Appropriated additional money for Medicaid, Hawk-I and the Glenwood Resource Center
  3. Increases the Governor’s transfer authority to move money between budget items as necessary
  4. Allows the Governor to access up to 10% of the Economic Emergency Fund while session is suspended for needs related to COVID-19
  5. A waiver of the 180-day school year requirement for this year
  6. State program funding at last year's levels for the first two months of FY 2021 (July and August) if the legislature is unable to pass a budget before end of fiscal year on June 30

Iowa Attorney General updates: iowaattorneygeneral.gov/newsroom

  • Iowans should be aware of scams related to price gouging, bogus treatments, phishing or charity scams or investment fraud
  • Iowa Legal Aid resources and FAQ can be found here
  • Reporting of such scams can be emailed to consumer@ag.iowa.gov

Local

County government updates on COVID-19 can be found at the following sites:

Because of COVID-19, cities in Greater Des Moines (DSM) are closing their offices and other city facilities to in-person visits and encouraging residents to use online features. Each city is providing services such as police and fire protection. City government updates on COVID-19 can be found at the following sites:

Adel

  • City buildings are closed
  • Utility payments can be made online or over the phone with transaction fees waived

Altoona

  • City buildings are closed
  • Residents and developers can file building permits and water bill payments online

Ankeny

  • All Ankeny’s city offices and public facilities will be closed for the next four weeks
  • City has suspended rental inspections; fire department inspections; and police fingerprinting
  • Parks and trails are open, but restrooms are closed

Bondurant

  • City buildings are closed
  • Utility payments can be made online or over the phone or check dropped in the drop box outside of city hall
  • Parks are open

Carlisle

  • City buildings are closed
  • Residents are encouraged to use drop box near in parking area east of Police Department
  • Parks are open

Clive

  • City buildings are closed until April 12
  • Parks are open

Des Moines

  • Mayor Cownie declared a state of emergency on March 15, which has since been updated to follow CDC guidelines of no gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Until April 12, members of the public will not be able to access city hall, the armory, Municipal Service Center, public works building and Des Moines Wastewater Reclamation Authority

Grimes

  • City buildings are closed
  • Utility payments can be made online, over the phone, or check dropped off at utility payment dropbox outside of city hall

Grinnell

  • City buildings are closed

Indianola

  • City buildings are closed
  • Contact city officials via phone or email

Johnston

  • Mayor Dierenfeld declared a state of emergency on March 18
  • City Hall is closed
  • Johnson Public Library will close until April 12

Norwalk

  • City buildings are closed through March 31

Pleasant Hill

  • City Hall, the Doanes Park Youth Center, library and lobby of police station are closed

Urbandale

  • City Hall and other offices and departments are closed

Waukee

  • City Hall, public library, public works building, public safety building and Sugar Creek Municipal Golf Course is closed
  • Residents are asked to file permits and make payments online or to drop their payments off in the entryway drop boxes

West Des Moines

  • West Des Moines City Hall, public services building, the Raccoon River Nature Lodge and the Valley Junction Activity Center are closed
  • West Des Moines Police Station lobby will remain open during regular hours, but residents are asked to call or visit them online to conduct their business

Windsor Heights

  • City buildings are closed
  • Residents are asked to use website to secure pet licenses or secure yard waste cart

DART Updates: ridedart.com

  • Effective March 26, DART is reducing weekday service hours, limiting service on select routes and asking people to only ride when absolutely necessary

Des Moines Water Works

Additional Information

  • School closures can be found at local news sites including KCCI and WHO-TV.
  • For those seeking help with human service needs, Iowans are encouraged to call or text the 211 service. Either call 211 or text your ZIP code to 898-211 with questions.
  • Local community pages on Facebook can serve as a resource for neighborhoods, allowing individuals to share and respond to the needs of those needing assistance.