House File 697 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1restricting public agency disclosure of and access
2to certain personal information related to tax-exempt
3organizations, and providing penalties.
4BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA:
1   Section 1.  Section 22.7, Code 2019, is amended by adding the
2following new subsection:
3   NEW SUBSECTION.  74.  Personal information as defined in
4section 22A.1.
5   Sec. 2.  NEW SECTION.  22A.1  Definitions.
   61.  “Personal information” means any list, record,
7register, registry, roll, roster, or other compilation of
8data that directly or indirectly identifies a person as a
9member, supporter, or volunteer of, or donor of financial
10or nonfinancial support to, any entity which is exempt from
11taxation under section 501(c) of the federal Internal Revenue
12Code. “Personal information” does not include information
13reportable to the secretary of state pursuant to section
14504.1613 or information provided to the attorney general or
15state auditor pursuant to chapter 504 or 537, or section
16714.16.
   172.  “Public agency” means all of the following:
   18a.  A state or municipal governmental unit, including but
19not limited to the state of Iowa, a department, agency, office,
20commission, board, or division of the state.
   21b.  A political subdivision of the state, including but not
22limited to a county, city, township, village, school district,
23or community college merged area.
   24c.  An agency, authority, council, board, or commission of a
25political subdivision of the state.
   26d.  A state or local court, tribunal, or other judicial or
27quasi-judicial body.
28   Sec. 3.  NEW SECTION.  22A.2  Personal information protected.
   291.  A public agency shall not do any of the following:
   30a.  Require an entity which is exempt from taxation under
31section 501(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code to provide
32the public agency with personal information.
   33b.  Release, publicize, or otherwise disclose personal
34information in the possession of the public agency without
35the express, written permission of every member, supporter,
-1-1volunteer, and donor of the tax-exempt entity identified in the
2information and the tax-exempt entity.
   3c.  Request or require a current or prospective contractor
4with the public agency to provide the public agency with a
5list of entities exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of
6the federal Internal Revenue Code to which the contractor has
7provided financial or nonfinancial support.
   82.  This section does not prohibit any of the following:
   9a.  Disclosure of personal information pursuant to a lawful
10warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
   11b.  Disclosure of personal information pursuant to a lawful
12request for discovery if all of the following requirements are
13met:
   14(1)  The requestor demonstrates a compelling need for the
15personal information by clear and convincing evidence.
   16(2)  The requestor obtains a protective order barring
17disclosure of personal information to any person not directly
18involved in the litigation.
   19c.  Disclosure of personal information pursuant to an
20agreement between a public agency and an entity which is exempt
21from taxation under section 501(c) of the federal Internal
22Revenue Code.
23   Sec. 4.  NEW SECTION.  22A.3  Civil penalties.
   241.  A person alleging a violation of this chapter, section
25504.1604, subsection 5, or section 504.1605, subsection 5, may
26bring a civil action for injunctive relief, damages, or both.
27Damages may include either of the following:
   28a.  Not less than two thousand five hundred dollars in
29compensatory damages for injury and loss for each violation.
   30b.  For an intentional violation, not more than three times
31the amount described in paragraph “a” for each violation.
   322.  A court may, in its discretion, award all or a portion of
33the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and
34witness fees, to the complainant.
35   Sec. 5.  NEW SECTION.  22A.4  Criminal penalties.
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   1A person who knowingly violates a provision of this
2chapter, section 504.1604, subsection 5, or section 504.1605,
3subsection 5, is guilty of a serious misdemeanor punishable by
4imprisonment for not more than ninety days or a fine of not
5more than one thousand dollars, or both.
6   Sec. 6.  NEW SECTION.  22A.5  Campaign disclosure Act not
7affected.
   8This chapter shall not affect any provision of chapter 68A.
9   Sec. 7.  Section 504.1604, Code 2019, is amended by adding
10the following new subsection:
11   NEW SUBSECTION.  5.  If the court orders inspection of
12records containing personal information as defined in section
1322A.1, such inspection shall be made under seal from public
14disclosure. A person who violates this subsection is subject
15to civil penalties under section 22A.3. A person who knowingly
16violates this subsection is subject to criminal penalties under
17section 22A.4.
18   Sec. 8.  Section 504.1605, Code 2019, is amended by adding
19the following new subsection:
20   NEW SUBSECTION.  5.  To obtain personal information
21as defined in section 22A.1. A person who violates this
22subsection is subject to civil penalties under section 22A.3.
23A person who knowingly violates this subsection is subject to
24criminal penalties under section 22A.4.
25EXPLANATION
26The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
27the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   28This bill relates to certain personal information in
29the possession of certain tax-exempt and governmental
30entities. The bill prohibits a public agency, defined in
31the bill to include any governmental entity of Iowa or a
32political subdivision, from seeking the disclosure of personal
33information from an organization exempt from taxation under
34section 501(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code that
35would directly or indirectly reveal the identity of a member,
-3-1supporter, volunteer, or donor of the organization, or from
2requesting from a current or potential contractor a list of
3tax-exempt organizations that the contractor has supported.
4The bill also prohibits a public agency from publishing any
5such information that the public agency possesses.
   6The bill allows the disclosure of personal information
7pursuant to a lawful warrant or discovery request. However,
8the bill requires the proponent of such a discovery request
9to show a compelling need for the information by clear and
10convincing evidence and to obtain a protective order barring
11unnecessary disclosure of the information.
   12The bill also allows disclosure of personal information
13pursuant to an agreement between an organization and a public
14agency. The bill exempts from the definition of “personal
15information” information that must be reported to the secretary
16of state, attorney general, or state auditor pursuant to
17certain specified provisions of law.
   18The bill amends the revised Iowa nonprofit corporation Act
19to require any inspection of corporate records containing
20personal information to be made under seal from public
21disclosure. The bill also prohibits corporate records from
22being used to obtain personal information.
   23The bill exempts personal information from the definition of
24public records under Code chapter 22.
   25A person who violates a provision of the bill is subject to
26a civil penalty of not less than $2,500 per violation, and not
27more than three times that amount for an intentional violation.
28The bill allows a court to award to a prevailing plaintiff an
29amount equal to all or a portion of the costs of litigation,
30including attorney and witness fees.
   31A person who knowingly violates a provision of the bill is
32guilty of a serious misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for
33not more than 90 days, a fine of $1,000, or both.
   34The bill does not affect any provision of Code chapter 68A,
35which relates to campaign finance.
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