Legislative Agenda 2019

The Iowa and National Restaurant Association lobbying teams advocate for the adoption and loosening of laws and regulations to positively impact your operations. Here’s our legislative agenda for the upcoming months.

Horizontal Driver’s License Requirement for 21+ Years

Currently those under the legal drinking age are required to carry vertical-oriented drivers’ licenses. Once they’ve turned 21 years old, they are not required to get a new license until it is due for renewal—often years later.

Association Position

The Iowa Restaurant Association believes that if the state is going to have two formats of license- it should be meaningful. That’s why we support Senate File 62, which requires a person turning 21 to obtain a horizontal license within 30 days of his or her birthday.

Big Picture

This would simplify and improve the process of checking ID’s for age verification at establishments and events across the state.

Legislative yes

Driver's License Agenda

Sports Betting

Casinos and the Iowa Lottery—have differing visions to legalized sports betting in the state of Iowa.


Iowa Casinos are proposing legalization of full sports betting in their facilities, as well as a mobile app for remote betting. The mobile app would be tied to an account physically set at one of the state’s 17 Casinos, allowing patrons to place bets remotely


The Iowa Lottery supports full sports betting in Casinos. However, they would also like to see limited off-site sports betting be made available through the Lottery retail ticket sales system. This would allow the casual better to place limited sports bets anywhere Lottery tickets are sold. Any Iowa restaurant or bar could become a Lottery retailer.

Legislative Agenda Betting

Association Position

Currently, the Iowa Restaurant Association supports the Iowa Lottery’s proposed approach to legalized sports betting as it affords member establishments, to directly offer patrons a mechanism for casual sports betting, while reserving full sports betting for the Casinos. Additionally, Iowa Lottery retailers receive a commission for sales, providing a supplemental, albeit small, revenue source for the hospitality operators who participate.

Oppose ABD’s Technical Bill

Legislative No

ABD is a no on our Agenda

The Iowa Restaurant Association is opposing a section of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverage Division’s 2019 Technical Bill. The bill would elevate the status of Iowa ABD Compliance Officers to that of “Peace Officers.” While the Association appreciates partnership with the Iowa ABD, the Association is becoming increasingly weary of the blurring lines between the multiple roles of the Iowa ABD as both “profit generator”, “regulator” and “final appeal.” The addition of “Peace Officer” is simply a step too far.