This week saw a significant increase in the number of bills moving through the subcommittee and committee process. Some key developments from the week:
Water Quality Passed
The House passed the Senate version (SF 512) of the comprehensive water quality legislation on a largely partisan vote with Democratic representatives Bearinger, H. Miller, Ourth, and Prichard all voting for the bill, and Republican representatives Baltimore, Hanusa, Highfill, and Vander Linden voting against the bill, resulting in a 59-41 vote. This bill went to the Governor for her signature. This was the top legislative priority of Governor Reynolds and was viewed as one of the “must dos” this session.
Change of Leadership House Judiciary Committee
Rep. Baltimore was replaced as Chair of the House Judiciary Committee by Rep. Zach Nunn following Rep. Baltimore’s arrest for Operating While Intoxicated late last week. Rep. Nunn is in his second term and is from Bondurant. The committee work continued unabated this week, assigning bills and passing bills out of committee. Rep. Baltimore still serves on the Judiciary Committee.
Two New Bills - Deappropriations and Future Ready Iowa
Two major pieces of legislation were introduced. The Senate version of the deappropriations bill (SSB 3089) was filed and late Thursday afternoon, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the $50 million deappropriation (budget sheets). It remains to be seen what the House will propose but it is anticipated that the cuts will be deeper than those proposed by the Governor. In addition, the Future Ready Iowa bill was introduced. This is a job training and economic development bill and is also one of the Governor’s top priorities.
Representative Bossman Sworn In
Rep. Jacob Bossman (R), the winner of the January 16, 2018 special election in Sioux City, was sworn in as a new representative this week.