This week concluded the first legislative “funnel” in which all policy bills must be out of at least one committee by Friday, February 16 to be “alive” until the next funnel.
The focus was squarely on subcommittee and committee work. By the end of this week, legislative committees will have passed out about 200 bills, which are now eligible for debate on the Senate or House floor.
Next week, we can expect successor bills to be introduced, as bills that passed committee are given new Senate or House File numbers. Committee work should be lighter as the emphasis shifts to floor work in anticipation of the second funnel deadline, Friday, March 16. This is when bills need to come out of both Senate and House committees. The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 17.
The Governor released her tax reform plan (SSB 3195) this week which focuses on individual tax reform as opposed to the federal tax bill which focused on corporate tax reform. Comments from Republican legislators on the reform package have been generally supportive but these legislators all agreed that this is a “first step.” Tax reform proposals are expected from House and Senate Republicans respectively.
The House Appropriations Committee amended and passed the Senate de-appropriations bill (SF 2117) which, after being amended in committee, anticipates deeper cuts than the Governor but about $10 million less in cuts than the Senate.
Ordinarily, the appropriations process would start next week but given the apparent need to de-appropriate money from the current fiscal year, the Appropriations Committee took earlier action. SF 2117 will be eligible for floor debate next week.
For a full review of the legislative funnel from the business community’s perspective, check out the Iowa Association of Business and Industry.