At the close of Week 14, with 2 weeks left until the scheduled adjournment date of May 3rd, both House and Senate Majority Leadership teams are signaling that the session is nearly complete. There is a sense that the leaders will attempt to finish up next week. That is hard to forecast given the amount of policy bills that are pending but there are two concrete signs are pointing to an early or on time conclusion.
First, all budget bills (except Standings (SSB 1262) and Health and Human Services (HF 766)) have passed out of one chamber and passed out of the full Appropriations Committee in the other chamber with one and Transportation (SF 600) has already been sent to the Governor. Health and Human Services is awaiting action by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is on the agenda for Monday, April 22.
Second, the Standings bill has been introduced. The Standings bill is almost always the last bill to pass out of a General Assembly because it includes standing appropriations for all of government and is also used as a vehicle for many policy pieces that didn’t make it through the legislative process.
Major Policy Pieces Left to Consider
There are many policy bills eligible for debate on either the Senate Calendar or the House Calendar. Many of these bills will not be acted upon this year but will be eligible for floor debate next year. Below is a list of policy bills we will likely see debated before the close of the session:
Property tax reform
SF 634 passed Senate Ways and Means this week and HF 773 is on the floor calendar for next Monday. These bills have significant differences but property tax reform is something the House and Senate Republicans have made a priority all session so a compromise is possible.
Flood Recovery Funding
Governor Reynolds signed Executive Order #4 which creates a Flood Recovery Advisory Board and includes a proposal for $15 million funding this year and another $10 million next year for flood mitigation and workforce housing tax credits in flood affected areas. $15 million has been included in the Standings Bill (SSB 1262) for the flood mitigation fund.
Sports Wagering at Casinos
SF 617 passed the Senate on a 31-18 vote with 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats voting for the bill. The House version (HF 748) is on the House debate calendar for Monday, April 22 and will need Democrat votes to pass as it did in the Senate.
Regulation of Growing and Selling Hemp
SF 599 passed the Senate 49-1. The House Version (HF 781) passed the House full Appropriations Committee this week but is not on Monday’s (4/22) debate calendar.
Other bills/priorities requiring action:
Judicial Nominating Commission
SF 237 passed the Senate on 3/12 by a vote of 32-17. The House version (HF 503) was placed on the House Unfinished Business Calendar.
SF 583 passed the Senate on 3/18 by a vote of 28-19. The House version (SF 669) was placed on the House Unfinished Business Calendar.
Congressman Dave Loebsack announces his retirement at the end of his term in 2020
This week, Iowa’s Second Congressional District Representative Dave Loebsack announced that after seven terms in the U.S. House, he will retire when his term expires in 2020.
A number of names have already been mentioned as possible Republican and Democratic candidates but his retirement also means that Iowa will likely have competitive races in all four Congressional districts in 2020 which is also a Presidential election year.
Bills Sent to Governor Reynolds
As the end of session draws near, we are also tracking which bills have passed both Chambers and have been sent to Governor Reynolds to sign.
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