The second week of the legislative session was a short week as the legislature observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 20. Nonetheless, the legislature made up for lost time by doubling down on subcommittee work, numerous bills are on the way to full committee with a subcommittee recommendation. Floor action was procedural in nature as no legislation is ready for debate. The number of bills introduced thus far (332) is considerably higher than expected for the second year of the two-year General Assembly. Because of the number of holdover bills from the first year, we generally expect fewer new bills to be introduced.
Already this week, we have met the first session deadline—Friday, January 24 marks the final day for individual Senator and Representative bill requests. (Note: Those bills that have been requested by January 24 may still be introduced.)
The next deadline, known as the “first funnel,” is in about a month (February 21). Between now and then, action will continue at the subcommittee and committee levels as legislators attempt to get their bills out of committee to survive the first funnel.
House Democratic Leadership Change
In a session that already started with notable leadership changes in the House chamber, the House Democrat caucus announced this week that Rep. Charlie McConkey (D-Council Bluffs) will serve as an Assistant Minority Leader. Rep. McConkey currently serves on the House Commerce, Ways and Means, Labor, Economic Growth, and Administration and Rules Committees.
Governor’s School Safety Bureau
This week, Governor Reynolds announced her plans for the establishment of a new state bureau designed to help law enforcement agencies and school districts better identify and respond to security threats at school. One of the key focus will be to combat cyber security and digital threats.
The appropriations subcommittees will hear more details about the Governor’s proposed budget numbers. We can expect work at the committee level to pick up as many bills moved out of subcommittee this week, but the bulk of the activity will continue to be at the subcommittee level.
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