One week to the first legislative funnel and committees are working at a frenetic pace to clear their dockets of policy legislation. Policy bills are resolved next week, one way or another: (1) the committee of origin passes the bill and moves it to the House or Senate floor, or (2) the committee takes no action on the bill and it become ineligible for further consideration this year. Next week the Weekly Report will contain a list of key bills that both made and missed the cut.
House and Senate pass Gas Tax Increase on Tuesday / Governor signs it on Wednesday
The House, Senate, and Governor’s office each acted swiftly this week to finally pass a gas tax increase and take a big step toward filling the funding gap in our state and local road system.
In a rare display of bipartisan efficiency, the House and Senate adopted SF 257 in a matter of hours on Tuesday. The Senate began the process with an affirmative vote of 28-21 in favor of SF 257 (with 16 Democrats and 12 Republicans voting for the bill). Within hours the House had also passed SF 257 on a 53-46 vote (with 30 Republicans and 23 Democrats voting for the bill).
The bill was quickly prepared for consideration by Governor Branstad and transmitted to his office late Tuesday. Normally the Governor has three full days to consider legislation that comes to him during the session. However, the Governor moved quickly and signed the bill before noon on Wednesday.
The full 10-cent increase in the gas tax will go into effect on March 1 (this Sunday). Expect to see quick action by the Iowa DOT to adopt a new plan for allocating the additional revenue in the coming year so that Iowans can see immediate impact in regards to the fulfillment of critical road and bridge construction needs.
View the Iowa Legislative Bill Tracker