by CBI Lobbyist
Overview / Major Events
The 2016 Session of the Iowa General Assembly quietly closed around 6:30 pm on April 29 as both Chambers finished their business and sent members home for the year. While the Session ran 10 days over its 100-day allotment, the April close was one of the earliest in recent memory.
Budget Heads to Branstad
House and Senate leaders reached agreement on budget targets the week of April 4, but it took another three weeks to iron out all the details and find final agreement between the Chambers. Some of the most contentious debate on the many budget bills was focused on specific policy language in those bills, rather than the budget numbers under consideration.
For example, disagreements over policy language in the Health and Human Services budget likely delayed the close of Session for at least two or three days. On one hand there existed a group of House Republicans determined to ensure that no state resources would go to fund contracts with Planned Parenthood. On the other hand there existed a group of Senate Democrats determined to impose substantial oversight on the Executive Branch in regards to the new Medicaid managed care contracts with private entities.
In the end an agreement was reached on the level of oversight and the Planned Parenthood issue was resolved through an agreement to double the adoption tax credit.
30-day Window Now Open
When the Governor receives legislation from the General Assembly during the legislative Session, he has three working days in which to make a decision to sign or veto the legislation.
This standard changes once the Session ends. In fact, any legislation the Governor receives during the last three days of a legislative session and after they have gone home for the year is then subject to a 30-day review period. This is particularly helpful in that the Governor normally receives ALL the budget bills AFTER the General Assembly has adjourned and the review of $7.4 billion in proposed spending takes significant time. Thus, Governor Branstad has until May 29 to take final action on legislation. However, expect him to make public all of his decisions by Friday, May 27 (if not before).
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa:
Key issues addressed in 2016: