Both Chambers did extensive floor work this week—moving legislation to the opposite Chamber in order to help meet the second funnel deadline of April 2nd. For policy legislation to remain eligible for further consideration after April 2, it must have passed in one Chamber (hence all the floor work this week) and approved by a committee in the other Chamber (which is what will dominate the week leading up to the funnel deadline).
Legislation moving forward this week:
- The Iowa Senate, on a 26-24 vote, approved SF 334, which would make it illegal for a mental health provider to engage in practices that seek to change the sexual orientation of a patient they are treating who is under the age of 18.
- The Iowa Senate also, on a 26-24 vote, approved SF 437, which would require employers to provide up to four hours of unpaid leave to those in their employ who wish to participate in a precinct caucus that is held as part of the presidential nominating process.
- The Iowa House, on a 54-43 vote, adopted HJR 8, a joint resolution that would petition the United States Congress to amend the US Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government. It further calls for invoking an Article V call for a convention of the states to consider and propose an amendment to the US Constitution to impose fiscal restraints on federal spending.
- The Iowa House also, on a 56-41 vote, approved HF 549, which would amend Chapter 20 of the Iowa Code (collective bargaining) and modify the factors an arbitrator can consider when resolving an impasse between a teachers union and a school board on a collectively bargained contract. Primarily, it would allow an arbitrator to consider comparable wages, hours, and conditions of employment between public and private sector workers doing comparable work.
In all of the above issues, the votes were party line with majority Democrats providing the margin in the Senate and majority Republicans providing the margin in the House. That said, dozens of other bills passed both Chambers this week with nearly unanimous approval of both caucuses in both Chambers.
View the Iowa Legislative Bill Tracker.
The Revenue Estimating Conference met on Thursday and made a small downward adjustment in the revenue estimate for FY 16. Based on current projections, estimated FY 16 revenue will be roughly $20 million less than the estimate made last December.
State law requires the Governor and General Assembly to use the December estimate, UNLESS the March estimate is LOWER. Since March is lower, this is the estimate that will have to be used for budgeting purposes. Whether or not this small reduction in the revenue estimate will trigger the need for Governor Branstad to submit a new budget is yet to be determined. That determination will come after further review by the Iowa Department of Management.
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa
No specific activity this week.