Senate Republicans elect new leaders after Dix resignation
Senator Dix’s resignation from the Iowa Senate this week necessitated an abbreviated leadership contest in the Senate Republican caucus to choose new leaders as the 2018 Session winds to a close. Those elections took place on Wednesday.
Senator Jack Whitver was elected as the new Senate Majority Leader and vacated his post as President of the Senate. Senator Whitver has been a member of the Republican leadership team for the last two years and provides the Republican caucus with a relatively seamless transition, as he has been involved in virtually all major decision-making and negotiations with the Governor’s office and the House.
Senator Charles Schneider was elected as the new President of the Senate and vacated his position as the Senate Republican Whip. Again, as a member of the Republican leadership team for the last two years, he assumes his new duties with a great deal of experience. Senator Schneider also serves as Chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee and will maintain those duties through the close of the 2018 Session.
Senator Amy Sinclair was elected as the new Senate Republican Whip and Senator Jake Chapman was elected as a new Assistant Majority Leader.
A Special Election for Senator Dix’s seat is likely to be set for April 10.
Revenue Estimating Conference increases estimates
As expected, the meeting of the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference resulted in revised revenue estimates for the current fiscal year (FY18) and for the next fiscal year (FY19).
For FY18, it appears the additional revenue is NOT enough to alleviate the need for some form of cuts in the current budget in order to ensure compliance with Iowa’s spending limit law (but it likely means the size of the needed cut has been reduced significantly). Expect the Legislature to address this issue next week.
For FY19, state law does NOT allow the Legislature to use the March estimate if it is HIGHER than the December estimate (which it is) for spending purposes—law requires the use of the LOWER of the two estimates. This means the additional revenue forecasted for FY19 will either be allowed to carry over into the state’s reserve accounts OR it will be used for the tax reductions that are being considered by the Governor, House, and Senate.
Candidate Filing Deadline is Tomorrow
The window for filing nomination papers to be on the ballot for the June Primary Election closes at 5:00 pm tomorrow (March 16). This will be the first official look at the relative strength and depth of party efforts to fill the ballot with quality candidates. Governor Kim Reynolds filed more than 10,000 signatures (with signatures from all 99 counties) when she and her family dropped her nomination petitions off at the Secretary of State’s office, yesterday.
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa: