Senate Democrats Retain Seat in Special Election
A special election to replace retired Democrat Senator Jeff Danielson was held on Tuesday of this week and was held by the Democrat minority. Eric Giddens easily bested former State Representative Walt Rodgers by a 57-42 margin to keep the seat in Democrat hands. Senator-elect Giddens will likely be sworn in this coming Monday and will immediately begin his service and assume all the committee positions previously held by Danielson. Republicans maintain a 32-18 majority.
Second Funnel in Two Weeks
The second legislative funnel arrives in two weeks. Policy bills that fail to pass one Chamber and a standing committee in another are no longer eligible after April 5.
Revenue Estimate Slightly Lower
Last Friday the state’s Revenue Estimating Conference met and lowered the projected revenue increase for next fiscal year by $20 million. The amount is small enough that it will NOT require the Governor to submit a new budget and it will not likely change budget targets in the Iowa House and Senate. FY20 revenue is expected to reach about $7.84 billion, but the Governor, House, and Senate have all set their respective spending targets for next fiscal year in the $7.6 billion range (nearly $200 million less than revenue).
With the final revenue adjustment now in the books, expect to see floor debate on the various appropriations bills beginning within the next two weeks.
Private Generation of Solar Energy
This week the Iowa Senate debated and passed legislation proposed by MidAmerican Energy to require those who have installed solar to privately generate electricity in their home / business to pay their share of costs for electric utility infrastructure, thereby eliminating cross-subsidization. The Solar energy lobby is trying to derail the legislation and has successfully engaged the Iowa Pork Producers in opposition (as solar panels have become a favored energy source for animal agricultural operations).
SF 583 passed the Senate on a 28-19 vote. Iowa House passage is NOT certain.
View the Legislative Bill Tracker.