by CBI Lobbyist Jeff Boeyink - Partner, LS2 Group
Overview / Major Events
Week 7 began with less than two weeks on the calendar until the first legislative funnel deadline is reached. While the funnel date is actually Friday, March 3, with the House and Senate normally completing their weekly business by COB Thursday, the functional funnel is Thursday, March 2.
In order for a piece of policy legislation to remain eligible for further consideration during the 2017 Session it needs to have cleared its committee of origin in at least one chamber. And, with much of the prior two weeks consumed with the collective bargaining debate and massive numbers of subcommittees and committees canceled in its wake, this week was a chaotic rush to keep legislation alive through hundreds of subcommittee meetings and dozens of committee meetings (that continue as of this writing).
Governor Branstad signs Collective Bargaining Reform
One day after it cleared the House and Senate, Governor Branstad on Friday signed the collective bargaining reform legislation at a “private” ceremony in his office. The “private” is put in quotes due to the actions of one lobbyist who saw fit to tweet out a picture of himself with the Governor at the bill signing. Needless to say, the presence of a lobbyist at the event sparked additional outrage on the House and Senate floor earlier this week.
Legislation Moving Forward this Week
An enormous number of bills moved forward this week (either in subcommittee, full committee, or both). A more comprehensive list will be forthcoming after the funnel has arrived and we know what survives and what dies. But, here is a list of some of the more controversial pieces that moved this week:
Workers Compensation Reform Coming Next Week
The long-awaited rewrite of Iowa’s workers’ compensation laws WILL be unveiled on Monday of next week. Expect a fast track process to move it from subcommittee through full committee (in both chambers) next week. Then, expect the House and Senate to once again coordinate efforts to move the legislation through the General Assembly by March 9 (as with collective bargaining, this will be a heavy lift and will get more difficult the longer it remains unresolved).
Efforts on Behalf of Community Bankers of Iowa