Thursday, April 11, 2013

In the Iowa Legislature

This  was the week that the log jams started to be addressed. This was particularly true in the conference committee on education reform.  Wednesday the House made an offer to go to 2% allowable growth plus another 2% increases the first year and 4% allowable growth the second year and use the House passed version of reform. This gives the Senate democrats the funding level it wants and the House GOP the reforms they want. It seems a fair compromise and both sides will have to swallow hard and should accept it. Should the Senate not accept and insist on changes then the funding level no doubt go down or back to 0 for the next two years  We can expect some responses early next week.

You may see the differences in the senate and house versions at

Thursday, April 4, 2013

News from the Iowa Legislature on the Education Bill

From our Lobbyist Cal Hultman:

This week there was a lot of activity on the education reform bill.  The leadership of both chambers and the Gov. office  decided to move ahead with HF 215.  The Senate went to subcommittee on the bill Tuesday morning  and moved it to full committee later that day and there they amended the Senate passed version onto the House bill with a strike all amendment. This went to the full Senate for debate on Wednesday  where the amendment was adopted on party line vote  and the bill was then passed on a party line vote and sent back to the House. They will not concur and send it back to the Senate where they will not recede and then it will go to conference committee. 

The conference committee is made up of 5 from each house with 3 majority and 2 minority each. These are closed conference committees which means all they can discuss are the difference between the two bills and not introduce any new issues that have not been passed by either house in this bill. By rule they have to meet within 24 hours of appointment and begin to work. 

There is no time limit for completion  and I assume they will work hard at it next week and come to resolution in the next two to three weeks.Once the differences are discerned I will try to get them out to you if they are available.