The Legislature is continuing work on the state budget and tax reform.
Most of the major policy bills have been dealt with, although a couple controversial pieces of legislation are still alive, and they could somehow appear on a budget bill. I hope that does not happen.
I have always believed that policy bills which have not moved all the way through the process should not be used to hold budget bills hostage at the end of the session.
I have seen this happen in other sessions, and the outcome is usually not good. This type of action extends the length of the session and creates unnecessary friction among lawmakers.
We are already going into overtime, so we do not need to tack on a couple more weeks to this session. It is time to go home and plant corn, or scoop snow the way things are going.
The House and Senate are making good progress in negotiations regarding the budget and tax reform. The Governor put down the hammer this week and said it is time to get something finished.
My hunch is that if there is not an agreement soon, she may be willing to simply walk away from the whole situation. I know tax reform is a priority for her, so she does not want to “bail out,” but I believe she is becoming frustrated with the way things have been going.
I believe we will have an agreement very soon.
Budget work continues. The House Appropriations Committee passed five budget bills on Tuesday, and they are now ready for floor debate next week.
The Senate has not moved any budget bills yet. If they don’t get cracking on this soon, the House will just go ahead and pass their share of the budget bills too.
We are ready to go. Our budget chairs have been here at the Capital working on all of the budget bills while the Senators’ parking spaces are empty a lot of the time, meaning they are home when there is work to do.
All sides need to be here, working together.
You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or my home is 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. My home address is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, Iowa 51005.
If you have email, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.