Skip to content

Inside the Iowa House: Overtime (April 29, 2023)

The 2023 Iowa Legislature officially hit overtime this week. The scheduled adjournment date was April 28, but there still hasn’t been much progress on the state budget.While I haven’t been in the Iowa House very long, I’ve seen enough of these shutdowns to recognize not a lot of good gets done in the waning days of session.  Too often, the motivation to just get done means politics and the special interests take the front seat while common sense and doing what’s best for Iowans get stuck in the back.I see a way forward to avoid that again this year, but it’s going to take coming together to do what’s best for folks in Iowa, not the special interests and lobbyists in Des Moines. It’s also going to take some leadership from the Governor to have honest conversations with those who might disagree with her, instead of just making demands.Here’s a roadmap to get it done if everyone can just put the politics aside in the last few days of session.There’s wide agreement that we need to lower costs for Iowans. While we can’t control what happens in DC, we can take action here in Iowa to address the fact that wages haven’t kept up with the rising costs of healthcare, childcare, and utility bills. There are several areas where we can find some common ground in the last few days of session to put more money in the pockets of Iowans. The list includes affordable childcare, lowering prescription drug costs, and freezing tuition at state universities and community colleges with a reasonable state investment.If all the internal politics are put aside (and this isn’t Democrats vs. Republicans), there’s also a way to lower property for Iowans who need it the most. The House and Senate have both found broad bi-partisan consensus to prevent huge property tax increases in the years ahead but the approaches between the two chambers are very different. There’s still time for leaders in the House and Senate to negotiate a bill that’s best for Iowans. To get things done that will improve the lives of Iowans, the controversial bills – including guns in schools and putting 14 year-olds to work in hazardous jobs – will need to be put aside for the year. If we can put people over politics during overtime next week, it’ll be a big win for Iowans.

Leave a Comment