Week 15 Legislative Update

The 2022 Iowa Legislative Session

Week of April 18th, 2022

This Week in the Iowa Legislature

Tuesday, April 19th marked the 100th and final scheduled day of the 2022 Legislative Session, but there is still much work to be done. Lawmakers’ per diem (the payments for their lodging, gas, and other expenses) expired as of Tuesday. This would usually jump start legislative action to reach final adjournment, but this year is much different. The word around the Capitol continues to be the distance between House and Senate Leaders and the Governor on the proposed school choice package is holding up any movement on the state budget or other policy priorities. It is estimated the House is short 10 or more votes on the Governor’s school choice bill, but she and the Senate are willing to wait. And wait is what all the Capitol onlookers continue to do.

The Senate worked a couple of days this week moving about a dozen bills off the Senate floor, approved several Governor appointees, and continued recognizing retiring Senators and Senate pages. On the House side, there was no activity as they have passed their main priorities and their version of all the budget bills except the final standings bill over to the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Whitver indicated the school choice bill, unemployment, and biofuels, along with other Governor priority issues, still need to be resolved before adjournment is possible. It is unclear if the House will be back next week as a final deal between the two chambers seems to be out of reach at this time. Only time will tell.

 

Mobile Home Tenant Bill Sent to the Governor

There was movement on one longtime policy debate in the legislature this week. On Tuesday the Senate passed the House version of a bill adding some protections for mobile home park tenants against rent hikes. HF 2562 passed the House with bipartisan support but along party lines in the Senate. The bill requires mobile home park landlords and owners to give additional notice of upcoming rent and utility increases and evictions. It also increases protections and requirements for owners to provide essential services like running water. Mobile home tenant advocates and many Democrats argued the bill does not go far enough and continues to tip the scales toward landlords and owners over tenants. Representative Brian Lohse, who ran the bill in the House, said he agreed the bill did not go far enough, but this is the bill they could get done. Senator Sinclair argued the bill struck a balance between tenants and owners. The bill now heads to the Governor for her signature, but this discussion will likely continue in future legislative sessions.

 

Budget Process

Another week passed by with no action on the FY23 budget. As negotiations continue, we understand the House and Senate are $80 million apart on budget issues and it’s all tied to their ability to resolve the final policy priorities mentioned above. We expect the Senate to move budget bills quickly when a final legislative deal is announced.

Below is the updated chart outlining each individual budget bill, its number, and where it is in the overall process. This chart will be updated each week until the legislature adjourns.

Bill Number Department Status House Target
HF 2565 Admin & Reg Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/29  $50.2 million
HF 2560 Ag & Natural Resources Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/29 $54.1 million
HF 2564 Economic Development Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/29  $49.4 million
HF 2575 Education Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/31 $1 billion
HF 2578 Health & Human Services Assigned SENATE subcommittee 4/12 $2.1 billion
HF 2558 Judicial Branch Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/24 $200.6 million
HF 2559 Justice Systems Assigned SENATE subcommittee 3/24 $633.8 million
HF 2579 Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF/TIC) Assigned SENATE subcommittee 4/12 $171.7 million
HF 2557 Transportation Passed SENATE committee 4/13 $416.1 million
N/A Standings N/A  

 

Looking Ahead

We continue to hear House leaders will not call their rank-and-file members back to the Capitol until a final deal is reached with the Senate and Governor on policy bills and the state budget. The Senate is likely coming in on Monday, but it is unclear if they will continue debating policy bills or start moving budget bills through the committee process. We will continue to keep you posted on bills of interest as we await the final deal to start the last push toward adjournment.