The 2020 Iowa Legislative Session
Week of January 27, 2020
This week in the Iowa Legislature
As usual, the third week of session didn’t disappoint. Subcommittees considered bills at a fast pace in both chambers, filling their respective lounges and meeting rooms with lobbyists, legislators, staff and media. With over 200 bills and a handful of resolutions introduced this week alone, committees met to assign those bills and they moved a handful of bills out, but much of the days were filled with subcommittee work. Budget subcommittees have also been meeting, and many had their usual guests to give presentations on budget items.
Probably the most significant bills that came out this week were the school funding plans. Bills were introduced and subcommittees concluded on both bills before legislator’s left for the extended weekend. The House introduced HSB 587, State School Aid, on Wednesday. It increases state education spending by 2.5% ($100M). This is a little less than the Governor’s proposal of $103M+ in new funding. The Senate’s proposal is even less as they proposed a 2.1% increase outlined in SSB 3096. Senate Republicans are a little more specific in their proposal on how they allocate the increases, providing an additional $90M+, with $75.7M for supplemental state aid, $7.7M for transportation inequity, $5.8M for per pupil inequity, and $2.5M to address violent student behavior. The Education Committee chairs will do their work and come to a compromise and settle on a final number in the next few weeks.
By the end of the week all things shifted to the caucuses as the Republicans prepared for the arrival of President Trump for his Rally on Thursday in Des Moines and the Democrats headed home to rally their troops for Monday’s anticipated event.
With the Caucuses on Monday evening, the legislature will have another short week this session when the Legislature gavels in at 10 am on Tuesday. As we start the fourth official week on the legislature, we expect to see a similar level of activity with subcommittees meeting throughout, but committee increasing as bills start to move through that process. The session has been unusually busy this early in session, but note we are only three short weeks from the first funnel deadline. We do not anticipate any floor action this week.
As many groups noticed this week with the quickened pace we have been experiencing, we want to remind you that there is no longer a rule in the Senate requiring subcommittee notices to be posted 24 hours before the meeting begins. This means that we will not always be able to give 24-hours notice of a subcommittee meeting.
Dates to Note
- January 24: Final day for individual bill requests
- February 3: Iowa Caucuses, no session
- February 21: First funnel deadline (6th week)
- March 20: Second funnel deadline (10th week)
- April 21: 100th calendar day of the session; legislators’ per diem expires