Week 4 Legislative Update

Legislative Update

The 2020 Iowa Legislative Session


Week of February 3, 2020


This week in the Iowa Legislature

Despite a short week and lots of talk about the Caucus results, the legislature continued with this unusual hurried pace they have been running at since the first week of session.  Subcommittees continued to meet in earnest while Committee work picked up in both chambers to move those bills along giving each chamber bills to pass on the floor. On Thursday morning the Senate constituted the Session approving four bills. Senator Costello managed the first bill of the 2020 session, SF 2144 SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS.  The bill makes two FY 2020 supplemental appropriations, with one of $20 million to Homeland Security/Emergency Management for flood recovery in Western Iowa and one of $333,000 to the DHS for Glenwood to deal with some of the problems created by inappropriate scientific studies at Glenwood.

 In addition to this, both chambers continued to work on passing State School Aid through their committee processes as they negotiate the final increase for schools in the FY21 budget and all other policy pieces they are considering within this bill.  Subcommittee work also started on the Governor’s Future Ready Iowa bill this week. It passed subcommittee and is scheduled to pass through the House Commerce Committee on Monday afternoon.

As we are nearly a month away from the filing deadline (March 13) for State and Federal offices for the November election, legislators looking to retire are beginning to announce their intensions. This week, Senator Jerry Behn, R from Boone announced his intentions to retire after 24 years of service. His son, Chad Behn has announced his intentions to run for the Republican nomination. He is currently a Boone County Supervisor and farmer.


Looking Ahead

Unlike last week, the Legislature has a full four days of work ahead.  Expect little floor action, (the Senate is scheduled to debate school on Monday) or anything in the Ways & Means or Appropriations Committees.  Budget subcommittees are only scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. The race is on and there are two weeks to go before the first funnel deadline. The mornings will be flooded with subcommittee hearings and the afternoons will see full committees considering bills and voting them out.

We are expecting Education spending to get ironed out between the two chambers as they have a self-imposed deadline in Feb. to set the school aid increase.

Just a friendly reminder the closer we get to funnel week, the less advance notice you will have for subcommittee meetings. 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

  • 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