GOP: Capitol Update – Week 6 (February 18)

February 19, 2016


Our work at the Capitol has moved past the first legislative funnel, which is a major milestone in the session timeline. With the exception of Ways and Means, Appropriations, and Government Oversight bills (and a few other exceptions)—all House bills had to be passed out of committee to remain eligible to continue in the process.

This year, funnel week looked quite different for me in my new role as Majority Leader. In previous years, I would hold multiple subcommittees and participate in committee work to further develop ideas prior to the deadline. This year, my week was spent meeting with members, advocates, and constituents in preparation for the next few weeks of debating bills on the House floor.

Since before session began, our caucus has been working hard to advance policies that will grow our state’s economy, reduce regulation, and create jobs. For example, there is a Biochemical Tax Credit bill that will incentivize production of renewable chemical products and help establish Iowa as a leader in the industry. This will bring new high-paying job opportunities to Iowans. Another promising bill provides a statewide framework for the operation of transportation network companies such as Uber, to make it easier for them to locate and expand in the state. Last year, I worked extensively on a similar bill.

I am also proud of the work done so far in advancing legislation aimed to protect Iowa families. Examples include efforts to combat human trafficking, increased penalties for identify theft, banning synthetic drugs, and protecting victims of domestic abuse. In addition, we also have considered a series of modest bills to protect Iowans’ second amendment rights.

The next funnel week is three weeks away. The second funnel is the deadline for Senate bills to pass out of House committees and House bills out of Senate committees. To accomplish this, the House and Senate will be doing considerable floor debate over the next two weeks so bills can be sent over to the other chamber and undergo the second round of committee work.

We continue to press for resolution on other key items such as K-12 school aid and coupling Iowa with recent changes to the federal tax code.  Once those issues are resolved we can make progress on building the overall state budget. Despite our differences, there continues to be successful bipartisan work on most of these other pieces of legislation.


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