Iowa Legislative Update: Week Six
posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 in Government Affairs
Update provided by Iowa Chamber Alliance (ICA)
February 18th was the final date for Senate bills to be passed out of a Senate committee and House bills to be passed out of a House committee. Any bills that did not make it out of committee, excluding Appropriation and Ways and Means bills, are no longer eligible for consideration. This deadline, referred to as the first funnel, prioritizes legislative actions for the remainder of the session.
The Governor’s workforce proposals related to unemployment insurance, tort reform, and building codes survived the first funnel in both chambers.
On Monday, an elections reform bill was introduced in both the House and Senate. House Study Bill 719 and Senate Study Bill 3143 reforms election laws by removing the local newspaper public notice requirement for precinct caucuses, requires Iowans returning mail-in ballots and voting early in-person to include their voter PIN or driver’s license number on the return envelope, and prohibits private donations to help run elections. The bill also reforms the recount process. Both bills passed their respective subcommittee and committee meetings, surviving the first funnel deadline.
In addition to committee work, both the House and Senate debated bills on the floor this week. On Monday, the Senate passed House File 2316, a bill relating to supplemental state aid and establishing a state percent of growth of 2.5%. The Senate passed the proposals with a 31-17 party line vote, and the Governor signed the bill into law Thursday evening. The House debated House File 2317 on Wednesday. HF 2317 is the House’s tax proposal that lowers individual income tax to a flat 4% and eliminates retirement income taxes.
House Republicans revealed their budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2023 on Thursday. The plan proposes an overall state budget of $8.1249 billion, an increase of 1.83% from Fiscal Year 2022. The funding breakdown amongst the various budgets is:
Governor Reynolds’ began to introduce her budget bills this week as well. The Revenue Estimating Conference will meet on March 10th to provide the legislature with the most recent FY23 estimates. Negotiations on the budget will increase following the March REC meeting as leadership works to finalize the budget and adjourn for the year.
Next week, both chambers are expected to increase floor debate. The next legislative deadline is March 18th, when bills will have to pass out of their originating chamber and committee in the opposite chamber to remain eligible. Appropriations and Ways and Means bills remain exempt from the second funnel.