Week 17 was more of the same. The second full week of overtime, this week came and went without an agreement on the Education Savings Accounts (ESA) issue which continues to drive the delayed adjournment. It remains unclear when the legislature will adjourn sine die (final adjournment). We are a month away from the June primary.
There was very little action at the Capitol this week outside of the chambers gaveling in and out as required by Constitution/rule. The Senate did come in on Monday and cleared eight bills off its calendar; six of those bills are being sent to the Governor and the other two are returning to the House.
The Senate approved HF 2127, the bill allows a childcare provider to collect the difference between the amount of state assistance and the amount the provider normally charges from a family in the childcare assistance program. HF 2127 passed in the House in Week 8; it now goes to the Governor for her signature. This is another priority bill aimed at addressing the childcare crisis in Iowa. This is the second Childcare reform bill sent to the Governor in the last two weeks (see HF2198).
|Childcare Reimbursements To Governor||HF 2127 Passed House 61-37 (3/02), Message from House, Read first time, referred to Human Resources (3/03); Subcommittee recommends passage (3/09); Placed on calendar under unfinished business (3/24); Passed Senate 29-16 (5/02); Message from Senate|
Major Priorities Awaiting Action
The legislature sent these four major priority bills down to the Governor last week. They continue to await the Governor’s signature.
|Renewable Fuels to Governor||HF2128 Passed House 82-10 (2/2); Messaged to Senate; Referred to Agriculture, committee report recommending passage (2/9); Referred to Ways and Means, subcommittee assigned (2/16). Committee report recommending amendment and passage (4/25). Amended and Passed Senate 42-3 (4/26); Messaged to House. House concurred in Senate Amendment and Passed Housed 81-13 (4/26). Message from House.|
|Governor’s Workforce Bill to Governor||SF2383 Passed Senate 48-0 (4/4); Messaged to Senate; Read for the first time and passed on file. Passed House 70-24 (4/26); Message from the House.|
|Unemployment Reform to Governor||HF2355 Passed House 58-37 (3/23); Message to Senate. Substituted for SF2131. Amended and Passed Senate 30-20 (3/23); Messaged to House. House refused to concur in Senate Amendment (4/26); Messaged to Senate. Senate receded (4/26). Passed Senate 30-14 (4/26). Message from Senate.|
|Childcare Reform to Governor||HF2198 Passed House 55-43 (3/2); Message to Senate. Substituted for SF2131. Amended and Passed Senate 30-18 (4/18); Messaged to House. House concurred in Senate Amendment (4/26); Passed House 52-42 (4/26). Message from House.|
By the Numbers
As of this week, there have been 1,361 bills introduced in 2022; of those, 61 have been signed by the Governor. The Governor signed 26 bills into law on Monday of this week. Find a full list of bills enrolled/signed by the Governor below.
As we welcome May, we also welcome prime planting season. And the ground is ready (when it is not raining!). According to the Iowa State University Iowa Environmental Moisture Network, soil temperatures across the state have broached the 50s, except for the most northern tier of Iowa counties, which should follow suit soon. As it dries out, there will be several farmer legislators eager to get out into their fields to begin planting corn and soybeans.
Overturning Roe v. Wade
A preliminary draft regarding the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade leaked early last week. The final opinion isn’t expected until summer, though Iowa legislative leaders have spoken in response. Governor Reynolds released the following tweet:
“As we await the Supreme Court’s final ruling, our mission remains as clear as it has ever been. We are fighting to defend the most important freedom there is: the right to life.”
Responses from the Democrats:
Senator Zach Wahls:
“There’s no decision more life-changing than the choice to bring a child into the world. It’s one of the most sacred, irrevocable, and private choices we get to make in life. For that reason, the freedom to make this choice should rest solely with a pregnant person and their family, in consultation with their doctor. The government has no business making that decision for Iowans. This morning, abortion is still legal In Iowa. However, without Roe, the freedom to choose is in grave danger. Governor Reynolds and Republican politicians are hellbent on removing the freedom to choose from Iowa’s constitution. A strong majority of Iowans support safe and legal abortion. We cannot go back; Iowa Republican politicians are out of touch with Iowa values. Iowa Democrats will always fight for the rights and freedoms of all Iowans – including the right to choose.”
Representative Jennifer Konfrst:
“I am angry. I am scared. And I’m ready to fight back. Everyone deserves the right to make their own health care decisions, especially when it comes to reproductive health care. These decisions do not belong in the hands of politicians. Iowans support reproductive freedom and access to legal and safe abortion. We will continue fighting every day to ensure every family in Iowa has access to safe, legal abortions.”
With no deal reached on Education Savings Accounts (ESA), next week will be similar to this week and the weeks prior. It is unlikely that leadership will call membership back to the Capitol until they have reached a final deal. Once negotiations are complete on the ESA, the legislature can then finalize the fiscal year 2023 budget and adjourn sine die. It is uncertain when that will be; this stalemate may force leadership to work through May and potentially into June and the June primary.
Bills signed by Governor