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Legislative Branch Update
The General Assembly returns Wednesday, June 3, to resume the 2020 legislative session. When they reconvene, the House and Senate will amend joint rules to accommodate the unprecedented second half of the 2020 session. Per protocol issued by Speaker Grassley and Majority Leader Whitver:
- House and Senate members will be in the Capitol for committee meetings and floor debate
- Masks, face shields, and hand sanitizer will be available
- Health screenings will take place at the entrance of the Capitol
- Subcommittee/committee meetings will take place in the chambers, members of the public can speak on a bill in the gallery; they are strongly encouraged to submit written comments
- Committee rooms are reserved for legislative business only
- No clerks, interns, pages, or doorkeepers
- Joint budget subcommittees will not meet; budget bills will go through each Appropriations committee
It is expected that the legislature will complete the second funnel on June 5, meaning all committee work will be completed June 3-5. The week of June 8, all lawmakers are expected to be in Des Moines for floor debate to complete work on the FY2021 budget. The legislature intends to adjourn sine die for 2020 on Friday, June 12.
Revenue Estimating Conference
Governor Reynolds, Speaker Grassley, and Majority Leader Whitver requested the REC convene a meeting prior to Legislature reconvening. The REC met Friday, May 29, via video conference to review the March REC numbers. The REC estimate from this meeting will be used as a data point for the Legislature to use in the creation of the FY2021 budget.
Reduction of March REC estimate by $150 million for FY20—$7.941.2 billion
Difference between FY19 and FY20—$82.4 million increase (1% increase)
Reduction of March REC estimate by $64.6 million for FY21—$7.876.6 billion
Difference between FY20 and FY21— $64.6 million decrease (-0.8% decrease)
Executive Branch Update
On Tuesday, May 26, the Governor issued her fourteenth State of Public Health Disaster Emergency Declaration. The declaration provides further measures for reopening the state of Iowa, including permitting bars, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and social/fraternal clubs to reopen statewide on May 28. Additionally, the proclamation permits the reopening of additional establishments, including outdoor performance venues, casinos, bowling alleys, amusement parks, skate rinks/parks, and outdoor playgrounds on Monday, June 1.
Social, community, recreational, leisure, and sports gatherings, and events of more than 10 people are permitted if public health measures are implemented.
Additionally, the majority of the regulatory relief that was provided in previous Public Health Disaster Emergency Declarations has been extended to June 25.
The Executive moratorium on evictions and foreclosures lapsed on May 27. Governor Reynolds allocated federal CARES Act funds to assist Iowans who have been economically impacted by COVID-19 and may be facing housing hardships.
On May 28, the IEDA/IFA announced an Eviction and Foreclosure Prevention Program to provide short-term relief to income-eligible renters and homeowners. Available assistance includes up to two months of rental assistance and up to two months of mortgage payment assistance; eligibility and a pre-application screening are available on the IFA website.
A summary of the May 26 proclamation can be found here.