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Iowa Politics Roundup: Legislature Moves Into Shutdown Mode PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 05 March 2010 14:55

With hundreds of bills dying this week in the Iowa legislature's self-imposed second "funnel deadline," lawmakers will now move into shutdown mode with the goal of adjourning in three weeks after an 80-day session.

"Several hundred bills are dying today," House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Des Moines) said Thursday. "Next week, the legislative leaders will meet and start to map out shutdown strategy."

Lawmakers in both the House and Senate will work on floor debate in the week ahead, finishing up policy bills in the next week and a half before diving into budget bills.

 
Iowa Politics Roundup: Labor Bills Could Fall Victim to Legislative “Funnel” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 26 February 2010 15:05

Controversial bills backed by labor unions and opposed by Iowa's business community are at risk of not surviving the legislature's self-imposed "funnel" deadline next week -- a situation exacerbated by the sudden retirement of one Democratic lawmaker.

"We're still working to find consensus on those issues," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Des Moines). "There are negotiations that are occurring. If there are requisite votes for passage, then that will move forward. But right now, particularly in the wake of one of our members' serious illness ... that's more challenging."

 
Iowa Politics Roundup: Gambling Bill Could Generate $80 Million for State PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 19 February 2010 15:54

A gambling bill that Iowa House leaders are pushing quickly to the floor could generate roughly $80 million in revenue for the state, a key legislator said Thursday.

About $70 million of that will likely be contained in an amendment allowing Iowans to play in live poker tournaments online, something state Representative Brian Quirk said an estimated 80,000 in the state already do illegally.

Quirk (D-New Hampton) said he wants to create a safe, regulated environment for those players, many of which are currently using offshore gambling Web sites that offer little protection to users.

 
Iowa Politics Roundup: State Auditor Sees Flaws in Culver’s Budget PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 12 February 2010 14:06

Governor Chet Culver's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2011 exceeds the state's 99-percent spending limitation and fails to address roughly $400 million in state costs, State Auditor David Vaudt said this week.

"He's actually spending $25 million more than the expenditure limitation, rather than the $61 million under the spending limitation that he presents in his budget document," said Vaudt, a Republican. "The governor's budget numbers just don't add up."

Culver defended his proposed budget, maintaining that it's balanced and spends less in his fourth year in office than when he began his term as governor in 2007.

 
Iowa Politics Roundup: Culver Signs Union-Friendly Executive Order PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Iowa Politics
Written by Lynn Campbell   
Friday, 05 February 2010 15:48

Governor Chet Culver received a standing ovation at the Iowa State Building & Construction Trades Council convention and shook the hand of almost everyone in the room after signing an executive order that presumes state agencies will use project labor agreements (PLAs) whenever possible.

"It adds stability and structure to a job site that could be chaotic," said Bill Gerhard, president of the Iowa State Building & Construction Trades Council.

"There's a thousand people working big jobs, 17 different unions, all have different work rules, all have contracts that expire at different times," Gerhard said. "It sort of ensures that there's going to be some stability that people, if they go on strike on their contract, they'll keep working on the project. ... The state should have this tool in their toolbox to use."

 
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