Friday, January 18, 2013

From Cal Hultman, IAAE Lobbyist

The first week of this General Assembly is history. The legislators were sworn in Monday, and committees and seat assignments were made. Out of the 100 in the House only 49 have 2 years or more in the legislature and 20 out of 50 in the Senate have 2 years or less in that body. This is a direct result of reapportionment. This also shows why Iowa has never passed term limits.

Tuesday the Governor presented his condition of the state and budget message. His main priorities are tax relief and K-12 education reform. He has modified proposals from last year and the general mood of the Legislature is more receptive than last year. The 2-year budget still has the Democrats concerned, but the last 2 years were not that disastrous. The Governor’s speech brought out some loud protesters for the day. It’s difficult to see any effect they have on the process with that behavior.

Wednesday the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court gave his address on the state of the Judiciary. The controversy that surrounded the courts during the last 4 years seems to have subsided. No protesters were in evidence the day of the speech.

Organizing committees and setting the more routine of meeting schedules occupied the balance of time this week. Next week we can expect more committee activity and the start of the appropriations process.

If you have questions to the IAAE lobbyist, contact David Law.

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