4 Things to Know Going into the Week at the Statehouse

Mar 27, 2017

Lawmakers begin another week at the Iowa statehouse this week.

An amended Voter ID Bill looks likely to pass. The bill which would require voters to show identification at the polls, as well as some other election changes has passed the legislature in one form. One change the Senate made was to narrow the window for early voting from the current 40 days to 29 days. “Democrats don’t like that,” Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell says. “One change was bipartisan, the bill will allow 17 year olds to vote in a primary if they will be 18 by the general election.” But it’s still a very partisan bill.

House leaders want to cap the minimum wage and Senate will likely go along with plan. “I think passage is pretty well-assured,” Russell says. It now awaits a vote in the full Senate.

Bill to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works is stalling.  The bill to dismantle the Des Moines Water Works was on the House debate calendar all week last week. “Leaders say Republicans have not reached consensus on the bill,” Russell says.  Critics said all along the bill was designed to punish the Des Moines Water Works for its lawsuit against three northwestern Iowa counties over nitrate pollution that ends up in Des Moines. That lawsuit died a natural death without this bill. House Majority leader Chris Hagenow, who represents the Des Moines suburb of Windsor Heights, last week said that ideas has merit and the bill was  never about the lawsuit.

The budget looms. “We're expecting Republicans to announce this week their budget targets,” Russell says. “House estimates so far are very constrained and leaders said there will have to be cuts in  next year’s budget below what agencies had  to  spend this year.”