Dozens of subcommittees occupy a lot of space and time at the Capitol at this point during the session. These three panel members are a more informal discussion about a bill to determine what needs to be modified, removed or added. Often members of the public offer their input during these meetings.
In this program we visit the senate lounge, where two subcommittee meetings are happening a few feet from each other. We focus on the State Government subcommittee’s discussion about a bill that would allow Iowans to bring alcohol back from another state.
Current law states it is a serious misdemeanor to bring any beer or wine into the state. It only allows for one bottle of liquor. This bill will ease alcohol restrictions, allowing up to 48 cans of beer, six bottles of wine, and six of liquor. The bill passes, but the amount of alcohol may change before it is brought before a committee.
A house subcommittee takes up a bill about the enforcement of immigration laws with language it will eliminate funding to regions considered “sanctuary cities.” This bill passed in the senate last year, but now has to go through the house process before debate in that chamber. Guests pack the room and the chair allows people to speak for two minutes each, including three police chiefs.
Traffic enforcement cameras have been controversial since they arrived in Iowa earlier this decade. A bill outlawing them passes the senate judiciary committee. Republican support it but Democrats oppose. So does law enforcement. An excerpt from our talk show River to River features a Des Moines sergeant talking with legislators about their different perspective on this bill.