Senate Republicans offer two constitutional amendments

UntitledBy Bob Eschliman


The Iowa Senate Republican Caucus – all 24 members – have offered two amendments to the Iowa Constitution this week.

The first, Senate Joint Resolution 10, proposes an amendment within a new Article XIII to the Constitution of the State of Iowa that relates to state budgets and revenue. It would create a General Fund expenditure limitation of the lesser of 99 percent of the adjusted revenue estimate for the General Fund for the following fiscal year or 104 percent of the net revenue estimate for the General Fund for the current fiscal year.

If approved, the expenditure limitation would be used by the governor in preparation of the budget and by the General Assembly in the budget process. The governor would also be prohibited from approving or disapproving of appropriations in a manner that would cause the final budget to exceed the expenditure limitation.

Under the proposed amendment, any new revenue source established and implemented would be subject to a cap of 95 percent of projected revenue being included in the revenue estimates used to calculate the expenditure limitation.

The second of the proposed amendments, Senate Joint Resolution 11, ironically enough, relates to Second Amendment rights in Iowa. If approved, it would establish “constitutional carry” in Iowa.

The proposed amendment would state: “The right of an individual to acquire, keep, possess, transport, carry, transfer, and use arms to defend life and liberty and for all other legitimate purposes is fundamental and shall not be infringed upon or denied. Mandatory licensing, registration, or special taxation as a condition of the exercise of this right is prohibited, and any other restriction shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

Constitutional amendments must be approved by two consecutive general assemblies before they are placed on a general election ballot for the voters to decide on ratification. SJR 10 and SJR 11 each require only two more votes in the Democrat-controlled Senate to move to the Republican-controlled House.