Analysis: Few proposed bills become law

I'm Just a BillBy The Iowa Statesman


Question: What percentage of individual bills introduced so far this legislative session in the Iowa General Assembly have been signed into law?

The answer is coming, but first, a little explanation.

Anyone who has ever been involved in the process to turn an idea into a law, a la “School House Rock,” knows how very difficult it can be. In the Iowa state legislature, where every bill – except resolutions – must first come out of a committee to be considered by the entire chamber, that’s especially true.

So far this session, 1,584 bills have been introduced, of which 386 are “successor bills” – also known as “committee bills” – which are bills that have successfully moved out of committee to be considered by their respective chambers.

Fewer than two dozen of the remaining bills are repetitive, leaving about 1,175 individual pieces of proposed legislation in just 42 days (an average of 28 pieces of new legislation every day). Of those roughly 1,175 pieces of legislation, however, only 8 have been adopted by both chambers and signed into law by Gov. Branstad.

That’s 0.7 percent of the bills introduced so far this session.


To learn more about the bills proposed each week in the General Assembly, check out our weekly “Bill Watch” articles, posted every Wednesday morning.