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End in sight: Final budget nears completion

Iowa Senate OpeningBy The Iowa Statesman

 

The word in the Iowa Statehouse going into the legislative workday on Thursday was “this was it,” the last day of the 2015 legislative session. But as the hands on the clock inched around and around, it was clear that while progress was being made, there was going to be a need for at least one more day of overtime.

The House and Senate each convened shortly after 10 a.m. But the first pitfall occurred shortly after 2 p.m. when House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) announced the first conference committee considering the transportation omnibus bill had dissolved without reaching a consensus bill.

A second conference committee was assigned by the leadership of both chambers, and resumed work toward a compromise bill at 4:30 p.m. In the meantime, legislators continued to work through another long day and night of closed-door conference committee meetings, caucuses, and floor debate.

As a result, the following bills were passed:

  • House File 659 – the administration and regulation appropriations bill, adopted on a 55-33 vote in the House; and a 26-24 vote in the Senate.
  • Senate File 499 – the economic development appropriations bill, adopted on an 83-8 vote in the House; and a 27-23 vote in the Senate.
  • House File 632 – the Insurance Division omnibus bill, with an amendment, adopted on an 89-0 vote in the House.
  • Senate File 494 – the Department of Natural Resources and agriculture appropriations bill, adopted on a 92-0 vote in the House; and a 45-5 vote in the Senate.
  • House File 661 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to probate and estate matters, adopted on a 93-0 vote in the House; and a 50-0 vote in the Senate.
  • House File 655 – an act to amend Iowa Code as it relates to the rules for locating wireless communications facilities, adopted on an 82-11 vote in the House; and a 48-2 vote in the Senate.
  • House File 650 – the Renew Iowa Infrastructure Fund budget bill, adopted on a 93-1 vote in the House; and a 26-24 vote in the Senate.
  • House File 651 – an act to authorize expenditures from the E911 Emergency Communications Fund, adopted on a 41-9 vote in the Senate.

Just after 10:15 p.m., with several bills yet to be considered, the Senate adjourned for the night. Just beforehand, senators adopted Senate File 513 – an act to provide stopgap funding for the month of July – on a unanimous vote.

The House adjourned a short time later, a few minutes after 10:30 p.m., without taking up the bill. It adopted SF 513 first thing Friday morning on a 91-0 vote.

The House reconvened at 8:30 a.m. today. The Senate at 9 a.m.