March 21, 2018

Second Funnel = Complete; Republicans choose new leaders in Senate

March 16, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 10

The last procedural hurdle for the 2018 legislative session is today, known as the second funnel.  This deadline requires House bills that have passed the House, to pass a Senate committee, and vice versa. There was also a monumental shift of power due to Sen. Bill Dix’s resignation on Monday.  Sen. Dix had served as the Majority Leader and therefore controlled the fate of all legislation in the Senate. Moving forward, Senate Republicans chose Sen. Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) as their new Majority Leader and Sen. Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) as the new Senate President. Additionally, Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) was chosen as Majority Whip and Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel) is the newest assistant leader.  MBI congratulates all of these individuals on their new roles. With this change in leadership and presumably less than a month to go, anything can happen! Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

SAVE extension continues momentum; second funnel deadline next Friday

March 9, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 9

We are approaching a rough deadline of about a month left in this legislative session, and the second funnel deadline is next Friday, March 16th. That means bills that have already passed the House must be passed through a Senate committee, and vice versa. Today’s Revenue Estimating Conference number will set the benchmark for most major budget decisions that are left to be made. On our priorities list, the 20-year SAVE extension made great progress by passing both the House and Senate Ways and Means subcommittees. As was pointed out in the House subcommittee, this would be the single largest investment in education in Iowa’s history.  MBI appreciates the bi-partisan work conducted in both the House and the Senate to advance the SAVE legislation! On the political front, Vice President Mike Pence was in Council Bluffs this week to talk tax reform and Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg officially kicked off their bid for a full four year term on Wednesday evening in the governor’s hometown of Osceola.  Expect to see more announcements as next Friday, March 16 is the filing deadline for individuals interested in running for statewide or legislative office. 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

House Passes MBI Priority; up next week in Senate

March 2, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 8

While last week was pretty civil, controversial topics including a fetal heartbeat bill, tax reform, gun control and mental health were on the docket this week. At the same time, a sense of pride was on everyone’s mind as the U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa as the best state in the nation! There are a number of factors that went into the rankings, and I’ve highlighted that article below in the “Headlines” section. Also, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.  Almost everyone agrees that this was long overdue.  And most importantly, we were also able to get our Mechanic’s Lien bill passed on the floor of the House, and have every indication that it will be on the floor of the Senate next week. By next week’s report, I hope to tell you that it’s on its way to the Governor’s desk for her signature!  Let’s get into it... 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

Floor Debate Begins in House and Senate; Senate releases tax reform bill

 February 23, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 6

This week, floor debate began on an array of bills that were mostly non-controversial. Right after funnel is a time for knocking out business that doesn’t bog down legislators in contentious debate. They mostly save those for the weeks ahead. The Senate also dominated the headlines when they unveiled their comprehensive plan to address tax reform on Wednesday. The plan would cut more than $1 billion in taxes on an annual basis. The major difference between what the Senate wants to do and the governor’s plan is the Senate wants to address both the individual and corporate side. The governor’s plan only addresses the individual side and would cut $1.7 billion over the next several years. Details on the plans can both be found below. 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here. 


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