The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

November 14, 2013

Lawmakers move up legislative deadlines

DES MOINES — Top Iowa lawmakers have decided to move up some key deadlines in the 2014 legislative calendar, signaling a desire for a shorter session next year.

The legislative timetable was recently adjusted to reflect earlier procedural deadlines for proposed bills. That means that bills must now receive committee-level approval in the House or Senate by Feb. 21, instead of Feb. 28 as originally planned. If not approved by that date, most bills are considered dead for the session.

“I expect it’s going to be a focused session,” said Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, of Hiawatha, who said the schedule changes were agreed upon by Republicans controlling the state House and Democrats who hold a majority in the Senate.

Paulsen did not give a goal for adjournment, but said he wouldn’t be surprised to conclude before the 100-day timeframe during which members get daily expense payments.

The desire for a speedy session is not a surprise. Next year is an election year for many state lawmakers, as well as Gov. Terry Branstad, meaning that officials will be eager to conclude work in Des Moines and return to their districts to campaign.

In addition, 2013 was a notably productive year, with bipartisan legislation on property tax cuts, education policy and health care — so the expectations for substantial policy work are minimal. Paulsen said there will be policy to address in 2014, but acknowledged that members did some heavy lifting in 2013.

“I think a fair number of the more significant complex issues, we were able to work through those last session,” Paulsen said.

Lawmakers in Iowa work during the first half of the year, with the sessions officially lasting 110 days in odd-numbered years and 100 days in even-numbered years. On the official calendar for 2014, the session is still listed as having 100 days, with a concluding date of April 22. But lawmakers can adjourn earlier if they pass the state budget.

Democratic House Minority Leader Mark Smith, of Marshalltown, said Paulsen sought his input and he had no problem changing the schedule.

“I feel we ought to be able to get our work done in that time,” Smith said. It’s wise always for us to be motivated to get our work done as quickly as we can.”

1
Text Only
AP story section
  • Iraq violence threatens OPEC's precarious balance NEW YORK (AP) -- The oil market has balanced out quite nicely for OPEC in recent years. Now, upheaval in Iraq shows that balance may be more precarious than it has seemed. Dramatic changes in oil production around the globe have offset each other ins

    June 13, 2014

  • Board of Trade Grain mixed, livestock mostly higher CHICAGO (AP) -- Grain futures were mixed Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade. Wheat for July delivery was 1 cent higher at $5.9025 a bushel; July corn was 1.25 cents lower at $4.4075 a bushel; July oats were unchanged at $3.4625 a

    June 13, 2014

  • Health campaign among nation's costliest CHICAGO -- President Barack Obama's home state agreed to spend $33 million in federal money promoting his health care law, hiring a high-priced public relations firm for work that initially was mocked and spending far more per enrollee on television

    June 13, 2014

  • Some states roll back teacher tenure protections WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states -- and even removed altogether in some pl

    June 13, 2014

  • Tigers' Scherzer outduels Sale CHICAGO -- Max Scherzer already has a Cy Young Award. Now he has a complete game. Scherzer tossed a three-hitter in his 179th career start for his first complete game and Victor Martinez hit his 16th homer to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-0 win over

    June 13, 2014

  • $40M casino for rural Iowa approved BURLINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has voted 3-2 to grant a license for a $40 million casino development that would be located in rural central Iowa. Supporters of the Jefferson casino burst into applause during a meeting in Bur

    June 13, 2014

  • Principal case leads to two hearings RED OAK -- Two hearings are planned related to a southwest Iowa school district's plan to fire a high school principal. The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported the effort to fire Red Oak High School Principal Jedd Sherman will be the subject of a

    June 13, 2014

  • U.S. split outgrows voting booth WASHINGTON (AP) -- Political polarization in America has broken out of the voting booth. A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds Americans are divided by ideology and partisanship not only when they cast ballots, but also in choosing where to

    June 13, 2014

  • Cubs' offense no help for Samardzija PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Samardzija has some advice his pitching brethren when it comes to facing streaking Andrew McCutchen. Don't. The way the Chicago Cubs' ace looks at it, trying to get the Pittsburgh Pirates' star out at the moment only opens yourself

    June 13, 2014

  • State to reopen Juvenile Home DES MOINES -- A district court judge on Wednesday ordered the state to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home, telling Gov. Terry Branstad he cannot unilaterally change a law approved by the state Legislature. Judge Scott Rosenberg said the home in Toledo was

    February 6, 2014

AP Video
Facebook
National News