Iowa legislature funnel week discussion thread

This week marks the Iowa legislature’s first “funnel” deadline of the 2014 session. With the exception of appropriations bills, most legislation that has not cleared at least one committee in at least one chamber is dead for the year. Only occasionally do House or Senate leaders revive bills that didn’t get through the funnel.

Rod Boshart published a comprehensive list of bills that are still pending in either the Iowa House or Senate, as well as proposals that didn’t make it this year. Notably, the ideas Governor Terry Branstad outlined in his Condition of the State speech last month are still alive, as are the top priorities House and Senate leaders mentioned on the opening day of this year’s session.

Any comments about the legislature’s work is welcome in this thread. Reading Boshart’s lists, I felt a mixture of relief and disappointment. So many bad ideas died in the funnel, but so did a lot of proposals I would strongly support.

My dismay is probably nothing compared to what socially conservative Republicans are feeling. For the second year in a row, no bills aimed at “protecting” traditional marriage made it through the funnel. Every proposed anti-abortion bill died too, except for the ban on “telemedicine” abortions (which failed to move last year but passed the Iowa House last week). You would think that with a 53-47 Republican majority, the Iowa House would move more of these abortion bills through committee at least.

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  • Maybe Republicans in the Iowa legislature

    are beginning to realize that campaigning on social issues does not work in their favor in general elections. Marriage equality is widely accepted (or at least tolerated). And the abortion issue worked against Romney in 2012. The Obama campaign ran TV ads showing Romney, in his own words, saying he wanted to repeal Roe v. Wade, and “Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.”