March 18 was the Iowa legislature’s second “funnel” deadline. Other than tax or appropriations bills, most legislation must have been approved by one chamber and at least one committee in the other chamber in order to stay “alive” for the rest of the year.
Every year, some bills that clear the Iowa House or Senate nearly unanimously die without action in the other chamber, or remain alive in name only, having been gutted while moving through committee.
Why would a proposal with support across the spectrum run into trouble? Sometimes a committee chair or member of leadership has a specific reason for wanting to kill a bill. Other times, powerful interest groups put on a full-court press to slow the momentum of a popular idea.
It’s often hard to get lawmakers or lobbyists on the record about why a bill died under such circumstances. But a few days ago, one experienced lobbyist laid it on the table during a Senate subcommittee hearing.Continue Reading...