The familiar tune of a state House at odds with a state Senate is playing loud and clear in Iowa, today.
The IndyStar reports that:
The Iowa House on Wednesday began debating House File 525, which would strip unions of the right to negotiate how much employees contribute to health insurance premiums, how layoffs take place and other contract items.
While the article does not suggest swift passage of the bill through the House, it does imply a near-guarantee of that fact, followed by a similarly certain Senate rejection of it:
House members Wednesday afternoon began to work their way through more than 100 amendments, most proposed by Democrats who want to sink the bill.
Legislative leaders said it was likely the debate would last well into today and perhaps beyond. The House was on the third amendment after three hours of debate Wednesday.
Republican leaders have predicted the bill’s ultimate passage in the House. However, its future in the Senate, where Democrats hold a slim majority, is bleak. Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs has vowed to stop the bill.
Constituents around the country are beginning to tire of what they feel are ideological, rhetorical uses of their respective legislatures’ time when the realities of elected official party affiliations are no secret. Similar outcomes in New Hampshire, where Governor Lynch vowed to veto Right-to-Work legislation, and Minnesota, where Governor Dayton has vowed to veto an education package, have been witnessed.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Gronstal insists that the legislature is conscious of the conditions:
“We’re not playing those games of sending it to the House for the fun of it,” said Gronstal. “We’re going to keep working on things that unite people. The House is focused on issues that divide Iowans.”
Omaha.com, running an AP thread, has pin-pointed the overall lack of action that has resulted from Iowa’s hyper-partisan climate:
To date, Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law a supplemental spending bill, two technical measures dealing with corporate regulations, a resolution calling for a statue honoring Norman Borlaug to be erected in Washington and a measure legalizing hunting of mourning doves, the governor’s aides said…
Lawmakers have yet to approve any of the pieces of a new $6 billion state budget, and the politics of this year’s session get more complicated this week when legislative staffers deliver a proposed new map of legislative and congressional districts reflecting population changes counted in the census.