Last week, I wrote about the House leadership combining four unrelated bills in an effort to pass them all. As I mentioned in that article, this approach (known as logrolling) is unconstitutional under the following section of the Iowa Constitution:
Acts-one subject-expressed in title. Section 29. Every act shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith; which subject shall be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title. (Art. III, Sec 29, Iowa Constitution).
Leadership was unable to get support for all four bills wrapped into one so they narrowed it to only two of the unrelated bills wrapped into an amendment for a third unrelated bill. (The bills remaining from the original logrolled bill were a bill to put caps on jury awards for an accident where a professional trucker is at fault, and a ban on private employers from requiring vaccines and/or masks)
Almost always when a bill comes to the floor the majority leadership knows how the vote will go. However, Wednesday, when they brought a bill dealing with salvage vehicles and attached the remaining logrolled bills as an amendment no one knew what would happen. This isn’t just unconstitutional practice, but poor government. I was pleasantly surprised then, when the amendment was voted down 49 – 48 with several Republicans choosing to not support this unethical practice (in this instance)
The blatant unconstitutionality of this logrolled bill/amendment reveals house leadership lacks respect for the Iowa constitution. They cannot speak respect when their actions demonstrate their willingness to disregard its fundamental principles.