From Sen. Charles Schneider’s newsletter:
The Iowa General Assembly reached an important deadline this week. Now, we have a more complete picture of what bills and ideas are alive and could potentially become law, and which are dead for the year.
The two most important deadlines at the Capitol are known as the first and second funnel deadlines. These are deadlines for committees to report bills to the floor for consideration by either the full Senate or House. The first funnel deadline is the Friday of the eighth week of the legislative session; the second funnel is the Friday of the twelfth week. This year, the second funnel deadline is Friday, April 5.
A number of high profile bills are still alive and eligible for consideration. One bill that is getting a great deal of media attention is the sports wagering bill. This bill would allow casinos in Iowa to take bets on sporting events. It is possible due to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down a federal law that banned sports wagering in nearly every state except Nevada. Lawmakers in many states are debating this issue, and many other states will likely legalize sports wagering before the end of the year. I expect we will continue to study this issue this session to determine if it makes sense for Iowa.
Another significant bill that survived the second funnel deadline is judicial nominating reform. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, this important reform will help take politics out of the way we select our judges. It is a priority for Governor Kim Reynolds and I look forward to the House of Representatives passing the bill.
A number of other bills and initiatives are not subject to the funnel deadlines and are still eligible to become law. For example, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are considering property tax reform proposals. I have heard from a number of constituents in recent weeks who are concerned about their residential property valuations. According to the Polk County Assessor’s office, residential property values in Polk County increased by an average of ten percent. Many of these people are going to see their property taxes increase as a result. I hope state leaders will come together to address this issue.
Several bills that I introduced are still eligible for consideration. One is the whistleblower bill that I filed in response to concerns about the Waukee Community School District. My bill increasing the minimum age for purchasing tobacco and vaping products is also alive. If there are any bills in particular that you are interested in, please let me know.