"Capitol Week" meets the Iowa legislature's funnel week
KHOI Radio's Feb. 27 Iowa politics show is online
The Iowa House and Senate are advancing so many bills ahead of this Friday’s “funnel” deadline, it’s hard to keep up. But Dennis Hart and I did our best on the latest edition of “Capitol Week.”
KHOI Radio broadcasts our show live on Mondays at 7:00 pm, with a replay on Wednesdays at noon. But you can listen to any program, anytime, for free on KHOI’s website.
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On to the show. Here’s the audio from the February 27 edition:
Dennis and I devoted most of the program to what the Iowa legislature’s been up to. But we started with a bit of Iowa caucus news.
Highlights from last week’s visit by Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley;
The latest Iowa appearance by Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who may or may not run for president someday (Governor Kim Reynolds introduced Haley and Scott and their events but is not expected to endorse a candidate before the 2024 caucuses);
The first Iowa trip by little-known candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, a 37-year-old businessman;
What “funnel week” means and why I pay less attention to the funnel than when I began following legislative happenings closely about 15 years ago;
The Iowa Senate’s approval of a bill shielding commercial trucking companies from liability for negligence and capping non-economic damages in crashes (the bill number is Senate File 228);
Prospects for getting the trucking bill through the Iowa House, where it has stalled in recent years (judging by the recent House vote on a bill capping damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, it will be close);
The plethora of bills targeting LGBTQ Iowans and especially accommodations for LGBTQ students in schools (not only have Republicans introduced more bills this year, many of the bills are moving through the legislative process, a big change from just a few years ago, when most of the bills in this category didn’t even get a subcommittee hearing);
One of the new bills that moved through a subcommittee last week (House File 367), which would prevent schools from disciplining staff for using non-preferred names or pronouns;
The unusually fast pace of legislative action on major bills this year;
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley promising new legislation to limit gender affirming care for minors, copying action in a half-dozen other GOP-controlled states (the bill dropped late Monday and will have subcommittee hearings on February 28—for now the bill numbers are House Study Bill 214 and Senate Study Bill 1197);
The latest news about bills seeking to limit eminent domain for carbon dioxide pipelines: a Senate subcommittee did not advance a weak bill numbered Senate File 346, but the House Judiciary Committee will likely approve House File 368, a stronger bill backed by House leaders (I stand by my view that the Iowa Senate won’t act on any serious legislation that may clear the lower chamber);
Background on Iowa legislative debates over the death penalty over the past 30 years, in the context of the Senate Judiciary Committee approving Senate File 357, a bill reinstating capital punishment in very limited circumstances;
Prospects for an Iowa Senate floor vote on the death penalty (if it happens, it would be the first time either legislative chamber debated a bill on capital punishment since 1995);
The Iowa House considering several gun-related bills, including House Study Bill 173, which would make it easier to leave loaded firearms in parked cars at various locations, and House File 73, a bipartisan measure on age-appropriate gun safety curriculum in schools;
Where things stand with Governor Kim Reynolds’ huge state government reorganization bill, now numbered Senate Study Bill 1123 and House Study Bill 126;
A new bill (House File 356) that would change state law on election recounts (the legislature is considering other election-related measures, and I’m sure Dennis and I will talk about those in upcoming shows);
The Senate Workforce Committee approving more restrictions for Iowans collecting unemployment benefits; one provision of Senate Study Bill 1159 would require more work searches every week, and another would reduce benefits paid to jobless Iowans with more than one child;
A brief recap of the open records lawsuit in which I am a plaintiff, which was before the Iowa Supreme Court last week (I wrote an in-depth post on this case at Bleeding Heartland);
Dennis closed out the show by wishing “a fond farewell and happy retirement” to KCCI-TV’s Steve Karlin, who is stepping down this week as the Des Moines station’s evening news anchor.
Are you watching any legislation that’s mostly flown below the radar? Let me know in the comments, or by emailing email@example.com.
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Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilla
Dana James: New Black Iowa, Des Moines
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Kurt Meyer, Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Kyle Munson, Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen, The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politic Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Macey Spensley: The Midwest Creative, Iowa
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines
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