As lawmakers seek to end session, some priority bills still lack consensus

As lawmakers seek to end session, some priority bills still lack consensus

BY: – APRIL 15, 2024 9:34 PM

Lawmakers have been able to act on many of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ and Republican legislative leaders’ top priority issues this session, but there are still several bills – and budgets – left to consider before adjournment.

The Iowa State Capitol on Feb. 13, 2024. (Photo by Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

Tuesday marks the 100th day of the 2024 legislative session, the end goal date for lawmakers to conclude business for the year. While session can – and often does – extend beyond this stop date, it marks the end of per diem expenses being paid for legislators. From Tuesday on, lawmakers will have to pay for costs like mileage, lodging and certain meals related to their time at the Capitol.

Legislators are hoping to finish session soon, as many of the highest-profile measures discussed this session, like changes to Iowa’s Area Education Agencies and increasing teacher pay, making illegal immigration a state crime and adding new reporting requirements on foreign farmland ownership have all been signed into law.

But before lawmakers head home, they must pass appropriations bills funding the state government for the upcoming year. On Monday, House lawmakers met and approved the Education Appropriations budget in a subcommittee meeting, as well as budget bills including Agriculture and Natural Resources, Justice Systems and Judicial Branch and Administration and Regulation by the full Appropriations Committee.

There are also several policy bills that Republican legislators have said they hope to pass before adjournment. House Speaker Pat Grassley told reporters last week that leaders from the House and Senate have been making “a lot of progress” in meetings to discuss budget targets and other remaining bills.

“We’ve had some good conversations between the House and the Senate,” Grassley said. “Our budget chairs are kind of working behind the scenes to see where some of those differences would be before we settled on specific budget targets.”

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