Governor Tom Vilsack had 30 days to sign or veto bills that passed the Iowa Legislature’s regular session, which ended April 30th. Vilsack signed the two budget bills that were left for his review, but used his item veto authority to nix some language in the bills — like the wording that set plans in motion to sell the state-owned Iowa Communications Network. Some legislators had worried Vilsack would veto entire budget bills as leverage to force lawmakers to complete work in their special session on that part of the budget as well as the so-called “Iowa Values” economic development fund. In other action yesterday, Vilsack vetoed the bill which would have made Iowa clergy “mandatory reporters” of child sex abuse — a move prompted by scandals in the Catholic Church. Vilsack objected to another part of the bill which lowered the age of consent, a move he said would make children who have sex with other children into criminals and discourage them from seeking counseling. Vilsack also vetoed the bill that would have made it easier for counties and cities to merge. Vilsack says the bill didn’t give voters enough of a voice in making decisions about how municipal elections would be run for newly-merged governments.
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