Senate republicans are proposing a unique control-sharing arrangement after learning there will be exactly the same number of senators from either party in the state senate this year. Republicans will be missing one member because Chuck Larson Junior of Cedar Rapids is on active military duty in Iraq. Senate republican leader Stewart Iverson of Dows says they’re proposing…taking turns. The president pro tem of the senate would come from one party, and the next year the president would come from the other party. He says it’s as fair a way as any to do it, and this way any bill that comes out of committee would require agreement between the republican and democratic leader to make it to floor debate. Iverson says the two parties would also share control of all senate committees. Senate democratic leader Mike Gronstal didn’t immediately agree to the proposal but said he’ll discuss it with the party, adding he’s eager to reach a compromise on how to govern. Meanwhile, senators of both parties say the even split will likely mean more moderate legislation. Fort Dodge Democrat senator Daryl Beall says neither party will be able to ram through a pet bill, and many social and moral issues likely will be OFF the table. Beall says you won’t see legislation on things like gay marriage, or tax cuts for “Iowa’s wealthiest.” He says it’ll be moderate bills that will get bipartisan support, and you won’t see anything “too far left or too far right.” Senator Beall points out two of the most conservative members of the legislature will not be returning. Senator Ken Veenstra of Orange City lost in the primary and Amana senator Neal Scheurer was defeated in Tuesday’s elections. Republican senator Jeff Angelo of Creston chairs the appropriations committee and says he’s actually looking forward to having democratic input on the budget. Sometimes in the minority role you’re free to offer criticism of something like a budget, without having to offer solutions, and so he says they’ll govern together, with neither able to simply say “We don’t like what you’re doing,” but instead working together in a proactive way. Angelo says while it’s the battles in the statehouse that get the most attention, 90-percent of bills passed have bipartisan support. Members of both parties say bills this year will mostly be limited to the budget, education and economic-development.
You are here: / / Senate Republicans propose sharing plan