A lot of bills are “dying” at the statehouse today (Thursday). Legislators’ self-imposed deadline for committee action on bills that don’t deal with taxes or spending is Friday, but lawmakers do not intend to work tomorrow, so that means bills that have not cleared a committee cannot be considered past today. The legislative lingo is the bills are “dead.” On the dead list is a bill that would have required registration numbers on beer kegs so authorities could track the keg purchaser down if minors were caught drinking from the tap.
Another bill would have increased the penalty for providing beer to minors. Democrats in the Senate are upset their push to raise the minimum wage has been blocked by Republicans. Meanwhile, Republicans are upset there’s been no agreement, yet, on how best to help more Iowans get health insurance. Senate Co-President Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Ankeny, says there’s still a chance something will come together, but almost no bills have come out committee addressing the health care issue. That contrasts to the big promises made in January that something would happen, according to Lamberti.
Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a Republican from Clarion, says things are difficult when there are 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats in the Senate. “So both sides can stand up and complain, well, they didn’t get what they want,” Iverson says.
House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, says all the priority items he had on his list have survived and can still be considered. “I think the priority issues that are out there are still advancing,” he says. “At least they’re advancing in the House.”
Some of the other “dead” issues for the year are a bill that would have barred teens from talking on their cell phones while driving and a bill that would have forced libraries to install Internet porn filters on library computers.