July 30, 2014

House leader’s move means traffic cam ban not dead yet

A bill that would ban traffic enforcement cameras in Iowa has been revived.

Last night, the bill’s key sponsor announced the proposal would not be debated in the House — meaning the policy measure would fail to meet Friday’s deadline to clear the House and then a committee in the Iowa Senate. However, House Speaker Kraig Paulsen has used his authority to send the bill to the House Appropriations Committee, as all bills in that committee are eligible for debate at any time.

“Every now and then the chamber needs to take a step backwards to take a step forwards,” Paulsen says, “and that’s what we’re going to do on this bill.”

According to Paulsen, there’s a “great deal of interest” in keeping this issue alive.

“I think there’s a great deal of interest among Iowans,” Paulsen says. “I know there’s interest in the (House). At one point in time the bill had close to 70 votes, is my understanding — well, at least 65.”

There are 60 Republicans in the Iowa House and 40 Democrats. It takes 51 votes to pass a bill. Paulsen and other Republicans say Democrats indicated yesterday that they would not provide the extra votes to ensure the bill could make that 51 vote threshold and that’s why it was not debated in the House.

Friday is the deadline for policy bills to clear the full House and a committee in the Senate — or pass the 50-member Senate and a committee in the House. Bills that come from the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees, however, are exempt from that legislative deadline because taxing and spending issues may be considered at any time.