A southeast Iowa legislator who underwent heart surgery at the end of February has returned to the statehouse. Senator Tom Courtney, a Democrat from Burlington, is 65 years old.
“I tire easily, but better than I thought,” Courtney said this afternoon. “I had to come back today. I felt like I had to come back because they could only go without that other vote for so long.”
A bill must have at least 26 votes to win passage in the Iowa Senate. Courtney’s absence had prevented the senate from passing controversial bills that would clear on a 26-to-24, party-line vote. Courtney has told the senate’s Democratic leader he will take breaks if he needs one.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Courtney said. “I’m trying to be careful.”
Courtney attended an hour-long hearing in the senate this afternoon.
Courtney retired from the Case/New Holland plant in Burlington in 1992. He’s been serving in the Iowa Senate since January of 2003.