One of the problems created when voters elected 25 democrats and 25 republicans to the Iowa Senate this past Tuesday is how to pick the person who will run Senate debate and settle disputes over parliamentary proceedures. The state’s Lieutenant Governor used to preside over the Iowa Senate as its president — and break tie votes — but the Iowa Constitution was changed a decade ago and the Lieutenant Governor now runs for election with the Governor and no longer presides over the Senate. The Senate President is to be chosen from among the 50 senators by vote of the 50 senators and if something happens to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the Senate President becomes the state’s governor. Michael Gronstal is the current leader of democrats in the Senate. Gronstal says there can’t be “co-Presidents” — one a republican, the other a democrat — because Iowa can’t have “co-Governors.” Gronstal says that means if the two political parties decide to share power and shift the Senate Presidency back and forth from a republican to a democrats, then there will have to be specific rules of exactly when which person is officially in the role of Senate President. Gronstal made his comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press” which aired Friday night and will be broadcast again at noon on Sunday.
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