The Iowa Senate passed two minor bills Monday, but made little progress on major issues. Senator Mike Connolly, a Democrat from Dubuque, summed it up this way.”There are a whole raft of bills on that agenda that need to be debated by this Senate,” Connolly said. “This Senate is a dysfunctional family right now, I’m telling you that. This is wrong.” Senator Matt McCoy, a Democrat from Des Moines, urged his colleagues to stay and work late.”I don’t intend to come up here and sit around while we do nothing all day and take two-and-a-half or three hour lunch breaks and adjourn at four o’clock,” McCoy says. “This is not how people work in the real world.” One reason the senate’s moving like molasses is a feud over the death penalty. Some Republican senators want to force a vote on the issue. Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, is using his power to block a vote. “It isn’t politics for me when it comes to the death penalty. It’s my considered belief that it is morally wrong,” Gronstal said on the Senate floor Monday. “What does it profit a man to gain the entire world but lose his immortal soul?” Senate Co-Leader Stewart Iverson, a Republican from Dows, is holding up action on other bills and he defended his action yesterday when a Democrat challenged him. “You can whine all you want to whine…but the bottom line is…your side is using their veto authority. I’m using some veto authority, so don’t come whining to me that you aren’t getting what you want when we aren’t getting votes on some stuff that we want,” Iverson shouted. The Iowa House has passed its own outline for state spending and did not return to the statehouse Monday, waiting for the Senate to make some decisions.
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