The Iowa Legislature will reconvene this Friday, the 14th, to consider a bill that would have provided new protections to Iowa property owners, a bill Governor Tom Vilsack vetoed in early June.
House Speaker Christopher Rants, a Republican from Sioux City, expects the House to quickly vote to override the governor’s veto, since earlier this spring 89 of the 100 House members voted for the bill that put limits on local governments’ authority to seize private property for economic development projects.
“How many people who voted for it the first time are going to stand up on the floor and say ‘Um, I changed my mind’?” Rants says. Senate Co-Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says he “has a sense of what’s going to happen” when the issue hits the Senate, but he isn’t making his thoughts public.
“I’m going to continue to press for what I think is the best way — the best, safest, strongest way — to protect private property and not have it threatened in court,” Gronstal says. Gronstal has suggested a nine-month moratorium on any government condemnation proceedings in Iowa because he contends that because of a technical glitch, the veto override will be challenged in court.
Gronstal says “opinions vary” as to what the Senate will do on Friday, and he’s keeping his opinion on the matter to himself. “I’m going to continue working to get the best result possible,” Gronstal says. “It may not end up being my ideal solution.” The Iowa House will reconvene at 10 o’clock Friday morning. The House must act on the bill first, then send it to the Senate.