The future of property tax reform is uncertain, but final deals have been struck on a variety of issues and it appears the 2012 legislative session may wind down soon.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says only a handful of bills are left to pass and the legislature may adjourn tonight.
“I see no reason why we can’t do that,” Paulsen told reporters at 10 o’clock this morning.
Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal isn’t offering a prediction.
“We’re making lots of progress on lots of bills,” Gronstal said mid-morning. “We’re finding common ground between the two sides, between the House and the Senate.”
It appears a property tax plan is in jeopardy, though, as at least one Democrat is unwilling to support a bill on the subject that was written by his fellow Democrats in the senate
A compromise education reform plan has emerged, however, and most budget bills have been endorsed by both the Republican-led House and the Senate, which is led by Democrats. But there’s no deal yet on the spending plan for the Departments of Public Health and Human Services. That budget document includes state spending on the Medicaid program which pays for the health care of low income and disabled Iowans. Republicans want to prohibit Medicaid patients from going to Planned Parenthood to get reproductive health exams, cancer screenings or sexually-transmitted disease tests. Republicans also want to forbid women on Medicaid from getting abortions in cases of rape or incest.