CapitolLegislators have spent much of their day so far in small huddles, trying to hammer out final deals on a host of issues – with the hope of concluding the 2015 legislative session tonight.

By mid-afternoon, the House and Senate had approved one budget bill that outlines spending for the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Workforce Development. Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, said it’s a start.

“We did add a wage theft investigator — one — so that’s a 33 percent increase, so that’s something to be excited about,” Running-Marquardt said. “We’re still woefully short in that area.”

Separate legislation to increase the penalties on businesses that commit wage theft stalled and is not on the legislature’s “to do” list this week.

Republican Senators are meeting privately at this hour to review a budget bill that outlines spending for various administrative agencies in state government, as well as the governor’s office. Legislators have decided not to give the governor any more money to operate his statehouse office. The governor had asked for a six-figure increase, so he could hire another person to work on his communications staff.