Lawmakers negotiated in private and debated in public past 10:15 tonight and they will return to the statehouse early Friday morning, hoping to take the final votes of the 2015 legislative session.
“I think I speak for the entire chamber when I say the rest of this session should be delayed until we’re all more well-rested,” Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said moments ago.
With adjournment fever taking hold today, though, things got boiled down into small sentences. People politely thanked one another for working behind the scenes to iron out their differences.
“I have enjoyed working with you,” was a frequent phrase.
But at one point this morning, senators had to be reminded to sit down and, well, listen.
“It’s very noisy in here,” Senate President Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, said to quiet the crowd. “I know everyone is anxious to adjourn this year and get home, but we are trying to get through a very important budget.”
The final pieces of the state budgeting pie have been difficult to assemble, but the final votes are being taken.
“Nobody gets everything they want,” Rep. Dan Huseman, a Republican from Aurelia, said this evening when explaining a budget bill that sketches out the plan for spending state gambling tax revenue. “It’s a compromise product.”
All those bills are headed to the governor and he’ll have to decide whether to accept the compromises legislators made.