The winter weather may be the big story this week, but it wasn’t just Mother Nature hard at work these past few days.
The Iowa legislature has been busy filtering through hundreds of potential bills in what they call funnel week.
What’s in, and what’s out?
Members of the Iowa House and Senate spent this past week making those decisions.
“A lot of times constitutes bring pieces of legislation to the forefront and when they bring them and we get a bill forward when they actually get into these sub committees we find the unintended consequences they sometimes will present,” says Sen. Amanda Ragan, (D) Mason City.
Some such bills that got the boot this week:
-A medical marijuana bill that was filed and died the same day because of lack of Republican support.
-Two bills that would have allowed farmers to sell raw unpasteurized milk.
“I’ll be honest this session is a little different than any other session that I’ve been apart of.”>
State Rep. Josh Byrnes, (R) Osage, says there really aren’t a lot of hot button topic bills and that he’s noticing a more ‘low key’ climate this session.
“For the most part there wasn’t anything that anybody left there that had a lot of grief over that they didn’t see their bill move forward.”
Byrnes is the chairman for the House Transportation Committee; he says his gas tax bill wasn’t even touched this week.
“It’s actually a tax so anytime you have a tax or a fee, it’s basically funnel proof because the ways and means committee works with taxes and fees is a funnel proof committee,” says Byrnes.
Bills that did get the okay to move forward include the broadband initiative to bring high speed internet to rural areas, a bill that would call for more training to operate stun guns, and Kathlynn’s Hope.
“I believe in both chambers there was movement to strengthen penalties against someone that kidnapped a minor and I think that’s something that we can all be very supportive of but we’re glad to see that moving forward,” adds Amanda Ragan.
So what’s next? Well more funneling. The bills that made it through the Senate will now go over to the House chambers to be filtered through and vise versa – House bills will go to the Senate.