Friday, April 2, 2021

Legislature's procedural deadline for policy bills has passed

(Radio Iowa) - Some high-profile proposals have failed to advance past the final deadline requiring policy bills to have cleared at least five steps in the legislative process by the end of this week. One bill that stalled called for ending tenure at the three state universities. House Speaker Pat Grassley says Republicans will revisit the issue in 2022.

"There still is interest within the legislature to do something within tenure, it just may be a different approach," Grassley says. "It maybe is more of a reform proposal that we would see."

One of Republican Governor Kim Reynolds' education proposals has failed to advance in the House. It would have established state scholarships to cover private school expenses for students who transferred out of a few dozen public schools. Republican Senators included the proposal in a bill they passed early this year, but Grassley confirms there were not enough GOP votes in the House for what the governor called "Students First Scholarships."

"We just were unable to find a path forward on that," Grassley says, "but we feel very strongly about the charter piece."

A bill designed to let groups form publicly-funded charter schools in Iowa without approval from local public school boards passed the House in March and the Senate Education Committee took action on it Thursday. Proposals on to automatically restore felon voting rights and track racial profiling failed to clear Friday's deadline. The governor's proposal to allow over-the-counter sales of birth control also stalled again this year. While Friday is technically the deadline for action on policy bills, legislators typically do not meet on Fridays and are not meeting today.

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