[Masthead] Light Snow ~ 32°F  
High: 29°F ~ Low: 28°F
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014
From the Iowa Legislature (04/28/14)
Shutting down this session seems to be more difficult than had been expected. There are a few policy bills left to debate, so most of the attention this last week has been focused on the State budget. A couple parts of the budget are done, and will be sent to the Governor for his consideration and evaluation, but we have a lot of work to do before we adjourn and go home...
From the Iowa Legislature (04/07/14)
The road to adjournment became a little bumpy last week, and, even though we didn't take any detours, it seemed that, all of a sudden, we were in "stop and no go traffic". I sense a different attitude this week, and we are once again on track to finish up this session. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/31/14)
March madness is upon us, and it is always amazing to see how many people really take an interest in both the men's and women's college basketball tournaments. When I am home on weekends, it is always fun to talk to people about something other than the weather or legislative updates. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/17/14)
Last week was the second "funnel week", which means Senate Files must pass from a House Committee and House bills need to clear a Senate Committee. More bills died last week, but those that survived have a pretty good chance of making it to the Governor's desk. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/03/14)
A local television station ran a story here Wednesday about a couple with a frozen water line. They live on an acreage and have been without water for almost three weeks. Because of the high cost of hiring someone with machinery to come and get water flowing again, the man of the house has set out to solve the problem himself. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/17/14)
One of my colleagues here in the House called home last week, and his wife told him their old farm house was really making strange noises. The creaking and moaning of houses has been common this winter. People here in the Des Moines metro area have called the police saying they have heard explosions in their neighborhoods. Some have even seen flashes of light...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/12/14)
As the cold weather persists, and an active weather pattern continues to grip the nation, Iowans are bracing for yet another hit to their family budgets. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the tremendous spike in propane prices. Thankfully, propane prices are coming back down, but now, we are seeing big jumps in the price of natural gas. All I have heard over the last few years is that the United States has an abundant supply of natural gas...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/03/14)
Every time I call my daughters, I ask them how the munchkins are doing. Without pause, they tell me my grandchildren are doing fine. I would guess that the Munchkins, co-stars in the 1939 movie "The Wizard of Oz," are some of the most recognizable characters in the movie history. Four generations in my family know who they are, as the movie is still shown on television and remains quite popular...
From the Iowa Legislature (01/27/14)
In the "old days" we watched the weather on television and listened for updates on the radio, trying to prepare for what might be headed our way. We stoked the boiler with coal and wood, and sat close to the radiators in order to stay warm. Family comfort and safety came first, but livestock also needed help to stay warm and dry. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (01/20/14)
The second session of the 85th General Assembly convened on January 13, 2014, with the opening gavel falling at 10 a.m. After the organizational housekeeping was finished, lawmakers got down to business, as standing committees met to begin the legislative process. Budget subcommittees met on Thursday morning to get organized in order to start putting the state budget together. There is a sense that this session could end early, so we are off and running...
From the Iowa Legislature (04/08/13)
Since last week was a "funnel week" here at the Capitol, most of our time was scheduled around committee meetings. For House members, that meant we were considering Senate bills, deciding whether or not to advance them to the floor for debate. It was an unusually quiet funnel and, judging by the number of committee cancellations, it would appear that most major policy decisions have already been made, and the focus will now be on the state budget. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/25/13)
As a major winter storm approaches Iowa, it is uncertain how the end of this week will turn out. It is extremely rare for the Legislature to shut down because of weather, but the forecast is calling for heavy snow and high winds statewide, so it may be that lawmakers head home early. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/21/13)
It is hard to believe it is already tournament time here in Iowa. The high school wrestlers are in town last week, and girls and boys basketball teams are competing back home, with the goal of making it to Wells Fargo Arena. Our students work hard to achieve their goals. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/13/13)
As the fourth week of this session draws to a close, it is apparent that politics is once again being inserted into the legislative process. It starts showing up in some of our committees and eventually spreads to both chambers to the glee, unfortunately, of too many lawmakers. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/06/13)
A snowstorm hit Des Moines and points east on Wednesday morning, and the six inches of snow and high winds made traveling difficult -- especially in the rural areas. Although some lawmakers were a little late, the House gaveled in at 8:30 a.m. and committees met at their scheduled times. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (01/30/13)
The second week of this legislative session has been a busy one, even though Monday was a national holiday, and we were not in session. Because of a shortened week, more committee blocks were scheduled in order stay on track. The committees I serve on all had good presentations this week, and members had ample time to ask questions...
From the Iowa Legislature (01/21/13)
The first session of the 85th General Assembly convened at 10 a.m.. on Jan. 14. When the gavel fell for the first time, the stage was set for the usual pomp and ceremony. Members were administered the oath of office and directed to sign the official documents certifying their election or re-election to the Iowa House of Representatives...
From the Iowa Legislature (04/23/12)
We are supposed to be done with the session, but we are not. In fact, I'm not sure when we will be able to finish. Sometimes I feel like we are getting close to an agreement on the budget, and then something goes wrong, and it is one step forward and two steps back. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (04/16/12)
Negotiations between the Governor and House Republican leaders continue, even though the pace has been rather slow at times. We are scheduled to adjourn this week, but it would appear that is not going to happen. Every day that goes by without an agreement means a couple more days of session. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (04/02/12)
With less than three weeks to go in this session, lawmakers are scrambling to get things done. We are actually in pretty good shape time-wise, but everything must fall into place in perfect order. As of now, all budget bills have passed in at least one chamber, except the massive Human Services bill...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/19/12)
This is another funnel week, which means we are nearing the end of the session. We will pretty much know by early next week what will be debated and what will be thrown overboard. I suspect our workload, as far as policy is concerned, will be fairly light. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/12/12)
With the second funnel rapidly approaching, the Iowa House spent most of the week debating and passing bills on the floor. There was very little time set aside for committee work. That will change this week as we will concentrate on moving Senate files out of House committees.Most of the major pieces of legislation are still alive and slowly working their way to the top of the barrel...
From the Iowa Legislature (03/05/12)
It used to be, if a kid didn't like the way a baseball game was going, he would take his bat and ball and go home. The same thing happened here Wednesday when House Democrats walked out of the Capitol in protest over two pieces of gun legislation that were about to be debated on the House floor. ...
From the Iowa Legislature (02/27/12)
The first funnel week is over, so we will know early this week which bills survived and which ones are history. I would guess the number of bills that will be debated on the floor will be noticeably fewer than past years. That is okay with me. It would appear that both the House and Senate are eager to wrap things up early, especially after last years' 172 day marathon session. ...
Representative Dan Huseman
From the Iowa Legislature