Week Fifteen Capitol Report

April 22, 2022

April 19th was the 100th day of the legislative session, marking the target date for adjournment and the last day legislators will receive per diem payments. Session is anticipated to extend into May while leaders in the House and Senate continue negotiations on remaining priorities.

This week, the Senate considered House File 2562, a bill that aims to grant more rights to residents of mobile home parks. The bill would lengthen the required notice period for rent increases and renewal notice from 60 to 90 days as well as a number of other adjustments to current resident and landlord laws. The House approved the legislation on April 5th with a 60-37 vote while the Senate approved the bill with a party line, 32-16 vote. Senator Sinclair, the bill’s floor manager said, “This bill seeks to find a balance between the landowner, as well as the mobile home owner, and find compromise in that balance of power.” Democrats in both chambers argued the bill does not go far enough to protect residents.

The House sent over all nine of their Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget proposals to the Senate; no budget proposals have been amended or considered on the Senate floor thus far. In addition to the FY23 budget, legislators are negotiating remaining policy priorities that have not passed both chambers. 

Three of the Governor’s legislative priorities are tied up in negotiations, including education savings accounts, unemployment reform, and workforce. All three bills have passed the Senate and are in the House. Another of the Governor’s priorities, the ethanol bill, was passed in the House and Senators continue to work on the bill to address the issue of smaller retailers who would not currently have compliant facilities. 

Last week, the Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments regarding former U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer’s appeal to appear on the Democratic Primary ballot in June. On April 15th, the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision, allowing Finkenauer to appear on the ballot for U.S. Senate. The Democratic Primary race consists of Finkenauer, retired U.S. Navy Admiral, Mike Franken and Dr. Glenn Hurst. Republican Senator Grassley is running to be re-elected for his 8th term in a primary against State Senator Jim Carlin. Most recent fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission show Franken raising nearly $1.4 million in the quarter ending on March 31st, outpacing both Finkenauer and Hurst.

Next week, Senator Whitver and Speaker Grasslsey are expected to continue negotiations on remaining policy priorities and the FY23 budget with little floor action in either chamber until an agreement is met.