2022 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 12 Summary

The end of the 2022 legislative session is getting ever closer as we approach the 100th day of session.  Tuesday, April 19th is the target adjournment date, but that is not a hard and fast end date.  Lawmakers’ per diem payments end on that date so it is a built-in incentive to conclude legislative work in a timely manner - the final “funnel” of sorts.  Since Easter is on April 17, many legislators, staff and lobbyists hope that session ends before that - but a number of priority policy issues and significant budget work remains.

On Tuesday, a Statewide Objection Panel reviewed signatures on nominating petitions for the 2022 primary election.  Attorney General Tom Miller and Representative Jeff Shipley were among those candidates whose petitions were scrutinized for irregular signatures and ultimately approved.  In what could be viewed as a “close call,” Miller remained on the ballot by only two signatures.  Most objections to Shipley’s signatures were denied by the review panel which allows him to retain enough signatures to remain on the ballot.  Senator Jack Whitver and Senator Ken Rozenboom were challenged on the basis of residency requirements - both will be running and moving to new districts.  Those challenges were quickly dismissed as the requirement to live in the district doesn’t apply until 60 days before the general election.  The only successful challenge was regarding Kyle Kuehl, a potential Republican challenger in Iowa’s new 1st Congressional District. U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks will now not have a primary opponent.

Former U.S. Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer also faced a challenge with her signatures to run as the democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.  One of the requirements to appear on the ballot for this office is that the candidate collects 100 signatures in at least 19 counties.   Petitioners challenged that certain signatures in four of those counties should be invalidated due to duplications, incorrect or missing dates, or addresses lacking apartment numbers.  The decision panel, consisting of two Democrats and one Republican - State Auditor Rob Sand and Attorney General Tom Miller (who recused himself during the challenges to his signatures) and Secretary of State Paul Pate - disagreed over certain signatures.  Ultimately the challenge failed as the panel found Finkenauer met the 19-county requirement with exactly 100 proper signatures in Allamakee County and 101 in Muscatine and Cedar Counties.  

Attorney Alan Ostergren represented challengers to both Finkenauer and Miller and criticized the panel’s decisions foreshadowing a legal challenge. “The basis for the review would be that different rules applied in the morning than were applied in the afternoon.  Most of the time, a judge thinks that the rules should be consistently applied,” he said.  And on Thursday, a petition for Judicial Review was filed asking a Polk County Judge to sustain their objection and keep Finkenauer off the ballot.  The legal filing can be found here.

Attention to carbon sequestration pipelines grows as pipeline companies Wolf Carbon Solutions, Summit Carbon Solutions, and Navigator COS Ventures are requesting a permit from the Iowa Utilities Board. Last Thursday, Representative Bobby Kaufmann (R-Wilton) offered an amendment prohibiting the Iowa Utilities Board from scheduling a hearing prior to February 1, 2023 for a carbon sequestration pipeline. The Amendment, H-8248, which was filed to an administrative budget specifically identifies 199 IAC 13.3 (1)(h) Exhibit H which indicates the pipeline plans to request use of eminent domain during the permitting process.  Kaufmann stated the purpose of the amendment is to allow for negotiations between landowners and the pipelines companies, without the threat of eminent domain to sway negotiations.  The amendment was adopted on a voice vote - which means there is not a record of how legislators voted.  The Senate must still approve the language.  Pipeline opponents, including concerned citizens, impacted landowners, and environmentalists gathered for a rally at the Capitol Tuesday to voice their concerns.

In the Know

The Pioneer Lawmakers Association met this week at the Capitol.  The genesis of the Association began in 1886 when a then current legislator suggested a reunion be held for former legislators.  A formal meeting was held in the House Chamber.  At the next meeting, a similar format was had including a memorial service.  Throughout all the years since, every two years the Iowa General Assembly authorizes by formal concurrent resolution, HCR 104, the Pioneer Lawmakers meeting and initiates new members - those who have served and worked at the Capitol for twenty years in some instances and served within the past twenty years in others.  The Memorial service honors those legislators who have passed away since the last service.

BrownWinick Government Relations

To view additional summaries from the 2022 Iowa Legislative session or to learn more about BrownWinick’s Government Relations Team, visit our Lobbying and Public Policy team page.