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Government Relations Legislative Update - Week Twelve

State Budget.  The final stages of the 2024 session took a big step forward on Thursday when House and Senate Leaders released budget targets.  The Senate’s target is to limit expenditures to $8.872 billion for Fiscal Year 2025, the House has a higher budget number at $8.955 billion, and the Governor’s budget is at $8.919 billion.  The next three weeks will be spent in movement of budget bills and negotiations between the House, Senate, and the Governor on more specific dollar amounts.  Starting Monday, the Senate will hold subcommittees on the Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship / Department of Natural Resources budgets. 

One of the biggest issues of the session was sent to the Governor and signed this week. HF 2612, addressing the Area Education Agencies, passed in the Senate on Tuesday and was signed by the Governor on Wednesday.  The bill, as reported last week, included teacher salary increases, a 2.5% SSA increase for schools, and revamping of the AEA system. 

Confirmations of Governor’s appointees to State agencies and certain Boards started this week in the Senate, with Senate Committees moving conferees out of Committee.  If an appointee's position requires confirmation by the Senate, the person must receive a 2/3 majority vote.  Republicans have 34 members, so if each member voted for confirmation, that is enough to pass a conferee.  Most conferees are placed on the en bloc calendar and are confirmed easily.  If a Senator would like to have a separate vote on an individual conferee, they are placed on the individual calendar.  The Director of Education, McKenzie Snow, Director of the DNR, Kayla Lyons, and Director of Corrections, Beth Skinner are among the conferees that will all be discussed and voted on individually. 

The House ended the week by passing HF 2664, a bill to address judicial challenges for the use of eminent domain for hazardous liquid pipelinesThe bill, as it was ultimately amended, allows for parties to an action at the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to file for a declaratory review from the Polk County District Court, limited to a “declaration of the parties’ rights, status, and other legal matters relating to the constitutionality and statutory provisions governing eminent domain takings”.  The bill allows a new action in a district court, other than Polk County, if more than 18 months have passed or if circumstances have changed.  This declaratory review may be filed prior to final Board action.  An amendment was added yesterday that allows judicial review of IUB’s final order by any party to the hearing. 

In the Know  

On Monday, the Pioneer Lawmakers Association met and inducted new members.  The Association was organized in 1886 as a way to honor the service of lawmakers.  At some point along the way, the Association decided to include “honorary” lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists that are nominated and approved to be a member.  The group holds a business meeting in the morning and then a service in the House Chamber to induct new members.  The keynote address at this biennial meeting was given by former Senator John Putney who reflected on his years as a legislator and offered words of wisdom.  In the evening, a Memorial Service is held to honor former legislators who have passed away within the last two years.  Families of those legislators are invited to attend and a tribute to each legislator is read while a candle is lit.  

Legislative Forums  

While many lawmakers hold forums in their districts year-round, it’s especially important for them to hear from constituents when they’re making decisions during the legislative session.  The events listed below are opportunities to get involved. You can also find these events on BrownWinick’s Iowa Political Events page.   






8:00 AM – 9:00 AM 

Malvern Legislative Forum 

Mills County Extension Office (61321 315th Street, Malvern, IA 51551) 


8:30 AM – 10:00 AM 

Windsor Heights Talk with Officials Forum 

Iowa Realty Office - Aisha R. Syed Board Room (2830 100th Street, Suite 110, Urbandale, IA 50322) and virtual via Zoom 


9:30 AM – 11:30 AM 

Marion Coffee & Conversations 

Marion Public Library (1101 6th Avenue, Marion, IA 52302) 


9:30 AM – 11:30 AM 

Iowa City Legislative Forum 

Iowa City Senior Center - Assembly Room (28 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240), live streamed & recorded on the LWVJC Facebook page and City Channel 4 


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Bettendorf Legislative Forum 

Eastern Iowa Community College (500 Belmont Road, Bettendorf, IA 52722) 


10:30 AM – 12:00 PM 

Urbandale Talk with Officials Forum 

Urbandale Chamber of Commerce Office (2830 100th Street, Suite 110, Urbandale, IA  50322) and virtual via Zoom 


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Srinivas 

DMARC (100 Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA 50315) 


8:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Baeth 

Lua Brewing (1525 High Street, Des Moines, IA 50309) 


9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 

Winnebago County Town Meeting with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley 

Waldorf University - Salveson Hall (106 South 6th Street, Forest City, IA  50436) 


9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 

Winneshiek County Town Meeting with U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley 

Wilder Business Center (1625 Highway 150 South, Calmar, IA  52132) 


9:20 AM – 10:30 AM 

Ottumwa Coffee & Conversation 

Sassy Java House (2465 Northgate Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501) 


3:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

West Des Moines Listening Post 

 West Des Moines Library (4000 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, IA 50265) 


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM 

Cedar Falls Community Conversation 

Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa (3117 Greenhill Circle, Cedar Falls, IA  50613) 


9:30 AM – 10:30 AM 

Ida Grove Coffee & Issues 

The Farmacy Soda Fountain & Coffee House (506 2nd Street, Ida Grove, IA 51445) 


9:30 AM – 11:00 AM 

Dubuque Cracker Barrel Legislative Forum 

Diamond Jo Casino (301 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Grinnell Legislative Coffee 

Drake Community Library (930 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Onawa Legislative Forum 

Onawa Public Library (707 Iowa Avenue, Onawa, IA 51040) 


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Srinivas 

Southside Public Library - Meeting Room (1111 Porter Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50315) 

Key Dates — 2024 Iowa Legislative Session 





1/8: First day of session 

1/19: Final day for Senator and Representative bill requests 

2/16: First legislative funnel 

3/15: Second legislative funnel 

4/16: 100th calendar day of session (per diem expenses end) 


Scene on the Hill  

March 25, 2024:  Former Senator John Putney addresses Pioneer Lawmakers in the House Chamber.

week 12

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