Iowa session pours into extended seventh week

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June 13, 2011

Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa: A seven-week-long budget stalemate shows no signs of ending as Governor Branstad continues on the rest of his 43-city tour of Iowa, explaining the budget woes. The Iowa legislative session began on January 10, 2011 and has continued since, now 43 days past the maximum of 110 calendar days. The Iowa legislature is not in special session, rather an extended session in which legislators do not receive per diem. Iowa legislative rules allow lawmakers to receive per diem for a maximum of 100 days in even numbered years, and 110 days in odd numbered years. The 110th calendar day of the 2011 session was April 30. The rules may be amended at any time to extend the legislative session.

Since last Monday, the beginning of his tour, Branstad has left his chief of staff and budget director in charge of events, placing his "complete trust" in them to carry out business.[1]

Last week, the Iowa House passed a massive bill that outlined the Republican's plans for state spending over the next two years as well as a plan to reduce property taxes. However, Democrats aren't biting. Senator Jeff Danielson (D) claims there are items in the bill that "just won't fly" with the Democratically controlled Senate. Top Republicans are suggesting that a deal could be reached yet this week, but Democrats remain skeptical.[1]

Iowa's current budgeting year ends June 30th. Legislators need to approve a spending plan for the fiscal year which begins July 1, 2011.[1]

Iowa Senate partisan breakdown

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 26
     Republican Party 24
Total 50

Iowa House partisan breakdown

Party As of April 2014
     Democratic Party 47
     Republican Party 53
Total 100


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