Jason Noble of The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad suggested that Iowa Senate Democrats among others could face political fallout because of their opposition to elements of his K-12 education reform bill. I highly doubt it. Branstad was brought into office mainly because of former Governor Chet Culver’s inability to govern, not because of Branstad’s education plan. I really don’t see any conservative Republican candidates anyway campaigning in favor of Branstad’s bill and challenging incumbent Democrat senators opposition to it. Conservatives by and large don’t want an expansion of state government which is what the bill really is, there’s no other way to put it.
Iowa House Republicans on the other hand who voted for it may have some explaining to do if they have a conservative primary opponent. Even if they don’t constituents who care about local control and smaller government need to hold their Representative’s feet to the fire if they voted in favor of this bill. I doubt that the majority of them are going to go forth in an election championing the bill.
I’ve been told that one of three things could happen with this bill. They could end up going to a second or third conferencing committee, with the third committee the rules can change and items could be added. Both the House and/or the Senate could decide that they are too far apart and give up on the bill which would effectively make it dead in the water. A third option could be that the leadership of the House and the Senate could agree on a couple of items and submit a leadership bill which will then have to pass the House and the Senate. With the House members being released to campaign and the Senate wrapping up for the rest of the week it is unlikely they will be in any hurry to come back to compromise or vote.
So borrowing from The Princess Bride will Branstad’s education reform be “dead or mostly dead” for the year? Because I highly doubt he is going to get even remotely close to everything he wants and based on what was in his original bill I consider that to be a good thing.