Today’s installment from the latest Iowa Poll that The Des Moines Register commissioned asked Iowans polled what issues should the Iowa Legislature consider this year. For those of you who live outside of Iowa may not be aware, this year’s General Assembly has a shortened session this year in order to cut costs. This week is funnel week to see what bill will end up going to the floor to be debated on, and which ones will get killed in committee.
Again they are asking the wrong question. Before they asked whether or not the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision has impacted their life. Now they are asking whether or not the Iowa Legislature should spend their time on it.
62% of Iowans surveyed said it isn’t worth the Legislature’s time. The only issue offered that the majority said is worth their time was a ban on texting while driving with 72% saying it’s worth their time. Why is this?
Well, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has already said it won’t happen. Nobody thinks the votes are there to get it done. I personally don’t know of anybody holding out hope for a legislative vote this session. I know I’m not. Does that mean Iowans think it’s unimportant?
I don’t think so. Ask the right question, should Iowans be allowed to vote on a definition of marriage and the last poll that asked that the overwhelming majority said yes. But I’m sure that the Legislative Democrats will spin this to say they aren’t wasting their time.
I do like what Iowa House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) had to say in response to that argument:
"The majority party has successfully convinced people that that’s something that takes a lengthy period of time," Paulsen said. "There’s no reason it should have to take more than 30 minutes."
But when you have a shortened session, a budget shortfall problem, a clear public safety issue in front of the General Assembly, and the Democratic leadership who will stonewall any attempt to pass a ban.
What do you think people will say?
Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe those of us who advocate for this have it wrong. I’d like to see Democrats prove me and many others wrong, let us vote. I think if it’s on the ballot we know what the outcome will be which is why we see the delay tactics. Since that isn’t likely to happen with the current makeup in the Iowa House and Senate I think we need to start seriously considering a Constitutional Convention and send the Iowa Supreme Court justices who are up for retention this year packing.