This week was the first of two funnel weeks at the Capitol. The funnels are designed to streamline the legislative process and narrow down the agenda for the remainder of the session.
During the first funnel, a bill must pass a full committee in either the House or the Senate, or it is dead for the session. Every year there are hundreds of bills filed. Many of those bills pass the full committee, some pass a sub-committee but do not pass the full committee, and there are even more that never even have a sub-committee hearing.
As you can imagine, funnel week is a very busy time and extremely stressful for people looking to advance a bill this session. I had over 10 subcommittee meetings this week and we had dozens of bills that passed through the committees on which I serve.
The following is a list of bills in the Iowa Senate that survived funnel week. This is a small sample of bills that survived the funnel week and will be available for debate going forward.
- A bill promoted by the governor to enhance our broadband capabilities in rural areas
- A bill promoted by the governor to address bullying in schools
- A bill to legalize fireworks in the state of Iowa
- A bill to enhance penalties of child kidnapping
- A bill to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour
- A bill to restrict the use of drones to violate personal privacy
This list is obviously not a complete list and not necessarily indicative of my priorities. I wanted to update you on some of the more "hot button" issues that have been in the news.
The next major legislative date is the second funnel, which occurs the week of March 10th. During the second funnel week, a bill must have passed both a House and Senate full committee in order to stay alive. Therefore, over the next three weeks, the Senate will be reviewing all of the bills that passed the House in the first five weeks.
I look forward to hearing from you if there are bills you are tracking this session.