Capitol Report - Week 12 2021
April 5, 2021
By: Paula S. Dierenfeld
Funneltime. The second funnel of the 2021 session came and went last Friday. For bills to remain alive this session, they had to have passed in one house, and been reported out of committee and placed on the debate calendar in the other house. Appropriations bills, Ways and Means bills, Government Oversight and leadership bills are all exempt from the funnels. The second funnel is particularly important as it sets the priorities for the rest of the session.
By law, the legislature is scheduled to be in session 110 days this year – April 30 is the target end date. Legislators can stay in session beyond April 30 but they won’t receive a per diem for the extra days they remain in Des Moines. The legislature typically goes beyond its scheduled end date – but it’s a real motivator for them to get their work done once their per diem runs out.
All indicators suggest the legislature should be able to finish its work on time. The list of bills that are still alive after the second funnel is relatively short. An even greater motivator for legislators to get their work done is the weather. It’s getting really nice out and those that farm are itching to get in the fields.
* * *
Still a Chance of Rain. Just a reminder, no bill is ever really “dead” until the Legislature adjourns sine die. The language of a bill that does make it through the funnel can always reappear later in the form of an amendment to another bill, a newly drafted funnel-proof bill or as a provision in the Standings Appropriations bill at the end of session.
* * *
Week Ahead. Floor debate will continue. Expect even more activity on budget and tax bills. We’re at the point in the legislative session where key legislators (those that make the big decisions) are getting harder to find.
The Nyemaster Goode Government Affairs team tracks and analyzes legislation as part of its full range of legislative services. At the statehouse, our public policy attorneys use experience, knowledge, and technical skills to achieve our clients’ goals.