DES MOINES | Legislative leaders report a deal to fund for K-12 schools could come as early as next week.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, expects House Republicans and Senate Democrats will make proposals at a conference committee early in the week.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake, also expressed optimism there will be “some resolution on that soon.”
A poll commissioned by ACLU of Iowa found 58 percent of Iowa caucusgoers support issuing driver’s licenses to immigrants, regardless of immigration status. Public Policy Polling surveyed 506 Iowa caucusgoers — 48 percent Democrats and 52 percent Republican. For more information, visit www.iowasaferoads.com.
The head of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said Thursday majority Republicans likely will not go along with provisions of a $116 million supplemental spending bill to cover shortfalls in Medicaid and other state programs for the fiscal year that ends June 30. Grassley said GOP representatives believe the $80 million Senate Democrats sought for the state share of Medicaid is too high, given Gov. Terry Branstad pegged the number closer to $67 million and a Medicaid privatization plan is slated to be implemented April 1.
Ex-speaker runs bills
After not floor managing a bill for 10 years, former House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, withstood a bit of good-natured hazing and won unanimous approval for two bills Thursday.
Both were noncontroversial “clean-up” bills, but Grassley gave Paulsen a hard time for not having fiscal notes analyzing the bills’ impact on the state budget. Paulsen, first elected in 2002, is not seeking re-election.
AFSCME Iowa Council 61, which represents correctional officers, is calling on the warden of the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville to “take safety seriously.” There have been 16 inmate assaults on staff this month, according to AFSCME President Danny Homan. Homan claims Warden Patti Wachtendorf has “refused to give staff the tools they need to do their job in the safest manner possible.” Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta said the department “takes the safety and security of staff very seriously and the commitment to staff safety is shared by all.”