The first half of the 87th General Assembly ends Saturday morning, April 22nd, at 7:15. The chambers are mostly silent as amendments and budget bills are finalized in committees. In the middle of the night, House leaders give their sine die speeches a few hours before adjournment. By daybreak, debate begins for the last bills of the session. One expands medical marijuana and the other is the standing appropriations budget bill.
On the floor, one of the last items of the budget to be criticized by the Democrats is the $150,000 allocated for the lt. governor's transition to be the next governor. During Governor Branstad's Monday morning news conference, he fiercely defends this amount of money. He also says he expects to be able to sign or veto the remaining bills in the next month before he leaves to be the U.S. ambassador to China.
We close with a discussion about this year's session with Iowa Public Radio's statehouse reporter Joyce Russell, Associated Press' Barbara Rodriguez, Gazette political reporter James Lynch, and Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich.
This is the final episode for the year and we expect to resume the podcast in January 2018.