This is the first funnel week of the session, where bills that have not come before a committee are eliminated. It also provides party leaders a chance to reflect on what they've accomplished and what they can realistically expect to see coming to the House or Senate floor for debate. Senator Rob Hogg (D-Cedar Rapids), minority leader, says the Republicans' remaining agenda is "nonsense." House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) says Hogg's use of "hyperbole" is an example of the Democrats having a tough time refuting the success of a Republican-dominated session.
One of the bills moving forward expands gun owner rights. Representative Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) is heading up the efforts for this bill, which passed out of committee Wednesday. Representative Mary Wolfe (D-Clinton) is concerned about about language in the bill that allows the use of deadly force in non-violent burglaries. The representatives discuss their differences during a conversation from the Capitol's Law Library.
Some of the bills no longer eligible for debate include education savings accounts, allowing parents to use state money to send their children to private schools, and the death penalty.
Bills that will move to debate include increased penalties for protesters blocking traffic on a highway, reorganizing Des Moines Water Works, prohibiting counties from setting their own minimum wage, requirement for an identification to vote, and a change to workers' compensation claims.