The 2015 legislative session will be remembered for what it didn’t get done as much as what it did.
Lawmakers passed a 10 cent increase in the state’s gas tax, and they expanded broadband. They also left legislation regarding bullying, guns and medical marijuana sitting idle, and it's still in question whether Governor Terry Branstad will call a special session to sort out a two-year budget for K-12 school funding.
“There was so much effort and political capital put into that tax that I don’t know that there was much stomach for doing anything else,” says Erin Murphy, who covers the Statehouse for Lee Newspapers.
During this River to River program, Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg talks with Murphy, along with Radio Iowa’s News Director Kay Henderson, James Q. Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette and Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell.
Russell, who has been covering state politics for nearly 20 years, says this session will be remembered in part for the gridlock that we saw at the Capitol. “There is some of the most bitter infighting that I think I’ve seen, especially with Republicans in the House.”