Iowa Legislature likely to focus on budget bills

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2012 4:52 PM
Iowa Legislature likely to focus on budget bills

Iowa lawmakers are planning to focus on budget bills and legislative leaders' priorities as the session enters what could be its last month.

The Legislature typically turns to measures its leaders have declared important and to those that must be passed to keep government funded once the session gets past its 10th week, which was last week.

Passage isn't assured, however. Republicans and Democrats have big differences on the budget and major policy bills addressing school reform and property taxes.

A result of a Supreme Court ruling on Friday, lawmakers may focus on funding Iowa Workforce Development. The court struck down Gov. Terry Branstad's veto closing unemployment services offices last year. As a result, the agency's funding is void, and lawmakers must pass an emergency measure to avoid layoffs.