DES MOINES, Iowa – Monday marks the start of the first funnel week of the 2021 legislative session. This a deadline for lawmakers to push bills out of committee, or else they’re dead for the year.
A few bills that are still awaiting committee votes include changes and a repeal to the bottle bill, prescription insulin coverage, and a bill prohibiting an employer from mandating employees get vaccinated or immunized.
Legislation that is safe and now eligible for House and Senate floor debate include immunizations by dentists, Gov. Kim Reynolds’ broadband proposal, as well as mental health telehealth reimbursement.
One of Gov. Reynolds’ top priorities this year is her school choice bill. That legislation can be broken down into three major components: scholarships for students to attend private schools in struggling districts, redirecting a student’s attached per-pupil state aid to public charter schools, and other provisions tied to open enrollment and athletic eligibility.
While the Iowa Senate has passed the entirety of the bill the governor proposed, its future is still uncertain in the Iowa House.
“I think since the beginning of this process we felt comfortable with dividing different pieces up within that, and so I wouldn’t say that’s the final piece of action that would be taken with it,” House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said. “In the House, I think we felt comfortable on some of these making sure that we’re putting the proper vetting and dividing them up into a couple different pieces of legislation. Again, just because the entirety of one bill doesn’t move doesn’t mean there’s not things we don’t support.”
Friday, March 5th is the funnel deadline. To track the status of bills, click here.