DES MOINES, IOWA — Republican leaders at the State Capitol say they expect to finally finish the 2021 legislative session on Wednesday night. The swift movement to wrap up their work comes after an agreement was reached on Monday for a sweeping new tax bill.
Senator Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, said Wednesday morning that he expects this to be the last day of the session. Lawmakers intended to wrap-up on April 30th, when their per diem paychecks expire.
One of the first pieces of business to be finished on Wednesday morning was a bill calling for a constitutional amendment to no longer grant, secure or protect the right to an abortion in Iowa.
Republicans increased their advantage in the legislature during the 2020 elections. Among some of the pieces of legislation they’ve agreed to this year are:
- A bill that removes the requirement for permits to carry or buy a gun in Iowa, though strict federal laws still apply to licensed dealers
- A change to Iowa voting laws that limits the number of days for early voting and require mail-in ballots be received by Election Day, not just mailed by then. The bill was passed after a record turnout for the 2020 Iowa elections. A conservative political group has taken credit for writing that bill for Iowa Republican lawmakers.
- A compromise was reached to spend $100 million to reimburse communities that expand rural broadband and increase bandwidths
- A measure allows Iowa landlords to deny potential tenants who rely on federal housing waivers