Lawmakers reflect on "Funnel Week" survivors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lawmakers reflect on "Funnel Week" survivors

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Hundreds of potential new laws have made it through the first hurdle at the state capitol. Local legislators are preparing to head back to Des Moines Monday to begin debating those bills, but Sunday night they weighed in on what made it through the funnel.

Republican Representative Kraig Paulsen believes the democratic majority overlooked a few key areas. He would have liked to see a bill protecting homeowner's from paying more in property taxes.

"We really did nothing to help create long-term private sector jobs," added Paulsen.

Democratic Senator Jeff Danielson, on the other hand, wishes more could be done to preserve funding for colleges and universities. But he recognizes only so much is possible with a major budget deficit looming over their heads.

"I think Iowans right now don't want us wasting time on bills or ideas that don't have a consensus or that have a negative budget impact," said Danielson.

But a bill to restructure the government, and trim government spending, is getting support from both parties.

"That was a bill that we worked on together, and they did take some republican ideas. They also rejected about $290 million that would have saved the tax payers of Iowa money," said Paulsen.

It's not a perfect plan, but even republicans believe it's a step in the right direction. And with potential savings of more than $100 million, lawmakers believe this it won't take long for the "re-org" bill to become law.

"I think you'll see the governor sign it in a month or so," added Danielson.

This week, both houses will debate many of the "policy"-type bills. Those include a potential ban on texting and driving, and, in reaction to the recent Supreme Court decision, they'll consider at a bill which addresses corporate spending on political campaign ads.

Danielson also mentioned, the "Ed Thomas" bill survived funnel week. If passed, it would require hospitals to inform law enforcement when they release a potentially dangerous patient.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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