SETTLEMENT SAGA: Legislative Work Not Over

Both the Iowa House and the Senate were on the job through the wee hours of the night.

Lawmakers have a rule they don’t debate past midnight. But they waived that rule so they could keep going.

Senators finished almost everything one way or the other except for one major source of arguing.

It’s all about those hearings into secret settlements for dismissed state workers. Senators want subpoena power to force people to come into more of those oversight hearings to testify.

Without that power, legislators can only ask people to come in to testify. However, the subpoena can force them.

The way the rules work, lawmakers started the process early Thursday morning for subpoena power but won’t formally vote on it until tomorrow.

Des Moines Register political columnist Kathie Obradovich says she doesn’t expect hours of political theater tomorrow when Senators come back to work.

“I think we’re going to see is some fairly quick action. Republicans will see the wisdom of not prolonging this discussion over this resolution. I think they’re going to make a few points on how this is political grandstanding. They’re going to vote and they they’re going to go home,” Obradovich predicted.

Democrats could also choose to use the Senate floor to make their political points.

Either way, no matter how long it goes tomorrow, the issues are not over when the session is over.

Oversight hearings could continue long into the summer for some lawmakers after the majority of their co-workers have already gone home.

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