Traffic Camera Bill and Traffic Camera Lawsuit Proceeding Simultaneously

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Legislature are each deciding the future of Iowa's traffic cameras simultaneously right now.

On Tuesday the state's high court heard arguments from the cities of Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Muscatine who want to throw out Iowa DOT rules that forced some cameras to be turned off.  The cities argue that the DOT doesn't have the legal authority to impose those rules.

A bill under consideration at the State Capitol would give them those rules, but the bill's author may not support it.  Earlier this session the Senate passed a bill sponsored by State Senator Brad Zaun, an Urbandale Republican, that would ban the traffic cameras.  However the house amended that bill, removing the ban but putting in place language that would limit where cameras can be used.  The bill is now back in the Senate and Zaun is considering re-amending the bill back to its original form.

"That's my amendment I filed today, we'll get back to the original intent and get rid of these cameras statewide with no exceptions," says Zaun.

The bill was on the debate calendar for today but was not taken up on the Senate floor.  Zaun says the bill could be used by Senate Republicans to hold up other worker at the Statehouse until it is settled.  "It'll head back to the House and then the house would have the opportunity to either put it on conference committee or kill it," he says, "We believe its something that could be a negotiating tool to get out of here."