A bill that would ban red light cameras statewide is still alive at the statehouse after Friday's funnel, but still faces long odds to make it to debate. Republican leadership in the House say Democrats are holding up the bill, but a Des Moines Democrat says he's on the GOP's side.
What some lawmakers thought was a green on the red light cameras bill has hit a yellow at the statehouse. The bill failed to make it out of committee in the Senate, and barely survived the funnel in the House last week. Republicans accused Democrats of flipping sides on their member who was tallying support.
“He informed me he had enough votes, enough bi partisan votes to have enough votes, but the Democrats said no, it’s because we're not going to be giving away any votes for that bill,” says House Majority Leader Rep. Linda Upmeyer.
However, Democrats deny that charge.
“I think they should be banned. I really think they should be banned,” says Democrat Representative Bruce Hunter.
Hunter is against red light and speed cameras because he says there's no way to tell who is driving the car that gets the ticket. He says the issue is tricky because it's bi-partisan.
“It's not a fine line drawn that Republicans are supporting this or Democrats are supporting that. I think you'll find a split in both caucuses and that's the real reason it's moving as slow as it is,” says Hunter.
Republican Senator Brad Zaun has been against the cameras since they were first installed in Iowa. He says lawmakers need to talk about the issue because right now, cities have free reign to put the cameras anywhere and everywhere.
“You've got a community in south west Iowa that doesn't have 1,000 people in the town talking about putting in a red light at the only stop light in town,” says Zaun.
However, with the clock ticking at the state house, both Zaun and Hunter aren't sure there's enough support or time left in the session to speed through the issue.
“I think that any bill at this point that doesn't have solid support of both the House and the Senate should go by the wayside,” says Zaun.
Zaun says he'll try to keep the proposal alive in the Senate by tagging it onto another bill. In the House, the bill needs to make it out of Appropriations Committee before it could be debated on the floor.