DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa lawmakers seem to work at their own pace. Monday, Governor Terry Branstad said it’s his belief that work will keep stretching out, likely until June.
The unofficial calendar set May 1 as the last day of this year’s legislative session for lawmakers. That is the final day lawmakers get their daily allowances for expenses on things like travel, lodging and meals for the session. Once the session stretches past that, that forces lawmakers to pay their own way for those expenses.
“I’m still hopeful,” Branstad said of the work still ahead for lawmakers.
The governor still wants lawmakers to pass an anti-bullying bill and broadband expansion, two of his key agenda items.
But lawmakers have argued for months over issues like funding for schools, as well as the overall state budget. So the disagreements have kept them past the May 1 deadline.
“I think it’s likely that it will go into the first week of June,” Branstad told reporters at his weekly Monday morning news conference.
Branstad said several state senators had conflicts this week and weren’t available to do their jobs at the Statehouse.
By law, legislators must reach agreement on the next year’s budget before July 1, the start of the state’s fiscal year.