‘You Know, They Just Left on Saturday,’ Governor Says When Questioned About Decisions Regarding Lawmakers’ Actions

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds declined to say on Tuesday whether she would sign off on several bills regarding medical marijuana, sports betting and others.

"We’re going to set down with the policy team and we’re going through each bill that was sent to my office," the governor said in a brief exchange with reporters.

Legislators approved bills that would allow cannabis with more potency to be legally sold in the state and also a plan to let Iowans legally gamble on professional sports and college teams. Republicans also signed off on a plan that would ban Medicaid dollars from paying for gender reassignment surgery.

But the governor said her staff still needs to review the bills. "You know they (legislators) just left on Saturday. We’re just at the very beginning of the process," she said of legislators' actions that they completed before they adjourned for the session over the weekend.

The governor wouldn't say whether she would find another job for Janet Phipps Burkhead, the director of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. Senate Democrats declined to support confirming her again for the position. Without that backing, Republicans didn't have enough votes to confirm her. That means she will have to leave her position next month and the governor will need to find a new person to lead D.A.S.

"We don’t know yet. I haven’t made a decision on what that looks like," the governor answered in response to whether Phipps Burkhead could get another job in the administration.

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