Special Session to deal with Governors Veto?

July 08, 2015

THE TOP DEMOCRATS IN THE IOWA SENATE SAY THEY ARE SENDING A LETTER TO ALL 50 SENATORS SEEKING A SPECIAL SESSION TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD’S VETO OF ONE-TIME FUNDING FOR THE K-12 SCHOOLS. SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MIKE GRONSTAL, A DEMOCRAT FROM COUNCIL BLUFFS, SAYS HE ALSO HOPES TO GET THE VOTES NEEDED FROM REPUBLICANS FOR A SPECIAL SESSION. HE SAYS “WE’RE CERTAINLY HOPEFUL THAT THERE WILL BE REPUBLICANS THAT WHEN THEY TALK WITH THEIR LOCAL SUPERINTENDENTS AND TEACHERS AND PARENTS AND STUDENTS THAT THEY WILL RECOGNIZE THIS IS NOT A GOOD BUDGET FOR K-12 EDUCATION,” . HE SAYS THEY ALSO HOPE TO ADDRESS THE VETO OF MONEY FOR THE MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTES IN MOUNT PLEASANT AND CLARINDA. IT WOULD TAKE A TWO-THIRDS VOTE BY BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE TO HAVE A SPECIAL SESSION. HOUSE SPEAKER KRAIG PAULSEN, A REPUBLICAN FROM HIAWATHA, DOUBTS THERE’S ENOUGH VOTES . “I DO NOT SEE A SPECIAL SESSION. I DO NOT THINK THERE IS THE SUPPORT TO EITHER HAVE THE SPECIAL SESSION — TO CALL US BACK — OR TO VETO OVERRIDE,” PAULSEN SAYS. PAULSEN TOLD REPORTERS TUESDAY HE HAS NOT TALKED WITH EVERY HOUSE MEMBER, BUT HAS TALKED TO ENOUGH TO GAUGE THE SUPPORT FOR A SPECIAL SESSION. HE SAYS THEY WILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE VETO. HE SAYS “THE GOVERNOR VETOES STUFF EVERY YEAR. I GUESS WE MAKE DECISIONS AND HE MAKES DECISIONS AND WE WILL COME BACK IN AND ADDRESS THINGS NEXT YEAR”. LAWMAKERS APPROVED A ONE-AND-A-QUARTER PERCENT INCREASE IN K-12 EDUCATION MONEY FOR THE NEXT SCHOOL YEAR, ALONG WITH 55 MILLION DOLLARS IN ONE-TIME MONEY, WHICH THE GOVERNOR VETOED.

SIOUX CENTER SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDANT PAT O’DONNELL SAYS THE GOVERNOR’S VETO DOES NOT HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON THEIR BUDGET FOR NEXT YEAR BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T COUNTING ON THE ONE TIME FUNDING, AND THEY DIDN’T BUDGET FOR IT. HE SAYS THE 1-AND-A-QUARTER PERCENT INCREASE IN SUPPLEMENTAL STATE AID. HE SAYS THE SIOUX CENTER SCHOOL DISTRICT CAN SURVIVE FOR NOW WITH THAT AMOUNT OF FUNDING BUT IN THE LONG RUN IT COULD BE A TRAIN WRECK FOR IOWA PUBLIC SCHOOLS, ESPECIALLY THE RURAL ONES. O’DONNELL SAYS HE’S DISAPOINTED IN THE WAY THE LEGISLATURE DEALT WITH EDUCATION.

DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE IOWA SENATE 26-24 AND 34 VOTES WOULD BE NEEDED TO CALL A SPECIAL SESSION AND TO OVERRIDE THE GOVERNOR’S VETO. REPUBLICANS CONTROL THE IOWA HOUSE 57-43 AND IT WOULD REQUIRE 67 VOTES TO CALL THE SPECIAL SESSION AND OVERRIDE THE VETO.