House Version of Gas Tax Increase Is Dead
This week was funnel week in the Iowa Legislature. For those unfamiliar, funnel week is the last week in which most bills can be passed out of committee in their originating chamber and still be eligible to go before the full chamber. As explained in last Friday’s Watchdog, the House version of the gas tax increase did receive passage in subcommittee but it was not brought up for debate in the House Transportation Committee this week. This means that the House version of a gas tax increase is essentially dead. A bill that increases the gas tax could still technically come through the House Ways and Means Committee, but this is unlikely. This is good news for taxpayers, but it does not mean that this issue is off the table for this session.
HSB 645, a bill that relates to government efficiencies, passed in the House State Government Committee this week. This bill includes a provision that would no longer allow Legislators’ per diem allowances to be considered as wages when calculating pension benefits under the Iowa Public Employees Retirement System (IPERS). The Senate also passed its version of a government efficiencies bill in the State Government Committee, but did not include any reform of IPERS benefits for Legislators.ITR Watchdog - Session Week 7