Capitol Notebook: Death of a Moratorium on Eminent Domain Action; lawmakers approve budget bills

Approval of spending packages signals lawmakers closer to adjournment

EMINENT FIELD: Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, said he’s “99.9% sure” there won’t be a one-year moratorium on using eminent domain for development projects. carbon pipeline passed this session.

The House passed the one-year moratorium as part of the budget bill for the Department of State Administrative Services, but the Senate passed its own version of that budget bill without the moratorium on eminent domain. .

Kaufmann said that during lawmakers’ negotiations to complete their work for the session, the prominent moratorium on the domain was not upheld. However, he said he believes lawmakers who support the moratorium have sent a signal on behalf of Iowa landowners who oppose the use of eminent domain to secure private land for projects. pipeline.

“I believe the message has been sent loud and clear to any proposed pipeline company that we expect to treat landowners fairly,” Kaufmann said. “I think that message was sent loud and clear by the passage of a bill in the House, and I think that set the tone.”

CLICK HERE OR TICKET: Law enforcement in Iowa is participating in the nationwide Click It or Ticket campaign through June 5 as part of an accident relief effort. Officers will have zero tolerance for drivers who speed, fail to buckle up, or drive while distracted or impaired.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,893 unbuckled occupants of passenger vehicles died in crashes in the United States in 2020. In 2021, 94 people not wearing seat belts were killed on US roads. Iowa, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported.

In Iowa, the maximum penalty for a seat belt violation is $135.50.

BUDGET INVOICES: State lawmakers have been pushing hard to set the next state budget, which begins in about six weeks. The House and Senate have approved budget bills for a myriad of state agencies and departments in the process of crafting an estimated $8.2 billion state budget.

As of Monday afternoon, the Senate and House had passed budgets for the state’s agriculture and health and human services departments. The Senate also approved budgets for the state’s justice and public safety systems, as well as the state’s Department of Transportation.

Minority Democrats in both houses have expressed some concern over the myriad budget bills. For example, Democrats in the Senate have said there are not enough funds in the state budget to address the child care staff shortage.

BETTING ESPORTS: A provision that would have legalized esports betting has been removed from gambling legislation and will not pass the Iowa legislature this session.

Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, said many lawmakers were weary of passing another major gambling expansion, after approving legislation in 2019 that legalized sports betting in Iowa.

“I think it was a subject that made people in the anti-gaming industry uncomfortable,” Kaufmann said. “Sports betting (expansion) is quite new.”

AN INMATE DIES: Norman Charles Wadsworth, 82, who was serving a 50-year sentence for second-degree murder in Polk County, died of natural causes Thursday while hospitalized at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville. His sentence began on October 26, 2016.

— Compiled by the Des Moines Gazette Bureau