This week was the second funnel week for the Legislature. The second funnel is a self-imposed deadline by which policy bills from the Senate must be out of committee in the House and likewise, House bills must be out of committee in the Senate in order to continue being considered. The exceptions to this rule are bills which have a tax implication or are an appropriations bill. The purpose of the first and second funnel deadlines is to narrow down what the chambers will deliberate over and allow our focus to move to budgets and tax reduction policies.
After the election last fall the House Republican caucus collaboratively put together a list of priorities that we felt reflected what we heard on the campaign trail from our constituents and people across the state. While we are currently working to finalize some of the policy legislation that made it through both funnels there may still be a few sticking points on ideas that crop up in the next few weeks.
Overall House Republicans have worked very hard this session and have wasted no time turning the priorities of Iowans into meaningful legislation. We have passed a significant amount of legislation out of the House that recognizes the will of Iowans and moves our state in the right direction. This has caused us to have some very long days and late nights in debate, but this is how the process works and what hard-working Iowans elected us to do.
As we start to narrow our discussions on policy, House Republicans are working hard to craft a smart and fiscally responsible budget for the coming fiscal year. Fiscal responsibility is a core principle for House Republicans and we have demonstrated this over the last ten years that we have been in the majority. We will continue to work hard to fund the priorities of Iowans while also finding ways to return unneeded tax dollars to hard-working Iowans.
The budget for the coming year will be roughly $8 billion dollars. The exact number for the final budget is still in negotiation between the House, Senate and the Governor. There are still several moving pieces to align in the budget, but House Republicans will continue to demonstrate fiscal restraint and pass a balanced budget.