I’m misty with memories about legislative shutdowns, especially now that I’m headquartered 130 miles to the east of Statehouse shenanigans.
I must rely on my reporter pals on the scene to give me that tingle up my leg, the one that tells me there’s chaos in the spring air.
At this hour, Charlotte Eby comes through. She’s got frustrated legislative leaders and an absent governor and a big fat standstill:
Iowa House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Des Moines, said the House is at a standstill until Gov. Chet Culver decides to negotiate on the remaining elements of the state budget.
Lawmakers headed into this week hopeful that they could wrap up next year’s budget and adjourn for the year. But majority Democrats and Culver have apparently not reached agreement on some key agenda items including the budget, income tax reforms pushed by Democratic lawmakers and an infrastructure bonding plan favored by Culver.
Screech. Gridlock. Hello, old friend.
Quick, cue the minority hyperbole:
House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said in his seven years in the Legislature, he hasn’t seen problems of this magnitude between the Legislature and governor.
“There was maybe some stress between different legislative leaders and the governor’s office in the past, but it’s never broken down quite to the point where it appears it’s broken down right now,” Paulsen said.
Yeah, but how about that one time, when Gov. Vilsack and Republicans who controlled the Legisalture spent weeks locked in a budgetary death grip? Actually, I think that was about seven times.
But this one-party control of everything is a real drag, because you don’t get that fun he-said, she-said negotiating in the press. They just fight behind closed doors and tell us they’re “making progress.”
Maybe that’s changing, however, if McCarthy is willing to complain about the governor not negotiating. We can only hope.
Update — The Des Moines Register also has complete standstill coverage.