Iowa Judicial Branch Newsletter
May 24, 2018
Lady Justice
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     Legislative Update

Legislative Update 


     When the legislature gaveled into session in January 2014, legislative leaders were hopeful to adjourn on time, if not early.  In the second year of the biennium, legislator per diem expense money runs out on day 100 of the session, or on April 22.  While the leaders' goal remains to adjourn by April 18, do not be surprised if adjournment is a week later.     


     Both the House and Senate have cleared their calendars of most policy bills.  Approximately 90 policy bills already have been sent to the Governor for signing.  So, most of the next two weeks will focus primarily on the ten appropriation bills that make up the state budget, along with tax bills.  On a positive note, the legislature completed work on the judicial branch budget bill this week, making the judicial branch  budget bill the first one to be completed and ready for the governor's signature.     


     House File 2449 appropriates $171,486,612 for operations and $3,100,000 for jury and witness fees, for a total judicial branch budget of $174,586,612.  This represents a $5,899,865, or 3.6%, increase in the operating budget.  It also represents the second consecutive year the judicial branch has seen a significant increase in its operating budget.  Approximately $4.3 million of the increase will allow the judicial branch to maintain its current level of service by covering the 2015 fiscal year (FY 15) cost of salary annualization for judges, magistrates, and non-judicial officer personnel, as well as FY 15 salary adjustment requirements for both contract and non-contract covered personnel, along with projected increases in health insurance premiums.     


     This will leave approximately $1.6 million of additional funding to apply against the $4.3 million in additional services requested in the FY 15 budget proposal.  The supreme court will set priorities for use of the additional $1.6 million after the bill is signed and the court has had the opportunity to review current judicial branch needs.  





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