Never say never when it comes to gas tax

This is Thursday, really a sort of Friday when you're covering the Iowa legislature as Thursday is the last day of their work week in Des Moines.  Democratic legislative leaders held a news conference, then Republican legislative leaders held one, as is the custom.  Democrats made it clear they intend to continue discussions about an increase in the gas tax.  Read details here. 

And you can listen here to Democratic leaders in the Iowa House talk about the drunken boating bill which passed the Senate 49-1 this week.  The bill in the past few years has bogged down in the Iowa House.  House Speaker Pat Murphy discussed the desire of some Democrats to write the bill in such a way as to ensure insurance companies, when drawing up higher rates for those caught operating a water vessel while drunk — establish some connection so the smaller the boat the drunken boater is caught operating, the smaller the rate increase.  He also suggested the size of the "pond" or "lake" should have some bearing on the insurance rate increase the drunken boater will likely be charged on their auto insurance.

Here's the key quote from Murphy: "The big argument that's been is the impact it has on operating a motor vehicle, how it affects your insurance and some of those issues because if there's a person sitting out on a pond up in Lake Okoboji and he's fishing and drinking beer and gets picked up, it's much different than a guy who's driving a high-powered speed boat across Lake Okoboji."

Iowa Public Radio reporter Jeneane Beck followed up with a question: "That makes it sound like if you drive a small Yugo that you can do less damage than a semi.  There's no different penalty for drunk driving depending on what kind of a vehicle you're driving or what street you're on.".

"I think either one of them will kill you if they run over you," Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal replied.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.