“Stay tuned. You may be in for a surprise or two…”

Legislative leaders held three news conferences today. A main topic of conversation was Governor Chet Culver's $750 million dollar plan to borrow money to finance infrastructure projects around the state.  The two top leaders in the Iowa House discussed the prospects for the four labor-related bills which have been much discussed so far this year, but which have yet to clear the House.

Here's the text of a key Q&A featuring Mike Glover of the AP and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarty (D-Des Moines):

Glover"Kevin, if these labor bills don't start to move next week, are they in trouble?"

McCarthy:  "Stay tuned. You may be in for a surprise or two before this session is over."

You'll find the 15 minute long mp3 of the news conference featuring McCarthy and House Speaker Pat Murphy at the bottom of this story.  You'll find the news conference featuring Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (D-Council Bluffs), followed by the first bit of the news conference featuring Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley (R-Chariton) & House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) at the bottom of this story.

If you listen to the Murphy/McCarthy news conference, you'll hear Murphy joke about a labor bill tha's being considered by the House Labor Committee today.  Here's a bit more Q&A:

Charlotte Eby of Lee Enterprises newspapers/The Cedar Rapids Gazette"Repbulicans say that a bill that you've moving in Labor Committee is just a vehicle for another collective bargaining bill…They say that's the same one you tacked on collective bargaing (last year)…"

Murphy: "Oh, wow.  That's a surprise.  I thought we were going to sneak that by." (He smiles and laughs.)

Eby"Are we going to see collective bargaining?"

Murphy"Possibly.  Possibly.  Mike Gronstal said it on Iowa Press what three, four weeks ago.  We are looking at all four labor bills….If we can get a consensus of people in our caucus, we will look at some of the issues we looked at last year…I think those are some things that we want to legitimately discuss."

Murphy indicated any one of the four labor bills could "possibly" be considered on the House floor next week.  "If we can debate some of those, we will," Murphy said.

Here's a bit more of the Q&A:

Henderson "Which of the four labor bills seems most likely to come up for debate next week?"

Murphy, after a quick consult with and advice from McCarthy, said:  "Stay tuned."

Eby:  "Do you have the votes for doctor choice?"

Murphy:  "I would say right now is what we're going to do is we're going to go down to caucus and discuss it.  We're going to be looking at what our options are that are available to look at the issue of allowing something other than companies saying you have to go to a specific company doctor." 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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