Late Night with Chester J. Culver

Midnight on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 was the deadline for the governor to take action on bills passed by the 2009 Iowa Legislature.  At 11:12 p.m. last night, Culver's staff sent out an email to reporters alterting us to his final decisions. The email had eight attachments — the governor's formal explanation for each of his item vetoes on budget bills as well as a copy of his executive order  Because of that "bulk" I received the email at 11:19 p.m. last night.

After reviewing it at 4:30 a.m. this morning, I wrote a couple of stories.  If you want to read the news release from the governor that was issued at 11:12 p.m. last night, I've pasted it below. The item veto messages and the executive order are embeded below, too, as pdf files so you can read every last word that came out of the governor's office overnight. 

DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver has taken final action on all outstanding legislation from the 2009 Iowa General Assembly.

“These bills – which include support for the issues Iowans care most about, such as our veterans, education, renewable energy, and job creation – bring to an end the 2009 Legislative Session, and Iowans should be proud of the work we have done,” said Governor Culver. “In a year when so many Iowans are still picking up the pieces from last year’s floods and with so many Iowans feeling the effects of this national recession, we were able to lay the groundwork for Iowa’s rebirth. The $830 million I-JOBS Initiative will help revitalize our communities, create new jobs, and allow us to literally work our way out of this recession. And our efforts on education, health care and disaster recovery will help tens of thousands of Iowans. This legislative session has been marked by many challenges. But it also shows that when elected leaders put good public policy above partisan politics, we can do good works for Iowa, and move our state closer the brighter, better future we all know is possible.”

The Governor signed the following Appropriations bills:

•        House File 805:  Transportation Appropriations Bill

•        House File 809 (HF 809 item-veto message):  Administration and Regulation Appropriations Bill, with exceptions

•        House File 811 (HF 811 item-veto message):  Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill, with exceptions

•        Senate File 467 (SF 467 item-veto message):  Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Bill, with exceptions

•        Senate File 479 (SF 469 item-veto message):  Economic Development Appropriations Bill, with exception

•        Senate File 470 (SF 470 item-veto message):  Education Appropriations Bill, with exceptions

•        Senate File 475 (SF 475 item-veto message):  Justice Appropriations Bill, with exceptions 

•        Senate File 478 (SF 478 item-veto message):  Standing Appropriations Bill, with exceptions

Governor Culver also signed today Executive Order 13 to promote greater transparency and efficiencies in state government. The order calls on the Department of Administrative Services to implement a new policy across the executive branch that will require every department to institute cost-effective and transparent practices to track reimbursements paid to State employees for meals, travel and other work-related costs. The Governor vetoed similar language today, added piecemeal to several budget bills, in order to issue his more comprehensive Executive Order which applies to all state departments.

“As Governor, I am committed to ensuring that state government uses tax-payer dollars wisely,” said Governor Culver. “Under Executive Order 13, we are ensuring that state employees are only reimbursed for the expenses they incur. This will help manage tax dollars wisely, and is one more sign that the Culver/Judge Administration’s commitment to sound budgeting practices will not waiver.”

A copy of the Executive Order is attached.

Below is a list of the final bills signed into law by the Governor:

•        House File 243 – Gender Balance on Boards and Commissions: Provides gender balance on local boards, commissions, committees, and councils.
•        House File 488 – Assistive Animals: Expands the rights of a person with a disability using an assistive animal to have another person to assist the person by controlling the assistive animal.
•        House File 671 – Volunteer Fire and EMS Job Protection: Prevents volunteer fire and EMS personnel from being fired from their jobs for responding to an emergency in their role as volunteer fire and/or EMS.
•        House File 712 – Private Right of Action: Gives Iowans the right to individually sue those who defraud them in certain cases.
•        Senate File 224 – Plumbers Bill: Makes modifications to the plumbing licensing statutes.
•        Senate File 291 – Retirement Communities: Allows communities that meet certain requirements be designated as “retirement communities” which could lead to state financial inducements for communities in the future.
•        Senate File 366 – Emancipation of a Minor: Sets up a legal process for minors in need of emancipation.
•        Senate File 405 – Disposal of Animal Carcasses; Grants some flexibility to veterinarians when they have an animal die over the weekend, when rendering plants are closed and the 24-hour disposal requirement is difficult to meet.
•        Senate File 432 – Manure on Frozen Ground: Generally bans application of manure on frozen and snowy ground by farmers during a specified period.  Provides procedures for emergency exceptions.
•        Senate File 433 – Health Care Facilities: Relates to the classification and assessment of violations in health care facilities and assisted living programs and providing penalties.
•        Senate File 435 – Land Surveyors Bill: Gives land surveyors the right to enter land without permission in order to survey. This has become necessary as currently a landowner can prevent resolution of a property disputed by denying access and as absentee landlords have become more common in rural areas.
•        Senate File 465 – Iowa Land and Records Bill: Increases certain real estate fees by $2 to pay for the redaction of social security numbers from
•        Senate File 476 – Quality Assurance Assessment: Implements a federal Medicaid leveraging strategy for the state’s long-term care delivery system.
•        Senate File 482 – Summer Youth/Green Corps: Establishes the Summer Youth Corps, the Iowa Green Corps, and makes AmeriCorps education awards tax exempt in Iowa.
•        Senate File 815 – Articulation Agreements: Makes it easier to transfer credits from community college to a Regents’ institution.

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About O.Kay Henderson

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