Iowa’s proposed intra-state poker legislation is stuck in traffic. After clearing the state’s senate last Tuesday, the bill has failed to make the docket in the House of Representatives.
According to iGaming Business, the bill (known as Senate File 2257) did not reach the House floor until Friday. As such, it was not able to make it through the necessary committee process. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen has also announced that he has no plans to prioritize the legislation, casting the proceedings into a state of limbo.
“We really didn’t expect it to come over from the Senate,” said State Government Chairman Peter Cownie in a piece by the Quad-City Times. “There are deadlines and this really was a victim of the funnel.”
Due to this late introduction, the bill is will almost certainly miss out on the current 12-week House session. After pushing its way through the state senate, this sudden stoppage will almost certainly dampen the enthusiasm that had been surrounding the bill, which had passed through the Senate by a vote of 29-20.
Hope remains, however. Chairman Cownie has been in contact with several of his contemporaries in the House, many of whom are interested in finding a spot for the bill over the next three months. If the bill were to manage to succeed in the Senate, it would then reach the desk of Governor Terry Branstad. A career Republican, Branstad has previously stated his openness to poker legislation.
As covered in previous discussions of Iowa’s intra-state poker crusade, there is a fairly large chunk of potential tax revenue riding on this bill. Casinos within the state could see an estimated gross return of $30-$60 million, while Iowa itself might draw tax revenues of up to $13.2 million.