from The Omaha World Herald, published November 29, 2011.
DES MOINES (AP) — The Legislature’s next session will be a relatively short one, tightly focused on jobs and the economy, its top leaders said Tuesday.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said he has no plans to revisit volatile social issues like gay marriage and abortion when lawmakers convene Jan. 9. Republicans who control the House approved tough restrictions on abortion and a resolution calling for a statewide vote on banning gay marriage last time around, but the Senate’s Democratic leader blocked debate on both measures.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, has indicated he would do the same again, and given that, Paulsen said there’s little incentive to revisit the issues.
…Paulsen said he’s not interested in spending more time on issues that can’t be resolved. There have been some discussions about gun control issues, but no firm proposals have surfaced, he said.
“Right now, the primary focus of the caucus, make no mistake, is on jobs and the economy,” Paulsen said.
With the session scheduled to end April 17, both leaders said they also want to avoid the kind of gridlock that kept lawmakers in session this year until the end of June. But they conceded that’s always a challenge when each party controls one chamber.