THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
LEGISLATIVE STATUTORY BODIES
Administrative Rules Review Committee
Joe Royce, legal counsel
Statehouse, Des Moines 50319;
Sen. Merlin Bartz, Sen. H. Kay Hedge, Sen. John Kibbie, Sen. Sheldon Rittmer, Sen. Pat Harper, Rep. Danny Carroll, Rep. Minnette Doderer, Rep. Janet Metcalf, Rep. Geri Huser
The Administrative Rules Committee is a bipartisan body composed of five legislators from each house of the General Assembly. Committee members are appointed for four-year terms, beginning May 1 of the year of appointment, by the respective presiding officers and are required to meet at least once every month on the second Tuesday. Administrative rules proposed by the state agencies are selectively reviewed by the committee. The committee has the authority to object to proposed rules; delay the effective date of rules for 70 days, for further study, delay the effective date of rules until the adjournment of the next legislative session; and request an economic impact statement on any proposed rules.
Computer Support Bureau
Sanford Scharf, director
Lucus State Office Building, Des Moines 50319;
The Computer Support Bureau was established by the 71st General Assembly and operates as a nonpartisan agency under the direction and control of the Legislative Council.
The Computer Support Bureau serves the General Assembly and the Legislative Council. The bureau also provides services and support for the computer systems used by the legislative staff, the Legislative Service Bureau, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, and the Office of the Citizen's Aide/Ombudsman.
The bureau director makes personnel and budgetary decisions, subject to review by the Legislative Council. The Computer Support Bureau shall advise the Legislative Council on matters relating to computer services and computer needs and uses of the legislative computer system. The Computer Support Bureau shall also cooperate with legislative agencies under the control of the Legislative Council, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Chief Clerk of the House in developing and maintaining computer services required by the Legislative Council and the General Assembly.
The Computer Support Bureau is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the legislative computer system. The bureau shall also advise the Legislative Council and legislative agencies under its control on uses and expanded capabilities of the legislative computer system.
The Computer Support Bureau provides the following computer services: chamber automation; bill drafting; computerized amending; bill status; bill subject index; full text of bills and amendments; Code search and retrieval; fiscal information; senate and house journals and calendars; committee information; lobbyist information; word processing and spreadsheet software; electronic mail; appointment scheduling; Internet access; and an Internet World Wide Web home page providing legislative information.
Citizen's Aide/Ombudsman Office
William P. Angrick, citizens' aide/ombudsman
215 E. 7th St., Des Moines 50319
515/281-3592; 1/888-426-6283; TDD 515/242-5065
The Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman Office was created October 1, 1970 by gubernatorial action. In 1972, the Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman Act, now Iowa Code Chapter 2C was passed establishing the office statutorily, removing the ombudsman from the governor's office and placing the office directly under the Legislative Council of the Iowa General Assembly.
The ombudsman is appointed to a four year term by the Legislative Council subject to confirmation by a majority vote of both houses of the General Assembly.
The ombudsman investigates complaints concerning administrative actions of public officials and agencies of Iowa state and local government. When a complaint is determined justified, the ombudsman recommends corrective action. The ombudsman may publish recommendations and conclusions. Excluded from jurisdiction are the governor and the governor's personal staff, the General Assembly and its staff and agencies, the courts and appurtenant judicial staff, agencies of the federal government, and private civil disputes. Complaints of employees of agencies which relate to their employment are not investigated, however the ombudsman may grant whistleblower protection to state or local government employees who report improprieties or inequities. Approximately 5,000 complaints and inquiries have been handled annually in recent years.
Diane Bolender, director, Legislative Service Bureau
Statehouse, Des Moines 50319;
Sen. Mary Kramer, Sen. Don Redfern, Sen. Stewart Iverson, Jr., Sen. Mike Gronstal, Sen. Derryl McLaren, Sen. Tom Flynn, Sen. John Jensen, Sen. Nancy Boettger, Sen. Jack Rife, Sen. Patrick Delahery, Sen. Johnie Hammond, Sen. Bob Dvorsky, Rep. Christopher Rants, Rep. Steve Sukup, Rep. Brent Siegrist, Rep. David Schrader, Rep. David Millage, Rep. Pat Murphy, Rep. Chuck Gipp, Rep. Libby Jacobs, Rep. Betty Grundberg, Rep. John Connors, Rep. Pam Jochum, Rep. Dennis Cohoon
The Legislative Council was established in 1969 as the successor to the Legislative Research Committee. It consists of 24 members. Its membership represents majority and minority members of both Houses, the leadership of both Houses, the Appropriations Committees and the at-large membership of the two Houses. The duties of the council are to oversee interim legislative business, prepare legislative facilities for the legislative sessions, undertake studies, and set the policies for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Legislative Service Bureau, Computer Support Bureau and Citizens' Aide/Ombudsman Office. A new council is established each odd-numbered year prior to the fourth Monday in January and serves until the following January of the next odd-numbered year.
Legislative Fiscal Bureau
Dennis C. Prouty, director
Statehouse, Des Moines 50319
This bureau was established by the 1973 session of the 65th General Assembly and operates under the direction and control of the Legislative Fiscal Committee, subject to the approval of the Legislative Council. The duties of the bureau include making recommendations to the General Assembly concerning the state's budget and revenue, furnishing information to committees on appropriations and committees on ways and means, assisting standing committees and members of the General Assembly in attaching fiscal notes to legislative bills and resolutions, conducting program evaluations, and reporting quarterly on the status of major state funds. The bureau performs a program evaluation function and such other duties as shall be assigned to the bureau by the Legislative Fiscal Committee or by the General Assembly.
Legislative Fiscal Committee
Dennis C. Prouty, Legislative Fiscal Bureau
Statehouse, Des Moines 50319;
Sen. Derryl McLaren, Sen. Mary Kramer, Sen. JoAnn Douglas, Sen. Tom Flynn, Sen. Pat Harper, Rep. David Millage, Rep. James Van Fossen, Rep. Libby Jacobs, Rep. Pat Murphy, Rep. Don Shoultz
The Legislative Fiscal Committee was established by the 1973 session of the 65th General Assembly and replaces the former Budget and Financial Control Committee. The committee is a bipartisan body comprised of 10 members: the chairpersons or their designated committee member, and the ranking minority party members or their designated committee member of the committees of the House and Senate responsible for developing a state budget and appropriating funds; the chairpersons or their designated committee members, and the ranking minority party members or their designated committee members of the committees on ways and means; and two members, one appointed from the majority part of the Senate by the Majority Leader of the Senate, and one appointed from the majority party of the House by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In each House, unless one of the members who represent the committee on ways and means is also a member of the Legislative Council, the person appointed from the membership of the majority party in that House shall also be appointed from the membership of the Legislative Council. The Legislative Fiscal Committee shall determine policies for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and shall direct the administration of performance audits and visitations, subject to the approval of the Legislative Council.
Legislative Service Bureau
Diane Bolender, director
Statehouse, Des Moines 50319;
The Legislative Service Bureau's purpose is to provide legal and other services to the Iowa General Assembly. These services include bill and amendment drafting, research, committee staffing, legislative information, and legal publication services.
The services are provided on an objective, nonpartisan basis by a professionally trained staff. Bureau staff are precluded by statute from making policy recommendations. Bureau policies are established by the 24-member Legislative Council to whom the bureau director is responsible.
The bureau was first established in 1955 as the Legislative Research Bureau. The agency's title was changed to the Legislative Service Bureau and the bureau was given additional responsibilities by the 1969 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The bureau currently operates the following divisions: Legal and Committee Services, Iowa Code, Administrative Code, Information Services, and Support Services Divisions.
The bureau director makes personnel and budgetary decisions for all divisions, subject to review by the Legislative Council.
Legal and Committee Services Division - Richard L. Johnson, deputy director; John Pollak; Committee Services Administrator; Statehouse, Des Moines 50319; 515/281-3566
The Legal and Committee Services Division, with the assistance of the Support Services Division, provides the following services to both the Senate and the House of Representatives: bill and amendment drafting; legal and legislative research; standing committee staffing; Legislative Council, statutory, and interim study committee staffing; and certain administrative services.
Bills and amendments are prepared by the bureau for introduction and filing in the General Assembly, at the request of any committee or individual member of the General Assembly. The services performed range from review and possible revision of legislative proposals developed elsewhere to complete drafting of bills and amendments on the basis of objectives stated by the requestors. Approximately 6,500 requests for preparation of bills and amendments were handled by the bureau during each of the past two legislative sessions.
The bureau also drafts conference committee reports and prepares enrolled bills for the governor's signature. Major studies requested by the General Assembly, the Senate or the House of Representatives, a legislative committee, or 20 or more members of the General Assembly are undertaken by the bureau staff upon approval by, and in accordance with priorities established by the Legislative Council. Final reports of the studies conducted during a legislative interim are prepared and distributed to all members of the General Assembly by the bureau.
Minor research and reference projects, which can be completed by bureau staff with a limited amount of work, are performed at any time upon the request of any legislator without the necessity of specific approval of the Legislative Council.
Iowa Code Division - Leslie E.W. Hickey, Iowa Code editor and division administrator; Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines 50319; 515/281-8871
The Iowa Code Division is required by law to prepare and publish the Iowa Acts (commonly referred to as the Session Laws), which is the official printed revision of all Acts and joint resolutions passed at each session of the General Assembly. The Iowa Acts also include tables and a comprehensive index.
The division also publishes the Code of Iowa which is the official compilation of all the general and permanent laws of the state. In publishing the Code, the Code editor must examine and apply each Act of the General Assembly to the body of the existing law, eliminating all special and private Acts and the parts of the general Acts that may be temporary in nature. Both the Code of Iowa and the Iowa Acts are available on CD-ROM.
The Code editor must determine the location of new legislative enactments and assign chapter and section numbers, as well as supply section headings, historical references, and cross-references to enable the searcher in the law to trace the sources and origins of the legislative enactments. Tables of disposition of the Acts of the General Assembly and tables of corresponding sections of Codes and Code Supplements are also included in the Code. A comprehensive and detailed index to the Code is also prepared and published with the Code every two years.
The first Code was published in 1851 and the Codes have been continuously kept up to date since then. Until 1924, each new Code was separately authorized by the General Assembly and a new editor appointed for each. In 1924, the position was made permanent and the law changed to provide publication every four years. The statute was amended in 1970 to provide for the Code to be published every two years. In the alternate years when the Code is not published, a supplement to the Iowa Code is published.
The division is also required to submit such recommendations as are deemed proper to each General Assembly for the purpose of amending, revising, and codifying such portions of the law as may be conflicting, redundant, or ambiguous.
Administrative Code Division - Kathleen K. Bates, Administrative Code editor and division administrator; Lucas State Office Building, Des Moines 50319; 515/281-3355
The Administrative Code Division edits and publishes biweekly the Iowa Administrative Bulletin which contains proposed and adopted administrative rules of all the various state agencies, executive orders, proclamations, and other materials deemed fitting and proper by the Administrative Rules Review Committee. The Administrative Code editor serves as secretary at the meetings of the Administrative Rules Review Committee. An index of public hearings and meeting agendas are available on the Internet at www.legis.state.ia.us.
The division also publishes the Iowa Administrative Code and its biweekly supplements. The Iowa Administrative Code is available on CD-ROM.
In addition, the division publishes in loose-leaf format the Iowa Court Rules and its supplements when amendments are filed by the Supreme Court or enacted by the General Assembly. The Iowa Court Rules includes the Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rules of Appellate Procedure, Supreme Court Rules, and various other court-related rules.
Other official documents such as the State Roster, which lists the names and terms of office of members of state boards and commissions, and specific subject matter codifications are also published by the division.
Information Services Division - Legislative Information Office, Statehouse, Des Moines 50319; 515/281-5129
The Information Services Division includes the Legislative Information Office, the Legislative Research Library, and the Capitol tour guides.
The Legislative Information Office (LIO) is the primary contact point for nonpartisan information about the Iowa General Assembly. As a unit of the Legislative Service Bureau, the LIO has access to the most current information on the actions and procedures of the General Assembly. Typical services provided by this office include: up-to-date bill status; copies of bills, amendments, and other legislative documents; meeting schedules; explanations of legislative procedures; information on current law and administrative rules; and research into past legislative action. The office also operates the LIO Outreach Program which offers speakers to discuss the legislative process, Iowa government, and Iowa history. The LIO serves as a referral point to other state, local, and federal agencies. The office maintains a legislative calendar throughout the year and responds to an average of over 3,000 legislative information requests monthly. The office also publishes numerous legislative information brochures such as How a Bill Becomes a Law, "How to Lobby," a citizen's guide and a directory which includes elected state officials, legislators, and Iowa's congressional delegation. Numerous resource materials published by the LIO are available on the Internet at www.legis.state.ia.us.
The Capitol tour guides constitute another information service available to the public. The Capitol tour guides conduct public tours of the Capitol Building throughout the year on weekdays and Saturday.
The Legislative Research Library maintains a collection of legislative history materials and other items relevant to state legislative issues.
Support Services Division
The Support Services Division provides support services primarily to the Legal and Committee Services Division and secondarily to other divisions. These support services include typing, text processing, proofreading, receptionist, clerical, financial and document handling services.
A major responsibility of the division is the management of the work flow for the numerous bills and amendments that are drafted each year.