IA Senate Removes Sunshine Clause from Subcommittee Meetings

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republicans have removed rules that require some state legislative committees to give 24-hour notice about meetings.

They say the move will improve efficiency, but Democrats say it’s an abuse of power.

The change applies to Senate subcommittee meetings, which are often where the public and lobbyists can formally express their opinions on legislation.

Republican Sen. Amy Sinclair says the change allows for more flexibility because the 24-hour rule could sometimes limit the ability to advance legislation.

But Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach says the move diminishes the public’s ability to directly give input. Democratic Sen. Pam Jochum calls it “an abuse of power.”

Several Republican-controlled Senate committees this week also removed transparency language from their meeting rules. Sinclair says the language was redundant because the Senate has separate rules regarding open meetings.