Iowa State Senate
The Iowa State Senate has 50 members, who serve four year terms. In 2007-08, there are 30 Democrats and 20 Republicans. Only 12% of the members are women.
Half of the body is elected every two years, and in 2008 the even-numbered seats will be on the ballot. Of those 25 seats, 15 are held by Republicans, and 10 by Democrats.
- President Pro Tem - Jeff Danielson
- Majority Whip - Tom Courtney
- Assistant Majority Leaders: Joe Bolkcom, Mike Connolly, Bill Dotzler, Jack Hatch, Amanda Ragan.
- During the Republican leadership election, Paul McKinley led a walkout by eight conservatives who opposed Mary Lundby.
- The Republican caucus threatened to block confirmation of all four of Gov. Culver's choices for the Iowa Board of Regents, but then quickly backed down and approved them all. They also confirmed Gene Meyer as Public Safety Commissioner, after first narrowly rejecting him.
- After a Linn county special election that reorganized its Board of Supervisors, Mary Lundby announced that she would retire from her state senate when the 2008 session ended, and run for a seat on the new Board.
- Senators Jeff Angelo (R), John Putney (R) and Thurman Gaskill (R) have also announced that they will retire after the 2008 session.
- Ron Wieck was elected as minority leader in September 2007, defeating Paul McKinley. He replaced Mary Lundby, who resigned her leadership post.
2007 Major Bills
- Increased state minimum wage to $7.25
- Raised teacher salaries by $5,400/year over next two years, with a goal of matching the national average.
- Began a state preschool program.
- Increased the cigarette tax by $1.00/pack to fund health care.
- Expanded state civil rights protections to include gays and lesbians.
- Created a $100 million fund for renewable energy research.
- Lifted restrictions on some types of stem cell research.
- Regulated the car title loan business.
- Required paper trails for electronic voting machines.
- Allowed election-day voter registration.
- IA Senate Pickup Opportunities In 2008 - analysis from Iowa Progress blog.