Senate Avoids Partisan Bills While Key Member Out
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Senate Democrats are hopeful a Burlington lawmaker will return soon to the Iowa Statehouse, just weeks after undergoing heart bypass surgery.
Democrat Sen. Tom Courtney has been recuperating since his operation on Feb. 28 and told The Des Moines Register he hoped to return to the Legislature on Wednesday.
Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal says he doesn't know when Courtney will return but plans to fill the debate calendar with "non-controversial bills" until that time.
When Courtney gets back to work, he'll give Democrats the 26-24 edge over Republicans that's needed to approve bills on party-line votes.
Gronstal says there are plenty of votes that don't require all 26 Democratic votes. On Monday, for example, senators unanimously passed 14 of 15 bills.
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