Sick Senator Leaves Democrats without Enough Votes


By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A senator is out of the Capitol recovering from heart surgery, leaving the Democrats without the majority they need to approve legislation.

Senate staffers say Sen. Tom Courtney, of Burlington, had heart bypass surgery last week, and it is not known when he will return to work. Without Courtney, the Democrats hold a 25-24 majority in the Senate, one vote shy of the 26-24 majority needed to pass legislation on party-line votes.

Lawmakers are about halfway through the legislative session, which is scheduled to finish May 3, though it could run longer.

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