Iowa Lawmakers Suspend Session, Approve Expanded Powers for Governor

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa lawmakers voted early Tuesday morning to suspend their session for a month.

The House and Senate also passed a bill to waive requirements for schools to make up days cancelled through April 12th because of the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak.

State law requires for schools to complete either 180 days of classes, or 1,080 hours each school year.

The Des Moines Register reports lawmakers unanimously passed legislation to grant Governor Kim Reynolds special power to move money between state agencies and departments as needed.

The bill further allows her to tap 10 percent of the state's $200 million Economic Emergency Fund to deal with the virus.

Lawmakers also approved more than $500,000 for processing COVID-19 test kits at the State Hygienic Lab at the University of Iowa.

Democrats, who are the minority in both chambers of the legislature, were shot down in an effort to assist hourly workers with unemployment benefits and protect people who can't afford rent or mortgage payments.

All of laws were passed as "session law", which means they are temporary and only to address the current public health situation.

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