Prevailing Wage Debate Time-line

Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen put together a time-line for the Prevailing Wage bill’s life the past week:

Thursday – February 19, 2009

9:16 a.m. House convenes with the expectation we will begin debating HF 333 in the morning. The Majority Leader tells me Rep. Olson will have a corrective amendment coming, they expect it around lunch time and we will begin debate then. We recess until 1 p.m.

1:00 p.m. Olson amendment has not arrived – we sit and wait.

7:56 p.m. Olson amendment finally arrives – Republicans go to caucus.

9:00 p.m. I inform the Speaker and Majority Leader that Republicans will not permit this bill to be passed in the middle of the night and we will be staying in caucus to work on amendments until the sun comes up.

10:00 p.m. Majority Leader agrees to start debate at noon on Friday if we agree to limit debate to five hours. We agree.


11:00 a.m. Republicans caucus for final discussions on bill. I asked the caucus to be thoughtful, respectful, and passionate – but win the debate. The final vote count is in doubt.

12:05 p.m. The House convenes.

12:15 p.m. Rumored the democrats now have 51 votes (exact number needed for passage).

12:18 p.m. Majority Leader calls up Price Fixing Act for debate with a end time and vote at 5:20 p.m.

12:20 p.m. Debate begins.

2:00 p.m. Begin debate on main Democrat amendment.

2:30 p.m. It’s rumored they are back to 50 votes.

3:30 p.m. Rep. Bailey (D) announces on floor he will vote “no” unless the bill gets changed.

4:00 p.m. House defers on main Democrat amendment so that Bailey corrective amendment can be drafted. Presumably now they are back to 51 votes.

4:15 p.m. We begin debate on the Grassley amendment to protect disaster victims.

4:40 p.m. Rep Bailey informs me that if I prevent debate on his corrective amendment he will vote for the bill on final passage.

4:45 p.m. Corrective amendment arrives

4:50 p.m. I speak on the Grassley amendment. While speaking it appears to me that Democrat Leader is having his members request time to speak. This will have the effect of running out the clock and prevent us from debating the corrective amendment for procedural reasons.

5:00 p.m. I decide to let him run out the clock and have Republicans end remarks.

5:15 p.m. Grassley’s amendment fails.

5:16 p.m. Rather than call up Bailey amendment they just move on and run the clock out.

5:20 p.m. Speaker Murphy closes debate and calls the question.

5:30 p.m. Vote count sits at 50 – 46 – Bill fails

5:40 p.m. Speaker announces he will hold the voting machine open until Monday at 1 p.m.

11:40 p.m. Rep Scott Raecker (R-Urbandale) votes “no”, vote now sits at 50 – 47 – bill fails

Saturday – nothing happens


5:20 p.m. Rep Greg Forristall (R-Macedonia) votes “no”, vote now sits at 50 – 48 – bill fails


1:09p.m. The Majority leader switches vote to “no” so he can file a motion to reconsider and the speaker closes the vote. Final vote 49 aye – 49 no, 2 absent, the bill fails.

1:10 p.m. House adjourns and finally the legislative day of Thursday, Feb 19, 2009 is over.