On March 1, 2017, House Study Bill 163 narrowly passed out of the House Environmental Protection Committee. Through aggressive lobbying efforts, coordinated by the coalition supporting Iowa’s existing bottle bill, significant pressure was applied to kill the bill. After numerous House Republican caucuses and frustration expressed by multiple House Republicans (four made public comments during the hearing that they were only voting “aye” to allow for “continued conversations”), House Study Bill passed nearly following party lines. Eleven Republicans voted “aye” and nine Democrats and one Republican voted “nay”.
By passing out of the House Environmental Protection Committee in advance of the first legislative funnel (Friday, March 3rd), the bill remains alive. It is expected to be referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.