Attorney General Powers Iowa

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has yet to decide if she will veto a measure that would force Iowa's attorney general Tom Miller to seek permission to file out-of-state lawsuits. Miller met last week with Reynolds to discuss the measure, which is aimed at stopping him from filing or joining lawsuits challenging policies of President Donald Trump's administration. 

WILTON — She’s met with Attorney General Tom Miller and heard from his colleagues in other states, but Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday she has made no decision on legislation that would limit his independence.

“We’re still reviewing it,” Reynolds said Monday after a bill signing in Wilton. “I can’t give you any insight into what we’re going to do, but thanks for asking.”

A provision in Senate File 615, a $584 million justice systems budget bill, would require the attorney general to get permission from the governor, Executive Council or Legislature before joining an out-of-state lawsuit.

Reynolds, a Republican, has until May 27 to make a decision whether to exercise her line-item veto authority to strike the limitation that is the only one of its kind on a state attorney general in the country.

The Republican-controlled Iowa House and Senate adopted the measure over Democratic objections that it was politically motivated because Miller, a 10-term Democrat, has joined other attorneys general in challenging the Trump administration’s policies on clean energy, immigration and putting a citizenship question on the upcoming Census. Republicans countered that Miller was less aggressive in challenging federal policies under the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat he endorsed.

Miller recently met with the governor to discuss the restriction, but Reynolds on Monday would not discuss the content of their conversation.

“It was a private conversation,” she said about the meeting between the two public officials. “I appreciated him coming in and sitting down and talking about why he thought it was important. It was a good conversation.”

In an interview last week, Miller called it a “good visit.”

“She heard me out and I had my say,” Miller said. “It’s in her hands now.”

A bipartisan group of current and former state attorneys general also recently wrote Reynolds to encourage her to veto the provision.

Reynolds said she’s heard from “a couple, I think” attorneys general from other states who encouraged her to veto the provision.

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