Author

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations. They were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election, assisting with the Register's Iowa Poll, and reporting on Iowa's 4th District elections.

Corporate tax cuts triggered as Iowa announces nearly $2 billion surplus

By: - September 27, 2022

The growth of Iowa’s budget surplus to nearly $2 billion in fiscal year 2022 will trigger corporate tax cuts passed during this year’s legislative session, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday. Iowa is closing the books on fiscal year 2022 with $1.91 billion in the state’s general fund, $1.06 billion in the Taxpayer Relief Fund and […]

Miller-Meeks, Bohannan trade barbs over abortion in 1st District debate

By: - September 26, 2022

U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Democratic challenger Christina Bohannan exchanged heated comments during a debate Monday about what actions Congress should take on abortion and contraception. The candidates also disagreed about energy policy and its role in inflation. Abortion and inflation have risen to top issues in the national general election campaign. Miller-Meeks, a Republican […]

Iowan Doug Jensen found guilty of all charges related to Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection

By: - September 23, 2022

A federal jury found Doug Jensen of Des Moines guilty Friday of all charges for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection. The Washington, D.C., jury unanimously found Jensen guilty of all seven charges against him in his trial, which concluded Friday. He was charged with unlawfully entering and for disorderly conduct […]

Out-of-state number called Iowan with election misinformation, secretary of state reports

By: - September 23, 2022

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said voters should be on the lookout for election misinformation after an Iowa voter reportedly received a phone call with incorrect voting instructions. Pate’s office received information this week that a Mahaska County voter received a call from an out-of-state number. The caller told him that he did not […]

D.C. Dispatch: Grassley warns of ‘rainbow fentanyl’ sales; representatives pass police funding package

By: - September 23, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration is expanding funding for states’ opioid recovery programs as drug enforcers warn of new efforts to sell fentanyl to children, but Iowa’s U.S. senators say not enough is being done to criminalize drug distribution. Also this week, all four of Iowa’s U.S. House members supported part of a package that would […]

Capitol rioter from Iowa called ‘leader of the mob’ by police did not testify in his trial

By: - September 22, 2022

Iowan Doug Jensen did not testify and his lawyers did not call any witnesses in his defense as he stands trial for his role in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection. Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday and then the federal jury in the District of Columbia is expected to begin deliberations after the weeklong […]

Who’s visiting Iowa in the 2022 campaign season?

By: - September 22, 2022

The Iowa presidential caucuses are still a long way off, but potential presidential candidates and other national politicians are visiting the state ahead of the Nov. 7 midterm election. No top politicians have officially announced plans to run for president in 2024. President Joe Biden has indicated he plans to run for re-election, but has […]

More than 408,000 Iowans will see student loan debt decrease, officials say

By: - September 21, 2022

More than 408,000 Iowans will be eligible for student loan debt forgiveness under President Joe Biden’s plan, according to White House data. The Biden administration’s loan forgiveness program, announced in August, is set to eliminate $10,000 in college debt for people who earn $125,000 annually or less. For Pell Grant recipients, up to $20,000 will […]

GOP calls for Democrat Mike Franken to release accuser from NDA

By: - September 20, 2022

Iowa Republicans on Tuesday called on Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michael Franken to release from a non-disparagement agreement a former staffer who has accused him of sexual improprieties. Kimberley Strope-Boggus, who worked on Franken’s 2020 and 2022 U.S. Senate campaigns, filed a report in April with the Des Moines Police Department alleging Franken had kissed […]

D.C. Dispatch: Ernst calls for audit of IRS; veteran-assistance legislation passes

By: - September 16, 2022

As Congress reconvenes, Iowa Republicans are supporting measures they say will keep the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act in check. U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst announced this week that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, agreed to her request to audit Internal Revenue Service employees. Hundreds of IRS employees, including tax collectors […]

Iowa Board of Regents to request more funding in upcoming session

By: - September 15, 2022

The Iowa Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously approved plans to ask the Iowa Legislature for a budget increase of more than $34 million. Board members also unanimously passed a $1 million amendment to the total appropriations request of over $630 million, which would provide added funding for mental health services at the state’s public […]

As election security doubts mount, Iowa election officials reassure voters of process

By: - September 15, 2022

This story is part of a project called Democracy Day, in which newsrooms across the country are shining a light on threats to democracy.  With some political activists saying the nation’s election security is at risk, Iowa’s election officials are taking steps ahead of the November midterms to reassure voters that elections in the state are […]