Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.

Senate Ethics Committee does not discipline lawmakers on pipeline, social media complaints

By: - April 26, 2023

The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee did not take disciplinary action Wednesday against either of two senators accused of ethics violations. One of the complaints accused Sen. Mike Bousselot, R-Ankeny, of a conflict of interest in his management of legislation dealing with liquid carbon dioxide pipelines. A separate complaint was filed against Sen. Molly Donahue, D-Cedar […]

Senate passes agriculture, natural resources budget bill with public lands provision

By: - April 25, 2023

The Iowa Senate passed the agriculture and natural resources spending bill Tuesday with a provision Democrats said could limit the acquisition of public lands. Senate File 558 passed the Senate 33-16, appropriating more than $43 million in funds for the state’s agriculture and natural resources departments. The funding figures were approved via amendment, as the […]

Lawmakers approve keeping 2022 ‘Brady-Giglio list’ law

By: - April 24, 2023

The Iowa Senate unanimously approved a bill removing the sunset on a 2022 measure formalizing rules for informing law enforcement officers placed on “Brady-Giglio lists” because of credibility issues. House File 631 next goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds for final approval. The bill makes permanent changes signed into law in 2022 related to “Brady-Giglio lists.” The […]

Lawmakers say bill addresses speed camera use as ‘revenue generators’

By: - April 24, 2023

Republican senators advanced a new traffic camera bill that they said would allow local governments to use the technology to address real safety concerns while putting some limits on using cameras to generate revenue. Lawmakers discussed Senate File 489 in subcommittee Monday. It would require local governments to obtain permission from the Iowa Department of […]

Faith & Freedom forum: 2024 Republicans say they’ll fight ‘gender ideology, ‘woke’ beliefs

By: and - April 22, 2023

Defending religious freedoms means taking on “radical gender ideology,” allowing churches to not accept gay marriages and supporting abortion restrictions, potential and announced Republican presidential candidates told Iowans Saturday. More than 1,200 people attended the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition spring kick-off event Saturday at the Horizon Event Center in Clive. The event was one […]

Rob Sand: Amended bill restricting state audits still risks billions in federal funding

By: - April 20, 2023

House Republicans said their changes to a bill limiting the Iowa Auditor of State’s access to certain information fixes issues that would have put billions in federal funding at risk. Democrats, including State Auditor Rob Sand, said the problem remains. The House approved Senate File 478 Thursday on a 55-41 vote, sending it back to […]

House gives final approval to Reynolds’ priority education bills

By: - April 20, 2023

The Iowa House sent two bills containing Gov. Kim Reynolds’ education priorities to her desk Thursday, including restricting some school books, prohibiting LGBTQ and gender-identity topics in classrooms and reducing some curriculum and educator credential requirements. House lawmakers gave Senate File 496 and Senate File 391 final approval Thursday. The bills had bounced between chambers […]

Senate, House continue to disagree on school books, educator penalties

By: - April 19, 2023

The Iowa Senate sent Gov. Kim Reynolds’ “parental rights” bill back to the House Wednesday for another look as Republicans try to find a consensus on issues like “age-appropriate” school books and disciplinary measures for teachers who violate the bill’s proposed rules. Senators passed Senate File 496 Wednesday on a 34-16 vote after amending the […]

House, Senate advance competing bills on property tax reductions

By: - April 19, 2023

Both the Iowa House and Senate passed separate bills on property tax relief Wednesday as the chambers try to find a compromise on the best way to limit costs for property owners. Senate File 569 and House File 718 both passed out of their respective chambers Wednesday with bipartisan, near-unanimous support, with only one member […]

GOP senators’ property tax plan focuses on reducing levies for local governments

By: - April 18, 2023

An Iowa Senate panel started discussion Tuesday on a wide-ranging property tax bill that would consolidate and reduce local governments’ levy rates and change course on lawmakers’ approach to debt levies. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved Senate Study Bill 1218 as lawmakers seek to find a compromise between House and Senate proposals on how […]

Advocates call for Reynolds to reject changes to SNAP, Medicaid eligibility

By: - April 18, 2023

Low-income Iowans and advocates called for Gov. Kim Reynolds to veto the bill requiring new asset tests and identity verification for Iowans to access federal food assistance funds. Speakers held a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, talking about the ramifications Iowans could face if the governor signs Senate File 494 into law. The […]

Senate moves child labor bill after all-night debate

By: - April 18, 2023

Senators passed changes to Iowa’s child labor laws early Tuesday to allow 14- to 17-year-olds to work longer hours and in restricted fields with parental permission. Senate File 542 passed the Senate on a 32-17 vote shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday after significant delays. The bill allows 14- to 17-year-olds  to work in industries currently […]