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.

As assessed values soar, House committee advances amended property tax bill

By: - April 13, 2023

As Iowa property owners see higher assessed home and property values, House lawmakers are moving forward with a bill to cap annual property tax increases and reduce the school foundation property tax levy. Republicans amended the bill, House File 1, on Thursday with some changes that the Ways and Means Committee chair Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, […]

Iowa House passes GOP bill allowing guns in vehicles on school grounds

By: - April 12, 2023

As Democrats shared emotional stories of Iowans hurt and killed due to gun violence, Republican House lawmakers passed legislation allowing people to have guns in locked vehicles while on school and college properties. House File 654 also prohibits insurance companies from refusing to insure Iowa schools that have armed staff on school grounds. An adopted […]

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott announces 2024 exploratory committee during Iowa trip

By: - April 12, 2023

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott announced his launch of a presidential candidate exploratory committee for 2024 during an Iowa stop Tuesday. The South Carolina Republican announced the committee on Fox News Wednesday, just before holding meetings in Iowa with home-schooling parents and local pastors in eastern Iowa with U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson. It’s so enlightening to […]

Lawmakers debate requiring in-person caucus participation as Democrats propose mail-in system

By: - April 12, 2023

An Iowa House panel advanced a bill Wednesday requiring precinct caucuses to be conducted in person, over the objections of Iowa Democrats who had planned to allow mail-in participation for their 2024 caucuses. In addition to the in-person requirement, the bill requires caucusgoers to register to vote with a party 70 days before caucus night […]

Nikki Haley criticizes transgender influencer, talks LGBTQ topics in Iowa

By: - April 12, 2023

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Wednesday in Des Moines that transgender women participating in women’s sports is “the women’s issue of our time.” Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations, launched her “Women for Nikki” campaign Wednesday at the Temple Theater in Des Moines. She said transgender women – being “glorified” on social media […]

Iowa House passes bill limiting drone surveillance of livestock facilities

By: - April 11, 2023

The Iowa House passed legislation Tuesday restricting drone surveillance of livestock facilities without the permission of the property owner. “Remotely piloted aircraft” could not fly within 400 feet of homesteads or areas where agricultural animals are kept if House File 572 becomes law. People caught violating these restrictions would face a simple misdemeanor for intruding […]

Iowa House approves bill prohibiting local dog breed bans

By: - April 11, 2023

Local governments in Iowa would not be able to ban specific dog breeds such as pit bulls or Rottweilers under a bill passed Tuesday by the Iowa House. House File 651 passed the House on a 82-16 vote. The bill targets cities and counties that prohibit certain dog breeds for the perception that they pose […]

Senators request records of auditor’s subpoenas after Supreme Court ruling

By: - April 11, 2023

Three state senators have submitted open records requests for all subpoenas State Auditor Rob Sand has issued since taking office. The request comes in response to the Iowa Supreme Court ruling against the auditor’s subpoena of information from a municipal insurance risk pool. Sens. Mike Bousselot, Jason Schultz and Mike Klimesh submitted a request for […]

Social media ban for minors moves forward with exception for parental permission

By: - April 10, 2023

Minors would have to get parental permission to create accounts on TikTok, Instagram and other social media platforms under an amended bill that passed the House Ways and Means Committee Monday. The original version of House File 712 would have barred people under age 18 from creating or using accounts on social media. The revised […]

Reynolds’ proposed funding for pregnancy centers divides health advocates

By: - April 10, 2023

Health care advocates praised the governor’s health care bill Monday for providing needed support for rural hospitals and maternal health care providers, but remained concerned about the increased funding for pregnancy centers. A Senate appropriations subcommittee advanced Senate File 324 Monday. The bill outlines multiple spending proposals, including $1 million in grants for creating regional […]

Kari Lake defends Trump, tells Iowans to ask 2024 candidates about election fraud

By: - April 6, 2023

NEVADA, Iowa — Former Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake told Iowans Thursday she’s willing to “do anything I can” to help former President Donald Trump get back into office. Lake addressed about 80 people at the Story County Republicans’ Lincoln Highway Dinner. Her visit comes as Iowans are beginning to consider 2024 Republican caucus candidates, […]

Iowa House Democrats release proposals to lower living costs

By: - April 5, 2023

Iowa House Democrats said instead of focusing on “culture war” issues, lawmakers need to find ways to provide relief for Iowans’ rising costs of living. House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst and House Democrats said they plan to introduce a slate of five bills Wednesday on issues from combating wage theft, lowering utility and prescription drug […]