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 enrollment recovers, Iowa Board of Regents eyes a request for more state aid

By: - September 8, 2022

As Iowa’s college enrollment numbers improve following a dip due to the pandemic, the Iowa Board of Regents is considering raising its budget request to match inflation and increased costs at the state’s public universities. The Board of Regents will discuss plans next week to request $630.46 million in 2024 fiscal year appropriations during the […]

3rd Congressional District candidates to debate Oct. 6

By: - September 8, 2022

KCCI-TV will host the first general election debate between the candidates for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on Thursday, Oct. 6. Zach Nunn, a Republican state senator, is challenging Rep. Cindy Axne, Iowa’s only incumbent Democrat in national office, in the Nov. 8 midterm election. At the debate, the two candidates will answer questions and compare […]

Axne says Inflation Reduction Act will help Iowa green energy businesses

By: - September 8, 2022

The Inflation Reduction Act will help Iowa fight climate change, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Thursday at an event with advocates and green energy companies in Ankeny. The congresswoman met with 1 Source Solar, an Ankeny company that installs solar panels at homes, farms and businesses in central Iowa, to talk about how the act […]

Campaign ads ramp up in final months ahead of 2022 midterms

By: - September 6, 2022

With two months left until the midterms, Iowa’s congressional candidates are ramping up their ad campaigns. U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and former Navy Adm. Mike Franken both released political ads in the past week, the first for both candidates in the general election cycle. Franken, who aims to stop Grassley from winning an eighth term […]

Here’s how Iowa unions, worker groups are celebrating Labor Day

By: - September 2, 2022

Iowa’s workforce is stabilizing as Labor Day celebrations kick off across the state. While worker shortages remain a problem for Iowa’s economy, unemployment rates are down nationwide. The U.S. Department of Labor reported unemployment rose from just 3.5% at 3.7% in August, and that 786,000 people entered the workforce. Iowa’s unemployment rate was lower in July, […]

Cost still challenges Iowa college students despite federal debt forgiveness

By: - September 2, 2022

While many Iowa college students and graduates will benefit from the national student loan forgiveness program, student aid workers say it may not encourage more Iowans to pursue higher education. Meghan Oster, the division administrator for research and communication at Iowa College Aid, said it’s too early to know for sure how the announcement will […]

Iowa Workforce Development receives $2.9 million in federal funding

By: - September 1, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded Iowa Workforce Development a $2.9 million grant to help the state improve its unemployment benefits system. The American Rescue Plan Act provided $26 million in total grant funding to Iowa, California, Michigan, Nevada and West Virginia to help the states improve their unemployment insurance programs. The goal of […]

Iowa launches merged Health and Human Services department

By: - August 31, 2022

Iowa officially has a new government department: Health and Human Services. The new agency, which combines the state’s departments of public health and human services,  unveiled its new mission and brand this week. The department plans to merge the agencies’ social media page and a new HHS website will replace the old agencies’ websites this […]

Iowa awards two health care companies contracts for state Medicaid program

By: - August 31, 2022

Iowa’s Medicaid benefits will be administered by three health insurance companies, the state Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday. The state announced its intent to award managed care contracts with Amerigroup Iowa and Molina Healthcare of Iowa. These new contracts will go into effect while the state finishes out its current contract with […]

Iowa Auditor Rob Sand announces cost-cutting competition winners

By: - August 30, 2022

More city and county governments are participating in the state auditor’s cost-cutting competition this year, Iowa Auditor Rob Sand said in a news conference Monday. Sand announced the winners of this year’s Public Innovations and Efficiencies (PIE) program, which was created in 2019 to help public entities find new ways to save money. To participate, […]

Iowa’s new voting rules: What to know as absentee voting requests start

By: - August 30, 2022

Iowans are now able to request absentee ballots to vote in the general election, but changes to state voting laws mean Iowans will not be able to cast their votes until later than they may have in the past. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed legislation into law last year that shortened both early and Election Day […]

AARP’s ‘Fraud Watch’ program works to educate seniors about scams

By: - August 29, 2022

Older Iowans are more likely to be targeted by scams, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Iowa Insurance Division Commissioner Doug Ommen said, which is why seniors need to learn how to spot the warning signs. Learning how to identify scams and frauds is the goal of the AARP “Fraud Watch” educational program, a statewide tour […]