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.

On his last day as Arkansas governor, Asa Hutchinson visits Iowa

By: - January 9, 2023

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson spent his last day as Arkansas governor in Iowa with legislators preparing for their first day of the 2023 legislative session. Hutchinson congratulated Iowa Republicans for their successes in the 2022 election at the party’s legislative breakfast Monday morning and led the group in prayer. “I know you think I’m just […]

School choice, property tax legislation top of leaders’ minds entering 2023 session

By: - January 9, 2023

Republicans on Monday kicked off their seventh straight year of holding a trifecta in the Iowa Statehouse, with leaders promising action on property tax policy and “school choice” legislation during the 2023 session. Leaders of the majority party had reason to celebrate as the Iowa House and Senate assembled Monday: Republicans gained a supermajority in […]

Conservative Iowa PAC launches six-figure ‘school choice’ ad buy

By: - January 9, 2023

Priorities for Iowa, a conservative political action committee, launched a six-figure ad buy across Iowa in support of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ “school choice” legislation. The group announced a new ad Monday featuring the governor in a classroom, discussing the need to give parents more choices for their children’s education. One of the governor’s priorities heading […]

School choice, property tax and tort reform: What to expect in the 2023 legislative session

By: - January 9, 2023

The Iowa Legislature opens its 2023 legislative session Monday with a Republican agenda that includes a return to discussions about “school choice,” tort reform and pipeline legislation which did not move forward in previous years. While Republicans already held the majority in both chambers of the Statehouse, the party won a supermajority in the Senate […]

Iowa House speaker: Expect carbon pipeline debates in 2023 legislative session

By: - January 6, 2023

Iowans can expect to see their state legislators discuss changes to carbon pipeline laws in the upcoming legislative session, House Speaker Pat Grassley said in an interview. Iowa’s future carbon pipelines were a divisive topic on the campaign trail in 2022. Three companies are in the process of working to build more than 2,000 miles […]

Iowa Democrats ask DNC to reconsider caucuses after two states missed deadline

By: - January 6, 2023

The Iowa Democratic Party renewed calls for the Democratic National Committee to let Iowa keep its first-in-the-nation caucuses after Georgia and New Hampshire missed a key deadline in the process for changing the early state lineup. The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee in December granted conditional waivers to South Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and […]

2023 legislative preview canceled after GOP leaders decline participation

By: - January 3, 2023

The Iowa Capitol Press Association announced Tuesday it would cancel its 2023 legislative preview forum as state Republican leaders declined to participate in the event, which had been held annually for more than 20 years. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver and Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley all declined their invitations to the forum, […]

Iowa student gun safety advocates share 2023 policy goals

By: - January 3, 2023

Students with March for Our Lives Iowa said Tuesday they plan to focus during the 2023 legislative session on firearm regulations which can hold up to the newly implemented constitutional amendment. Group leaders held a news conference Tuesday at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Each year, the gun violence prevention group brings up […]

As shutdown looms, Grassley says spending bill expected by Dec. 22

By: - December 14, 2022

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said Republicans have made progress over the past week in negotiations over the upcoming spending bills as Congress seeks to avoid a government shutdown. The Republican senator told reporters Wednesday he would wait until the text of the appropriations legislation is released before saying whether he will support it. But he did […]

Iowa abortion rights activists brace for new restrictions in wake of district court ruling

By: - December 13, 2022

Reproductive rights advocates are celebrating the Iowa district court decision ruling on the “fetal heartbeat” law, but Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said she is holding out for the Iowa Supreme Court’s final decision. Speakers with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa said Tuesday the court decision protects safe, legal abortion in Iowa “for now.” […]

Marriage equality act has religious freedom protections, Ernst says

By: - December 12, 2022

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst defended her vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act in a press call Monday, saying that the legislation protects religious freedoms while keeping the “status quo” on same-sex marriage. Six Iowa Republican county parties voted to censure the Republican senator for her vote in favor of the marriage equality […]

Iowa gets $70 million in opioid crisis agreement with CVS, Walgreens

By: - December 12, 2022

Iowa will receive more than $70 million as part of a multistate agreement with CVS and Walgreens over the companies’ role in the opioid epidemic, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced Monday. The agreements come following accusations from state attorneys general that the pharmacy chains contributed to the opioid epidemic by “ignoring red flags” about […]