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 panel approves bill aimed at fully eliminating Iowa income tax

By: - March 15, 2023

The Senate Ways and Means committee advanced legislation Wednesday to reduce and eventually eliminate Iowa’s income tax. Changes to Iowa’s income tax rates are already underway through laws signed in 2018 and 2022, moving to a single rate of 3.9% by 2026. Senate Study Bill 1126 proposes further cuts, lowering Iowa’s income tax to a […]

Vice President Kamala Harris heads to Iowa for ‘reproductive rights’ event

By: - March 14, 2023

As Republican presidential hopefuls begin to frequent the Iowa caucus trail, Vice President Kamala Harris is planning an event Thursday in Des Moines on reproductive health care. Harris — who dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race before the Iowa caucuses — will hold an event with Des Moines area leaders on “the fight […]

Bill would make permanent last year’s changes to ‘Brady-Giglio’ law

By: - March 14, 2023

Iowa House members unanimously passed legislation Tuesday disposing of the sunset provision on recent changes made to the state dealing with “Brady-Giglio lists” — documents kept by prosecutors of law enforcement officers whose credibility is in question. House File 631 removes the July 1, 2023, repeal that included in a measure signed into law by Gov. […]

Democrats fear bill could halt public land acquisition, trail development

By: - March 14, 2023

Supporters of a bill passed by the Iowa Senate Tuesday said the legislation “modernizes” Iowa’s planning for public land use and maintenance, but some Democrats feared the measure would unintentionally limit new public land acquisitions. Senate File 516 repeals the current programs in place for maintenance and acquisition of open space properties and recreational trails […]

Iowa Senate passes higher penalties for stalkers who use GPS to track victims

By: - March 14, 2023

The Iowa Senate unanimously passed legislation Tuesday that would raise criminal penalties on people convicted of stalking using a technological device. The move comes amid a high-profile stalking case involving two Des Moines bar owners. Senate File 201 would increase penalties for stalking if a person uses a technological device, like a computer or phone, […]

Trump criticizes DeSantis, calls for national ‘school choice’ at first 2023 Iowa event

By: - March 13, 2023

Davenport, Iowa — Former President Donald Trump, in his first Iowa stop as an official presidential candidate, took aim at a potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump said if DeSantis joins the 2024 presidential race, his track record on ethanol and Social Security could cost him the Iowa caucuses. “I don’t think you’re gonna […]

DeSantis, in Iowa, says GOP stance in culture wars will help win elections

By: - March 10, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Iowa Republicans Friday that standing strong in the culture wars around issues like education, criminal justice and health care in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic will help their party win elections. DeSantis, along with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, spoke to more than 600 Iowans at the Iowa State Fairgrounds’ […]

Presidential candidate Nikki Haley: Hold China accountable for COVID-19

By: - March 10, 2023

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley told Iowans Friday that China needs to be held accountable by the international community for the spread of COVID-19. “I think we need to go and look at the damages, the financial damages that happened, the life loss that happened, and every country in the world needs to know and […]

House passes bill to loosen school requirements, including for arts and language offerings

By: - March 9, 2023

Some Iowa students may have to take fewer arts and second language classes to graduate under legislation that passed the Iowa House on Thursday. Schools could choose to offer only three units of foreign language classes instead of the current four, and only two units of fine arts instead of three under Senate File 391. […]

Auditor suggests retaliation by GOP lawmakers over Hawkeye football lawsuit

By: - March 9, 2023

State Auditor Rob Sand said Thursday a Senate-passed bill to curtail his office’s authority may be retaliation for his call for University of Iowa’s athletic director to resign or be fired. Sand voted Monday against approving a discrimination lawsuit settlement against the university unless Athletics Director Gary Barta is fired or resigns. On Tuesday, Iowa […]

Teacher licensure, education oversight board changes pass House

By: - March 8, 2023

Iowans who want to be teachers could have a shortcut to the classroom under legislation approved Wednesday by the Iowa House. Lawmakers also passed a bill changing the regulations and oversight of Iowa’s teaching system. Iowa schools are facing a teacher shortage. While Democrats say providing more funding to schools will help fix that problem, […]

Ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors heads to Reynolds’ desk

By: - March 8, 2023

Republicans sent a ban on gender-affirming care for minors to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk Wednesday, less than two weeks after the measure was first brought up as a possibility. Two other LGBTQ-related measures on what materials are available in school libraries and classrooms also passed the House. The bill on transgender health care, Senate File […]