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.

Iowa Democrats fight to keep caucuses first in 2024

By: - June 23, 2022

Iowa’s decades of success holding the first spot in the Democrats’ presidential nomination process makes it best qualified to stay an early state, Iowa Democrats told the national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee Thursday. “We intend to remain first,” said Scott Brennan, former state party chair and current rules committee member. But Iowa’s 2020 Democratic […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds signs final laws from 2022 legislative session

By: - June 21, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed the final three bills from the 2022 legislative session into law Tuesday, including a measure removing Iowa’s school district enrollment deadline. They were the final laws the governor planned to sign before the Friday deadline, her office confirmed. June 24 is the last day Reynolds can sign any legislation from this […]

Iowa Democrats to make their appeal to keep caucuses first in the nation

By: - June 21, 2022

Iowa Democrats will make their pitch Thursday to the national party to stay first in the nation for the presidential nominating process. It’s the first time since 2006 that the Democratic National Committee is looking at a change to the early state lineup, which allowed Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carola to hold their […]

24-hour abortion waiting period remains in limbo between court appearances

By: - June 20, 2022

Providers like Planned Parenthood implemented a 24-hour waiting period for abortions following an Iowa Supreme Court decision on the law Friday, despite no confirmation of the law’s immediate enforcement. The Iowa Legislature enacted a 24-hour waiting period of patients seeking an abortion in 2020. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland filed a lawsuit arguing the law […]

Iowa Juneteenth proclamation signed in second year of federal observance

By: - June 20, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds proclaimed the celebration of Juneteenth in Iowa Monday in the second year of the holiday’s recognition nationally. Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, when Union general Gordon Granger and troops arrived to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865. Enforcements arrived more than two years after […]

Democrats’ message: Iowans’ rights are on the line with Republican control

By: - June 19, 2022

Just days after the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision on abortion rights in Iowa, state Democrats are advancing the message other rights could be in danger. The Iowa Supreme Court released a monumental decision Friday in which the court found there is no state constitutional right to an abortion. The decision, which overturns a 2018 Iowa […]

Reynolds vetoes judicial nominating commission changes

By: - June 17, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds vetoed changes to Iowa’s judicial nomination commissions on Friday. Reynolds signed the judicial appropriations bill, House File 2558, but vetoed two parts of the bill that would change judicial nominating commissions. Iowa uses nominating commissions to find candidates to fill vacancies for judicial districts, the Iowa Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, […]

Iowa Supreme Court erases state constitutional right to abortion

By: and - June 17, 2022

The Iowa Supreme Court found there is no state constitutional right to an abortion, reversing a previous decision in a ruling Friday. The decision leaves Iowa open to an abortion ban or heightened restrictions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns federal protections in a ruling expected in the coming weeks. The new interpretation of abortion […]

Iowans have 10 fewer weeks of unemployment under new law

By: - June 16, 2022

Unemployed Iowans will receive 10 fewer weeks of benefits starting July 1, and they may have to take lower-paying jobs sooner than they do now. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed these changes into law alongside two other workforce bills Thursday at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry conference in Dubuque. The governor said the new […]

Coalition launches campaign against pro-gun amendment

By: - June 16, 2022

Gun safety advocates launched a campaign Thursday to rally Iowans to defeat a constitutional amendment appearing on the state’s November ballot that would make it more difficult to restrict the purchase and ownership of firearms. Advocates formed a coalition, Iowans for Responsible Gun Laws, to push back against the “Keep and Bear Arms Amendment.” The […]

Iowa prisoners earn less than $1 per hour for work, ACLU report finds

By: - June 16, 2022

Iowa prisoners earn less than $1 per hour while working, according to an ACLU prison labor report. The American Civil Liberties Union released a report on state and federal prison labor Wednesday, calling for reform. Roughly 800,000 prisoners, 65% of the population, reported working during their incarceration. More than three-quarters of the laborers surveyed said […]

Iowa governor signs elder abuse penalties amid a flurry of new laws

By: and - June 15, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds sat down with a pile of pens Wednesday at Highland Ridge, a senior care facility in Williamsburg. She signed Senate File 522, a bill establishing criminal penalties for elder abuse. It passed unanimously in both chambers of the Iowa Statehouse. Supporters of the bill gathered around the desk where she signed the […]