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.

Gov. Kim Reynolds signs $100 million property tax cut into law

By: - May 4, 2023

Just hours after the Iowa House and Senate gaveled out for the last time in 2023, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed into law the property tax agreement GOP legislative leaders promised in January. Reynolds said the plan, which lawmakers estimated would save taxpayers $100 million, was just a start. “But even more important than what it […]

Lawmakers end 2023 legislative session with most Republican priorities met

By: - May 4, 2023

The Iowa Legislature wrapped up the 2023 legislative session Thursday, meeting nearly all the goals Republican leaders put forward in January. The House gaveled out for the last time this year at 12:33 p.m. Thursday. Lawmakers hugged and chatted as they gathered up the belongings and documents on their desks, taking selfies and  announcing the […]

Lawmakers approve bill loosening restrictions on home-based food businesses

By: - May 3, 2023

The Senate sent legislation to the governor Wednesday that would loosen regulations on Iowans selling food made at home and in temporary establishments such as farmer’s market stands. House File 661 passed Wednesday on a 33-15 vote. The bill’s floor manager, Sen. Jesse Green, R-Boone, said the legislation is “pro-small business,” helping home food and […]

Senate sends child labor bill to governor

By: - May 3, 2023

The Iowa Senate sent legislation loosening child labor restrictions to Gov. Kim Reynolds Wednesday, accepting the bipartisan changes made by House lawmakers Tuesday. Lawmakers gave final approval to Senate File 542 in a 29-18 vote. The bill extends working hours for workers under age 18, as well as allows minors to seek exemptions from the state […]

Iowa Democrats move ahead with mail-in plan for 2024 caucuses

By: - May 3, 2023

Despite criticisms from both the Democratic National Committee and Iowa Republicans, the Iowa Democratic Party is moving forward with its plans to hold the 2024 caucuses before any other states’ contests, and to use a mail-in system. The Iowa Democratic Party released its 62-page delegate selection plan Wednesday. The party will submit the plan to […]

House lawmakers change child-labor bill, restricting younger workers from certain fields

By: - May 2, 2023

House lawmakers sent back to the Senate a child-labor bill on Tuesday after changing language to limit the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds in some restricted fields. Senate File 542 passed the Iowa House on a 60-34 vote, with members voting along party lines. The bill allowing minors to work longer hours and in restricted […]

Iowa lawmakers send bipartisan, $100M property tax cut to Gov. Kim Reynolds

By: - May 2, 2023

Lawmakers in both chambers approved a compromise property tax bill Tuesday that they say will provide $100 million in property tax relief, sending it to the governor’s desk. House File 718 passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday, with an amendment combining parts of the chambers’ differing property tax proposals. Much of the language comes from Senate […]

Senate committee advances compromise property tax bill

By: - May 1, 2023

House and Senate Republicans spent most of the 2023 legislative session pursuing differing plans on how to lower property taxes. But as lawmakers look toward wrapping up session in early May, Gov. Kim Reynolds and Republican legislative leaders announced they have reached a compromise on property taxes. The Senate Ways and Means Committee approved House […]

House approves bill requiring in-person caucuses

By: - May 1, 2023

House Republicans approved a measure Monday they say will keep Iowa’s caucuses first, but that Democrats say is an overreach by state government. House File 716 passed the House on a 61-33 vote. The bill requires party caucuses that are part of a presidential nominating process to be held in person. The measure is a […]

Students, supporters discuss future of LGBTQ support system in Iowa after transgender targeted session

By: - April 28, 2023

While some LGBTQ youth and supporters said they were looking at leaving Iowa in response to a flurry of legislation targeting transgender youth, others at an Iowa Safe Schools conference Friday discussed strategies to make Iowa a safer, more comfortable place for LGBTQ youth within the new legal confines. People who attended Iowa Safe Schools’ […]

Budget bills advance in both chambers as lawmakers aim to end session

By: and - April 27, 2023

As Iowa lawmakers hit their final day of paid work, House and Senate lawmakers advanced the first round of budget bills Thursday. The House Appropriations Committee passed four spending bills in Thursday’s meeting: Senate File 558 for the departments of natural resources and agriculture, Senate File 557 for state government administration and regulation, House Study […]

Iowa Senate approves moratorium on new or expanded nursing homes

By: - April 26, 2023

The Senate advanced legislation putting a moratorium on constructing new nursing facilities and giving Medicaid payers more power in recovering funds from health insurers. House File 685 was sent back to the Iowa House with an amendment on a unanimous vote Wednesday. The legislation is intended to ensure Medicaid is the payer of last resort […]