GOP achieved ‘most, if not all’ policy goals for 2021 legislative session, leaders say

BY: - May 20, 2021

Iowa’s 2021 legislative session came to a close late Wednesday with the passage of a ban on local mask mandates, a final win for the Republican-controlled House, Senate and governor’s office.  Over the course of the session, lawmakers passed bills to bring students back to school and remove mask mandates, allow permitless carry of handguns, […]

State lawmakers pass budget bills in two-day debate marathon

BY: and - May 18, 2021

Iowa lawmakers broke through a weeks-long stalemate and approved the bulk of the state’s budget in a two-day marathon session. The Republican majority in the House and Senate voted Tuesday to give state universities no funding increase for next year. They also agreed to a $20 million increase for state prisons. Legislators will return Wednesday […]

Legislative Republicans are working on a massive tax deal. Here’s where they disagree.

BY: - May 14, 2021

Lengthy tax proposals are advancing in both the House and the Senate, each with intractable differences, as the Legislature trudges through its second week of overtime. On many issues, the two chambers agree: accelerating income tax cuts, expanding eligibility for  child care tax credits, mandating telehealth parity and more. It’s a few big-ticket items, like […]

House passes bills addressing alcohol, sex crimes, tax evasion as first week of overtime ends

BY: - May 7, 2021

The House convened Friday afternoon to pass nearly a dozen bills, many of which have been bouncing between chambers.  “There’s not a whole lot of common sense in this building, and there’s virtually none across the rotunda,” Rep. David Maxwell, R-Gibson, said in his opening comments on an agriculture bill that had been volleyed back […]

House passes several budget bills, but that doesn’t mean they’ve struck a deal

BY: - May 6, 2021

House lawmakers on Thursday passed budget proposals on agriculture, infrastructure, economic development and education. But House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said the Senate and Gov. Kim Reynolds have not agreed to the bills. “We’ve just decided it’s time to get those moving through the process,” Grassley said, noting that the 100-member House takes longer […]

House tax plan advances amid bipartisan opposition to Senate’s mental health change

BY: - May 6, 2021

Democrats in the Iowa House lined up behind Republicans’ tax proposal for one main reason, Rep. Charles Isenhart said Thursday: “It’s not the Senate bill.” Lawmakers on the House Ways and Means Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to advance the House tax proposal. The bill would remove triggers for the 2018 tax cuts, phase out […]

House and Senate still far apart on mental health property tax, inheritance tax timeline

BY: - May 5, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Senate Republicans are in agreement on a tax proposal that would shift mental health funding to the state, accelerate income tax cuts and eliminate the inheritance tax. But House leadership is holding back, arguing that more planning is necessary for some major tax changes. Reynolds rolled out her “compromise” proposal at […]

Lawmakers resurrect child care, public assistance proposals in budget negotiations

BY: - April 24, 2021

House and Senate Republicans have resurrected several policy bills as the session winds to a close and lawmakers work toward budget agreements. Lawmakers began discussion Thursday of the House Republicans’ Health and Human Services budget proposal. Much of the proposal matches with the Senate and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recommendations: It would allocate over $2 billion […]

House votes for $100M broadband budget, $50M short of governor’s request

BY: - April 21, 2021

The House on Wednesday voted in favor of a $150.9 million budget for administration and regulation, including a $100 million appropriation for broadband expansion in Iowa. “With $100 million allocated for broadband, we can work to bring connectivity to Iowa’s broadband deserts, and increase speeds across the state,” bill leader Rep. John Landon, R-Ankeny, said […]

Senate proposes $8.2 million increase for public universities

BY: - April 13, 2021

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a $8.2 million increase for Iowa’s public universities, a proposal in opposition to the House’s Regents funding freeze. The committee also advanced budget bills for agriculture and natural resources programs and Iowa courts. The education budget, which passed the committee by a party-line vote, would backfill a fiscal […]

Proposed Regents funding freeze advances in Iowa House

BY: - April 12, 2021

House Republican lawmakers stood firm on their plan to freeze funding for Iowa’s public universities in fiscal year 2022. Rep. David Kerr, R-Morning Sun, led discussion of the education budget proposal in a House Appropriations committee meeting Monday. The proposal would increase funding to Iowa’s last-dollar scholarships and tuition grants, for community colleges and vocational […]

Whitver: Senate Republicans will approve more money for Iowa prisons

BY: - April 9, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, said Friday the Senate will “absolutely” include more money for Iowa prisons in its budget. Senate Republicans’ initial budget outline, released March 24, included an additional $4 million to Iowa’s Department of Corrections. The department came into the spotlight the day before when two inmates at the Anamosa State […]