Iowa Senate

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, […]

Lawmakers end the 2021 legislative session with ban on masks, election changes

BY: and - May 19, 2021

Nearly three weeks into overtime and after three back-to-back nights of debate, Iowa’s 2021 legislative session is over. House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley, called it “the year of freedom for Iowans” be it through tax cuts, permitless carry of firearms or the choice not to wear a mask. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, […]

Senate approves proposed constitutional amendment on abortion

BY: - May 19, 2021

Both the House and Senate have passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would make explicit that the Iowa Constitution does not recognize a right to abortion. The amendment reads: “To defend and protect unborn children, we the people of the State of Iowa declare that this Constitution does not recognize, grant, or secure a right […]

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 […]

The State Capitol of Iowa reflects the sunset

Massive tax proposal, with changes to mental health funding, passes House and Senate

BY: - May 18, 2021

Iowa lawmakers sent a sweeping tax proposal Tuesday to Gov. Kim Reynolds that will accelerate income tax cuts, eliminate the inheritance tax and fund the state’s mental health and disability services system through state appropriations. “This is an easy vote for me,” Rep. Dustin Hite, R-New Sharon, said. “I’m going to side with the Iowa […]

he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

House and Senate compromise on taxes, move late-night budget bills

BY: - May 17, 2021

The Iowa Senate passed a major tax bill Monday evening that will accelerate income tax cuts and change the way the state funds mental health services. The proposal has been under negotiation for several weeks among Republican leaders in the Legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds. House leadership signed off on the proposal Monday, clearing the […]

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 […]

Vaccine passport ban headed to Gov. Reynolds’ desk

BY: - May 5, 2021

Iowa businesses may not ask for proof of vaccination from customers under a bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. The so-called “vaccine passport” bill was introduced in April, following a request from Gov. Kim Reynolds. It forbids businesses and governmental agencies from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for customers or visitors. Temperature checks or […]

Senate committee advances bill that would delay unemployment-benefit payouts

BY: - April 28, 2021

Legislation that would delay the payout of unemployment benefits to jobless Iowans moved forward Wednesday in the Iowa Senate. The Senate Ways and Means Committee advanced Senate Study Bill 1273 on a 10-5, party-line vote. The bill would revise Iowa’s unemployment-benefit law, in part by imposing a one-week delay on the initial collection of benefits […]

OSHA report: Iowa Capitol ‘may expose workers to COVID-19 hazards’ under current policies

BY: - April 19, 2021

Workplace safety regulators have warned lawmakers about inconsistent social distancing and temperature checks, no contact tracing and no mandatory reporting of positive cases at the State Capitol. The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Administration told lawmakers on April 13 these workplace conditions at the Capitol “may expose workers to COVID-19 hazards.” Iowa OSHA administrator Russell […]

Bill to reduce income and property taxes, change mental health funding passes Senate

BY: - April 6, 2021

The Senate passed a wide-ranging bill Tuesday evening that would change how the state funds mental health services, accelerate tax cuts and reduce tax breaks for preserved forest land. “People need property tax relief. People also come forward, year after year, and say we need a better way to fund mental health,” Sen. Dan Dawson, […]

What bills survived Iowa’s second funnel deadline? Several legislative priorities still in the works

BY: - April 2, 2021

Twelve weeks, hundreds of bills and several late-night debates later, another major legislative deadline has come and gone, but several big-ticket bills remain in play. The legislative deadline known as the “funnel” takes place at the end of the eighth and 12th weeks of Iowa’s legislative session. For bills to pass the second funnel, they […]