This week brought a noticeable shift in the pace at the Capitol. With policy committees largely done with their work for the session, the focus is now on Ways and Means and Appropriations bills, especially the state budget. The Senate moved shell budget bills with no funding allocations in them through the subcommittee and committee process this week, while the House announced their individual budget targets but has not introduced them in legislation. The Senate held no floor debate, while the House considered a number of bills on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday the Senate moved Governor appointments through Senate committees and the House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees met, with neither chamber working on Thursday. We expect this slower pace to be the theme for the remainder of the session as they shift their focus to getting a consensus on the budget and a property tax bill before adjournment.

Governor Reorganization Bill Signed into Law

This week Governor Kim Reynolds signed her massive, nearly 1,600-page bill (SF 514) reorganizing Iowa state government into law. The bill goes into effect on July 1st of this year, but agencies are said to be already working on the transition. The bill reduces Iowa’s current 37 executive-level cabinet agencies down to 16 and shifted a number of agencies and departments into new conglomerates or a different umbrella department. More information will be released as this transition continues to progress.

House Bounces Governor’s “Parental Rights” Bill Back to the Senate

This week the House amended and passed SF 496 on a vote of 55-42, with six Republicans joining Democrats in opposing the bill. The House made a number of changes to the Governor’s original proposal even adding some legislation they had passed off the House floor earlier this session. The bill includes provisions limiting gender-related instruction to Iowa elementary students, requiring parental consent for use of pronouns or gender identities, updated the previously passed age-appropriateness standard for library books to only a ban on graphic materials, and adds parent representatives to the Board of Educational Examiners among other provisions. With the amendments, it is unclear if the Senate will pass the bill and send it to the Governor or amend the proposal yet again.

Budget Process

This week the budget process really started moving forward with the Senate passing their shell bills with no funding allocations included through the subcommittee and committee process. There are no numbers in the bills at this time until the Senate’s budget targets are announced, which could come next week in the form of amendments to the bills listed in the chart below.

The House announced their individual budget targets, but have not yet introduced their individual budget bills. Their targets are listed in the chart below as we await the Senate’s individual budget targets hopefully to be announced in the coming week.

We understand the House and Senate are $90 million apart on budget issues and negotiations are really just getting started. If you have state budget requests, check your bill tracker for updates as our team met with several budget committee chairs and members this week.

Below is the updated chart outlining each individual budget bill, its number, and where it is in the overall process. This chart will be updated each week until the legislature adjourns.

Bill Number Department Status House Target
SF 557 Admin & Reg Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 $70.48M
SF 558 Ag & Natural Resources Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 $43.54M
SF 559 Economic Development Passed SENATE full committee 4/4  $42.11M
HSB 243 Federal Block Grants Assigned HOUSE subcommittee 4/5 N/A
SF 560 Education Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 $984.92M
SF 561 Health & Human Services Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 $2.135B
SF 562 Judicial Branch Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 $885.84M
SF 563 Justice Systems Passed SENATE full committee 4/4 Combined with Judicial
Not yet introduced Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF/TIC) TBA
Not yet introduced Transportation TBA
Not yet introduced Standings $4.416B