Governor Reynolds Announces New Programs to Help Small Businesses

By: Matthew McKinney | 03.23.2020

  Governor Reynolds announced today, March 23, 2020, a total of $4 million available through two new programs to help Iowa Small Businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this afternoon’s press conference, Governor Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Authority Director, Debi Durham, outlined two entirely new programs: Small Business Relief Program Grants: Benefits: $5,000 – $25,000; Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 9

By: Amanda Loder | 03.13.2020

NOTE:  This post has been updated to reflect new measures taken by the governor and lawmakers to address coronavirus-related issues as of late afternoon Monday, March 16. Legislative leadership has suspended the 2020 session for at least the next 30 days due to community spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.  House Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 8

By: Amanda Loder | 03.06.2020

Lawmakers passed their first major appropriations bill this week, funding K-12 education.  Under SF 2142 school spending would increase by about $85.57 million.  The 2.3% funding hike was a compromise between Senate and House Republicans.  While the Senate proposed a 2.1% increase, the House called for 2.5%, which is what Governor Kim Reynolds requested in Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 7

By: Amanda Loder | 02.28.2020

Since many bills failed to clear the key “first funnel” deadline, lawmakers have shifted their focus to debating active legislation on the floor and crafting government spending measures.  Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill Tuesday allocating more than $13 million to address K-12 funding inequities.  SF 2164 authorizes $7.2 million to assist school districts with Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 6

By: Amanda Loder | 02.21.2020

Lawmakers focused heavily on committee work this week, as they raced to beat Friday’s first funnel deadline.  Most legislation that hasn’t passed full committee in either the Senate or the House isn’t eligible for consideration the rest of session.  (The major exceptions to this rule are bills dealing with taxes, spending, or government oversight.)  With that Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 5

By: Amanda Loder | 02.17.2020

Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill last Thursday authorizing $21 million for ongoing flood relief in western Iowa.  The Senate bill, SF 2144 initially called for $20 million in spending.  But the House amended the measure, adding another $1 million.  Both chambers unanimously passed the increased funding.  Rep. David Sieck (R-Glenwood) said the additional $1 Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 4

By: Amanda Loder |

Flood relief funding was a major focus for the Senate last week, with the full chamber passing a $20 million appropriation to fund those efforts.  Damage estimates from last spring’s Missouri River floods range from $1.5 billion to $2 billion.  Sen. Mark Costello’s (R-Imogene) district includes some of the flooded area.  In a floor speech, Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 3

By: BrownWinick | 01.31.2020

House and Senate Republicans introduced their school funding proposals for the coming year.  The House bill, HSB 587 would allocate $100 million for K-12 education—a 2.5% increase from last year.  That’s slightly below the $103 million Governor Kim Reynolds called for in her Condition of the State address.  The Senate measure, SSB 3096, would increase school funding by Read…

2020 Legislative Session – Week 2

By: BrownWinick | 01.24.2020

With subcommittee and committee work underway, moves to regulate vaping products are gaining steam on both sides of the aisle.  In response to a new federal law raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 years old, Iowa lawmakers are working toward codifying the change at the state level.  Read…

2020 Legislative Session-Week 1

By: BrownWinick | 01.17.2020

The first week of the 2020 Iowa legislative sessionstarted Monday with the swearing-in of a new House Republican leadership team. Rep. Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) was officially named Speaker of the House, while Rep. Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) was sworn in as Majority Leader. Grassley listed workforce-related issues as his top concerns, including access to Read…