2022 Iowa Legislative Session - Week 4 Summary
Countdown to funnel week! The first funnel week is fast approaching - February 18 is the date by which bills must be moved out of the Committee of origin. Like almost every legislative rule there are exceptions. The speed of bills being released, and subcommittees scheduled will increase over the next several legislative days. However, activity will be light at the Capitol on Monday, February 7 - it is the date of the 2022 Iowa mid-term caucus, and most legislators will be attending caucus in their home districts.
The big story this week continues to be taxes. Both the House and Senate took action on their respective tax bills. The House moved HSB 626 out of the subcommittee. The next step is consideration in the full House Ways and Means Committee. The more comprehensive Senate bill, SSB 3074 moved out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. In a news conference on Wednesday, the Governor said "There’s never been a better time for bold, yet practical tax reform that meets the priorities of the state, allows Iowans to keep more of what they earn, and creates a highly competitive tax system,” said Gov. Reynolds. “This historic tax cut will benefit every taxpayer, and turbocharge widespread, broad-based prosperity in our state, and most importantly, it rewards hard work.” Once the tax bills are agreed to, legislators will turn toward consideration of the state budget.
One of the milestones in the legislative session is the passage of Supplemental State Aid funding for K-12 public schools. On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee approved a 2.25% increase on a party-line vote. Governor Reynolds and the House have proposed a 2.5% rate.
The first bill to pass in either Chamber during the 2022 legislative session was the Governor’s priority renewable fuels bill (HF 2128). The bill, which requires gas stations to provide E-15 fuel, passed the House 82-10 on a bi-partisan basis. A similar bill (SSB 3084) passed out of subcommittee Wednesday in the Senate.
In other news, Governor Reynolds issued a Press Release on Thursday announcing that Iowa’s public health emergency will expire on February 15. The Governor acknowledged the remaining provisions are workforce-related and that the Legislature/Governor are working to make permanent changes to law and rules that will address the workforce issues. The State’s COVID-19 websites will be taken down on February 16. The Iowa Department of Public Health will continue to report COVID-19 information - including positive tests in the last seven days, cases by county, an epidemiologic curve, variants by week and deaths since March 2020. Vaccine information, including total series and boosters completed, demographics for fully vaccinated Iowans, and vaccination by county, will also be reported. The new report will be available starting February 16 at idph.iowa.gov.
BrownWinick Government Relations:
To view additional summaries from the 2022 Iowa Legislative session or to learn more about BrownWinick’s Government Relations Team, visit our Lobbying and Public Policy team page.