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Government Relations Legislative Update - Week Eight

Capitol Update 

This week, many bills were debated in either the House or Senate and then passed onto their last stop in the legislative process.  Each chamber must vote on the exact same language in order to finally pass the bill and have it become law.  The Senate will often substitute a House File and vice versa during floor debate so the language is exactly the same.  After a bill finally passes both chambers, it is sent to the Legislative Services Agency for the “enrollment” process.  After the bill is checked, and double checked, to make sure amendments were incorporated correctly, it is signed by the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate. It will be certified by either the Chief Clerk if it’s a House File or the Secretary of the Senate if it is a Senate File.  Then it is sent to the Governor for her signature.  For a list of enrolled bills so far this session, click here.   

One of the Governor’s main priorities was passed this week.  SF 2204 imposes requirements on the foreign ownership of farmland.  The bill increases reporting and registration requirements for foreign entities seeking to purchase land in the state.  Some of those requirements include describing the interest in the agricultural land as it relates to the business purpose of the entity and requires disclosure of interests in the United States.  The bill gives the Attorney General’s Office authority to look into reports that may be in violation of the law and requires the secretary of State to prepare an annual report summarizing foreign land holdings in the state. 

After final passage of the bill, the Governor issued a Press Release stating that “American farmland should remain in American hands, and Iowa’s agricultural dominance must be protected.  Other states look to Iowa as a model, but foreign adversaries are adapting, and our laws must too.  I’m proud that the first bill sent to my desk this legislative session had bipartisan support to protect our most valuable resource: our land.  Iowans across all 99 counties have expressed the need for tougher foreign ownership laws that strengthen enforcement, increase reporting, and enhance transparency.  And today, we can say we’ve delivered.” 

Another notable bill that passed the Senate last week and the House on Monday is SF 2096.  The bill strikes the gender-balance requirement for state and local appointed boards, commissions, committees and councils.  The state portion of the bill was added in 1987 and the local requirements were added in 2009.  The vote for the bill was largely partisan with those in favor of the bill saying that it is an outdated and unnecessary requirement and that it prevents the most qualified persons from being appointed.  Removing gender-balance requirements was included in the Boards and Commissions Review Committee recommendations and the Governor’s bill implementing those recommendations.   

The House worked late into the night on Wednesday and debated again into the late afternoon on Thursday to pass several education-related bills, including most notably, the House’s version of the Area Education Agencies bill, HF 2612.  An amendment was adopted to the bill and it passed by a margin of 53-41.  The Senate bill, SF 2386 is an amended version of the Governor’s proposal.    

In the Know  

Effective date provisions.  As the Governor begins the process of signing legislation, an important consideration is when a bill will become effective.  The Iowa Constitution, Art III, Sec. 26 provides that a bill becomes effective on July 1 of the year it is passed.  If the bill is to have a different effective date, either earlier such as an immediate effective date or a later effective date, the bill must so indicate.  If a bill is passed during a special session, it is effective 90 days from adjournment, unless otherwise indicated.  The Original Constitution passed in 1857 provided that laws were to be effective on July 4.  Iowa Code Section 3.7 sets forth the effective date requirements in more detail.  

Legislative Forums  

While many lawmakers hold forums in their districts year-round, it’s especially important for them to hear from constituents when they’re making decisions during the legislative session.  The events listed below are opportunities to get involved. You can also find these events on BrownWinick’s Iowa Political Events page.   






9:00 AM – 10:00 AM 

Wilton Legislative Forum 

Wilton City Hall - Community Room (104 E. 4th Street, Wilton, IA 52778) 


9:30 AM – 10:30 AM 

Ida Grove Coffee & Issues 

The Farmacy Soda Fountain & Coffee House (506 2nd Street, Ida Grove, IA 51445) 


9:30 AM – 11:00 AM 

Dubuque Cracker Barrell Legislative Forum 

Diamond Jo Casino (301 Bell Street, Dubuque, IA 52001) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Coffee & Conversation with Rep. Buck 

Porch Light Coffee (417 SW 3rd Street, Ankeny, IA 50023) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Onawa Legislative Forum 

Onawa Public Library (707 Iowa Avenue, Onawa, IA 51040) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Quasqueton Legislative Forum 

Wolfey's Wapsi Outback (101 Water Street South, Quasqueton, IA 52326) 


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Wapello Legislative Forum 

Wapello City Hall (335 N. Main St., Wapello IA 52653) 


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Srinivas 

Southside Public Library - Meeting Room (1111 Porter Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50315) 


1:30 PM – 2:30 PM 

Marshalltown Community Conversation 

Marshalltown Public Library (105 W. Boone St., Marshalltown, IA 50158) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Algona Legislative Forum 

Algona Public Library (210 North Phillips Street, Algona, IA 50511) 


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Srinivas 

DMARC (100 Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA 50315) 


8:00 PM – 9:00 PM 

Des Moines Office Hours with Rep. Baeth 

Lua Brewing (1525 High Street, Des Moines, IA 50309) 


6:00 PM – 7:00 PM 

Des Moines Townhall 

Northwest Community Center (5110 Franklin Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50310) 


9:00 AM – 10:30 AM 

Ankeny Legislative Office Hours 

Main Street Cafe (2510 SW White Birch Drive, Ankeny, IA 50023) 


12:00 PM – 1:00 PM 

Washington Legislative Briefing 

TBD – information will be updated as it becomes available 


4:30 PM – 6:30 PM 

Cedar Valley Public Legislative Forum 

Hawkeye Community College - Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center (120 Jefferson Street, Waterloo, IA 50701) and virtual via Facebook live 


8:00 AM – 9:00 AM 

Glenwood Legislative Forum 

 Glenwood City Hall (5 North Vine Street, Glenwood, IA 51534) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Wayne County Legislative Forum 

Chariton Valley Planning & Development Office (308 North 12th Street, Centerville, IA 52544) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Denison Legislative Coffee 

Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County (109 North Main St., Denison, IA 51442) 


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 

Storm Lake Legislative Forum 

King's Pointe Resort (1520 East Lakeshore Drive, Storm Lake, IA 50588) 


5:00 PM – 6:00 PM 

Jefferson Meet Your Legislator 

Thomas Jefferson Gardens of Greene County (201 East Lincoln Way, Jefferson, IA 50129) 


9:30 AM – 11:00 AM 

Marion Coffee & Conversation  

Uptown Coffee Company (760 11th Street, Suite A, Marion, IA 52302) 


Key Dates — 2024 Iowa Legislative Session 





1/8: First day of session 

1/19: Final day for Senator and Representative bill requests 

2/16: First legislative funnel 

3/15: Second legislative funnel 

4/16: 100th calendar day of session (per diem expenses end) 


Scene on the Hill  

February 29, 2024: Matt poses with his daughter and her friends during their class trip to the Capitol.



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