2022 Legislative Session
Happy New Year! We hope you enjoyed a safe and healthy holiday season during this unusual time. This is the second year of a 2-year cycle, and it has arrived with some new faces in the legislature. With Republicans continuing the Trifecta, for six years now, Pat Grassley remains as the Speaker of the House and Matt Windschitl as the Majority Leader for the Republican Caucus. House Democrats elected Jennifer Konfrst to serve as their Leader after Todd Prichard stepped down at the end of the 2021 session. Jack Whitver, now the most senior leader in the Iowa legislature, continues in his role as the Senate Majority Leader and Jake Chapman as President of the Senate. Zach Wahls has spent the past year as the leader of the Senate Democrats. House Republicans grew their majority following a few special elections this fall after the death of sitting Rep. John Landon who passed away from cancer and Rep. Wes Breckenridge resigned his position to take a new job. Republicans now hold 60 seats in the House and 32-seats in the Senate.
Session kicks off Monday, January 10, when the legislature gavels in to start their 100-day session. Individual bill draft requests are due much earlier, by January 21, with the first funnel deadline on February 18, and the final funnel deadline one month later, on March 18. The 100th legislative day of the session is scheduled for April 19, when legislators’ per diem expires. The Session Timetable contains those referenced above and all other important session deadlines.
Each week the leaders issue a calendar outlining the proposed schedule for the week in their respective chamber outlining scheduled committee meetings and debate times. We invite you to follow the weekly calendars located under the Session Calendars Section.
The first week of session is generally marked with speeches from leadership and the Governor. One of the first significant changes again this year is the timing of the Condition of the State Address by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. It will be held Tuesday, January 11th at 6:00 p.m. in the House Chamber. PBS will be providing a livestream online, and it can be watched on the Governor’s Facebook Page. The Governor gave the media a preview of her priorities earlier this week as House and Senate leaders echoed her comments. Priorities include implementing significant tax cuts to lower individual income taxes, workforce incentives to get unemployed people in the workforce, child care, banning vaccine requirements, and transparency and staff recruitment and retention in education. They noted abortion and vaccine mandates would be addressed after the courts rule on both issues, which is expected this spring. Legislative leaders said they plan to build on the changes they have made over the past several years. We expect to hear more details outlined in their floor speeches next week.
Here is what we do know; despite the unusual nature and tragedies our state and country have faced this year, Iowa’s economy has positive signs of growth and is in a strong position. According to the last two Revenue Estimating Committee (REC) meetings, the budget outlook is good for Fiscal Year 2023. The December REC projected a 1.7% increase over the previous year which is expected to close with a 3% increase over FY21. Although Iowa’s economy is holding strong, the REC remains cautious outlining several looming factors that may impact the budget; noting the growth was largely due to the impact of the federal stimulus payments and consumer pent-up demand. They also cautioned that the economy’s growth over the past several years may slow due to inflation, an ongoing workforce shortage, and additional variants of COVID, while also emphasizing the state will collect less revenue due to tax cuts passed in 2021.