Week 6 Legislative Update

Legislative Update

The 2022 Iowa Legislative Session

Week of February 14th, 2022

 

This Week in the Iowa Legislature

The first funnel deadline is behind us, but it was a much different funnel week than in years past. We’re happy to report our team, and many of your bills, made it out alive! Unlike past years, when the legislature only focused on subcommittee and committee work, the House and Senate found themselves in floor debate and releasing their budget targets. All this activity appears to be earlier than “normal” signaling a run at an early adjournment. (Fingers crossed)

 

Governor Reynolds Signs SSA Bill into Law

After weeks of discussions on the level of Supplemental State Aid (SSA), the Senate gave into the House and the Governor and agreed to provide a 2.5% per pupil increase. Both chambers passed the bill on a party line vote and Governor Reynolds signed it into law on Thursday. The increase will provide an additional $159 million for K-12 education, tipping education spending over $3.6 billion for FY23.

 

The House Tax Bill Passes with Bipartisan Support

On Wednesday afternoon after a shorter than expected debate, the House passed their tax bill (HF 2317) with a bipartisan vote of 61-37. The bill’s highlights include a 4% flat tax and no tax on retirement income. The House’s tax plan is different from both the Governor’s and Senate’s proposals as it doesn’t include corporate tax cuts. This is another indication the House is serious about adjourning early. The House suggested much more work needs to be done before a bill is sent to the Governor, but they are eager to start this conversation with the Senate. Democrats maintain the cuts help high-income taxpayers more than poor and middle-class Iowans.

 

House and Senate Republicans Release Their FY 2023 Budget Targets

On Tuesday Senate Republicans surprised us all with a bold move by announcing their overall budget target for FY23, which matches the Governor’s, but doesn’t spend it the same way. The total increase of $283 million includes $160M for K-12 schools and $70M for mental health spending 90% of allowable growth. On Wednesday House Republicansanswered their call and announced their overall budget target in addition to their individual budget targets. Their proposal only increases the FY23 budget by $148.9 M with the majority of the increase going towards state school aid. Regardless of which proposal prevails, the FY23 budget will surpass the current $8.2 billion budget.

 

 

Election Bills Move Full Steam Ahead

Less than a year after major election reforms, both chambers are considering further election reforms. Election reform bills which passed through their committees in each chamber on party line votes would change absentee voter ID requirements before the 2022 general election, ban private funding for elections, and set a statewide standard for recounts. Democrats maintain the changes will be detrimental to voters.

 

Looking Ahead

Please check your weekly bill tracker to see what bills of interest are still alive after the first funnel deadline has passed. The AS team will be meeting with chairs of the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees to discuss your FY 2023 budget requests and tax bills in the next week. As both chambers look toward the second funnel deadline, four short weeks away, you can expect legislators will be spending most of their time in caucus and floor debate. Next week both the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees will start to meet more regularly as attention starts to turn to their work.