2020 Legislative Session Kicks Off

January 16, 2020

The second session of the 88th Iowa General Assembly commenced on Monday with opening speeches from legislative leaders. Gov. Reynolds issued her Condition of the State Address on Tuesday. Conditions of the Judiciary and the Guard were also delivered later in the week.

Gov. Reynolds issued a very substantive and bold address before a Joint Convention Tuesday morning. ABI priorities were included in her speech including expanding and continuing to fund Future Ready Iowa programs such as the Iowa Employer Innovation Fund and the Last-Dollar Scholarship program. She suggested addressing the child care cliff effect and expanding childcare tax credits to a larger number of Iowans. She asked for more funds to grow broadband in underserved areas. Another key proposal she unveiled was her Invest in Iowa Act. This proposal would raise the sales tax a penny, which in turn would put the first three/eighths of that toward funding the Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. The next five/eighths would go toward cutting income and property taxes, and providing a stream of resources for mental health.  

On the Senate side, Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) spoke about the success of Iowa’s economy and what can be done to deliver more on our state’s tax competitiveness and upskilling our workforce. President Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) spoke about how Iowa can improve its tax climate, reduce barriers to work and address childcare. Some of the issues Minority Leader Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines) remarked about included expanding voting rights, growing our skilled workforce and equal pay for equal work. 

On the House side, Speaker Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) said workforce should be the top priority this session including childcare. He also addressed the need for high-speed internet in rural areas. Majority Leader Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) didn’t dive into specific policy measures, but urged the legislature to expand freedom for Iowans. Minority Leader Todd Prichard (D-Charles City) said his caucus will introduce legislation to address the high cost of childcare and create more affordable housing.

You can read the governor’s and legislative leaders' full speeches below: