Week 13 Legislative Update

March 22, 2024

This Week, both the House and Senate held floor debate to pass a combined total of 49 bills. Legislation passed off the floor of both chambers was largely policy bills as the legislature moves toward adjournment. The Senate also approved a significant number of Governor appointments to Iowa’s boards and commissions this week along with the following department directors:

  • Beth Skinner, Department of Corrections
  • McKenzie Snow, Department of Education
  • Scott Marler, Department of Transportation
  • Kelly Garcia Department of Health and Human Services
  • Emily Wharton, Department for the Blind
  • Kayla Lyon, Department of Natural Resources

Bills Signed into Law

87 bills have been passed by both chambers and sent to the Governor thus far, with five total signed. This week Governor Reynolds signed three additional bills into law.

House File 2485: A bill for an act relating to the regulation of watercraft and equipment on public lakes by common interest communities and certain nonprofit corporations, and including effective date provisions. Effective upon enactment, HF 2485 was signed on February 28th.

House File 2612: A bill for an act relating to education, including modifying provisions related to the duties and powers of area education agencies, the membership of the boards of directors of area education agencies, the department of education, area education agency funding, the calculation of the teacher salary supplemental district cost per pupil and minimum teacher salaries, Iowa public employees’ retirement system bona fide retirement requirements, and the property tax replacement payments, establishing the state percent of growth and the categorical state percent of growth for supplemental state aid calculations for the budget year beginning July 1, 2024 and including transition, effective date, and applicability provisions. HF 2612 was signed on March 27th, Governor Reynolds released the following statement.

“I’m proud to sign legislation that further strengthens Iowa's commitment to students, parents, teachers, and schools. This bill will improve special education for students with disabilities and raise salaries for new and experienced teachers - two foundational pillars of a world class education system which is exactly what we strive to provide for every student in our state. High quality teachers and instruction unlock the potential for student success, and this legislation delivers both.”

Senate File 2095: A bill for an act relating to the exercise of religion, and including effective date and applicability provisions. Effective upon enactment, SF 2095 was signed on April 2nd. Governor Reynolds released the following statement.

“Thirty years ago, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act passed almost unanimously at the federal level. Since then, religious rights have increasingly come under attack. Today, Iowa enacts a law to protect these unalienable rights—just as twenty-six other states have done—upholding the ideals that are the very foundation of our country.” 

Senate File 2096: A bill for an act repealing gender balance requirements for appointive bodies. Effective July 1st, SF 2096 was signed on April 3rd. Governor Reynolds released the following statement.

“I believe that our focus should always be on appointing the most qualified people. That includes engaged citizens with a genuine interest in serving their state or local community, as well as individuals with valuable experience that directly relates to the position,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. “This approach ensures that boards and commissions at all levels of government are effective and that each one serves Iowans well. That’s exactly what this bill aims to accomplish.”

House File 2653: A bill for an act relating to school districts, including by modifying provisions related to the district management levy, waiving specified duties, responsibilities, and requirements for the school year beginning July 1, 2023, and ending June 30, 2024, and including effective date provisions. Effective upon enactment, HF 2653 was signed on April 5th. Governor Reynolds related the following statement.

“As the Perry Community School District continues to heal, this legislation will provide students, teachers, and staff with an additional layer of support, allowing them the flexibility they need to care for themselves and each other. We stand with Perry and are committed to doing whatever we can to help the community recover.” 

Budget and Tax Update

Last week, the House released their budget targets for a majority of the appropriations bills and this week, the Senate introduced 8 budget bills with subcommittee meetings being held on most. The House released one budget bill and advanced the legislation out of the Appropriations Committee on Thursday. A summary of the current budget proposals can be found below.

FY 2025 Budget Tracker


Senate Bills

House Bills






SF 2422

Passed Committee

HF 2683

Passed Committee

Ag & Natural Resources

SF 2421

Passed Committee

Economic Development

SF 2432

Passed Committee

Admin. & Reg.

SF 2433

Passed Committee

Justice Systems

SSB 3200

Passed Subcommittee

Judicial Branch

SSB 3203

Passed Subcommittee


SSB 3201

Passed Subcommittee


SSB 3202

Subcommittee assigned


On Tuesday, the Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 2004, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Iowa to requiring a single rate for individual income taxes. The resolution passed with a 34-15 vote and was sent to the House for consideration.

Last week, the House advanced House Joint Resolution 2006, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Iowa requiring a 2/3 majority vote to raise income taxes. The resolution passed with a 61-35 vote and was sent the Senate where a companion resolution has passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Both resolutions must pass the Iowa legislature in two consecutive legislative sessions before it can be placed on the ballot. A majority of voters must approve the amendments to the Constitution before they can be adopted.

Hemp Regulation

House File 2605 passed the Senate on Tuesday with a 31-18 vote and was sent to the Governor. HF 2605 makes changes to Iowa’s consumable hemp laws to address concerns raised this year regarding regulations of newly popular consumable hemp products allowed by the Iowa Hemp Act created in 2019. The legislation sets a maximum THC concentration of 4 mg per serving and 10 mg er container, or 0.3% on a dry weight basis, whichever is less, for all consumable hemp products. Sales of consumable hemp products are restricted to individuals 21 or older and prohibits an individual from holding a retail alcohol license from selling alcoholic beverages that also contain THC. Retailers of consumable hemp products are required to register with the Department of Human Health and Human Services.

Other Bills of Interest: 

Child Care Assistance (HF 2658): Sets half-day reimbursement rates for child care providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program and extends the Child Care Workforce One-Year Pilot Program until June 30, 2025. The bill passed the House with a 92-1 vote and advanced out of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Rural Business Growth (HF 2674): Creates the Iowa Rural Development Tax Credit Program to approve up to $45 million in eligible investment authority and $27 million in credit-eligible capitol contributions under the program. The bill passed the House with a unanimous vote on Tuesday and was referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

CPA Exceptions (HF 2685): Exempts from state individual and corporate income taxes income received by a CPA performing an audit or examination of a government subdivision. The bill advanced out of the House Ways and Means committee on Wednesday.

Public Notice (SF 2331): Makes changes to public notice requirements by requiring all notices be published online if the newspaper operates a website, creates a statewide public notice website to be administered by the statewide association, provides that in the case where no official newspaper is published in a county, public notice requirements are met by posting on the governmental body website and the statewide website, requires notices be published in a timely manner, and specifies a newspaper cannot charge a fee for proof of publication. The bill was sent to Governor Reynolds to be signed into law on Monday.

Pesticide Tort Liability (SF 2412): Provides a defense from civil liability on duty to warn associated with the use of pesticides that are registered with the EPA use the label approved by the EPA. The Senate passed the legislation with a 30-19 vote on Tuesday.

Next week, both the Senate and House Appropriations committees are expected to hold subcommittee and committee meetings to consider the remaining budget bills. April 16th is the last scheduled day of the 2024 legislative session. Following April 16th, legislators will no longer receive per diem expense payments.