The 2022 session of the 89th General Assembly began Monday, January 10.
Legislative Branch Developments
Makeup of the 89th General Assembly
Republicans maintain their majority in both chambers. House Republicans picked up one seat in a special election for Iowa House Representatives District 29; the seat became vacant after Representative Wes Breckenridge (D) resigned on September 10, 2021, to take a job with the Iowa Law Enforcement Agency.
Three new legislators have been sworn in as a product of special elections that took place in the fall:
|Rep. Mike Bousselot|
Rep. Mike Bousselot defeated Andrea Phillips in the special general election for Iowa House of Representatives District 37 on September 14, 2021. Rep. Bousselot was sworn in during the Special Session in October 2021.
|Rep. Jon Dunwell|
Rep. Jon Dunwell defeated Steve Mullan in the special general election for Iowa House of Representatives District 29 on October 12, 2021. Rep. Jon Dunwell was sworn in during the Special Session in October 2021.
|Sen. Dave Rowley|
This seat became vacant after Zach Whiting (R) resigned on October 30, 2021, to take a job with the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Sen. Dave Rowley defeated Mark Lemke in the special general election for Iowa State Senate District 1 on December 14, 2021. Sen. Dave Rowley was sworn in on the first day of the 2022 legislative session.
New Leadership – Committee Updates
House Minority Leader Prichard stepped down from his position. Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights was chosen by her caucus to serve as the new Minority Leader. Konfrst is the first woman to lead the Iowa House Democratic caucus.
Retirements, congressional elections, and leadership changes prompted numerous committee changes. New committee chairs were installed on several committees as well as a shuffling of committee members. All committee assignments can be found here.
Executive Branch Developments
Significant Executive Branch developments from the 2021 interim:
State Budget Outlook
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met on December 13, 2021, to provide an estimate of expected state revenues for the rest of the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2022.
For the upcoming Fiscal Year that begins July 1, 2023, the REC estimated a $150 million (1.7%) increase over the FY 22 estimate. This would result in a surplus of $1.2 billion.
- Given the estimated surplus, the chances are better that the legislature will be able to follow through with its stated goal of tax reductions and possibly income tax elimination.
- There will be an opportunity to spend some of the surpluses on infrastructure, quality of life, and economic development priorities.
The Governor will deliver her Condition of the State address Wednesday, January 11, where she will outline her budget and policy priorities. Shortly thereafter she will release her budget proposal and the Appropriations committees in both chambers will begin to work on the numbers in her budget with a goal of delivering a budget for her signature within the next 100 days of the legislative session.
Major Topics for 2022 – First Week Agenda
Caucuses have set priorities for 2022 in their leadership addresses. At this time, we expect the 2022 session to include legislation related to major tax reform, workforce, and education reform. COVID-19 mitigation efforts, including vaccines, will continue to be a priority for the Legislature.
Governor Reynolds and legislative Republicans are supporting tax cuts due to a state surplus expected to be in excess of $1 billion and due to another $1 billion in the Taxpayer Trust fund. Reynolds has said that she will present a “bold” agenda and said it will deal with workforce issues and with additional K-12 education reform, along with the tax cuts.
- Governor Reynolds will deliver her Condition of the State speech on Tuesday evening, January 11.
- Chief Justice Christensen will deliver the Condition of the Judiciary on Wednesday morning, January 12.
- Major General Benjamin Corell, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, will deliver the Condition of the Guard on Thursday morning, January 13.
The 2022 Iowa Legislative is slated for 100 days. The full 2022 session timetable can be found here.