The Iowa legislature convened for the 2022 Legislative session on Monday, January 10. Monday consisted of short organizing sessions in the House and Senate and speeches by leadership in both parties. Priorities set by the Republican majorities in both chambers were laid out in opening day remarks. Major topics for the 2022 legislative session include:
The full text of each leadership address can be found below:
Condition of the State
On Tuesday, Governor Reynolds delivered her 2022 Condition of the State. The Governor outlined accomplishments of the past year and highlighted her priorities for 2022, which include:
- Cutting taxes for all Iowans (proposed 4% flat income tax phased in over four years and repealing all state income taxes on retirement income beginning next year).
- Making Iowa an employment destination.
- Improving access to childcare.
- Building Iowa’s health care workforce.
- Preparing students for the workforce.
- Providing education choice and transparency for Iowa families.
- Growing the fuels of the future in Iowa.
Simultaneously, the Governor published her Vision for Iowa, the Governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023. Governor Reynolds proposed an $8.2 billion budget for fiscal year 2023 with an ending balance expected to be about $960 million. The entire text of the Condition of the State and the proposed budget can be found here. A complete Iowa Budget Report can be found here.
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Christensen delivered her Condition of the Judiciary and on Thursday, Major General Corell, Adjutant General of the National Guard, delivered the Condition of the Guard.
Already getting to business, the legislature wasted no time introducing bills and the House has already convened just shy of a dozen subcommittees.
The House introduced 69 House files and study bills this week. The Senate surpassed that number for a total of 80 Senate House files and study bills with 37 bills filed on Thursday before the legislators left for the holiday weekend.
The legislature will observe the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday, January 17 and gavel back in for Week 2 in the afternoon of Tuesday, January 18.
On Thursday, on a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked rules established by the Biden Administration that would have mandated large businesses to require workers to be vaccinated for COVID or wear a mask/be tested weekly. The Supreme Court allowed an exception for the mandate to extend to those facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare funding.
Governor Reynolds released a statement on the rulings:
“The SCOTUS ruling on OSHA vaccine mandate is a major victory for Iowans, their personal freedoms and liberties. The Biden Administration should hear this message loud and clear: The American citizens do not believe in government overreach, and they don’t believe in the federal government making health care decisions for them.
At the same time, I’m very disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the CMS vaccine mandate. Medical providers that have been on the frontlines of this pandemic saving lives deserve the freedom and ability to make their own informed health care decisions.
I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but I also firmly believe in Iowans’ right to make health care decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families, and I remain committed to protecting those freedoms. President Biden should do the same.“