Like with the last Iowa General Assembly, Republicans control the House, Senate, and the governor’s office. But this session begins without a revenue shortfall. It also begins in the first few weeks of a new Iowa tax code passed by the legislature last year.
Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver says the state is in a very strong position and his party wants to continue to make tax changes. Although there are no specific proposals, he is interested in looking at property taxes.
Republicans are also considering changing how future Iowa Supreme Court justices make their way to the high court. Right now there is a State Judicial Nominating Commission that selects nominees to sit on the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals. Sen. Whitver says change needs to be considered due to justices legislating from the bench.
House Minority Leader Rep. Todd Prichard says this accusation of judicial activism is unfounded, and Iowa’s method of choosing justices is a model system.
Since the Republicans control the House and Senate Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen says the Democrats won’t have much say in the agenda, but hope they can work together to fix Medicaid privatization.
Priorities from Gov. Kim Reynolds include allowing women to obtain birth control pills from a pharmacist without seeing a doctor first, restoring voting rights for felons, and improving broadband infrastructure.
Hear other priorities from legislative leaders in this first of 16 weekly podcasts.