DES MOINES, IOWA (May 25, 2022) — Governor Kim Reynolds released the following statements on the conclusion of the 2022 legislative session:
“This legislative session, I charged the House and Senate to work together to further advance Iowa’s strong growth through policies that cut taxes, invest in biofuels and strengthen our families, communities, schools, workforce, and economy. I’m proud that our state is leading the nation in many of these areas and delivering on the promises we made to the people of Iowa.
“Iowa’s economy is expanding, our communities are flourishing, and our profile is rising. None of that would be possible without the businesses, community leaders, and educational institutions that form the bedrock of our communities. Most of all, it wouldn’t be possible without our people and the communities they call home. Thanks to them, there’s never been a better time to invest in Iowa, to move to Iowa, and to believe in Iowa. They are the source of our strength.”
Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg released the following statement:
"Gov Reynolds’ leadership has again benefited Iowans greatly and improved their everyday lives in areas that matter the most. Historic tax-cuts, expanded child-care availability, supporting public education, focusing efforts to get Iowans employed, are just a few of the major initiatives passed this session that continue to make Iowa a great place to live, work, and raise a family."
Key legislative priorities that passed during the 2022 Legislative Session:
Tax Relief for Hardworking Iowans
"Over the last five years, we've dramatically cut Iowans' taxes three times. It's no coincidence that during this same time, we've also earned a nationwide reputation for economic opportunity and widespread, broad-based prosperity. When I took office, Iowa had the sixth-highest income-tax rate in the nation, at almost 9%. Now, after three historic tax-reform packages, it’s set to be fourth-lowest at 3.9% — flat and fair. And we’ve eliminated taxes on retirement income, starting next year. We’ve also reformed our corporate-tax rate, once one of the highest in the nation at 12%, now going down to 5.5%. Here’s what that all means for Iowans: The bill I signed this year will save tax-payers $1.9 billion a year. And if you add up the savings from all three major tax bills I’ve signed since taking office, that’s nearly $3 billion per year.”
Generational state tax reform that benefits all Iowans.
- 3.9% flat income-tax for all Iowans. Individual tax-reform is projected to save Iowa tax-payers more than $1.67 billion by tax year 2026 (HF2317);
- Fully repeals state taxes on retirement income in 2023. Beginning January 1, 2023, an estimated 294,624 Iowa tax-payers will see their retirement-tax liability eliminated (HF2317);
- Exempts farmer retirement income on either cash rent or capital-gains tax (HF2317);
- Common-sense, pro-business corporate income-tax reform including banking-franchise tax-reform, coupled with a reduction in refundable corporate-tax credits (HF2317 and SF2367);
- Exempts diapers and feminine-hygiene products from sales tax (SF2367); and
- Clears the Solar Energy Tax Credit waitlist (SF2367).
Re-Employing Iowans and Expanding Child Care
"In Iowa, we’re taking bold action to ensure every employable Iowan finds a meaningful and fulfilling career. We’re turning our unemployment system into a re-employment system. We passed legislation that caps unemployment benefits at sixteen weeks and took action to give job-seekers one-on-one career coaching. In short, we’re helping Iowans get back to work sooner.”
- Modernizes purpose of unemployment benefits to focus on re-employment (HF2355);
- Reduces weeks of regular unemployment from 26 to sixteen weeks, and plant-closure unemployment from 39 to 26 weeks to encourage quicker return to the workforce (HF2355);
- Prevents an employer’s account from being charged for an overpayment of unemployment benefits, if an employer’s failure to respond in a timely manner was due to insufficient notification by IWD (HF2355);
- Defines employee misconduct for unemployment matters to create consistent unemployment decisions (HF2355);
- Encourages return-to-work more quickly by accelerating the prior wage-percentage reduction in the definition of suitable work more quickly (HF2355);
- Allows direct appeal of an ALJ’s unemployment decision to district court to provide swifter final resolution of claims (HF2355);
- Reforms Voluntary Shared Work (VSW) Program, preventing abuse and allowing use with part-time employees (HF2355);
- Prohibits duplicative local inspections of federally-inspected manufactured housing (SF2383);
- Requires annual reporting of Work Based Learning in schools (SF2383);
- Creates a work-based learning program supervisor for industry professionals to immediately start supervising WBL opportunities, so students can receive credit for WBL experiences (SF2383);
- Removes one-year out-of-state licensure requirement for universal-license recognition (SF2383);
- Removes residency requirement for universal-license recognition for most professions (SF2383);
- Offers temporary licensure for military spouses if they don’t qualify for universal-license recognition (SF2383);
- Waives initial teaching-license fees for those under 200% FPL (SF2383);
- Waives initial and first renewal-licensure fee for all veterans (SF2383);
- Allows for temporary insurance-licensure if background check takes more than ten business days (SF2383);
- Creates a low-cost ($5) annual armed-forces fishing and hunting license (SF2383);
- Waives driver’s-license fees for 100% disabled veterans (SF2383);
- Waives CDL fees for veterans (SF2383);
- Expands CDL third-party testing (SF2337); and
- Provides free public parking for medal of honor recipients, ex-prisoners of war, purple- heart recipients, and disabled veterans (SF2383).
Promoting Access to Child Care
“Last year I convened the Governor’s Child Care Task Force to address the ongoing child-care challenge in our state. Working parents need to be able to re-enter the workforce and know their children will be well-cared for. Already we’ve allocated over $500 million to support child-care in our state and created more than 9,000 new child-care spots in just one year. But we’re far from finished.”
- Opens additional child care slots by establishing new minimum child-to-staff ratios in child-care centers of 1:7 for children aged two and 1:10 for children aged three (HF2198);
- Addresses workforce challenges by allowing child-care center employees who are sixteen years of age or older to work without additional supervision (HF2198);
- Incentivizes child-care providers to accept more Child Care Assistance (CCA) families by allowing parents to pay the difference between CCA rates and rates charged to private pay families (HF2127); and
- Allows a parent with a permanent disability to access CCA so the other parent can pursue employment. Previously, a parent with only a temporary disability could qualify for CCA. (HF2252).
Delivering for Iowa Agriculture & Cutting Red Tape
“The biofuels bill I signed into law this year is a testament to the idea that good-faith discussion, negotiation, and compromise can pay off in a big way. This historic bill makes Iowa the first state in the nation to adopt an E15 standard, setting the stage for the single-largest expansion of biofuels in our state’s history. Biofuels account for more than $4 billion of Iowa’s GDP and support tens of thousands of jobs in our state. I proposed the bill because Iowa’s farmers and biofuel producers are the economic backbone of our state. Because Iowans — and all Americans — deserve access to a reliable, less-expensive, and environmentally-friendly option at the pump. Iowa has delivered — and in doing so, we’ve sent a message that can’t be ignored: America’s energy is growing right here in Iowa’s fields.”
- Increases access to higher blends of biofuels through market-based principles and doubles funding for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (HF2128);
- Eliminates unnecessary and burdensome environmental and ag regulations (SF2176/HF2343/SF2232/SF2245);
- Preserves the Iowa Energy Center and refocuses efforts to research and develop strategies for carbon management (SF2325);
- Creates a “Choose Iowa” program to support and promote products grown on Iowa farms (HF2581); and
- Improves CDL testing and creates a permit to allow oversize and overweight hauling in Iowa (SF2337/SF2376).
Supporting Quality Educational Opportunities for Iowa Children
“This legislative session, for the twelfth year in a row, we’ve increased funding for K-12 public education. While I’m disappointed that the House chose not to pass my proposal to give families educational freedom and school choice, I’m not backing down from this fight. That’s why we’ll continue to invest in public schools while empowering parents to choose what’s best for their child. Parental choice is not a zero-sum game, and my focus continues to be raising the quality of education in every Iowa school and for every Iowa child.”
- Increases per pupil state funding for Fiscal Year 2023 (HF2316);
- Establishes a special task force to provide support for special education in private educational institutions (SF2197);
- Expands open enrollment (HF2589);
- Expands operational sharing for school superintendents and school resource officers (HF2080);
- Increases funding for Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) to expand student programming to over 150 new schools (HF2575); and
- Increases the Transportation Equity by 7.28% for a total of $29.5 million dollars (HF2316).
Protecting Girls Sports
- Requires schools at all levels to designate sporting events as male, female, or co-ed. Only students who are female according to their birth certificate will be eligible to compete in girls sports. No student will be prevented from playing a sport that matches his or her biological sex, or a sport designated as co-ed (HF2416).
Promoting Strong Families
- Further solidifies the State of Iowa as a leader in implementing the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. Aligning Iowa’s child-welfare system with Family First has successfully resulted in significantly fewer children entering foster-care, more children placed in safe, family-based settings with relatives or fictive kin, and fewer children and youth placed in congregate-care settings (HF2507);
- Increases the upper age of an individual in foster-care from eighteen years to 21 years with additional supports if the individual is willing to participate in a case-permanency plan and the Department of Human Services (DHS) has made an application for additional services and increases the upper age of an individual in foster care who can receive family foster-care services or supervised apartment living from eighteen to 21 (HF2252);
- Requires adoption petitions for children whose parents had their parental rights terminated to include the names of any known siblings placed separately from the child and the courts’ recommendation on whether continued contact is in the best interest of all siblings (HF2252);
- Requires court orders regarding sibling-placement to be attached to the adoption petition for a child whose parents have had their parental rights terminated (HF2252);
- Requires preplacement reports to include whether the child to be adopted is based on their parents losing parental rights, whether the child has siblings and an ongoing relationship with them, or if a court order has found that contact between the siblings is in the best interest of each sibling (HF2252);
- Requires that siblings of a person to be adopted receive notice of the adoption hearing at least twenty days’ prior to the hearing if the court finds contact between the siblings is in the best interest of each sibling (HF2252); and
- Removes the requirement that certain adult adoptees obtain a court order to access adoption records though DHS. Limits the simplified procedure to adults adopted following a termination of parental rights (HF2252)
Improving Access to Mental Health Care
- Establishes a Mental Health Professional loan-repayment program; (HF2549)
- Directs DHS to establish tiered in-patient payment rates in the Medicaid program for acute mental-health services (HF2546); and
- Funds additional positions in the University of Iowa Psychiatric Residency Program (HF2578).
- Modifies the definition of a company in Iowa’s anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions law to prohibit certain state funds from going to parent companies, wholly-owned subsidiaries, majority-owned subsidiaries, or affiliates of companies that boycott Israel (HF2373).
Streamlining Public Safety Resources
- Permanently authorizes counties, cities, and townships to establish an emergency-response district that improves the ability of fire, police, and EMS services to share resources and coordinate action (SF2267);
- Authorizes local emergency-management commissions to assume the responsibilities of a joint 911 service board (SF2298); and
- Allows law-enforcement agencies to use driver's-license photos in missing-persons investigations on websites and media for missing individuals and those suspected to be involved in a minor’s disappearance (HF2123).
Enhancing Iowa’s Economic Development
- Permits an additional twelve-month extension and increase of project cost cap for the WF Housing Tax credit (SF2325);
- Further defines economically-distressed counties in the state that are eligible for high-quality jobs relief (SF2325);
- Guarantees the Business Property Tax Credit by altering it from an opt-in benefit to an exemption available to all businesses (HF2552);
- Expands the sales-tax exemption of items and services used by a manufacturer to produce marketable food products to include food ingredients (SF2367); and
- Establishes third-party food-delivery requirements, including penalties and food-delivery safety standards (SF2374).
Continuing modernization of state government
- Permits tax-payers to have a combined sales and use tax permit and file a combined sales- and use-tax return (SF2367);
- Condenses four sales- and use-tax filing-dates to just two (monthly and annual) (SF2367);
- Takes the first step to align the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Human Services into a single agency, the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. With extensive connections between Iowa’s public-health and human-services efforts, alignment integrates programs, practices, and policies to improve delivery of services and more effectively helps all Iowans live safe, stable, and healthy lives (HF2587);
- Creates Sunday sales-parity for all retail license/alcohol permit types, simplifies fee structures for alcohol licenses, makes charity event-planning easier for non-profit organizations, and streamlines ABD’s business processes (SF2374); and
- Moves the Office of the Chief Information Officer into the Department of Management — connected to the Office of the Governor — to strengthen the office and promote streamlined cybersecurity and technology oversight. (HF2589).