Highlights from the Iowa State Legislature’s first session


Lee Chinyama

Iowa state capitol, located at 1007 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319 on May, 3, 2023.

With the Iowa Legislature having wrapped up its first session, here is a highlight of some bills the legislature has seen.

Passed bills

Property tax relief

The legislature voted 49-0 to pass House File 718 on Tuesday, a bill that will provide roughly $100,000 in property tax relief but as a result limits revenue to local governments.

The bill also requires local governments to use excess funds received from property taxes to lower property taxes based on their rates of growth.

The levy rates are limited to: $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for general county services,  $3.95 per $1,000 for rural county services and $8.10 per $1,000 for all taxable property within a county.

The bill also offers a $6,500 tax exemption to residents 65 and older and a $4,000 property tax exemption to veterans.

LQBTQIA+ legislation

As previously reported by the Daily, Gov. Kim Reynolds passed Senate Files 538 and 482 both relating to transgender individuals.

Senate File 538 banned gender-affirming care for minors, such as puberty-blockers, while Senate File 482 empowers schools with the right to restrict restrooms or changing areas such as locker rooms to students based on their biological sex.

Governmental reorganization

This session, Reynolds also signed Senate File 514 into law, which recognizes state cabinet agencies and solidated the former 37 agencies to 16.

The bill empowers state agencies, with the approval of the governor, to transfer funds from a department that has an excess to their own if the need arises.

Still in legislature

Firearms in parking lots

A bill currently in the senate titled Senate File 543, if passed, would allow gun owners to keep firearms in any parking lot–including school and college lots.

According to Senate documents, the bill does not prohibit the lawful carrying, transportation or possession of a firearm or ammunition if the firearm or ammunition remains out of sight and inside a locked vehicle on the property of a publicly accessible, non-secure parking lot of a facility, jail or institution.

The bill provides protection to employers, property owners and regent universities from claims or lawsuits that may arise if an individual seeks reparations for damages resulting from a firearm having been brought onto the property.

In addition to protections from claims or lawsuits, the bill empowers employers with the right to prevent employees from holding firearms in their vehicles owned, leased or otherwise under the employer’s control or possession.

The bill also prohibits insurers from denying property and casualty insurance to schools should an authorized individual who is armed with, carrying or transporting a firearm on school grounds be present.