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Gov. Reynolds: 2019 Legislative Session was a win for Iowans

Kim Reynolds
DES MOINES – Gov. Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg release the following statements after the conclusion of 2019’s legislative session:

Statement from Gov. Reynolds:

“Earlier this year in my Condition of the State Address, I said now is the time to deliver on the promises we made to Iowans looking for a way up. Through collaboration and compromise, those Iowans will be better off today than they were before. The biggest winners of this legislative session were Iowa students, families, farmers, small business owners, and our rural communities.

“We made historic investments into preK-12 Education and put more money into community colleges and our public universities. We protected job creators who hire individuals with past criminal offenses and funded the Future Ready Iowa Initiative, so that Iowans can get the skills they need for cutting-edge careers. Our judicial nominating system was reformed to give Iowans a greater voice. Iowa will also have a first of its kind Children’s Mental Health System. And with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, Iowa is one step closer to seeing growth and prosperity in every single corner of our state.

“While a lot was accomplished, we’re not finished yet. Next year, I will push again for a constitutional amendment to restore felon voting rights and work to expand access to contraception. We will also continue our focus on growing the economy as well as create opportunities to attract top talent to Iowa by sharing our story as a vibrant, affordable, and welcoming state.”

Statement from Lt. Gov. Gregg:

“This legislative session was a success for Iowans as well as a direct result of compromise, bipartisanship, and Governor Reynolds’ effective leadership.

“One of those critical priorities we accomplished this year was the passage of the Empower Rural Iowa Act. Building off of recommendations from Iowans across our state, we put together an effective plan to empower our rural communities. By significantly funding the broadband grant program and doubling the rural set-aside in the workforce housing tax credit, we coupled two of Iowa’s greatest assets: our rural spirit and our people.

“While we should be proud of where we are today, the governor and I know that there’s more to do. In the months and years to come, Gov. Reynolds and I look forward to building on the progress we made this legislative session.”

Gov. Reynolds’ top legislative priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session:


  • A conservative budget that is balanced and leaves our cash reserves full


  • $98 million in new money for preK-12, including including:
    • $2.1 million to assist schools in addressing children’s mental health issues
    • $2.9 million for per pupil equity
    • $7.8 for transportation equity
    • $6.4 million for the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council
  • $12 million in new money for the Regents’ universities
  • $6 million in new money for community colleges
  • 20 year extension of SAVE, 1 percent sales tax to invest in schools and provide property tax relief at the local level


  • Nearly $16 million in new money to fund last-dollar scholarships, grants and the Employer Innovation Fund as part of the Future Ready Iowa Initiative

Criminal Justice

  • HF 650: protects job creators who hire individuals with past criminal offenses

Mental Health

  • HF 690 creates a first of its kind Children’s Mental Health System
    • $1.2 million for home and community-based children’s mental health services to eliminate the waiting list that currently exists
    • Established a children’s mental health hotline
  • Increased reimbursement for Assertive Community Treatment to treat individuals facing a mental health crisis in their own homes and communities
  • Increased funding for the State’s mental health institutions for additional staff

Child Welfare

  • Nearly $6 million for additional staff to ensure the safety of Iowa’s children

Flood Recovery

  • $15 million for flood recovery efforts.
  • $10 million for the workforce housing tax credit

Ag Protection

  • SF 519 protects Iowa farmers from safety threats or biosecurity risks that untrained people on their property may cause

Judicial Nominating

  • We reformed our judicial nominating system to give Iowans a greater voice in the process

Property Tax Reform

  • SF 634 provides taxpayers with more transparency and information about how property taxes are collected at the local level

Rural Iowa

  • HF 772, The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative. This initiative serves as a connector to existing programs and resources which provide our communities with a roadmap for continued success
  • $25 million for the workforce housing tax credit
  • $5 million for broadband connectivity
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