Under the Golden Dome The process of creating policy and law in the Iowa Legislature can be complicated. We break it down and make it easier to understand. Under the Golden Dome provides context, depth, and a better understanding of the legislative session. Learn about elected officials, influencers, and issues on this weekly podcast.
Under the Golden Dome

Under the Golden Dome

From Iowa Public Radio News

The process of creating policy and law in the Iowa Legislature can be complicated. We break it down and make it easier to understand. Under the Golden Dome provides context, depth, and a better understanding of the legislative session. Learn about elected officials, influencers, and issues on this weekly podcast.

Most Recent Episodes

Restarting The 88th Iowa General Assembly

The Iowa General Assembly lasts two years. As legislators pick up where they left off in 2019, we hear priorities from both parties and Gov. Kim Reynolds lays out her budget and policy proposals in the Condition of the State. The first week of this session also has new leadership roles for the majority party in the House of Representatives.

Under the Golden Dome: End Game

This is the last week for the 2019 Iowa Legislative Session. It was scheduled for 110 days,but ended a bit early on day 104. This is also the last episode for this year's podcast. On this final episode, we cover the passage of the sports betting bill. It legalizes both sports wagering and fantasy sports. In May 2018, the United States Supreme Court made a ruling allowing state to add sports wagering. So far eight states have done so.

Under the Golden Dome: Splitting the Difference

Gov. Kim Reynolds invited Republicans to a press conference to announce the creation of a Flood Recovery Advisory Board. She says it will help decide what to do and how to use funds from the federal and state level. The governor is asking legislators to make $15 million available from fiscal year 2019's ending balance go to the flood mitigation fund. She's also asking for $10 million in the next fiscal year for the Workforce Housing Tax Credits to accelerate housing improvements in flooded areas

Under the Golden Dome: Financial Roads

In the first month of the legislative session it's common to see heads of large departments visit a committee to explain their budget requests. In January, the Department of Transportation asked for $259 million dollars for its highway division. The DOT set aside $13 million a year to buy 225,000 tons of salt. Normally they use 156,000 tons in a season. In February, Iowa received record or near record amounts of snowfall and the DOT used a lot of salt on the roads. They've already used around

Under the Golden Dome: Second Deadline

Some bills move through a chamber quickly. A bill changing the testing to obtain a teaching license passes in the Senate after three and half minutes of discussion. In the House, the discussion is quite different. Democrats present amendments that would terminate the state's Medicaid managed care contracts in favor of a state-run system. It's in response to UnitedHealthcare announcing it will leave Iowa sometime this year. In 2016, Iowa's Medicaid system went from a state-run program to being

Under the Golden Dome: Banning, Expanding & Broadening

Every year, the Herbert Hoover Foundation awards two members of the Iowa legislature the Uncommon Public Service Award. Only a few people in the House and Senate chambers know who the recipient of the award will be until it is announced. Like previous winners, legislators Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, and Rep. John Forbes, D-Urbandale, had no idea they were being honored until it was announced on the chamber floor. In February Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, resigned. Now the Senate has

Under the Golden Dome: Work, Power and Health

There are around 650,000 people enrolled for Medicaid in Iowa. Around 170,000 are through the Iowa Health and Wellness plan. Under a bill in the Senate, 40 percent of those on the Iowa Health and Wellness plan will need have part time work or volunteer to say on the program. The work requirement has 11 exemptions. They include those who are pregnant, disabled, in rehab or enrolled in the Future Ready Iowa program. It's estimated the implimenting the reporting requirement will cost $5 million in

Under the Golden Dome: Appointing

The governor appoints hundreds of people to serve in state departments. The roles range from board member, director, or member of a judicial nominating commission. All of these individuals require confirmation by the Senate by a two thirds majority for them to continue in their appointed role. Some of these appointees visit a Senate committee. Former Speaker of the House Kraig Paulsen, did that this week with the Ways and Means Committee. Two weeks ago he was appointed as the director of the

Under the Golden Dome: In the Middle of It

March 8 was the deadline for most bills and resolutions to pass a House or a Senate committee. Most of those that haven't are no longer eligible for a subcommittee. Exceptions include appropriations, ways and means and government oversite. There are others ways a bill subject to the deadline could emerge later, but most won't. This is also called the "funnel deadline." The 2019 Iowa Legislative Session is scheduled for 110 days. That's 16 weeks, so it's likely we are in the middle of this

Under the Golden Dome: Access

Part of a 2017 law that banned abortions after 20 weeks included a provision that a woman must wait 72 hours after the initial doctor consultation to have the procedure. In June, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled the 72 hour waiting period was unconstitutional. A law banning on abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected was struck down by a district court in January, because it was also declared unconstitutional. Gov. Kim Reynolds decided not to challenge the heartbeat law decision. She says

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