House Republicans Gave Iowa Taxpayers a #BetterDeal in 2017

One of the most important things that the Legislature can do is value each and every dollar that the hardworking taxpayers of Iowa send to their state government.  House Republicans believe that the state budget should be managed just like Iowa families and businesses manage their own.

Several bills passed this session give Iowa taxpayers a better deal than they were getting before.  One of  the biggest achievements of the legislative session were the reforms made to Iowa’s four decade old collective bargaining law that put taxpayers at a disadvantage.  Other bills that were signed into law include permanent extension of the Property Assessment Appeal Board, combining school board and municipal elections to be held in November, and passing smart sentencing reforms that allocate resources effectively and keep Iowans safe.

It’s clear that after the 2017 session, Iowa taxpayers are getting a #BetterDeal.

Reformed collective bargaining to give taxpayers a seat at the table

One of the biggest reforms passed by the Legislature this session dealt with public sector employees.  Iowa’s collective bargaining law had been on the books, with minimal changes, for more than 40 years.  The law had become outdated and tilted too far in favor of government unions at the expense of Iowa taxpayers. House Republicans took this challenge head on and never wavered because taxpayers deserve a better deal.

Continue reading how taxpayers are getting a #BetterDeal


House Republicans Gave Iowa Families a #BetterDeal in 2017

Iowa is already a great place to live, work, and raise a family, but House Republicans want to do more to support Iowa families.  In order to move Iowa forward, we need a positive environment where families have opportunities to thrive and grow.

House Republicans worked hard this session to support Iowa families in a number of different ways.  We made it easier to save for a home so families can put down roots, continued our efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, extended valuable insurance coverage to families who have a child with autism, and expanded access to medical cannabidiol to help sick Iowans.  Each of these things with benefit Iowa families in a tremendous way and improve each of their lives.

It’s clear that after the 2017 session, Iowa families are getting a #BetterDeal.

Helping Iowans save for their future

One of the best ways we can get young Iowans to stay in Iowa and put down roots is by encouraging home ownership.  House Republicans made it easier for Iowans to save for a down payment on their first house by creating First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts.  These accounts, similar to the College Savings Iowa 529 plans, provide tax benefits and encourage saving for the future purpose of purchasing a home.

Continue reading how families are getting a #BetterDeal


House Republican Caucus Newsletter – June 15, 2017

A new version of the June 2017 Newsletter is available for viewing: 

Click the link below to view the PDF version:

Caucus Newsletter 6-15-17

In this edition:

  • The Budget Lesson Democrats and the Radical Left Want You to Ignore: Connecticut
  • Iowa’s Stopgap Measure: A Temporary Solution to the ACA’s Permanent, Growing Problem
  • Money is Being Saved Under New Collective Bargaining Reform
  • Joint Government Oversight Meeting Held to Discuss Foster Care System

All House Republican newsletters are available at  Follow us on twitter @IAHouseGOP.


House Republicans Gave Iowa Employers a #BetterDeal in 2017

Iowa’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point in several years and continues to remain lower than most states.

But there’s more that we can do to ensure that Iowa businesses are equipped to succeed and Iowa’s economy continues to grow.  Barriers to innovation need to be broken down and more certainty and opportunity are what Iowa employers need to create jobs and expand.

House Republicans worked this session to foster that pro-growth environment through a number of measures including Workers’ Compensation reform, regulatory reform, investments in job training, and ensuring employers have the infrastructure needed to expand.

These reforms and initiatives will make it easier to do business in Iowa, encourage growth, and lead to more jobs and higher wages for Iowans.

It’s clear that after the 2017 session, Iowa employers are getting a #BetterDeal.

A predictable Workers’ Compensation system

Over the last decade, Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation system was knocked out of balance by several administrative interpretations and court decisions that made our system unpredictable for both Iowa employers and workers who were injured on the job.  Changes made this session provide more clarity to the system, ensuring more stability and predictability for all parties.

Reforms made by House Republicans this session will allow injured workers to collect benefits that are owed to them without the need to hire a costly attorney.  This will leave more money in the pockets of injured employees until they can return to work.  House Republicans also allowed injured workers to qualify for vocational rehab and job retraining, for certain injuries, at the employer’s expense.

Continue reading how employers are getting a #BetterDeal


House Republicans Gave Iowa Schools a #BetterDeal in 2017

Education for Iowa’s children is one of our top priorities and House Republicans are committed to providing a world-class education for Iowa’s students.

During the 2017 legislative session, House Republicans increased funding for K-12 education, provided more funding flexibility, and allowed for more decision making at the local level.  Most importantly, House Republicans broadened the conversation about education beyond the yearly decision on how much additional money to invest.

It’s clear that following the 2017 session, Iowa schools are getting a #BetterDeal.

Giving schools more flexibility

House Republicans recognize that no two school districts are exactly alike and have worked to allow schools to better meet the specific needs of their students and teachers.

One of the major achievements of the 2017 session was providing school districts with more flexibility.  House Republicans worked closely with school boards, superintendents, and other officials to craft a flexibility plan that will likely benefit every district.

This plan gives schools more allowable uses on funding and loosens many of the strings that are tied to various sources of funding.  It also allows schools to use funds that are continually stuck in accounts, due to burdensome state restrictions, on specific needs that needs that they have.

Continue reading how schools are getting a #BetterDeal


House Republican Caucus Newsletter – June 2, 2017

A new version of the June 2017 Newsletter is available for viewing: 

Click the link below to view the PDF version:

Caucus Newsletter 6-1-17

In this edition:

  • Workers’ Compensation Reform: What are Other States Doing?
  • IEDA Tax Incentive Series: High Quality Jobs Program
  • Legislature Increases School Funding by $40 Million Dollars
  • The Future of RIIF
  • Iowa Tax Credit Basics and Oversight

All House Republican newsletters are available at  Follow us on twitter @IAHouseGOP.


Upmeyer Issues Statement on Gubernational Transition

(DES MOINES) – Today House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement regarding the gubernatorial transition:

“I’d like to thank Governor Branstad for his decades of public service to the people of Iowa and congratulate him on his appointment as Ambassador to China.  The future of our state is on a bright path thanks in part to the hard work and dedication of Terry Branstad.  The people of Iowa are thankful for all that he has done as we look forward to his next endeavor working for all Americans.

“While Iowans are losing a tenacious champion for our state, we’re getting someone that’s equal in Terry Branstad’s passion and enthusiasm with Kim Reynolds.

“Kim Reynolds has the knowledge and experience to take on the role of Governor and move Iowa forward.   Few rival her passion and dedication to improve  our state and the people of Iowa’s lives.

“Congratulations to Iowa’s 43rd Governor, Kim Reynolds.  I look forward to working with her next session to make Iowa a great place to raise a family or grow a business.”



House Republican Caucus Newsletter – May 18, 2017

A new version of the May 2017 Newsletter is available for viewing: 

Click the link below to view the PDF version:

Caucus Newsletter 5-18-17

In this edition:

  • Worker’s Compensation Update
  • Providing Flexibility and Local Control for School Districts
  • An Overview of Iowa’s New Collective Bargaining Law
  • Medical Cannabidiol will be Grown, Produced, and Sold in Iowa

All House Republican newsletters are available at  Follow us twitter @IAHouseGOP.


Speaker Upmeyer Issues Statement on the Passing of Rep. Greg Forristall

Rep. Greg Forristall

Speaker of the Iowa House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) issued the following statement in response to the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall (R-Macedonia):

“Our hearts are heavy today with the passing of Rep. Greg Forristall, who fought courageously during his  battle with cancer.  He was a dedicated public servant to the people he represented and an advocate for the arts and education, two issues that he was incredibly passionate for.  He will be sorely missed.

We send our thoughts and prayers to Greg’s family and friends, but especially to his wife, Carol.  Carol served alongside Greg for many years in the House as his clerk and is a fellow member of the House Republican family.”

Forristall was born in Council Bluffs and grew up on the family farm near Macedonia and attended Carson-Macedonia schools where he graduated in 1968.  He went on to attend the University of Iowa, graduating in 1972 and earned a Master of Arts degree in 1973.  Greg married Carol in 1978, and she taught music in Iowa public schools for 35 years.

Forristall was elected to serve his sixth term in the Iowa House last November.  During his tenure in the Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Education Committee from 2011-2013 and the Labor Committee from 2013-2017.

Forristall was active in the community with organizations such as the Council Bluffs Sister Cities, Farm Bureau, the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the Iowa Western Community College Board.  He was a member of the United States Grain Council and served on the Iowa State Board of Education, the Iowa Western Community College Board and the Iowa Community College Council.


Speaker Upmeyer’s Closing Remarks for the 2017 Session

This was a session in which we all came in a little unsure of how to read the message from the election. What seemed clear however, is that voters were tired of the status quo and they weren’t very interested in shoulder shrugs or finger-pointing from their representatives.

Voters wanted government to get work done and to work on their behalf. In short, the message from Iowans is that they wanted a better deal.

We took that to heart and while congress still looks like a pickup truck stuck in mud, we rolled our sleeves up and got to work.

Rather than being restrained by tradition or status quo, we accepted the challenge of doing the hard things.

Continue reading…