The Driscoll Dispatch

By Dawn Driscoll
Posted 1/17/23

        The gavel has fallen and the 2023 session of the 90th General Assembly has begun. This week, we welcomed a total of fourteen new members to the Iowa Senate. Along with the …

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The Driscoll Dispatch


        The gavel has fallen and the 2023 session of the 90th General Assembly has begun. This week, we welcomed a total of fourteen new members to the Iowa Senate. Along with the new members, the Senate also elected Senator Amy Sinclair as the Senate President, making her only the fourth female to be sworn in as Senate President in Iowa history. 

During the first week of session, we learn the policy priorities of legislative leaders, the governor, and the chief justice through opening remarks and speeches. Many of the speeches this week focused not only on this year’s priorities and the work to come, but also the vast accomplishments achieved over the last several years. 

On Tuesday evening, I was honored to escort Governor Reynolds into the House Chamber for her Condition of the State address where she explained her vision for Iowa. She has a lot of significant reforms on her agenda to improve our state and the lives of Iowans, including major education reforms, expanding Iowa’s workforce, and updating the services the state offers. 

This session, my committee assignments are Local Government, Natural Resources and Environment, State Government, Ways and Means, and Workforce. Additionally, I am the chair of the Agriculture Committee. This is exciting for me as it is my first time being the chair of a committee. As a farmer and a proud advocate of our hard-working producers, I am honored to be chosen as chair of the Agriculture Committee. I grew up on a farm and was an active member of the FFA and 4-H. Today my family and I raise Angus cattle on our family farm in Iowa County. From all of this experience farming, as well as being a past president of the Iowa County Farm Bureau, I know that agriculture is not just a job or an industry—it is a way of life. We had our first Agriculture Committee meeting on Tuesday morning where I explained my excitement and experience with my Senate colleagues.  

A lot of work is ahead of us, but I am ready to get started and work on the important issues affecting Iowans all across the state. As bills get drafted, filed, and moved through the legislative process, please feel free to reach out with questions, comments, and concerns. It is a pleasure to serve you in the Iowa Senate, and I appreciate hearing from my constituents from District 46. 


Historic Tax Bill Starts 

to Take Effect

Last year, the Legislature passed a transformational tax bill for Iowa. It had a number of important reforms for the state, including implementing a 3.9 percent flat tax for all Iowans, reducing the corporate tax rate, and providing farmers with a first-time pension exemption. House File 2317, which passed early on in the legislative session, moved Iowa from the eighth highest income tax rate in the country to the fourth lowest when it is fully implemented. This bill was such an important piece of legislation for families, small business owners, farmers, and Iowa taxpayers. 

One key aspect of the bill went into effect on January 1 this year. It eliminated all taxes on retirement income in Iowa. With this reform, more Iowans will be able to either stay here year-round and enjoy time with their families, or attract more people to our great state as people look for more affordable living. Eliminating this tax was one more step the Senate is taking as we work to make our state more competitive, keep more people in our state, and make Iowa the best place to live. 

Tax reform continues to be on our minds as we head into the 2023 legislative session. Property taxes is an issue we hear about often because they have increased dramatically over the last several years, outpacing increases in Iowa household incomes, general fund appropriations, and population growth. Iowa has some of the highest property taxes in the country. 

It was an exciting and productive week back in Des Moines for the first week of the 90th General Assembly. I am honored to represent the constituents of District 46 and am eager to get some great work done in Des Moines this legislative session.