Gov. Reynolds, 25 other governors request meeting with President Biden regarding crisis at the nation’s southern border

Release Date

DES MOINES - Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and 25 other governors issued a joint letter urging President Joe Biden to meet with them to discuss the crisis at the U.S. Southern Border. The governors’ letter can be found here.   

“My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans, and the humanitarian and national security crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Our immigration system may be complicated and complex, but the solution to ending the border crisis is simple and straightforward. President Biden has the ability and the duty to take action to protect America, restore security, and end the crisis now.”  

Border apprehensions are up nearly 500% compared to last year, totaling over 1.3 million people, more than the populations of nine U.S. states. Approximately 9,700 illegal apprehensions have prior criminal convictions. Cartels and traffickers are making $14 million a day moving people illegally across the border. Nearly 10,500 pounds of fentanyl have been seized this fiscal year, more than the last three years combined. To put that into context, only 2 milligrams of fentanyl can prove fatal, meaning that this amount is enough to kill seven times the U.S. population.  

The crisis at the border does not stay at the border. In Iowa, law enforcement officials are seeing an uptick in major narcotics crimes. Iowa law enforcement seized roughly 6,136 grams of fentanyl between January and June of this year, which marks a 1,070% increase from the same period last year. Methamphetamine seizures are also on the rise, increasing 122% in the first half of this year, where officers seized 133,444 grams.  

In response to this threat and the failure of the Biden Administration to act, earlier this year Governors Ducey and Abbott requested assistance. Governor Reynolds responded, sending 28 Iowa Department of Public Safety law enforcement officers to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety with four key mission tasks including traffic duties, humanitarian efforts, tactical operations and human smuggling operations. 

The Biden Administration has also failed to provide notice and transparency in their movement of unaccompanied migrant children into states. In April, the Biden Administration kept Iowa in the dark and initially denied involvement in a flight transporting 19 unaccompanied migrant girls from the border to Des Moines International Airport in the middle of the night. Only after continued inquiry, nearly one month later the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement finally acknowledged their involvement.  

“While governors are doing what we can, our Constitution requires that the President must faithfully execute the immigration laws passed by Congress,” Gov. Reynolds stated in the letter. “Not only has the federal government created a crisis, it has left our states to deal with challenges that the federal government has a duty to solve.” 

Signatories to the letter include Governor Ducey, Arizona, Governor Abbott, Texas, Governor Ivey, Alabama, Governor Dunleavy, Alaska, Governor Hutchinson, Arkansas, Governor DeSantis, Florida, Governor Kemp, Georgia, Governor Little, Idaho, Governor Holcomb, Indiana, Governor Reynolds, Iowa, Governor Hogan, Maryland, Governor Baker, Massachusetts, Governor Reeves, Mississippi, Governor Parson, Missouri, Governor Gianforte, Montana, Governor Ricketts, Nebraska, Governor Sununu, New Hampshire, Governor Burgum, North Dakota, Governor DeWine, Ohio, Governor Stitt, Oklahoma, Governor McMaster, South Carolina, Governor Noem, South Dakota, Governor Lee, Tennessee, Governor Cox, Utah, Governor Justice, West Virginia, and Governor Gordon, Wyoming.    

Gov. Reynolds orders flags at half-staff to honor fallen Marine killed in Afghanistan   

Release Date

DES MOINES– Gov. Kim Reynolds has ordered all flags in Iowa to fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday, September 17, 2021, to honor fallen Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment based at Camp Pendleton, California.  Cpl. Page grew up in Red Oak, Iowa and was killed in Afghanistan, along with 12 other U.S. service members, during an attack at the airport in Kabul.  

“It’s heroes like Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page that step up to serve this country and make all proud to be an American,” said Gov. Reynolds. “He was a young man who loved his family and cherished his community. I join with Iowans and the nation in honoring the selfless and dedicated service of Cpl. Daegan Page who was taken much too soon. His sacrifice will serve as a constant reminder that the freedoms and liberties we enjoy as a country come at a heavy cost.” 
 
Cpl. Daegan William-Tyeler Page went to high school in Omaha, Nebraska. He will be buried in Omaha with full military honors. He was 23-years-old. 


Friday September 17, 2021    

Services 
10:00 a.m.    
St. Paul Lutheran Church 
Omaha, Nebraska 

Interment 
Omaha National Cemetery   

Flags will be at half-staff on the State Capitol Building and on flag displays in the Capitol Complex. Flags will also be half-staff on all public buildings, grounds and facilities throughout the state.    

Individuals, businesses, schools, municipalities, counties and other government subdivisions are encouraged to fly the flag at half-staff for the same length of time as a sign of respect.    

Governor Reynolds signs Harvest Proclamation

Release Date

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation relating to the weight limits and transportation of grain.  

The proclamation is effective immediately and continues through October 17, 2021. The proclamation allows vehicles transporting corn, soybeans, hay, straw, silage and stover to be overweight (not exceeding 90,000 pounds gross weight) without a permit for the duration of this proclamation. 

This proclamation applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa (excluding the interstate system) and those which do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight, do not exceed the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463 (6) (b), by more than 12.5 percent, do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and comply with posted limits on roads and bridges. 

 See the proclamation here

Governor Reynolds sets special session for redistricting 

Release Date

DES MOINES – Today, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation convening a special legislative session on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. The purpose of the special session will be to consider and enact a plan of legislative and congressional redistricting in accordance with the framework set forth in chapter 42 of the Iowa Code. View the proclamation here.

Governor Reynolds announces broadband grant recipients of $100M investment 

Release Date

Today, Governor Reynolds and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) are proud to announce the recipients of the State of Iowa Broadband Grants Program.  

Thirty-nine applicants have been awarded a total of $97,500,000 for broadband infrastructure as part of the latest Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program. OCIO received 178 applications from broadband providers for the Grant Program with requests nearing $300 million. Award announcements can be found online here.  

“Expanding broadband across our state continues to be a top priority,” said Gov. Reynolds. “It is clear by the shear volume and scope of applications that the need is there. Today’s award announcement will go a long way toward meeting that need, and we won’t stop here.” 

Due to the overwhelming amount of interest and success of this program, the State of Iowa will expedite a new grant opportunity utilizing ARPA federal funds to build upon the $100 million in state funding for this grant program. Details on this new grant opportunity will be released in the near future. 

Gov. Reynolds sets date for Iowa House District 29 special election 

Release Date

Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation today setting Tuesday, October 12, 2021, as the date for a special election in Iowa House District 29 following the resignation of Representative Wes Breckenridge. 

Iowa Code 69.14 outlines the authority given to the governor to set a special election. Breckenridge was serving his third term in the Iowa House of Representatives. House District 29, located in Jasper County, includes Newton, Baxter, Colfax, Mingo, Kellogg, Oakland Acres, and Ira. 

The proclamation setting the date of the special election can be found online here and reads as follows:

SPECIAL ELECTION PROCLAMATION 

WHEREAS,the Office of State Representative for the Twenty-Ninth (29th) State Representative District of the Iowa General Assembly, as defined by section 41.1(29) of the 2021 Iowa Code, has become vacant by reason of the resignation of Iowa State Representative Wes Breckenridge, effective September 10, 2021. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kim Reynolds, Governor of the State of Iowa, by virtue of the authority vested in me by law, do hereby proclaim and direct that a special election to fill said vacancy shall be held within said District on: 

TUESDAY, THE TWELFTH (12TH) DAY OF OCTOBER, 2021, A.D. 

WHEREFORE, all electors within the Twenty-Ninth (29th) State Representative District will take due notice and the County Commissioner of Elections of Jasper County shall give official notice as provided in section 39.6 of the Iowa Code. 

Gov. Reynolds issues a statement on court’s mask-mandate ruling 

Release Date

DES MOINES – Gov. Reynolds released the following statement today on court's mask-mandate ruling. 

“Today, a federal judge unilaterally overturned a state law, ignored the decision by our elected legislature and took away parents’ ability to decide what’s best for their child. We will appeal and exercise every legal option we have to uphold state law and defend the rights and liberties afforded to any American citizen protected by our constitution,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds. 

Gov. Reynolds announces appointments to Iowa’s boards & commissions 

Release Date

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced appointments to Iowa’s boards and commissions.  

The following appointments are subject to Senate confirmation: 

Board of Athletic Training 
Erica Boer, Marion 

Board of Behavioral Science 
Kevin Allemagne, Polk 
Cody Samec, Polk 
Mary Wink, Dallas 

Board of Medicine 
Dalton Hayes, Polk 

Board of Parole (Chair) 
Andrew Boettger, Polk 

Board of Parole-Alternate Members 
Renee Schulte, Dallas 

Board of Podiatry 
Andrew Steele, Black Hawk 
Kelsey Sukovaty, Story  

Commission of Deaf Services 
Telina McKenna-Quintana, Black Hawk 

Commission of Native American Affairs 
Patrick Bigsby, Johnson 
Calvin Harlan, Woodbury 
Jo Ann Schlotman, Woodbury

Commission of Persons with Disabilities 
Timothy Dowie, Polk 

Commission on Community Action Agencies 
Niki Conrad, Webster 

Credit Union Review Board 
Bobbi Terrell, Wapello 

Electrical Examining Board 
Tim Gerald, Polk 

Flood Mitigation Board 
Jodi Freet, Cedar 

Iowa Civil Rights Commission 
Gina Battani, Polk 

Iowa Comprehensive Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Fund Board 
Patricia Beck, Carroll  

Iowa Great Places Advisory Board 
Aaron Burnett, Cerro Gordo 
Danna Kehm, Pottawattamie 
Angel Wallace, Woodbury  

Iowa Workforce Development Board  
Brad Elliot, Ringgold 
Ofiela Rumbo, Buena Vista 
Alex Severn, Polk 
Jason Shanks, Polk 

Investment Board of the IPERS 
William Bemis, Dallas

Public Employee Relations Board 
Jane Dufoe, Linn 

School Budget Review Committee 
Susan Battani, Polk 

State Board of Educational Examiners 
Pam Bleam, Calhoun 

State Judicial Nominating Commission 
Bill Anderson, Cherokee 

The following appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation: 

College Student Aid Commission 
Jeremy Swink, Polk 
 
District 8B Judicial Nominating Commission 
Mike Roth, Henry 

Empower Rural Iowa Initiative-Connecting 
Bill Anderson, Woodbury 
Barbara Baker, Poweshiek  
Ryan Boone, Sioux  
Dustin Blythe, Polk 
Kevin Cabbage, Montgomery  
Curtis Dean, Polk 
Dave Duncan, Dallas 
Dennis Fraise, Des Moines 
Rachael Kinnick, Poweshiek 
Michael Ott, Johnson 
Thomas Peterson, Linn 
Taylor Teepell, Dallas 
Brian Waller, Polk 
Justin Wagner, Harrison 

Empower Rural Iowa Initiative-Growing 
Tina Bakehouse, Mills 
Stacy Besch, Kossuth 
Robert Denson, Polk  
Stephanie Fromm, Winneshiek 
Caleb Knutson, Hardin  
Linc Kroeger, Polk 
Shannon Landauer, Clay 
Jason Neises, Dubuque  
Ron Reischl, Carroll 
Michael Shields, Polk  
Travis Toliver, Bremer

Empower Rural Iowa Initiative-Investing 
Carla Eysink, Marion 
Shannon Erb, Decatur  
Tomisha Hammes, Keokuk 
Danna Larson, Sac 
Lisa Houser, Jasper 
Kiana Johnson, O’Brien 
Nathan Katzer, Warren  
Chuck Morris, Page 
Wayne Pantini, Union  
Jim Thompson, Polk  
Sarah Thompson, Hardin 

Fire Service and Emergency Response Council 
Megan Wichmann, Johnson

Iowa Arts Council 
Robin Anderson, Cerro Gordo 
Donna Dostal, Pottawattamie 
Carla Eysink, Marion  
Michelle Hargrave, Scott 

Iowa Council for Early ACCESS 
Aaron Cronk, Boone 
Eric Locke, Black Hawk 
Kimberly Stein, Tama  
Johnathan Wunderlich, Pottawattamie 

Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council 
Scott Lyon, Polk 
Colin Priest, Polk 
Steve Steveson, Warren 
Mike Vratsinas, Polk  

Iowa Drug Policy Advisory Council 
Brenna Bird, Guthrie 
Patrick Coughlin, Polk 

Iowa Public Broadcasting Board 
Kevin Krause, Polk  

Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board 
Daniel Schaffer, Crawford 
Jason Hoffman, Carroll 

Northeast Regional STEM Advisory Board 
Sue Barrack, Fayette 
Lisa Chizek, Tama 
Larry Escalada, Black Hawk 
Anderson Sainci, Dubuque 

Northwest Regional STEM Advisory Board 
Andrew Roelfs, Sioux 

South Central STEM Advisory Board 
Carla Eysink, Marion 
Alison Mohr, Polk 
Creighton Cox, Polk 

Southeast Regional STEM Advisory Board 
Daniel Dalessandro, Scott 
Emily Hagedorn, Johnson 
Beth Ullmark, Scott 

Southwest Regional STEM Advisory Board 
Larry Johnson, Decatur 

State Historical Advisory Board 
Lindsey Smith, Polk 

STEM Advisory Council 
Curt Simmons, Polk 
Kelsey Tyrell, Polk 

Terrace Hill Commission 
Brad Duffy, Dallas 
Kasey Vogel, Polk 

Reynolds Administration has announced staff changes 

Release Date

DES MOINES - Today the Reynolds Administration has announced staff changes. 

Below is a list of new staff and their new role:

Stephanie Groen, will now serve as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff. She assumes the role following the departure of Paige Thorson. Stephanie was previously the governor’s federal liaison. 

Alex Murphy, will serve as the Governor’s new Communications Director. He assumes the role following the departure of Pat Garrett, who is leaving to join Governor Reynolds’ Political Team. Alex previously served as the Communications Director for the Iowa DNR. 

Molly Severn, will now serve as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison and Education Policy Advisor, she assumes that role following the departure of Logan Shine. 

Meaghan O’Brien, will now serve as the Governor’s Director of State-Federal Relations, based out of Washington D.C. She assumes that role following the vacancy created by Stephanie Groen. She previously served on the Governor’s policy team. 

Patrick Tomka, will now serve as the Governor’s Senior Tax and Economic Policy Advisor, he assumes that role following the departure of Joel Anderson, who is now serving as the Interim Director of the Department of Management.  He previously served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Drake University.

Clare Kelly, will serve as the Governor’s Health Care Policy Advisor, she assumes that role following the departure of Liz Matney, who is now serving as the Governor’s Medicaid Director. She previously served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the Iowa Medical Society. 

“Over the last two years, we’ve faced a pandemic, a derecho, civil unrest, and more. Being surrounded by an exceptional team has been more important than ever. I want to thank Paige and Pat for everything they’ve done. Paige has done an outstanding job as Deputy Chief of Staff and head of policy. We know that she has an incredible career ahead of her,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Pat played an important role on my communications team and I know he’ll excel in his future roles.” 

“I am proud to lead a team that has continually put Iowans at the center of our decisions. That’s how we will ensure Iowa continues to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family, “ said Gov. Reynolds.

Current Reynolds Staff:

Sara Craig Gongol, Chief of Staff 

Taryn Frideres, Chief Operating Officer 

Stephanie Groen, Deputy Chief of Staff

Heather Nahas, Public Relations Manager

Alex Murphy, Communications Director

Damian Bell, Communications Advisor and Chief Speechwriter

Michael Boal, Senior Legal Counsel

Nick Davis, Deputy Legal Counsel

Megan Hall, Director of Boards and Commissions and Legal Assistant

Molly Foley, Legislative Liaison and Education Policy Advisor

Nate Ristow, Workforce Policy Advisor

Jake Swanson, Agriculture Policy Advisor 

Patrick Tomka, Senior Tax and Economic Policy Advisor

Clare Kelly, Health Policy Advisor

Meaghan O’Brien, Director of State-Federal Relations

Anna Hartzog, Constituent Services Director and Intern Coordinator 

William de Blois, Constituent Services Liaison and Policy Assistant 

Ryan Capps, Executive Scheduler

Alex Brynes, Executive Assistant to the Governor

John Hirl, Executive Assistant to the Lt. Governor