Governor Reynolds signs bipartisan redistricting bill into law  

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Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement today after signing the bipartisan redistricting bill, SF621

“Today I signed the bipartisan redistricting maps into law. I am confident in how the process played out—just as the law intended, and I believe these new districts will fairly and accurately represent the citizens of Iowa for the next decade.” 

The new maps will be effective beginning with the 2022 elections. 

Gov. Reynolds leads Multi-Governor letter to EPA laying groundwork for Midwest E-15 solution  

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Today, Gov. Reynolds and six other Midwest Governors sent a joint letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan requesting immediate guidance on how Iowa and other states can continue to sell year-round E-15 without restriction. The Governors’ letter can be found here

“The disappointing DC Circuit Court ruling earlier this year again shows the inconsistency we continue to see from Washington, DC and the EPA on renewable fuels, and it is time for states to stand up and take action,” said Gov. Reynolds. “As the Governor of the top renewable fuel-producing state, I am proud to lead a letter with my colleagues to send a clear message that we will pursue every avenue to ensure that consumers can have unrestricted and increased access to less expensive, cleaner-burning E-15.” 

Gov. Reynolds to challenge Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate rule   

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Gov. Reynolds released the following statement today in response to the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate rule:  

“President Biden is taking dangerous and unprecedented steps to insert the federal government even further into our lives while dismissing the ability of Iowans and Americans to make health care decisions for themselves.  

“Biden’s plan pits Americans against Americans, while forcing them to choose between making a living or standing up for their personal beliefs. Biden’s actions will only worsen the existing workforce shortages and supply chain issues that hinder our economic recovery.   

“I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but I also firmly believe in Iowans’ right to make healthcare decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families, and I remain committed to protecting those freedoms. President Biden should do the same.  

“We will take immediate legal action to challenge the Biden Administration’s rule on vaccine mandates for employees of companies employing 100 or more.”  

Gov. Reynolds issues a statement in response to the passing of former U.S. Rep. Neal Smith 

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Gov. Reynolds released the following statement today in response to the passing of former U.S. Representative Neal Smith, who passed away at the age of 101:   

“Rep. Neal Smith was an American hero and a true Iowa treasure. He faithfully served our state as Iowa’s longest-serving member in the U.S. House of Representatives and served our nation in the Army Air Forces, receiving the Purple Heart.  

Through his bipartisan work, Rep. Smith understood the importance of Iowa’s agriculture economy and kept that at the forefront, while also playing a vital role in changing Iowa’s natural landscape with the creation of the Saylorville and Red Rock reservoirs.  

Rep. Smith leaves behind a storied legacy in our state and across our nation and his notable accomplishments serve as daily reminders when we visit the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Jasper County, the Neal Smith Trail in Des Moines or the Neal Smith Federal Building in downtown Des Moines. 

Kevin and I join with Iowans to extend our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues across Iowa and far beyond our borders.” 

Information on flag lowering in honor of former U.S. Representative Neal Smith will be forthcoming. 

Gov. Reynolds announces new investments in child care following task force recommendations  

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Gov. Reynolds today announced several key initiatives to address Iowa’s child care shortage and advance the state’s continued economic recovery.  

Iowa leads the nation in the share of households where both parents work. But 23% of Iowans, including 35% of rural Iowans, live in areas lacking adequate child care supply. Annually, the child care shortage costs the Iowa economy approximately $935 million.  

“We know that the key to economic growth is a highly skilled and qualified workforce,” said Gov. Reynolds. “A child care shortage that prevents parents from entering or remaining in the workforce hinders our ability to meet this challenge.”  

In March, Gov. Reynolds established the Governor’s Child Care Task Force – comprised of both public and private members -- to provide a comprehensive strategy and recommendations to address the shortage.   

Based on recommendations in the final report, Gov. Reynolds is immediately implementing the following actions:   

  • Implementation of a childcare management system  
    This statewide, web-based platform will enable providers to leverage a shared services model for many business operations such as administrative tasks, group purchasing, and professional development. This system will be available in 2022. 

  • Creation of a “Best Place for Working Parents” designation   
    This designation will recognize employers that go above and beyond to accommodate their employees with children. The new, public designation will help job seekers quickly identify family-friendly employers and will encourage businesses to invest in childcare. This program will begin in January 2022.  

  • Additional $10 million in funding for the Child Care Challenge Grant Program  
    To support the expansion of existing childcare facilities or construction of new centers that will increase the number of childcare slots available to Iowa families, Iowa Workforce Development, in collaboration with the Department of Human Services, has launched another round of funding for the Childcare Challenge Grant Program, available today. 

  • $100,000 for integrated model of child care and preschool learning opportunities  
    The Iowa Department of Education, through ESSER III funds, is making available $100,000 for grants that will advance planning efforts for blended childcare and preschool learning opportunities.  

  • $200 million for funding stabilization grants for financial loss due to the pandemic  
    The Iowa Department of Human Services is providing up to $200 million in federal funding to assist eligible childcare providers who can verify financial loss due to the pandemic. This will ensure that Iowa providers are stable, can support expansion, and continue to serve the needs of Iowa’s working families.  

“We’re not finished yet, this is only the beginning,” said Gov. Reynolds. “These new initiatives are going to support our working families and ensure Iowa has the child care system needed to unleash our state’s incredible workforce and set our economy on a path to long-term, broad-based prosperity.”   

Since the start of the pandemic, more than $137 million in state and federal funding has been allocated to support child care across the state.   

Gov. Reynolds will explore other recommendations to address the child care shortage through additional executive action and legislative priorities during the upcoming legislative session.  

Gov. Reynolds sets date for Iowa Senate District 1 special election 

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Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation today setting Tuesday, December 14, 2021, as the date for a special election in Iowa Senate District 1 following the resignation of Senator Zach Whiting. 

Iowa Code 69.14 outlines the authority given to the governor to set a special election. Whiting was serving his first term in the Iowa Senate. Senate District 1, located in Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, Osceola, and Palo Alto counties, includes Spirit Lake, Spencer, Emmetsburg, Sibley, and Rock Rapids. 

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 Senator for the First (1st) State Senatorial District of the Iowa General Assembly, as defined by section 41.2(1) of the 2021 Iowa Code, has become vacant by reason of the resignation of Iowa State Senator Zach Whiting, effective October 30, 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 FOURTEENTH (14TH) DAY OF DECEMBER, 2021, A.D. 

WHEREFORE, all electors within the First (1st) State Senatorial District will take due notice and the County Commissioner of Elections of Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, Osceola, and Palo Alto counties shall give official notice as provided in section 39.6 of the Iowa Code. 

ADVISORY: Gov. Reynolds to hold a Press Conference Wednesday 

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Gov. Reynolds will hold a press conference at Sprouts Early Learning Academy in Carlisle at 10:00 am, Wednesday, November 3. The event is open to credentialed members of the media.    
 
Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021  
Gov. Reynolds to hold press conference  
Sprouts Early Learning Academy 
125 School St. 
Carlisle, IA  
10:00 a.m.   

Governor Reynolds signs bipartisan vaccine mandate bill into law  

Release Date

Gov. Kim Reynolds released the following statement Friday after signing the bipartisan vaccine mandate bill, HF902:  

“I am proud to sign this bipartisan piece of legislation today. This is a major step forward in protecting Iowans’ freedoms and their abilities to make healthcare decisions based on what’s best for themselves and their families. This legislation also gives employees the assurance that they will still receive unemployment benefits despite being fired for standing up for their beliefs.   

“As I’ve stated publicly numerous times, I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19 and we’ve provided Iowans with the information they need to determine what’s best for themselves and their families, but no Iowan should be forced to lose their job or livelihood over the COVID-19 vaccine.  
 
“This is only the first step. We will be taking other legal actions against the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate.” 

State of Iowa joins lawsuit challenging vaccine mandates for workers employed by a federal contractor

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Today Governor Reynolds announced that the State of Iowa has joined nine other states in a lawsuit challenging President Biden’s vaccine mandate for all workers employed by a federal contractor, which is one-fifth of the nation’s workforce.   

“Today, I’m announcing that the State of Iowa is joining a federal lawsuit to challenge President Biden’s unprecedented use of the government to force every employee of every federal contractor in America, including thousands of Iowans, to take a vaccine against their wishes. 

“I believe the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19, but no one should be forced to choose between making a living or standing up for their personal beliefs. As long as I am governor, the State of Iowa will always stand alongside Iowans and to be sure their freedoms are protected.” 

A copy of the federal complaint can be found here

Gov. Reynolds issues a statement in response to vote on redistricting maps 

Release Date

Gov. Reynolds released the following statement today in response to the Legislature’s vote on the redistricting maps: 
 

“Today’s decision by the Iowa Legislature to approve the second draft of the legislative and congressional redistricting maps is very encouraging. I am confident in how the process played out—just as the law intended, and I believe these new districts will fairly and accurately represent the citizens of Iowa for the next decade.”