From Rep. Taylor Collins

To the People of House District 95


You would think that the pace at the Capitol may have slowed a bit this week but now that bills have moved out of committee, we are now considering many bills on the House floor.


University of Iowa Caves, Taxpayers Will Not Pay Cost of Settlement

Shortly after it was announced that the University of Iowa had settled yet another lawsuit that would cost the state millions, the House Appropriations Committee which I serve on acted swiftly to introduce a bill that would ensure the state would no longer pay for the costs of these settlements, and that instead, the University would take responsibility for such costs. The three person subcommittee which was held this morning, Thursday, March 9th, was an interesting one – because when we called the subcommittee to order the University of Iowa was then prepared to announce that they would pay the cost of the settlement entirely, and that the taxpayer would not foot the bill. Sometimes getting things done in Des Moines doesn’t always mean a bill must be signed into law by the Governor, but instead, you just have to apply a little pressure where needed!


House Votes to Protect Children

On Wednesday, March 9th, the House voted 58-39 to approve Senate File 538. The bill prohibits puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and gender surgery from being administered to any child under the age of 18 in Iowa because of the lack of conclusive evidence and the potential for long-term, irreversible side effects.

A paper published in the International Review of Psychiatry states that 80% of those seeking clinical care will lose their desire to identify with their non-birth sex. According to the American College of Pediatricians, studies show that 80-95 percent of children who experience gender dysphoria will accept their biological sex by late adolescence. The British Medical Journal recently published an article which finds the practice of youth gender-transitions cannot be considered evidence-based. The Society for Evidence Based Gender Medicine (SEGM) states “England and Sweden, stopped or announced the intention to stop transitioning youth as routine medical practice. This change in treatment approach came about following each country’s own independent systematic reviews of evidence.” SEGM also wrote the newly emerging evidence has led “Finland to update its guidelines in 2020, sharply curbing provision of such treatment to youth and limiting it to exceptional cases.” Additionally, countries like France, Australia and New Zealand have also made changes aimed at safeguarding youth.

The evolving medical data shows that so-called gender affirming surgeries and treatments and pharmaceutical interruptions of normal sexual development do not provide long-term therapeutic relief for children involved in this care, and that is why House Republicans took action.


Gender Identity / Sexual Orientation Curriculum Now Restricted

This week, the House passed a bill to prohibit any classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in K-6th grade. We send our kids to school to learn reading, writing, math and science. This bill will allow teachers to use their time on those topics and leave discussions on social issues to the parents. Teachers should teach and parents should parent. This bill was amended to make clear that this is not about limiting all discussion around LGBTQ Iowans. It is to prohibit instruction, curriculum, or promotion of these topics in school. Students with same-sex parents or teachers in a same-sex marriage would not be limited from talking about those relationships.


Removing Sexually Explicit Materials from Schools

This week the House also passed a bill to remove sexually explicit material from Iowa school libraries. This bill requires that all books in school libraries must be age appropriate and expands the definition of age appropriate in code to include what is NOT age appropriate. Age appropriate does not include any material with descriptions or visual depictions of a sex act. I still cannot believe that this is a bill we need to pass. But unfortunately, books that contain images or passages of exactly the sexual acts have been found in Iowa schools, especially in the metros.


Rural Emergency Hospital Legislation Advances

This week, the House passed Senate File 75, a bill to license Rural Emergency Hospitals in Iowa, 97-1. This is a priority bill of the Iowa House Republicans to ensure access to emergency care in rural areas. Federal law created this designation in 2020, and has allowed this new hospital designation to begin January 1, 2023. In order for the state to allow a hospital to convert to a Rural Emergency Hospital, the state must license these facilities as a health care facility that maintains a 24-hour emergency room, but does not include acute inpatient care.

Rural Emergency Hospitals receive different reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid than other hospitals, based on the federal law. This includes quarterly payments from the Centers of Medicaid & Medicaid Services and an additional five percent increase to reimbursement for health care services. Keokuk Hospital recently closed in Lee County. This bill would allow for that hospital to reopen as a Rural Emergency Hospital, and this bill waives the requirement for a certificate of need for that hospital.


Another Strong Revenue Month for Iowa

State revenue collections continued at a strong pace in February, according to the Legislative Services Agency. Tax collections for February were 5.7 percent higher than February 2022, with an additional $35.7 million being paid to the state. This increase includes January’s implementation of the 2022 tax reform law. For the first eight moths of the fiscal year, state revenue has grown by 4 percent. This is well ahead of the 1.9 percent reduction forecasted by the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Personal income tax payments to the state were down compared to February of last year, but a decline would be expected with the tax cut going into effect. The 2022 law was projected to lower Iowans tax liability by $50 million in February. So the fact that actual personal income tax payments only fell by $18.3 million shows that Iowa’s economy is still performing well.  For the year, personal income tax payments are up 4.7 percent over FY 2022. This is well ahead of the REC’s forecast of a decline of 3.5 percent.

Sales tax collections for the month were down by $84.2 million, with the cause being change in sales tax deposit dates that began at the start of Fiscal Year 2023. Most sales tax payments from retailers now happen at the end of each month, with some collections not being credited in the state’s accounting system until the start of the next month.

February is always a slow month for corporate income tax payments, and this February was no different. The state collected $10 million in corporate income tax, which is a decline of $4.1 million. As with personal income tax, corporate income tax rates were reduced on January 1, so payments are likely to not meet last year’s high levels.

The continuing strong revenue picture should have an impact on the next meeting of the Revenue Estimating Conference. The forecasting group will meet on Friday, at 11 am to revise their projections for Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024 and will make an initial forecast for state revenue in Fiscal Year 2025. The meeting will be in the Supreme Court chamber and can be viewed on the Legislative Services Agency’s YouTube page:


Legislative Forums

I want to thank everyone who came out to my forums in Muscatine and Wapello this last weekend. The forums were both very well attended, and the questions were engaging!


Rep. Taylor Collins
Iowa House District 95