Daily Iowan to host legislative forum Dec. 8 ahead of 2020 session

With a month to go before the opening of the 2020 legislative session in Iowa, The Daily Iowan invited area lawmakers to discuss education and other topics.


Caleb McCullough, Politics Reporter

Area lawmakers will come together to discuss education and other topics in a forum hosted by The Daily Iowan ahead of the 2020 legislative session.

The forum will be Dec. 8 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

Johnson County is home to one of the state’s three public universities, more than 30 public schools, and a satellite campus of Kirkwood Community College. Lawmakers in Des Moines decide funding and policies affecting these educational institutions.

Other topics that may be discussed include mental health care, water quality, state budget, and public transportation.

The Daily Iowan invited eight area lawmakers to the forum. Reps. Amy Nielsen, D-North Liberty, Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, and Sens. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville and Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City have confirmed they’d attend.

The 2020 Iowa legislative session begins on Jan. 13. The session will begin with a shakeup in leadership as Rep. Pat Grassley R-New Hartford, grandson of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will take the helm as Speaker of the House.

Grassley was elected to the position by fellow Iowa House Republicans after Linda Upmeyer, the current Speaker of the House, announced she wouldn’t be seeking reelection in 2020.

One issue that may be on display in 2020 is criminal justice. In November, Gov. Kim Reynolds named 14 officials to a newly formed committee that will make recommendations to reduce recidivism and racial bias in the criminal-justice system. The committee will also make recommendations for Reynolds’ push for a path to restoration of voting rights for felons. Reynolds championed a bill last legislative session, but it failed to pass out of committee.