Capitol Update

April 2, 2024

Week 12

Opponents to the carbon pipeline once again filed the rooms and rotunda in the capitol this week. Guest speakers highlighted issues with Iowa's low-water aquifers as Summit continues to apply for over a dozen water permits across the state for the CO2 conversion from gas to liquid. I and other legislators discussed the status of the only eminent domain bill still remaining this session and why we support it. The lobby is putting pressure on members to reject this bill which protects private property against eminent domain abuse. To make a difference, be sure House and Senate leadership receives your feedback.

Contact them here:


It was a blessing to welcome TeenPact into the Capitol this week. It encourages me to see so many faithful young men and women looking to make a difference in the political landscape. We have a bright future in Iowa with these students!

According to their website, "TeenPact seeks to inspire youth in their relationship with Christ and train them to understand the political process, value their liberty, defend the Christian faith, and engage the culture around them. 'Changing lives to change the world' is more than a vision statement to us. It’s what we do every day."

Budget Plans for Fiscal Year 2025

House Republicans are moving forward with a state budget of $8.955 billion for the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2024. The proposed budget is an increase of $402.8 million over the current year's spending level of $8.552 billion. This amount is an increase of 4.71 percent over Fiscal Year 2024.

The funding breakdown amongst the various budget subcommittees is:

Budget subcommittees will finalize work on their individual budgets in the coming weeks.

Iowa Honey Producers Day on the Hill

Wednesday was very yellow at the capitol as the rotunda filled with honey producers from across the state. It was wonderful to visit with the First Gentleman Kevin Reynolds and these two beautiful Honey Queens.

Making it Harder to Raise Taxes

  • With the Republican trifecta in the Capitol, we have been focused on lowering the tax burden on Iowans. This week, we passed a joint resolution to send a Constitutional Amendment to the ballot for Iowans to vote on. This Constitutional Amendment would require a 2/3 majority vote in the legislature to increase income tax or to create a new tax. Because this bill deals with a Constitutional Amendment, the legislative body would need to pass it again in the next general assembly. Then, it would become a ballot measure for all Iowans to weigh in on. We heard claims on the House floor that this bill would be detrimental to Iowa’s future. However, this policy of a requiring 2/3 majority to raise taxes is not unheard of. At least 16 other states have a similar or more restrictive policy, many of which are blue states.
  • Read the resolution here:

HJR 2006

Supporting our Law Enforcement

House File 2661

  • This week, the House backed the blue with the passage of HF 2661.
  • This bill did three major things to support our men and women in law enforcement:
  • Makes changes to IPERS for Sheriffs and Deputies. It allows them to retire at up to 80% of their salaries and includes a 1.5% cost of living adjustment.
  • Ensures that a person charged with murder of a peace officer or corrections officer, or felonious assault of an officer is not eligible for bail.
  • Creates a tax credit of up to $2,000 for public safety officers moving to the state of Iowa.
  • The bill has been sent to the Senate and awaits action.

Immigration Update

Texas-Style Crackdown on Illegal Immigration

Border states, like Texas, have passed legislation to permit the arrest of those who enter the state when they are not legally allowed to be in the country. While Iowa may not be a border state, the lack of border enforcement affects Iowans. That’s why both House and Senate Republicans and even some Democrats agreed on Senate File 2340, a bill to allow the arrest of illegal immigrants in certain situations. SF 2340 is not an anti-immigrant bill. Instead, it is pro-legal immigration, pro law and order, and focused solely on illegal immigration. The bill is modeled after Texas law SB 4. It’s straightforward and makes clear that illegal immigrants face consequences.

Under the bill, if a person has previously been caught in the country illegally and they later enter Iowa, they are guilty of the crime of reentry into the state. A person who has previously been deported, or denied admission into the United States, who reenters the country and Iowa, is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor. The penalty increases to a class “D” felony if the person was previously convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes or removed from the country as part of the alien terrorist removal proceedings. Finally, a person previously removed from the country after a felony conviction is guilty of a class “C” felony if they come back illegally to Iowa.

The bill prohibits arresting or detaining anyone under this chapter of the law if they are at a:

- School for educational purposes.

- Church or other established place of religious worship.

- Health care facility to receive medical treatment.

- A facility that provides forensic medical examinations to sexual assault survivors if the person is there to obtain a forensic medical examination and treatment.

Once a person is arrested for any of the reentry crimes, they can agree to leave the country and return to their home country or the country where they entered the United States illegally. If they refuse and are convicted under this new code section, they can be imprisoned and then be ordered to return to the foreign nation where they entered. The bill prohibits any deferred judgment or sentence. Additionally, state and local officials who enforce the law are provided civil immunity and indemnification for their actions.

The goal of Senate File 2340 is not to scare or intimidate those who follow the process and come here legally. The goal is to discourage those who enter the country illegally from coming to Iowa.

On a Personal Note

Not much to report on the growing chick flock this week but I sure enjoyed one of our family traditions over this Easter weekend. As part of the celebration of life gathering in memory of my mother-in-law, we made one of the recipes she was well known for - homemade potato donuts. Yes, that's right. Mashed potatoes in a donut recipe. Those of you older than sixty are likely familiar with this dense and tasty old-fashioned recipe that uses creamy mashed potatoes along with other basic ingredients found in every kitchen. Donna loved this labor-intensive recipe and her children, grandchildren and extended family learned to love it too! I hope each of you enjoyed your family during this very special weekend!

How to support Helena for House

What do people like me need for support as elected officials in a state office?

* Prayer (the key!)

* Your input - either for or against the issues

* Volunteers

* Yards for signage (both yard sign and barn signs/4x8)

* "Word-of-mouth" support by expressing your approval to others

* and of course, financial donations if you choose:

Hayes for House, Treasurer

2812 170th Street

New Sharon, Iowa 50207

Thank you all!!

Upcoming Events

Here are the dates for upcoming forums I will be at! I welcome all whom I proudly represent to join me for these meetings. I want to hear what you have to say!

Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Forum

To be held at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center (200 N. Main Street. Fairfield, IA) on the following dates:

  • April 20th @ 7:30 am

If you have any questions about these events, don't hesitate to reach out to me. All forums and events will be posted on my Facebook page as well as here in the newsletter!


As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns you may have. I love to hear from you and want to represent you accurately! 



Phone: 515.281.3221

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