IDPH Early Session - Legislative Update

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February 4, 2020

Legislative Update - 2020 Session - 88th Iowa General Assembly

In this edition: 

  • Bill Tracker and Bills of Note
  • IDPH Presents to Legislative Committees 
  • Who's Involved in the Conversation?
  • What's Happening at the Capitol? 
  • Looking for More Legislative News? 
  • Meet the New Members of IDPH's Executive Team


Bill Tracking 

In past editions we've pointed you to resources at the Legislative Services Agency website on how to track bills and curate your own bill collections. You can check out those resources here. 

IDPH also creates bill collections with bills that address public health and the agency's programs. You can find a list of those bills, and the last three actions on the legislation, here.  

Hundreds of bills have been introduced, and IDPH is currently tracking 150+ bills. Staff across the agency have been busy analyzing the bills and any impact they may have on the agency. 

There are a wide range of bills that could impact public health and address EMS funding, tobacco, newborn screening, the makeup of local boards of health, workforce needs, regulation of professional licenses and many more.  Just open the spreadsheet linked above and search for items such as "immunizations," "Smokefree Air Act," "suicide prevention" and "student health screenings."  

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Presentations to the Legislature

IDPH was invited to present to legislators a number of times in the past few weeks. We appreciate the opportunity to share information about the agency's programs and answer lawmakers' questions. 

Who's Involved in the Conversation? 

The Capitol is a busy place with people from all over Iowa visiting and talking with legislators about what's important to Iowans. 

Members of the public attend subcommittee and committee meetings to speak to specific bills. Also attending are advocates for organizations and associations, representatives from state agencies and lobbyists. Anyone advocating for or against specific legislation registers as a lobbyist and declares on bills if they wish to speak in committees. 

When you access bills online at the LSA website, there's a part of the Bill Book for "Lobbyist Declarations," and you can click on that link to find out who's registering - and how they're registering, on legislation. 


What's Happening at the Capitol? 

Legislative calendars showing what's happening in the chambers are found here, with committee and more information found here. 

For events around the Capitol Complex, you can check out the calendar here.

There's also a social calendar for what's happening at the Capitol. 

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More Legislative News

Many legislators create weekly newsletters during the session, and each of the caucuses in both chambers also offer publications. 

If you'd like to follow individual legislators, click on senators or representatives here, and then find their name, click and go to bottom of their individual page to see if they publish a newsletter. From there, subscribe.

For information from the caucuses:  

Iowa House Republicans 

Iowa House Democrats 

Iowa Senate Republicans

Iowa Senate Democrats 

Jeff and nalo

Meet our New Executive Team Staff 

New Behavioral Health Division Director, Dr.
Jeffrey Kerber, joins IDPH after 12 years
managing outpatient counseling and psychiatry
clinics and programs integrating behavioral health
and primary care. Dr. Kerber is a Licensed
Marriage & Family Therapist, and was in full-time
clinical practice for 13 years prior to his
management work. He holds a Ph.D. in Human
Development and Family Studies from Iowa State
University, a master’s degree in Marriage & Family
Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Stout
and undergraduate degrees from St. Olaf College
in Minnesota.

Dr. Nalo Johnson, the new division director for
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention,
comes to IDPH having spent time in public
health/community health efforts at state and local
levels in both chronic disease prevention/health
promotion and communicable disease. Nalo was
recently awarded the 2019 APHA Henrik L. Blum
Award for Excellence in Health Planning and
Policy Development. Originally from Iowa, Nalo
received her BA from Williams College (MA) and
PhD from the University of Minnesota. She’s
excited to return to the Des Moines area with her
husband, and fourth and sixth grade children.