The 2018 Legislative Session has come to an end, and with Sine Die Governor Kim Reynolds showed Iowans that she isn’t just a hold over from the Branstad Administration.
In a statement released on Saturday, Governor Reynolds called the 2018 legislative session one of, “sincere, collaborative, bipartisan action,” noting a list of policy achievements dating back to her Condition of the State Address.
For the good of her own narrative, Reynolds proved to Iowans that she can lead. Reynolds showed her ability to broker agreements, create compromise, and she demonstrated to Iowans that she is so much more than a caring person with a compelling biography.
While the most remarked legislation this session will be the recently signed “Heartbeat Bill,” Reynolds and Republicans can and should also point to historic tax reform, the Future Ready Iowa Act, comprehensive mental health reform, and the farm bureau health coverage legislation, which was all signed into law.
Reynolds and Republican lawmakers were also smart to avoid significant cuts to the judiciary, the backfill or IPERS— all of which could have provided Iowa Democrats with additional firepower on the campaign trail.
Iowa Democrats will surely point out the session went into “extra innings,” attack various policies as conservative overreach, say not enough money was spent on X, Y, and Z, but they will have a hard time selling their agenda to those outside big labor and their activist base.
In a statement following the close of the session, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann predicted strength heading into the fall, “Democrats won’t stop shouting about a ‘doom and gloom’ scenario, but with this many accomplishments to stand on, our party and its candidates are stronger than ever leading into this fall’.”
With session in the rear view, it will now fall on Governor Reynolds and Republican state legislators looking to stay in the majority to sell these accomplishments to Iowans and use this legislative session to distinguish themselves from what’s going on in Washington, D.C.