Wulf’s Weekly Roundup: 2024 Legislative Session Accomplishments

Rep. Derek Wulf (R-Hudson).

The 2024 legislative session ended in climatic fashion at 4:23AM on April 20, 2024. We were able to pass good legislation that will have a positive impact for the people of Iowa. Here are some of the major accomplishments from this year’s session.

*Raised beginning teacher pay to the 5th highest in the nation, set the minimum standard salary for 12-year teachers to $62,000, and allocated an additional $14 million to raise pay for paraprofessionals.

*Delivered significant income tax relief for all taxpaying Iowans by speeding up the implementation of the flat tax and lowering the rate to 3.8% in 2025.

*Made our students and staff safer in school with investment in school safety infrastructure and by lowering emergency response times with the creation of a new permit program allowing staff to carry firearms if they meet the high standards of training laid out in the bill.

*Gave Iowa law enforcement additional policy tools and $2 million of new money to protect Iowans from illegal immigration and related crimes such as drug crimes and human trafficking.

*Prioritized history and civics in K-12 education, while directing the Department of Education to do a thorough review of all curriculum standards to ensure they are setting teachers and students up for success.

*Prohibited Iowa’s regent universities from spending one dime on so-called “diversity, equity and inclusion” offices that divide students, silence conservative voices, and impose ideological conformity on campus, outside of what is required by law.

*Refocused our universities away from training “social justice workers” and back to preparing a strong workforce ready to fill high-demand jobs in Iowa.

*Continued to fund financial assistance programs for health care professionals who stay in Iowa and serve the communities in need of greater access to care.

*Incentivized businesses of all sizes to choose Iowa as their home and targeted investment in rural Iowa with the creation of a new certified sites program to spur economic development in counties with less than 50,000 people.

*Supported law enforcement with additional investment in the Department of Public Safety and Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, and with policies such as covering costs for peace officers moving to Iowa and ensuring a person cannot receive bail for the murder of a police or corrections officer.

*Protected Freedom of Religion by prohibiting government entities from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless there is a compelling government interest.

I personally had the opportunity to run several bills on the floor this year, five of which passed out of the House and Senate, thus making it to the Governor’s desk and being signed into law. One was HF572 that addresses trespass via drones over livestock facilities in Iowa which I authored, and another, SF2204 authored by the Governor’s office that I ran in the House that strengthens laws against foreign ownership of our Iowa farmland.

Two years ago, shortly after being elected for my first term, I was sitting in a small farm office listening to fellow young livestock producers and friends voice concerns of animal activists attempts at using drones to collect surveillance and intrusion into their operations for malicious intent. After we brainstormed ideas, I took those thoughts to Des Moines, crafted a bill, and got to work. After two years of work, negotiations, amendments, and help from many across chambers and isles I was proud to see that idea, spawned in a small Iowa farm shop, signed into law on the Governor’s desk. For me, HF572 was very meaningful because it truly sends a message that Iowa will lead this nation to protect its livestock producers against animal activists.

The 2024 session was eventful and resulted in meaningful legislation for the people of Iowa. It has been a pleasure to serve District 76 this past two years and I look forward to catching up with all of you on the campaign trail this summer.

Rep. Wulf’s district, Iowa House District 76, includes the communities of Traer, Dysart, and Buckingham in Tama County. He can be reached via email: DEREK.WULF@LEGIS.IOWA.GOV.