Your Guide to New Iowa Laws

Schools can no longer mandate vaccines, unemployment benefits last 10 weeks less, and Iowans can be charged with elder abuse starting Friday, July 1, as many state laws 2022 session of the Iowa Legislative Assembly go into effect.

These could be the last changes to Iowa law in 2022, as the governor said she does not plan to hold a special legislative session following court rulings on abortion. But there are more than 150 new laws Governor Kim Reynolds has signed as of this session which went into effect July 1.

Here’s your guide to changes in the law in Iowa:

Legal changes

Court of Appeal candidates

A judicial nominating commission will send five finalists to the governor instead of three to fill a vacancy on the Iowa Court of Appeals. The law also allows judge candidates to apply to serve in a judicial district in which they do not live, if they live in a contiguous county.

Elder Abuse

Iowans over the age of 60 have more legal protections. The new law created criminal penalties for “elder abuse” in state law, as well as a new criminal charge for financial abuse of such persons. Those accused of assaulting or robbing Iowans over the age of 60 now also face higher minimum sentences.

Garbage searches

Law enforcement officials can search an individual’s trash without having to obtain a search warrant under Iowa law. The measure states that there is “no reasonable expectation of privacy” for waste placed outside a person’s residence in a public space. The new law reverses a 2021 Iowa Supreme Court ruling that prohibited police from searching a person’s uncollected trash without a warrant.

Reproductive fraud

The use of human reproductive material to which the patient has not consented in writing is now illegal in Iowa. Non-consensual insemination will be considered fourth degree sexual abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. It also changes current law to allow any woman over the age of 18 to consent to her own hysterectomy. Current law states that a physician may require spousal consent.

Workforce changes

early childhood workers

Do you know a 16 or 17 year old looking for a job? From Friday, the age limit for workers supervising school-aged children without adult supervision was raised from 18 to 16. The law also increased the number of toddlers a daycare staff member can care for: seven 2-year-olds per staff member, and up to 10 3-year-olds.

Unemployment benefits

Starting Friday, Iowans will only have 16 weeks of maximum unemployment benefits, lowered from the previous limit of 26 weeks. The law also adds new eligibility rules, including a one-week waiting period, and requiring workers to accept lower-paying jobs sooner or risk losing their benefits.

New school laws

Asthma medications

Students with respiratory conditions can now keep and use an inhaler or other medication at school, with written parental permission and a doctor’s statement. Schools are now also allowed to store the drugs and appropriate staff can administer them to students reasonably suspected of being in respiratory distress.

Child care payments

Families who use state assistance to pay for childcare can make additional private payments to their childcare providers. The current system reimburses providers 50-75% of the market rate for care. But now child care centers can charge the difference between state aid and the private pay rate.

teachers license

Teachers no longer need to pass a standardized test to obtain a teaching license in Iowa. Under previous law, teachers in Iowa take a series of standardized tests, which are also used to certify teachers in states like Nebraska and Kansas.

Vaccine mandates

Child care centres, K-12 public schools and Regents universities can no longer require students to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to attend school. The law, which applies through 2029, builds on existing Iowa guidelines that government buildings — including public schools — cannot require disclosure of vaccination status.

Trade regulations

Aircraft taxation

Under the new law, Iowa aircraft owners do not have to pay sales tax on parts and labor. Plane owners could save up to $700,000 a year, according to legislative tax analysts.

food delivery

Food delivery apps like Grubhub, DoorDash, and Uber Eats must enter into a formal agreement with the restaurants they deliver food from. Before publishing a restaurant’s menu, apps must enter into an agreement with the restaurant owner for the food to be available on the delivery platform. The new law also sets new standards for delivery vehicles, which include requirements that food is kept at a safe temperature and in a clean space in the car, and that drivers cannot work for a ride-sharing app. and pick up passengers while delivering food.

New protections, services

Alternatives to abortion

This new law establishes a statewide program to advocate against abortion by providing pregnancy support services. The program, which has $500,000 in funding, will support organizations that help mothers and families through pregnancy, including adoption education services, funds for food, housing and advice, as well as help with childcare.

Mobile home fees

Landlords must provide an additional month’s notice of rent increase or lease cancellation to mobile home owners starting Friday. While Democrats have criticized the law for not going far enough, it’s a step toward the protections mobile home owners have long sought against unfair or predatory practices by park owners.

What laws come into effect later?

Bottle recycling

Grocery stores and convenience stores in Iowa won’t have to accept empty beverage containers from customers, when sweeping changes to the state’s “bill on bottles” take effect in January. Retailers will not have to accept bottles if they are permitted to prepare ready-to-eat foods. They also cannot accept containers if they are located within 10 miles of a Redemption Center or Mobile Redemption Center in larger counties, or 15 miles in smaller counties.

Republican lawmakers said the new law means many grocery stores will likely stop taking bottles, shifting the work to redemption centers. The centers will receive 3 cents per container, compared to 1 cent previously.


Petrol stations will largely be required to sell gasoline containing 15% ethanol, called E15, from 2023. Retailers can apply for waivers if they do not have equipment compatible with the blend or if they are a small enough business. The law also requires that any new gas equipment installed be compatible with 85% ethanol gas and 20% biodiesel gas.

tax cuts

The tax cuts will be phased in as part of the legislation Reynolds signed in March. In 2023, Iowa will no longer tax retirement income, which includes 401(k), pensions and IRAs. Farmers will also be able to benefit from new exemptions. The biggest change is to Iowa’s income tax. All income will be taxed at a rate of 3.9% by 2026, with the state phasing out the highest tax brackets starting in 2023. Corporate taxes will also decline over time, reducing the maximum rate of 9.8% to 5.5%.