The Iowa League of Cities was established in 1898 with the goal of serving as the unified voice of cities. The League’s legislative team continues that today through state and federal advocacy to legislative bodies, elected and appointed officials, as well as administrative agencies.
Through legislative advocacy, one of our core values, the League continues to ensure cities can grow, thrive and make decisions to help their communities.
The League’s legislative values are the cornerstone around which our legislative strategy is built. These values are the pillars of public service and principles from which local governments in Iowa have operated for more than 175 years.
Our Legislative Approach
As an integral part of the League’s overall mission, the League promotes excellent government, effective public policy and Home Rule among members as well as state and federal lawmakers. The League’s advocacy work is led by the members of the governmental affairs team but relies heavily on the grassroots support from the League membership. The League’s advocacy success hinges on city officials maintaining good avenues of communication with state and federal leaders.
State Legislative Advocacy
The government affairs team serves as representatives of League members at the Iowa General Assembly. This entails serving as a presence for cities in the Capitol, meeting and working with state legislators and staff, attending and monitoring the activity of state legislative committees and coordinating city testimony and grassroots efforts. The League also publishes a weekly Legislative Link during each legislative session to communicate important city issues that the League lobbyists are following at the state Capitol. It also includes research and analysis of legislative proposals and their potential impacts on Iowa cities. City officials are encouraged to use this information and research as a resource when contacting state officials on legislative issues. A Legislative Link archive is available in publications.
State Regulatory Advocacy
In addition to legislative advocacy, the League also represents municipalities and their interests throughout the state regulatory process, with a special focus on environmental issues. The government affairs team members attend meetings of the state’s regulatory bodies and monitor rules under consideration. We also work to determine the impact on municipalities and communicate that information to rule-making bodies and department leaders.
Federal Legislative Advocacy
The League also engages in advocacy at the federal level, including monitoring of federal legislation with the potential to impact the cities of Iowa, lobbying of the state’s congressional delegation, and working closely with the National League of Cities to coordinate federal advocacy efforts.
Legislative Policy Committee
The League’s Legislative Policy Committee is a core group of elected and appointed city officials who work closely with the governmental affairs staff in order to screen, vet, and filter legislation as it pertains to cities. While every member of the League is a trusted resource on state policy, this small group of individuals is tasked with maintaining a positive relationship with their legislators, staying current on legislative news and updates in the Capitol, and aiding the legislative team on how state policy affects their city operations.
In addition, the policy committee helps draft and approve the initial structure of the legislative values.
Check out these resources from the state which will help you locate current or passed legislation as well as your legislator.
Sign up for Legislative Link, the enewsletter about all things legislative.
The Index of Iowa Laws links to Code of Iowa chapters and sections that are applicable to municipal government.
Review our New Laws of Interest where we highlight recently passed legislation that could impact your city.
Stay informed with the latest League publications.
The Iowa League of Cities has focused on the topic of local option sales and service tax (LOSST), the mechanics of how it works and the importance to the communities.
This publication is designed to assist cities begin their annual budget process. Learn about revenues, expenditures, legislation and other budget issues.
Property taxes play a significant role in municipal government as the primary funding source for city budgets. Check out a variety of special reports regarding this topic.