Special Iowa Legislative Session Starts October 5

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Special Iowa Legislative Session

Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation today, September 14, 2021, declaring a special legislative session to convene on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.  The purpose of this special session will be to consider and enact a plan of congressional and state legislative redistricting with the framework set forth in Chapter 42 of the Iowa Code.

Proposed Redistricting Plan–Temporary Redistricting Commission

On Thursday, September 16, the Legislative Services Agency (LSA) is set to deliver to members of the General Assembly a proposed congressional and state legislative redistricting plan.  It will include a bill embodying the plan as well as a statistical report providing information, including maps of the proposed congressional and state legislative districts. 

This information will be made available to the public on the Iowa Redistricting page on the Iowa General Assembly website. The Temporary Redistricting Commission (TRAC) will solicit public comments on the first proposed redistricting plan by conducting three virtual public hearings:

  • Monday, September 20: 7:00 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 21: 12:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, September 22: 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Signups to attend the public hearings as well as make public comments on the plan will be available upon the release of the first proposed redistricting plan and can be made through the TRAC public hearing links on the Iowa General Assembly website.

Special Legislative Session Process

The duration of the upcoming special session will depend on how quickly lawmakers approve of the proposed redistricting plan. 

The process is in accordance with Chapter 42 of the Iowa Code:  Lawmakers cannot amend the first proposed redistricting plan prior to voting. If the legislature does not approve the first proposed redistricting plan, LSA has 35 days to produce a second plan.  Lawmakers cannot amend the second proposed redistricting plan prior to voting.  If the legislature does not approve the second proposed redistricting plan, LSA has another 35 days to create a third plan.  Lawmakers can amend and change the third proposed redistricting plan (in the same manner as other legislation is amended) prior to voting.

Special Legislative Session History

The legislature approved the first set of maps in 1991 and 2011, and it approved the second set of maps in 2001.

Ideal Population Size for Iowa Congressional & Legislative Districts

The U.S. Census Bureau has determined that the total resident population of Iowa as of April 1, 2020, is 3,190,369 persons. Based on this total population figure, the LSA determined that the ideal population for Iowa’s congressional and state legislative districts:

District Number of Districts Population
Congressional 4 797,592
State Senate 50 63,807
State House 100 31,904

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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