On the morning of Jan. 13, ISBA Leadership met with Iowa Governor
Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and legal counsel to the
governor, Larry Johnson, in the governor’s office at the Iowa State
Capitol to discuss six ISBA legislative
defense funding – Adequate compensation for court-appointed
counsel is necessary in order to ensure that the state meets its
constitutional obligation to provide competent assistance of counsel to
indigent persons accused of crimes. The ISBA supports a $5.00 per hour
increase in the court- appointed counsel contract rate and further supports
cost-of-living adjustments in the hourly rate for such compensation.
- Probate court
costs – Under current law, joint tenancy property,
transfers made during a person’s lifetime and assets payable to
beneficiaries are not excluded from the value of personal property and
real estate used to calculate the court costs despite the fact that the
clerk’s office does not "perform services” regarding these assets. The
ISBA supports the Calculation of Probate Court Costs bill, SF 376/HSB 37,
which excludes property over which the court lacks probate jurisdiction
and for which the clerk renders no services from the determination of
facilities funding – Under state law, county
governments are financially responsible to provide physical structures for
the court system but the state is responsible for the furnishings and
technological equipment therein. The ISBA supports full funding of the
Iowa Judicial Branch’s budget request for equipment needs in accordance
with Iowa Code sections 602.1302 and 602.11101, including one-time funding
for furnishings and technological equipment for the recently renovated
Polk County Courthouse.
branch funding – The Iowa Judicial Branch budget request for
FY2017 includes $179 million plus $5.6 million. This amount would only
provide enough funding for the Iowa Judicial Branch to maintain the
current level of services that it provides. The ISBA supports full
funding for the Iowa Judicial Branch budget request.
residency – Legislative proposal HF260 allows a judicial
applicant from any area of Iowa to apply for an open judgeship anywhere in
the state. The ISBA opposes HF
260 and statewide appointment of district court judges.
- Iowa Legal Aid
funding – Iowa Legal Aid provides essential legal
services throughout the state to low-income Iowans with critical legal
needs. The most recent census data indicates that 493,721 Iowans meet Iowa
Legal Aid’s income eligibility guidelines. The ISBA supports state
funding for ILA through continued support of the Legal Services Grants
Program, and from other available state sources, in the amount of $2.9
Those advocating for the ISBA’s position on crucial issues for the
legislative session included,
ISBA President Bruce Walker, President-elect Skip Kenyon, Vice-president
Steve Eckley and Executive Director Dwight Dinkla along with ISBA Assistant Legislative
Counsel Doug Struyk.
Read more about the ISBA’s 2016 Affirmative Legislative Program in
the Jan./Feb. issue of The Iowa Lawyer Magazine and upcoming ISBA publications.
To keep apprised of developments in the ISBA’s 2016 Affirmative Legislative
Program, visit the ISBA
Legislative Program webpage. To learn about ways to help further key
legislation, contact your Board of Governors District representative. To find
your BOG district representative, click
Photo Caption: ISBA Leadership meets with Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer and House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow.