ISBA Leadership meets with governor, state legislative leaders
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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 priorities.


  • Indigent 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 court costs.
  • Courthouse 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.
  • Judicial 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.
  • Judicial 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 million.

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 here.

Photo Caption: ISBA Leadership meets with Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer and House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow.