Iowa Law and Government

Iowa State Law and Government

Iowa General Assembly (IGA)

It’s the legislative branch of the state government of Iowa. It has two legislative chambers which are the upper house i.e. the senate and the lower house which is also called the Iowa House of Representatives. Term limits do not exist for either of them. The general assembly convenes within the Iowa state capitol in Des Moines.

Iowa General Assembly
Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate Jack Kibbie, Democrat
since January 8, 2007
Speaker of the House Pat Murphy, Democrat
since January 8, 2007
Members 150
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines

Iowa General Assembly Composition

Affiliation (House) Members
Democratic Party 56
Republican Party 44
 Total 100
 Government Majority 12


Affiliation (Senate) Members
Democratic Party 32
Republican Party 18
 Total 50
 Government Majority 14

Upper House

The senate comprises of 50 members and each senate district is composed of two house districts. Unlike the lower house, in the upper house the senators serve four year terms followed by a re-election for half of the senate every two years.

Lower House

The lower house consists of 100 members, representing 100 single member districts across the state. The representatives of the State House serve a term of two years in all. Re-election of the entire chamber is under taken every four years. The speaker of the house is elected by the majority party which is followed by a confirmation of the full house on the passage of a floor vote.

Political Parties

Political parties are political organizations that have received two percent or more of the vote’s caste for the president or governor in the ‘last preceding election’. Two main parties that are recognized are the Republican and the Democratic parties. Non-party political organizations can appear on the ballot as well. The Constitution Party, Iowa Green Party, Libertian Party, United States Pirate Party, Social Workers Party have had candidates in the ballot in Iowa since 2004 for various positions.

Voter Trends

The state is nowhere close to being homogenous in its political leanings. That’s one of the reasons for it to be listed as a swing state in national politics.

Presidential Caucus

This mainly refers to gatherings of voters to select delegates to the state conventions. Iowa is one such state which holds the first presidential caucus every four years because of which it gets considerable attention. Those entering the caucus race invest in a lot of effort to reach voters in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.