Closer look: HHS budget

Earlier this week the Health and Human Services Budget Subcommittee got its first look at the Governor's funding recommendations. The subcommittee, comprised of members from both chambers, considers these recommendations as it forms its own funding priorities. In all, HHS funding accounts for roughly 26 percent of the state's general fund—and sets budgets for state departments like public health, human services, veterans affairs and aging. Learn how the Governor's recommendations could affect child care, mental health, welfare and Medicaid in Iowa by checking out our analysis. 

State and federal share of Iowa Medicaid funding, 1999-2019

Mixed bag. Funding for Medicaid is a joint federal-state effort. In recent years, the federal share of Medicaid funding in Iowa has ticked steadily upward. The good news is that shift has given Iowa's budget a bit of relief, as the federal government picks up a greater proportion of the costs. Bad news, the federal match rate is determined by a formula that takes into account the average per-capita income for each state relative to the national average. The growing share of federal funding for Medicaid reflects Iowa's weaker economic condition relative to other states. 

New: Weekly podcast from the Center

Today we're debuting our weekly podcast, "A Deeper Dive" — an in-depth look at the policies and current happenings in Iowa that affect our state's 700,000+ kids. To kick things off, Anne Discher and Mary Nelle Trefz break down the governor's proposed budget and what it could mean for Iowa children and families. Give it a listen — and don't forget to subscribe!


ACEs Day on the Hill

Child health advocates gathered at the capitol Thursday morning to talk with legislators about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) — how early childhood experiences often determine one's health as an adult. Together known as the Iowa ACEs Policy Coalition, these advocates helped lawmakers understand the importance of policies — mental health, home visiting and trauma-informed child welfare — that support early childhood health.

Pictured below: Senator Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City) and Rep. Joel Fry (R-Osceola) meet with the coalition. To learn more about work around ACEs in Iowa, visit


Bill tracker

Want to go deeper? Curious about the status of key bills? The Center maintains a bill tracker to outline the specific legislation we are following this this session. 

Find your legislator

Not sure who represents you? With 50 senators and 100 representatives, it can be hard to keep tabs. Visit our Legislator Lookup tool to find out who represents you in the state house and senate, biographical information about each one and a link to their legislative websites, which list contact information and committee membership. All you need to do is enter your home address and zip code. 

505 5th Ave., Ste. 404
Des Moines, IA 50309
(515) 280-9027 /

Follow Us

Our presence at the State Capitol during session is supported by individual Iowans who care about children and families—and support our work. Join us!

Manage Subscription