Legislative Department, Iowa Constitution
|Preamble • I • II • III • Legislative • IV • V • VI • VII • VIII • IX • X • XI • XII|
| Text of Section 1:
The legislative authority of this state shall be vested in a general assembly, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives: and the style of every law shall be. "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Iowa."
| Text of Section 2:
Annual Sessions of General Assembly--Special Sessions
The general assembly shall meet in session on the second Monday of January of each year. Upon written request to the presiding officer of each house of the general assembly by two-thirds of the members of each house, the general assembly shall convene in special session. The governor of the state may convene the general assembly by proclamation in the interim.
Repealed and rewritten 1974, Amendment  Special sessions, see also Art. IV, §11
| Text of Section 3:
The members of the house of representatives shall be chosen every second year, by the qualified electors of their respective districts, [* * *]* and their term of office shall commence on the first day of January next after their election, and continue two years, and until their successors are elected and qualified.
- Certain provisions, apparently superseded or obsolete, have been omitted from this codified Constitution. See original Constitution for omitted language.
For provisions relative to the time of holding the general election, see Art. II, §7; see also §39.1 of the Code
| Text of Section 4:
No person shall be a member of the house of representatives who shall not have attained the age of twenty-one years, be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been an inhabitant of this state one year next preceding his election, and at the time of his election shall have had an actual residence of sixty days in the county, or district he may have been chosen to represent.
Amended 1880, Amendment  and 1926, Amendment 
| Text of Section 5:
Senators shall be chosen for the term of four years, at the same time and place as representatives; they shall be twenty-five years of age, and possess the qualifications of representatives as to residence and citizenship.
| Text of Section 6:
Senators--Number and Classifications
The number of senators shall total not more than one-half the membership of the house of representatives. Senators shall be classified so that as nearly as possible one-half of the members of the senate shall be elected every two years.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment  See also Art. III, §34 Referred to in §42.4 of the Code
| Text of Section 7:
Each house shall choose its own officers, and judge of the qualification, election, and return of its own members. A contested election shall be determined in such manner as shall be directed by law.
| Text of Section 8:
A majority of each house shall constitute a quorum to transact business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.
| Text of Section 9:
Authority of the Houses
Each house shall sit upon its own adjournments, keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same; determine its rules of proceedings, punish members for disorderly behavior, and, with the consent of two thirds, expel a member, but not a second time for the same offense; and shall have all other powers necessary for a branch of the general assembly of a free and independent state.
| Text of Section 10:
Protest--Record of Vote
Every member of the general assembly shall have the liberty to dissent from, or protest against any act or resolution which he may think injurious to the public, or an individual, and have the reasons for his dissent entered on the journals; and the yeas and nays of the members of either house, on any question, shall, at the desire of any two members present, be entered on the journals.
| Text of Section 11:
Privileged from Arrest
Senators and representatives, in all cases, except treason, felony, or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of the general assembly, and in going to and returning from the same.
| Text of Section 12:
When vacancies occur in either house, the governor or the person exercising the functions of governor, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
| Text of Section 13:
The doors of each house shall be open, except on such occasions, as, in the opinion of the house, may require secrecy.
| Text of Section 14:
Neither house shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which they may be sitting.
Referred to in §2.1 of the Code
| Text of Section 15:
Bills may originate in either house, and may be amended, altered, or rejected by the other; and every bill having passed both houses, shall be signed by the speaker and president of their respective houses.
| Text of Section 16:
Executive Approval--Veto--Item Veto by Governor
Every bill which shall have passed the general assembly, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the governor. If he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it with his objections, to the house in which it originated, which shall enter the same upon their journal, and proceed to reconsider it; if, after such reconsideration, it again pass both houses, by yeas and nays, by a majority of two thirds of the members of each house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the governor's objections. If any bill shall not be returned within three days after it shall have been presented to him, Sunday excepted, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the general assembly, by adjournment, prevent such return. Any bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state, within thirty days after the adjournment, with his approval, if approved by him, and with his objections, if he disapproves thereof.
The governor may approve appropriation bills in whole or in part, and may disapprove any item of an appropriation bill; and the part approved shall become a law. Any item of an appropriation bill disapproved by the governor shall be returned, with his objections, to the house in which it originated, or shall be deposited by him in the office of the secretary of state in the case of an appropriation bill submitted to the governor for his approval during the last three days of a session of the general assembly, and the procedure in each case shall be the same as provided for other bills. Any such item of an appropriation bill may be enacted into law notwithstanding the governor's objections, in the same manner as provided for other bills.
Paragraph 2 added 1968, Amendment  Statutory provisions, §3.4, 3.5 of the Code Referred to in §3.7 of the Code
| Text of Section 17:
Passage of Bills
No bill shall be passed unless by the assent of a majority of all the members elected to each branch of the general assembly, and the question upon the final passage shall be taken immediately upon its last reading, and the yeas and nays entered on the journal.
Referred to in §3.7 of the Code
| Text of Section 18:
Receipts and Expenditures
An accurate statement of the receipts and expenditures of the public money shall be attached to and published with the laws, at every regular session of the general assembly.
Statutory provisions, §2B.10(5) of the Code
| Text of Section 19:
The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment, and all impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, the senators shall be upon oath or affirmation; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.
Referred to in Art. V, §19
| Text of Section 20:
Officers Subject to Impeachment--Judgment
The governor, judges of the supreme and district courts, and other state officers, shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor or malfeasance in office; but judgment in such cases shall extend only to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this state; but the party convicted or acquitted shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, and punishment, according to law. All other civil officers shall be tried for misdemeanors and malfeasance in office, in such manner as the general assembly may provide.
Referred to in Art. V, §19
| Text of Section 21:
Members Not Appointed to Office
No senator or representative shall, during the time for which he shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office of profit under this state, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such term, except such offices as may be filled by elections by the people.
| Text of Section 22:
No person holding any lucrative office under the United States, or this state, or any other power, shall be eligible to hold a seat in the general assembly; but offices in the militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, or the office of justice of the peace, or postmaster whose compensation does not exceed one hundred dollars per annum, or notary public, shall not be deemed lucrative.
| Text of Section 23:
Failure to Account
No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public monies, shall have a seat in either house of the general assembly, or be eligible to hold any office of trust or profit in this state, until he shall have accounted for and paid into the treasury all sums for which he may be liable.
| Text of Section 24:
No money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.
| Text of Section 25:
Compensation and Expenses of General Assembly
Each member of the general assembly shall receive such compensation and allowances for expenses as shall be fixed by law but no general assembly shall have the power to increase compensation and allowances effective prior to the convening of the next general assembly following the session in which any increase is adopted.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment  Statutory provisions, §2.10 through 2.14 of the Code
| Text of Section 26:
Time Laws to Take Effect
An act of the general assembly passed at a regular session of a general assembly shall take effect on July 1 following its passage unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. An act passed at a special session of a general assembly shall take effect ninety days after adjournment of the special session unless a different effective date is stated in an act of the general assembly. The general assembly may establish by law a procedure for giving notice of the contents of acts of immediate importance which become law.
Amended 1966, Amendment , and repealed and rewritten 1986, Amendment  Supplementary provisions, §3.7 et seq. of the Code
| Text of Section 27:
No divorce shall be granted by the general assembly.
| Text of Section 28:
Lotteries. SEC. 28. Repealed 1972, Amendment 
| Text of Section 29:
Acts--One Subject--Expressed in Title
Every act shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith; which subject shall be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title.
| Text of Section 30:
Local or Special Laws--General and Uniform--Boundaries of Counties
The general assembly shall not pass local or special laws in the following cases: For the assessment and collection of taxes for state, county, or road purposes; For laying out, opening, and working roads or highways; For changing the names of persons; For the incorporation of cities and towns; For vacating roads, town plats, streets, alleys, or public squares; For locating or changing county seats.
In all the cases above enumerated, and in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, all laws shall be general, and of uniform operation throughout the state; and no law changing the boundary lines of any county shall have effect until upon being submitted to the people of the counties affected by the change, at a general election, it shall be approved by a majority of the votes in each county, cast for and against it.
Laws uniform, see Art. I, §6
| Text of Section 31:
Extra Compensation--Payment of Claims--Appropriations for Local or Private Purposes
No extra compensation shall be made to any officer, public agent, or contractor, after the service shall have been rendered, or the contract entered into; nor, shall any money be paid on any claim, the subject matter of which shall not have been provided for by preexisting laws, and no public money or property shall be appropriated for local, or private purposes, unless such appropriation, compensation, or claim, be allowed by two thirds of the members elected to each branch of the general assembly.
See §3.14 of the Code
| Text of Section 32:
Oath of Members
Members of the general assembly shall, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm, (as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Iowa, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of senator, (or representative, as the case may be,) according to the best of my ability." And members of the general assembly are hereby empowered to administer to each other the said oath or affirmation.
| Text of Section 33:
Census. SEC. 33. Repealed 1936, Amendment 
| Text of Section 34:
Senate and House of Representatives--Limitation
The senate shall be composed of not more than fifty and the house of representatives of not more than one hundred members. Senators and representatives shall be elected from districts established by law. Each district so established shall be of compact and contiguous territory. The state shall be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts on the basis of population. The general assembly may provide by law for factors in addition to population, not in conflict with the Constitution of the United States, which may be considered in the apportioning of senatorial districts. No law so adopted shall permit the establishment of senatorial districts whereby a majority of the members of the senate shall represent less than forty percent of the population of the state as shown by the most recent United States decennial census.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment  See also Art. III, §6, 39
| Text of Section 35:
Senators and Representatives--Number and Districts
The general assembly shall in 1971 and in each year immediately following the United States decennial census determine the number of senators and representatives to be elected to the general assembly and establish senatorial and representative districts. The general assembly shall complete the apportionment prior to September 1 of the year so required. If the apportionment fails to become law prior to September 15 of such year, the supreme court shall cause the state to be apportioned into senatorial and representative districts to comply with the requirements of the constitution prior to December 31 of such year. The reapportioning authority shall, where necessary in establishing senatorial districts, shorten the term of any senator prior to completion of the term. Any senator whose term is so terminated shall not be compensated for the uncompleted part of the term.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment  Referred to in §49.3 of the Code
| Text of Section 36:
Review by Supreme Court
Upon verified application by any qualified elector, the supreme court shall review an apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly which has been enacted into law. Should the supreme court determine such plan does not comply with the requirements of the constitution, the court shall within ninety days adopt or cause to be adopted an apportionment plan which shall so comply. The supreme court shall have original jurisdiction of all litigation questioning the apportionment of the general assembly or any apportionment plan adopted by the general assembly.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment 
| Text of Section 37:
When a congressional district is composed of two or more counties it shall not be entirely separated by a county belonging to another district and no county shall be divided in forming a congressional district.
Repealed and rewritten 1968, Amendment  Referred to in §42.3, 42.4 of the Code
| Text of Section 38:
Elections by General Assembly
In all elections by the general assembly, the members thereof shall vote viva voce and the votes shall be entered on the journal.
| Text of Section 38A:
Municipal Home Rule
Municipal corporations are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly.
The rule or proposition of law that a municipal corporation possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1968, Amendment 
| Text of Section 39:
In establishing senatorial and representative districts, the state shall be divided into as many senatorial districts as there are members of the senate and into as many representative districts as there are members of the house of representatives. One senator shall be elected from each senatorial district and one representative shall be elected from each representative district.
Added 1970, Amendment 
| Text of Section 39A:
Counties Home Rule
Counties or joint county-municipal corporation governments are granted home rule power and authority, not inconsistent with the laws of the general assembly, to determine their local affairs and government, except that they shall not have power to levy any tax unless expressly authorized by the general assembly. The general assembly may provide for the creation and dissolution of joint county-municipal corporation governments. The general assembly may provide for the establishment of charters in county or joint-municipal corporation governments.
If the power or authority of a county conflicts with the power and authority of a municipal corporation, the power and authority exercised by a municipal corporation shall prevail within its jurisdiction.
The proposition or rule of law that a county or joint county-municipal corporation government possesses and can exercise only those powers granted in express words is not a part of the law of this state.
Added 1978, Amendment 
| Text of Section 40:
Nullification of Administrative Rules
The general assembly may nullify an adopted administrative rule of a state agency by the passage of a resolution by a majority of all of the members of each house of the general assembly.
Added 1984, Amendment  Referred to in §3.6, 17A.6 of the Code