2018 Marks 50th Anniversary of Local Control in Iowa
Historic Home Rule Constitutional Amendment is Celebrated by Cities Across Iowa
The Iowa League of Cities and cities across the State of Iowa will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Home Rule Amendment to Iowa’s State Constitution during 2018. There will be celebrations throughout the year, including at the League’s Legislative Day at the Capitol on February 6 and at the Annual Conference & Exhibit in Council Bluffs on September 12-14.
In 1968, the Home Rule Amendment was passed by the citizens of Iowa and constitutionalized local control in the state of Iowa. This transitioned Iowa from a Dillon’s Rule state, where local government powers are derived exclusively from the state legislature, to a Home Rule state where local government powers are derived from the State Constitution.
“Local Control is what gives citizens a voice in their local communities. Home Rule, or local control, truly empowers residents and leaders at the city level to make the decisions that best fit their community,” explains Alan Kemp, executive director of the Iowa League of Cities.
In addition to celebrations at Iowa League of Cities events throughout 2018, the League will publish monthly articles talking about Home Rule in its Cityscape magazine. The League is also encouraging each city in Iowa to pass a proclamation stating, “Home Rule is essential to effective and responsive municipal governance in all cities in Iowa,” and that local control “continues to be vital to the health and prosperity of all cities in Iowa.”