City of Dubuque News Release

Roy D. Buol, Mayor of Dubuque
(563) 564-5455,

Alan Kemp, Executive Director 
(515) 244-7282,  

June 5, 2018 -- For Immediate Release

Dubuque Passes Proclamation Marking 50th Anniversary of Home Rule in Iowa

Historic Home Rule Constitutional Amendment Granted Local Control to Cities in Iowa   

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The City of Dubuque joined cities from across the State of Iowa to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Home Rule Amendment to Iowa’s State Constitution by passing 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.”

In 1968, the Home Rule Amendment was passed by the citizens of Iowa and constitutionalized local control in the state. 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. 

“Home rule has been a critical element of our state constitution for five decades.  It allows cities and counties to control their own destiny,” said Dubuque Mayor Roy D. Buol.  “The unique needs of our communities are best served through self-governance and home rule and local control enable local governments to do just that.  Pre-emption measures at the state level limit the abilities of cities and counties to adapt to local needs.”

“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.

The proclamation was presented and read aloud at the Dubuque City Council meeting on June 4, 2018. The Iowa League of Cities will also mark the 50th anniversary of this historic constitutional amendment at events throughout 2018. 

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