Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.
Lawmakers resume public consideration of state budget
By: Kathie Obradovich - May 17, 2022
Iowa lawmakers will resume public discussion on the state budget Wednesday, just over four weeks past the 100th day of the 2022 session. The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning and begin preparing budget bills for floor debate. For the past several weeks, discussion has been behind closed doors as legislative leaders […]
Why should aid for families be contingent on overturning abortion rights?
By: Kathie Obradovich - May 9, 2022
The leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that signals the potential demise of constitutional abortion rights has some in the Republican Party suggesting that maybe it’s time to get on board with programs that support parents with young children. The Washington Post last week quoted several GOP senators who acknowledged new interest in […]
Should Iowa change how we pay for electricity?
By: Kathie Obradovich - May 2, 2022
Most of us rarely think about electrical power until we flip the light switch and nothing happens. Or until we get the bill and it’s a lot higher than we were expecting. But changes are coming that affect the way we use electrical power, from the rise of electric vehicles and renewable energy sources to […]
Misinformation is deadly. What are we going to do about it?
By: Kathie Obradovich - April 25, 2022
Misinformation is deadly. It kills humans and democracy. All of us have some responsibility for this serious threat to society. All of us are affected by it, regardless of whether we use social media. And all of us need to do something about it. The examples are hard to ignore: An insurrection at the U.S. […]
Statehouse standoff leaves Iowans in the dark
By: Kathie Obradovich - April 18, 2022
The 100th day of the 2022 legislative session in Iowa is Tuesday. I know that’s probably not a day marked on your calendar. Most Iowans don’t pay much attention to whether the Legislature is in session or not. Those who celebrate Easter, Passover or Ramadan may have been spending time with family. Others may be […]
House advances ‘compromise’ bottle bill with broad bipartisan support
By: Kathie Obradovich - April 12, 2022
Iowa’s bottle bill appears closer to a major overhaul than at any time in its 44-year history. The Iowa House quickly approved a compromise bill Tuesday on a bipartisan, 70-16 vote that allows retailers to opt out of redeeming empty containers under certain conditions. The bill still needs Senate approval. “This has been a long […]
Bottle bill proposals will leave Iowans holding their cans
By: Kathie Obradovich - April 4, 2022
Iowa lawmakers seem poised, with their latest effort to update the state’s popular but long-struggling bottle bill, to give everyone what they want. Everyone, that is, except consumers. What do consumers want? Most simply want the convenience of returning their empties to their grocery stores or nearby redemption centers. They also want to keep bottles […]
Iowa Senate bill would stop cities from restricting fireworks sales in commercial, industrial zones
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 30, 2022
Iowa local governments would no longer be able to restrict the sale of fireworks in parts of their communities zoned for commercial or industrial use under a bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. Sen. Mike Klimesh, R-Spillville, offered the proposal as an amendment to Senate File 2285, which deals with local planning and zoning […]
Senate votes to allow retailers to quit accepting bottle and can returns
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 29, 2022
Retailers would be allowed to opt out of accepting bottle and can returns starting in 2023, redemption centers would get a raise and beverage wholesalers would continue to keep unredeemed deposits under a bill approved Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, floor manager of Senate File 2378, said it was “an attempt […]
Legislative sausage making: Who cares about the process?
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 21, 2022
State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann recently remarked at a legislative committee meeting: “The people back home …, they don’t give a sh** about the process. They care about results.” Kaufmann, who recently made news for flipping the bird with both hands at a public event in the Statehouse rotunda, is ever classy. But I laughed when […]
Proposed bottle bill overhaul allows retailers to refuse container returns
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 17, 2022
Iowa grocery stores and other retailers would be allowed to opt out of taking back bottle and can returns and repaying deposits in 2023 under the latest version of a bill making its way through the Iowa Senate. Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Republicans on the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed the rewrite of […]
Senate panel votes to move Iowa to permanent daylight saving time – if border states also change
By: Kathie Obradovich - March 16, 2022
A state Senate committee voted Wednesday to require bordering states to move permanently to daylight saving time before Iowans could stop changing their clocks twice a year. The move comes after the Iowa House passed a bill last week to move the state permanently to daylight saving time if Congress legalizes the action. The Senate […]