Kathie Obradovich

Kathie Obradovich

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.


2021 legislative session: The good, the bad and the ugly

By: - May 24, 2021

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver cast the work of the 2021 Iowa Legislature as “generational,” and maybe even “historic.” “And the work that we’ve done this session, I think will have lasting impact for many years to come,” Whitver told reporters Thursday after lawmakers adjourned for the year late Wednesday. Whitver’s right about the […]


Cutting unemployment benefits won’t solve Iowa’s worker shortage

By: - May 17, 2021

I’ve worked almost my entire life, from collecting dimes as a small child for household chores like making my bed, to babysitting as a junior high student and summer farm work for my grandparents before I was old enough to get a “real job.” Sometimes, there were things I’d rather be doing. In high school, […]


Yes, governor, mixed messages contribute to vaccine hesitancy. So stop sending them.

By: - May 10, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds recently blamed “mixed messages” for the fact that demand for the COVID-19 vaccine has dropped to the point that most Iowa counties are refusing all or part of new shipments. “I think, honestly, a lot of it is just the mixed messaging that’s happening,” Reynolds said during her news conference May 5. […]


Dead bills are haunting the Capitol. Here’s one worth reviving.

By: - May 3, 2021

The final days of the legislative session are like Halloween without the candy: The ghosts of dead bills start haunting the Capitol. In the past week or so, we’ve seen lawmakers try to resurrect a reduction in unemployment benefits, for example, that missed last month’s committee deadline. A ban on employers requiring COVID-19 vaccination for […]

Iowa House votes to bar ‘vaccine passports,’ turns down effort to include health care facilities

By: - April 28, 2021

The Iowa House approved legislation to outlaw so-called “vaccine passports” Wednesday after first voting down a proposal to eliminate an exclusion for health care facilities. “Fundamentally, this a liberty issue,” Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, who floor-managed the bill, said. The bill forbids the state or local governments from creating a document certifying a person has […]

Reynolds: Mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics may be headed to ballparks, farmers’ markets

By: - April 28, 2021

Iowans may soon have a chance to get a COVID-19 jab with their hotdog at the ballpark or with their fresh produce from the local farmers’ market, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday. Iowa has seen slowing demand for the vaccine. The number of doses administered in Iowa dropped 10% compared to a week ago, according […]

Reynolds signs broadband expansion, says she’s ‘thrilled’ with lawmakers’ commitment of $100 million

By: - April 28, 2021

Iowa’s status as the state with the second-lowest internet speeds will soon get an upgrade, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday before signing a bill expected to provide hundreds of millions of dollars for broadband expansion across the state. “With my signature today, the state of Iowa’s broadband infrastructure is about to reverse quickly and dramatically. […]

Bill barring ‘vaccine passports’ on legislative fast track

By: - April 27, 2021

Legislation to ban so-called “vaccine passports” and prevent unvaccinated people from being excluded from businesses and other public venues continued on a fast track in the Iowa Legislature Tuesday. The Senate Commerce Committee advanced Senate File 610 Wednesday afternoon without changes on an 11-4 vote. “I don’t believe it’s appropriate for the state of Iowa […]

Bill banning ‘vaccine passports’ excludes health care facilities, workers

By: - April 26, 2021

Lawmakers advanced legislation Monday aimed at prohibiting businesses and other entities from excluding people who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The House Judiciary Committee voted 16-5 to move House File 889 to the floor for debate. The bill would forbid state or local governments from creating a so-called “vaccine passport” or document that proves a […]


Legislators aren’t doing their job. It’s time for the governor to do hers.

By: - April 26, 2021

One of the first things I learned when I started covering the Iowa Legislature almost 30 years ago was the only work lawmakers really have to do is pass a budget. Everything else is optional. And yet, we are starting what should be the final week of the 2021 session without a single budget bill […]

Senate votes to cut civil penalty for deer poaching

By: - April 21, 2021

Iowa senators, citing concerns about crop damage and car accidents caused by deer, approved a bill Wednesday to cut by two-thirds the civil penalty for killing antlerless deer out of season and ordering a study on deer population in the state. Sen. Ken Rozenboom, R-Oskaloosa, said he regularly sees as many as nine deer carcasses […]


GOP lawmakers’ actions speak louder than their words on law enforcement

By: - April 19, 2021

“Now before we get into this debate tonight, let me be clear. If you support law enforcement — truly support law enforcement, you will be voting ‘yes’ tonight. If you stand up tonight and say you support law enforcement, your words will become meaningless with a ‘no’ vote on this bill. Actions speak louder than […]