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.

State’s oldest workplace misconduct cases have been pending 1,200 days

By: - May 24, 2022

The state of Iowa has at least three workplace misconduct complaints that have been pending for more than three years, the director of the Department of Administrative Services told members of the Iowa Senate on Tuesday. State Sen. Janet Petersen had asked the department about a month ago how many cases it had pending involving […]

Legislature prohibits COVID-19 vaccine mandates for K-12 school, college, licensed child care

By: - May 24, 2022

Iowa children will not face a requirement to be vaccinated for COVID-19 for attendance in school, college or a child care center under a bill that is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill would not allow mandates for attendance at any licensed child care center, elementary or secondary school or postsecondary school before July […]

Lawmakers drop private school scholarships, advance budget bills

By: - May 23, 2022

The Iowa House and Senate gathered Monday at the State Capitol for the first time in weeks with a goal of completing action on the state budget and a few remaining policy bills and possibly winding up their session this week. Lawmakers have been idling while GOP leaders and Gov. Kim Reynolds negotiated points of […]


Reynolds administration ignores senator’s questions on 200 unresolved sexual harassment claims

By: - May 23, 2022

The state of Iowa had a backlog of nearly 200 employee sexual harassment complaints as of April 20 that had not been investigated, state Sen. Janet Petersen said during a recent budget meeting. “Taxpayers, since 2012, have paid out $28 million in claims and I see nothing in this budget addressing sexual harassment or hostile […]

Lawmakers resume public consideration of state budget

By: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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: - 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 […]