Author

Katie Akin

Katie Akin

Reporter Katie Akin began her career as an intern at PolitiFact, debunking viral fake news and fact-checking state and national politicians. She moved to Iowa in 2019 for a politics internship at the Des Moines Register, where she assisted with Iowa Caucus coverage, multimedia projects and the Register’s Iowa Poll. She became the Register’s retail reporter in early 2020, chronicling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Central Iowa’s restaurants and retailers.

D.C. Dispatch: House Dems draft spending bill, Republicans fight back

By: - September 17, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, our weekly roundup of Iowa news from the nation’s capital. This week, fights continued over the budget reconciliation package and Iowa’s Republican representatives pushed back against vaccine mandates and foreign policy in Afghanistan. House Democrats spent this week drafting specifics for the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package. House and Senate […]

Proposed redistricting maps reshape Iowa’s political landscape

By: - September 16, 2021

Iowa’s first round of redistricting maps would create significant changes in the state’s congressional and legislative districts and potentially reset some 2022 campaigns. The nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency presented new congressional and legislative maps to lawmakers Thursday, setting the ball rolling on a long-delayed redistricting process. Iowa won’t lose any House seats in this round […]

Dr. Jill Biden visits DMACC to promote child tax credit and education spending proposals

By: - September 15, 2021

ANKENY, Ia. — First lady Dr. Jill Biden spoke about the importance of child care and education in an Iowa event Wednesday, touting federal aid programs for students and families. “[President Joe Biden’s] administration is fighting every day to get rid of all the obstacles that you face so that you can focus on really […]

Republican Michael Bousselot wins Ankeny special election

By: - September 14, 2021

Ankeny voters have elected Republican Michael Bousselot to the Iowa House. Bousselot, the former director of Iowa’s Department of Management, received 51.58% of the vote according to unofficial results from the Polk County Auditor’s Office. Democratic opponent Andrea Phillips received 48.30% of the vote, falling 377 votes behind Bousselot. The Polk County Board of Supervisors […]

Iowa redistricting: Everything you need to know as the process begins

By: - September 14, 2021

The 2020 redistricting process has been abnormal from the start, and we’re just getting to the good stuff. This week, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency will propose a new set of state legislative and congressional maps, setting off Iowa’s redistricting process months after it would usually happen. Here’s everything you need to know about how […]

Enrollment down at Iowa’s public universities, but freshman classes grow

By: - September 14, 2021

Enrollment fell at Iowa’s three public colleges this fall, continuing a years-long decline complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern all reported smaller 2021 enrollment as classes began last month. The University of Iowa reported 31,206 students enrolled this fall, down 394 from last year. […]

Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa ban on school mask mandates

By: - September 13, 2021

A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Iowa law that prohibited schools from instating mask mandates on students. Under a Monday ruling by District Judge Robert Pratt, Iowa school districts may impose mask mandates on their students, staff and teachers. The decision comes after a disability rights group and several Iowa families sued the state, […]

What do Iowa politicians think about Biden’s vaccine mandate?

By: - September 10, 2021

President Joe Biden announced a new COVID-19 mitigation approach on Thursday that requires about 100 million Americans to be vaccinated or routinely tested. Under the plan, health care workers and all federal workers and contractors must be vaccinated. Companies with more than 100 employees must require vaccination or weekly testing. “It’s not about freedom or […]

D.C. Dispatch: Biden administration takes aim at meatpacking industry

By: - September 10, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, our round-up of Iowa news from the nation’s capital. This week, Biden administration officials promised action against major meatpackers that have driven up grocery store prices. Iowa lawmakers stayed focused on an upcoming budget bill and the CyHawk game this weekend. Brian Deese, director of the National Economic Council, and […]

Federal judge hears arguments on Iowa’s school mask mandate ban

By: - September 10, 2021

An Iowa disability group and families of students with disabilities asked a federal district judge on Friday to issue an injunction against Iowa law to allow school districts to require masks. The ACLU of Iowa filed the lawsuit last week on behalf of the Arc of Iowa and the 11 families with medically fragile children. […]

Paul Pate calls election security a ‘race without a finish line’

By: - September 9, 2021

Secretary of State Paul Pate said Thursday that Iowa can’t let up on cybersecurity efforts despite a lack of tampering in the state’s 2020 elections. Pate joined cybersecurity and misinformation experts Thursday for a conference on election cybersecurity. He reported that the 2020 election went “fairly smoothly” in Iowa. All 99 Iowa counties had a […]

Reynolds announces $100M housing investment from federal relief funds

By: - September 8, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday that the state will use $100 million of federal funds for housing initiatives in Iowa. The federal money will be in addition to an existing $230 million in state tax credits. “This transformative investment promises to build approximately 36,000 new housing units statewide, with an average contribution per unit of […]