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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.

Iowa universities may drop standardized testing requirement

By: - January 11, 2022

The Board of Regents will vote Wednesday on whether to make standardized testing, like the SAT and ACT, optional for applicants to Iowa’s public universities. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, applicants to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa were required to submit either an ACT or a SAT […]

Iowa Condition of the State 2022: Reynolds to announce policy priorities tonight

By: - January 11, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds will unveil her policy priorities tonight at the annual Condition of the State address. Reynolds told reporters last week that she plans a “bold and historic agenda” for the 2022 legislative session, including tax cuts, a “comprehensive workforce package,” and education reform. “I believe that this upcoming session represents yet another opportunity […]

Republicans tout victories as 2022 legislative session begins

By: - January 10, 2022

Republican leaders touted their 2021 legislative successes as they gaveled in Monday for the 2022 legislative session. They pointed repeatedly to the state’s $1.2 billion surplus as evidence of sound governing – and the basis for another round of tax cuts.  “The state is taking in more money, more tax money, than it needs, and […]

Iowa received $128 million in home energy assistance

By: - January 7, 2022

Iowa received more than double its usual federal allocation for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the White House announced Friday. “These resources are already allowing states across the country to provide more home energy relief to low-income Americans than ever before,” a White House news release read. The federal program, known as LIHEAP, […]

D.C. Dispatch: Democrats shift focus to voting rights

By: - January 7, 2022

It’s the first week of 2022 and national politics are off to a (relatively) quiet start. Iowa’s D.C. delegation reflected on the events on Jan. 6, 2021 and everything that’s happened since. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in D.C. shifted their focus from the spending bill to other priorities. Congress ended 2021 in a stalemate. The “Build […]

Democratic candidates for governor, Senate address Iowa mental health

By: - January 6, 2022

Democratic challengers to Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley advocated Thursday for increased funding and access to mental health care. The National Association of Social Workers of Iowa, an organization of thousands of Iowa social workers, hosted the Des Moines candidate forum. Moderators focused questions on workforce shortages for social workers and the impact […]

Iowa governor’s race: Party chair responds to Smith fundraising concerns

By: - January 6, 2022

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Ross Wilburn expects a “strong slate” of Democratic candidates this year, he said, despite the departure of Rep. Ras Smith from the gubernatorial race due to fundraising challenges. “I was the first Black Democratic candidate for governor to get on the ballot in Iowa,” Wilburn said. “I understand the challenges that […]

One year later: Iowa delegation reflects on Jan. 6 insurrection, violence

By: - January 6, 2022

One year after insurrectionists swarmed the U.S. Capitol, members of Iowa’s D.C. delegation thanked Capitol police officers and condemned the violent participants in the riot. Rep. Cindy Axne began a Wednesday event with a moment of silence for Capitol police officers who were injured or killed on Jan. 6, 2021, when thousands of people attempted […]

Axne: Build Back Better is ‘alive and well’ as Senate prioritizes voting rights

By: - January 5, 2022

The U.S. Senate has tabled discussion of President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending proposal, but Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday the bill was still “alive and well” in D.C. “It’s not stalled,” she said, “It’s a little bit behind because they’re heavily working on voting rights issues, and that’s the key priority right now.” Democrats […]

Democrat Ras Smith withdraws from 2022 governor race

By: - January 5, 2022

Rep. Ras Smith has suspended his campaign for Iowa governor. The Waterloo Democrat announced Wednesday that his seven-month campaign had revealed “a drastic disconnect between the current political system and the people.” “I have come to the heartbreaking conclusion that there are barriers that one campaign cannot overcome, no matter how hard we work or […]

Tax cuts, workforce shortage and parent choice to drive 2022 legislative session

By: - January 4, 2022

Lawmakers return to Des Moines on Monday for the 2022 legislative session, and Republicans – who hold the House, Senate and the governor’s office – have their to-do list in order. GOP leadership on Tuesday highlighted solving workforce shortages, cutting income taxes and prioritizing parents in education as major goals for the upcoming session. “We […]

Proposed bill would prohibit employer vaccine or mask mandates

By: - January 4, 2022

State Rep. Jon Jacobsen paced, microphone in hand, around a table of anti-mandate organizers, as he unveiled a proposal to prohibit Iowa businesses from requiring employees to be vaccinated or wear masks. “I can’t think of a greater civil rights issue than this,” Jacobsen said, comparing mandatory employer vaccinations to “an indentured servant-slash-slave relationship.” If […]