Author

Katie Akin

Katie Akin

Katie Akin is a former Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter. Katie 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.

he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

House and Senate compromise on taxes, move late-night budget bills

By: - May 17, 2021

The Iowa Senate passed a major tax bill Monday evening that will accelerate income tax cuts and change the way the state funds mental health services. The proposal has been under negotiation for several weeks among Republican leaders in the Legislature and Gov. Kim Reynolds. House leadership signed off on the proposal Monday, clearing the […]

Legislative Republicans are working on a massive tax deal. Here’s where they disagree.

By: - May 14, 2021

Lengthy tax proposals are advancing in both the House and the Senate, each with intractable differences, as the Legislature trudges through its second week of overtime. On many issues, the two chambers agree: accelerating income tax cuts, expanding eligibility for  child care tax credits, mandating telehealth parity and more. It’s a few big-ticket items, like […]

Republican lawmaker denies Heritage Action involvement in election bill

By: - May 13, 2021

A key Republican lawmaker on Thursday denied statements by the head of Heritage Action for America about the conservative lobbying group’s role in the approval of voting restrictions this year in Iowa. Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, said in a leaked video that her organization had drafted parts of and helped […]

State auditor launches investigation into Scott County election worker payments

By: - May 13, 2021

Iowa’s state auditor will investigate “potential overpayments” to poll workers by the Scott County auditor during an election last year, the office announced Thursday. Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz paid poll workers $15 an hour during the June 2020 primary, the Quad-City Times reported, exceeding the $12 per hour maximum that the Scott County Board […]

Iowa eliminates statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse

By: - May 12, 2021

Children who experienced sexual abuse will have no time limit to take legal action against their abusers under a new Iowa law. “Today Iowa stands in support of survivors of sexual violence as we become the 14th state to eliminate the statute of limitations for these heinous crimes,” Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday in a […]

Reynolds urges Iowans to ‘lean further into normal,’ return to work

By: - May 12, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds encouraged Iowans to “lean further into normal” after a year of COVID-19 closures, restrictions and precautions.  “There’s no reason for us to continue to fear COVID-19 any longer,” Reynolds said. “We know how to manage it. Individuals can be trusted to make decisions that will keep us on a path forward.” At […]

Instagram for kids? Iowa attorney general urges Facebook to abandon app development

By: - May 11, 2021

Attorneys general from 44 states, including Iowa, say an Instagram app for children could lead to cyberbullying, mental distress and body-image issues. The bipartisan group of attorneys general sent a letter Monday to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon development of a kid-friendly Instagram platform. Zuckerberg announced in March that the company intended […]

Extra unemployment benefits will end in June, Reynolds orders

By: - May 11, 2021

Unemployed Iowans will lose their extra $300 per week benefit and other federal pandemic unemployment assistance in June, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday. “Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” Reynolds said in a press release. “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these […]

Reynolds signs voluntary diversity ban into law, extends open enrollment for five districts

By: - May 10, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill into law Monday afternoon that bans voluntary diversity plans at Iowa schools. School districts will no longer be able to restrict open enrollment to promote diversity at an institution. The change will affect five school districts: Des Moines, Davenport and Waterloo, which have socioeconomic metrics of diversity, and West […]

Iowa Capitol Dome

‘If we don’t do it now … this is never going to happen’: Senators advance mental health tax cut

By: - May 10, 2021

There’s still no agreement between the House and Senate on taxes as both chambers advance mismatched proposals. The Senate held a meeting Monday about Senate File 1276, the tax “compromise” proposed last week by Gov. Kim Reynolds. The House has not agreed to the proposal. Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, said Reynolds’ plan was “the […]

House passes bills addressing alcohol, sex crimes, tax evasion as first week of overtime ends

By: - May 7, 2021

The House convened Friday afternoon to pass nearly a dozen bills, many of which have been bouncing between chambers.  “There’s not a whole lot of common sense in this building, and there’s virtually none across the rotunda,” Rep. David Maxwell, R-Gibson, said in his opening comments on an agriculture bill that had been volleyed back […]

House passes several budget bills, but that doesn’t mean they’ve struck a deal

By: - May 6, 2021

House lawmakers on Thursday passed budget proposals on agriculture, infrastructure, economic development and education. But House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said the Senate and Gov. Kim Reynolds have not agreed to the bills. “We’ve just decided it’s time to get those moving through the process,” Grassley said, noting that the 100-member House takes longer […]