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.

New laws include permitless carry, diversity training restrictions

By: - July 1, 2021

New laws on guns, education, alcohol delivery and more are in effect as of Thursday. The beginning of the fiscal year, July 1, marks the end of a banner year for legislative Republicans: When the session ended in May, Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver said that Republicans had achieved “most, if not all” of their […]

Iowa Supreme Court rules the state can block Planned Parenthood sex education programs

By: - June 30, 2021

Iowa lawmakers can prohibit Planned Parenthood from teaching federally funded sex education to students, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. In the final hours of the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers passed a law that would make Planned Parenthood’s sex education services ineligible for two federal grants: the Community Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, administered by the […]

Des Moines Rep. Bruce Hunter won’t seek re-election in 2022

By: - June 30, 2021

Des Moines Democrat Bruce Hunter will not seek re-election in 2022, he announced Wednesday. “It’s been a privilege serving the public in the Iowa House, but I believe now is the time to step aside and make room for others to serve,” Hunter said in a news release. Hunter was first elected to the House […]

Iowa Supreme Court overturns Branstad discrimination lawsuit

By: - June 30, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a former state employee has no claims against former Gov. Terry Branstad in a decade-long discrimination case. “I am so incredibly appreciative of the ruling issued by the Iowa Supreme Court in this case today,” Branstad said in a statement Wednesday. “This has been a very long road […]

Sen. Tom Cotton visits Iowa, decries critical race theory and efforts to defund the police

By: - June 29, 2021

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, headlining a state GOP event in northwest Iowa, decried “critical race theory” and accused Democrats of fostering a crime wave before ending the night in a push-up contest against Sen. Chuck Grassley. Cotton is the latest in a string of possible 2024 candidates to travel the Hawkeye State. He joked […]

Grassley: Maintaining Senate filibuster rules is the only opportunity for bipartisanship

By: - June 29, 2021

Speaking in front of a crowd of northwest Iowans, Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann asked Iowa’s sitting senators: What keeps you up at night? U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley responded that he worried Democrats would decide to do away with the Senate filibuster, a rule that requires 60 votes to advance most bills.  “There […]

‘Fed up and fired up’: Democrat leaders stay hopeful as Republicans lead in polls

By: - June 25, 2021

As Republican leaders show strength in statewide polling and 2024 GOP hopefuls come to visit, Iowa Democrats say they’re optimistic about their chances in 2022 and beyond. “We’re not conceding anything. We’re going to fight,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in an interview. “Democrats are fed up and fired up to organize and […]

D.C. Dispatch: Senators block election bill, representatives split on age discrimination

By: - June 25, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your weekly update on Iowa’s congressional delegation. This week in Washington, Iowa’s senators blocked a Democrat-led election bill from advancing and House representatives split on an age discrimination vote. Iowa Poll finds shaky support for Grassley re-election The Des Moines Register released a June Iowa Poll that found nearly two-thirds […]

Reynolds orders Iowa State Patrol to the U.S.-Mexico border

By: - June 24, 2021

Iowa State Patrol officers will be deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday. “My first responsibility is to the health and safety of Iowans and the humanitarian crisis at our nation’s southern border is affecting all 50 states,” Reynolds said in a news release. “The rise in drugs, human trafficking, and violent […]

Student leaders criticize lawmakers over university funding freeze

By: - June 24, 2021

Student leaders at Iowa’s public universities on Thursday decried the state’s decision not to increase funding to the Board of Regents, prompting a proposed tuition increase for the upcoming year. “The burden of financing Iowa’s colleges and universities should not be placed squarely on the shoulders of young people hoping for a better future,” said […]

Iowa Poll: 54% approve of Reynolds’ pandemic approach as COVID-19 cases decline

By: - June 23, 2021

COVID-19 cases are going down and Gov. Kim Reynolds’ approval rating is going up, according to a newly released Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll. A majority of Iowans, 51%, said they approved of Reynolds’ job performance as governor. That’s up 5 percentage points since March.   Over half of Iowans also approved of the way Reynolds handled […]

Reynolds announces $20 million school mental health program

By: - June 23, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced several new education programs Wednesday, including a $20 million initiative to offer additional mental health resources to Iowa schools.  The Iowa Center for School Mental Health is a partnership between the Department of Education and the University of Iowa. College of Education Dean Daniel Clay said the center will serve three […]