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.

D.C. Dispatch: House delegation teams up on bill to improve National Weather Service

By: - April 8, 2022

Following a fatal string of tornadoes in early March, Iowa’s four representatives in the U.S. House cosponsored legislation this week to improve the outdated National Weather Service communications system. Iowa’s delegation also voted on the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice, called for further aid to Ukraine and criticized President Joe Biden’s decision to […]

U.S. House votes to legalize marijuana, but Iowa lawmakers remain strongly opposed

By: - April 8, 2022

The U.S. House passed a bill last week to decriminalize marijuana, expunge convictions and create a framework for the legal sale of recreational pot. But the bill’s chances in the U.S. Senate are slim – and the prospect of state-level decriminalization in Iowa is even less likely, lawmakers said. Rep. Steven Holt, chair of the […]

Glenwood Resource Center to close in 2024 following resident abuse, poor medical care

By: - April 7, 2022

An Iowa residential facility for people with severe disabilities will close in 2024, following a federal investigation into abuse of residents and poor medical care at the home. A Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation in 2019 and 2020 found that staff at the Glenwood Resource Center failed to provide adequate medical care and abused and […]

District court to decide if Finkenauer may appear on primary ballots

By: - April 6, 2022

The fate of Abby Finkenauer’s Senate campaign depends on three signatures. Those three signatures, each with incorrect or missing dates, may cause Finkenauer’s removal from the Democratic primary ballot — pending a judicial review. District Judge Scott Beattie heard arguments Wednesday in a challenge to Finkenauer’s candidacy. Republicans Kim Schmett and Leanne Pellett allege a […]

Senate passes bill to fund alternatives to abortion

By: - April 5, 2022

Nonprofit groups that provide alternatives to abortion, like pregnancy and adoption counseling, support and supplies, would be eligible for new state funding under a bill passed Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Senate File 2381 would create the “More Options for Maternal Support” (MOMS) program, a $1 million fund for groups that encourage alternatives to abortion. […]

House passes pared-back mobile home tenant protection bill

By: - April 5, 2022

State lawmakers have worked for several years on legislation aimed at protecting mobile home residents from predatory, out-of-state park owners. The Iowa House passed a bill Tuesday, but even supporters of the legislation said it doesn’t do as much as they had hoped. “It’s not the bill I’d like to have,” said the bill’s floor […]

Senate unanimously passes elder abuse bill, sends it to Reynolds

By: - April 5, 2022

Iowa would create new criminal penalties for elder abuse under a bill passed Tuesday by the Iowa Senate. Senate File 522 sets criminal penalties for the abuse, assault or financial exploitation of an “older individual,” defined as someone aged 60 or over. The charges range in severity from misdemeanors to felonies. Advocates for the bill […]

GOP lawmakers say bottle bill repeal may be the next step

By: - April 4, 2022

If lawmakers cannot reach a compromise on Iowa’s bottle and can redemption program, they may scrap the law altogether, leaders on Iowa’s bottle bill proposal said Monday. Both the House and Senate have advanced similar plans to change the bottle bill. House Speaker Pat Grassley has said negotiations are ongoing to find a compromise between […]

D.C. Dispatch: Iowa Republicans oppose Biden plan to end Trump-era border policy

By: - April 1, 2022

Republicans in Iowa’s D.C. delegation took aim at President Joe Biden on Friday, criticizing the administration’s decision to end a Trump-era policy that allowed Customs and Border Patrol to turn away asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border. Members of the delegation also continued to push for aid to Ukraine, advocated for the summertime use of […]

Lawmakers inch closer to bottle bill compromise

By: - March 31, 2022

Iowa’s can and bottle redemption law is closer than ever to a long-awaited update, House Speaker Pat Grassley said Thursday, but negotiations are ongoing between the House and Senate. “I think we’ve made as much progress in the Legislature this year than we had in my time that I can remember, and probably before that,” […]

Senate passes private school scholarships, ‘Parent Bill of Rights’

By: - March 30, 2022

Iowa students could use state funds to pay private school tuition under a bill passed Wednesday by the Iowa Senate. Republican supporters of the proposal said school changes during the COVID-19 pandemic had engaged parents, bringing renewed focus to school choice and parental control. Sen. Amy Sinclair said it was elitist and “borderline racist and […]

Reynolds: Iowans ‘stand ready’ to accept Ukrainian refugees

By: - March 30, 2022

Iowa will send tactical gear and food assistance to Ukraine, and the state will prepare to accept Ukrainian refugees, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday. “Iowans stand ready,” Reynolds said at a news conference, crates of tactical gear behind her. “They want to do everything that they can to support the Ukrainian people, and it’s just […]