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.

House proposes $12 million for scholarships, but no increase for state university funding

By: - March 21, 2022

The Iowa House is proposing no increase to the Board of Regents appropriation next year, instead launching a $12 million scholarship program for new teachers and other high-demand jobs. “We want to incentivize our Regents to be partners with the state to help address the workforce shortage that we have,” House Speaker Pat Grassley said. […]

D.C. Dispatch: Delegation calls for National Weather Service improvements after tornado warning glitches

By: - March 18, 2022

After a series of deadly tornadoes swept through central Iowa in early March, Iowa’s D.C. delegation called for improvements to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lawmakers also weighed in on student loans, aid to Ukraine, the Iran nuclear deal and mask mandates. Here’s your weekly update: Rep. Cindy Axne […]

Major Republican bills stall but may survive past funnel deadline

By: - March 17, 2022

Several Republican priorities stalled ahead of a legislative deadline this week, but negotiations on the bills will continue with the help of legislative workarounds, leaders say. Friday marks the end of the 10th week of the 2022 legislative session. It’s the second “funnel” deadline to sideline policy bills that haven’t advanced far enough through the […]

Vaccine mandate, tort reform bill falters on House floor

By: - March 16, 2022

Iowa lawmakers gathered Wednesday afternoon for a knock-down fight on a controversial bill to prohibit employer vaccine mandates and expand liability protections for Iowa truckers. But debate came to an abrupt end, as 12 Republicans broke ranks to vote with Democrats on a procedural question, blocking the legislation. “Speaker (Pat Grassley) makes the decision of […]

Reynolds announces $100 million in federal funds for Iowa airports

By: - March 16, 2022

The Iowa Department of Transportation will distribute $100 million of federal funding to modernize and expand Iowa’s eight commercial airports, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Wednesday. “This announcement is about more than just airports,” Reynolds said at a press conference in a Des Moines International Airport hangar. “This is about all the incredible things airports make […]

‘They should have been in school’: Reynolds calls for education system change after East High shooting

By: - March 16, 2022

In the wake of a Des Moines shooting that left one teenager dead and another two injured, Gov. Kim Reynolds said state leaders should be focusing on improving the education system rather than considering new gun control measures. “Let’s figure out how we get these kids in school, get them the education that they need […]

Democrats call for more restrictive gun control laws following East High shooting

By: - March 15, 2022

Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines said the principal of East High School had one request after a shooting occurred on school grounds: “Take the guns out of the hands of my babies.” A Des Moines teenager, Jose Lopez, died last week, the victim of a drive-by shooting at the school. Two East High students were injured […]

House passes Iowa PBS public record bill

By: - March 14, 2022

Archival footage from Iowa PBS could be used for independent video projects under a bill passed Monday by the Iowa House. The House passed House File 2488 on Monday evening. The bill would broaden permitted uses for Iowa PBS public records, allowing old videos to be used in new projects. It’s an initiative spurred by […]

‘Take a measured loss’: Iowa lawmakers buckle down on the bottle bill

By: - March 14, 2022

Iowa lawmakers say they’re ready to change the state’s long-suffering bottle redemption program – even if some stakeholders aren’t happy with the plan. The Legislature created the bottle redemption system 4o years ago. But for years, participants in the system – beverage distributors, retailers and redemption centers – have been calling for changes, saying the […]

Iowa unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in January

By: - March 14, 2022

Iowa’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7% in January, the state’s lowest rate since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered Iowa businesses in March 2020. Beth Townsend, director of Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), said Iowa’s economic recovery from the pandemic is “continuing to press forward.” The state’s unemployment rate has decreased slowly over the past year, but remains […]

D.C. Dispatch: Lawmakers passed a government funding bill. What does that mean for Iowa?

By: - March 11, 2022

The U.S. House and Senate moved quickly this week to approve $1.5 trillion to fund the government and an additional $13.6 billion to aid Ukraine. The Senate passed the package Thursday night, squeaking past a Friday deadline for government funding. Members of Iowa’s delegation celebrated the funding bill’s investments in their districts and the inclusion […]

Iowa revenue projected to decline in upcoming years

By: - March 10, 2022

Iowa’s revenue will decline in upcoming fiscal years, state experts projected Thursday. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) meets multiple times each year to forecast how much money Iowa will collect. The REC convened Thursday, its first meeting after Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a significant income and corporate tax cut into law. The REC projects the […]