Government + Politics

Hundreds apply for parent-taught driver’s education under new law

BY: - July 26, 2021

Parent-taught driver’s education applications are skyrocketing in Iowa after a bill that expanded the option was enacted earlier this month. The Iowa Department of Transportation has seen an exponential increase in inquiries about parent-taught options and applications to begin driver’s education from home, said Driver Education Program Coordinator Steve Stonehocker. “Before the law changed, we […]

Democrats say vacant public health board is ‘failed leadership’

BY: - July 26, 2021

Democrats criticized state leadership Monday over an advisory health board that was left unable to operate because of vacant positions.  The Iowa State Board of Health canceled a July meeting because seven of its 11 positions were vacant. Two Democratic state senators, Herman Quirmbach of Ames and Liz Mathis of Marion, raised concerns about the […]

On ADA’s 31st anniversary, Biden recalls Harkin’s historic role

BY: - July 26, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday recalled a hallmark moment in the career of former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.  At a White House ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Harkin authored and sponsored, Biden described the moment just before the Senate passed the bipartisan bill. “On the floor of […]

Iowa businesses see delayed start to home alcohol delivery

BY: - July 23, 2021

Iowans might be waiting for to-go alcohol by delivery apps for a little while longer. The Iowa Legislature this year approved House File 766, a bill that creates more opportunities for third-party delivery of alcohol in Iowa. As of July 1,  retailers and grocery stores can use food delivery apps to deliver products to customers […]

D.C. Dispatch: Lawmakers vote together on Afghanistan visas and crime victims fund

BY: - July 23, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your weekly news roundup of what Iowans are doing in the nation’s capital. This week, Iowa legislators aligned on bills to expand and expedite the visa process for allies in Afghanistan and to preserve the Crime Victims Fund. On the campaign side of things, all eyes were on U.S. Sen. […]

Stone-Manning nomination set to advance to U.S. Senate after emotions run high at committee vote

BY: - July 22, 2021

In a contentious meeting that distilled a weeks-long fight, the U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee deadlocked 10-10 along party lines Thursday on approving Tracy Stone-Manning’s nomination as head of the Bureau of Land Management. That means an extra procedural vote will be forced before the full U.S. Senate takes up the nomination of […]

Former Rep. Abby Finkenauer to challenge Sen. Chuck Grassley in 2022

BY: - July 22, 2021

Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer is running for Senate, she announced Thursday.  “I’m running for the United States Senate because this democracy is ours, and truth matters,” Finkenauer said in a video announcing her run. Finkenauer, a one-term representative for Iowa’s 1st congressional district, will run for U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Senate seat in the […]

Des Moines, Polk County help more households with emergency rent than state-run program

BY: - July 22, 2021

The City of Des Moines and Polk County have assisted more households with emergency rental aid so far this year than a state-run program serving Iowa’s other 98 counties combined. The city and county have received more than 3,500 applications for the federally funded Emergency Rental Assistance program. According to data from the U.S. Department […]

Grassley, Vilsack, pork industry exec call for immigration reform

BY: - July 21, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Wednesday said Congress needs to overhaul the U.S. immigration system to ease a farm-worker shortage. But he added GOP members are unlikely to support action until Democrats secure the border. Grassley spoke to Iowa reporters on a day that featured a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on overhauling a visa […]

U.S. Senate Republicans block advance of bipartisan infrastructure plan, but talks continue

BY: - July 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats’ attempt to start debate on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan was blocked by Republicans on a party-line vote Wednesday, as lawmakers hustle to wrap up negotiations over drafting that legislation. In the 49-51 test vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., switched his vote to “no,” a procedural move that allows […]

Wrong-way drivers lead to $1.4M overhaul of interchanges

BY: - July 21, 2021

Wrong-way drivers kill an average of four Iowans a year, prompting a $1.4 million effort to overhaul 165 interchanges with new signs and pavement markings.  The Iowa Department of Transportation also has installed about 50 traffic cameras, with 10 more to come later this year, to study how and why drivers are steering into oncoming […]

Iowa group that backed Ernst fights to block donor disclosure

BY: - July 21, 2021

A group that supported U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst’s 2020 re-election bid is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit it says would give “the wolf the keys to the henhouse” and allow others to “rifle through” records pertaining to its donors. The Clive-based group Iowa Values allegedly spent close to $1.5 million supporting the […]