Government + Politics

Bicycles or motor vehicles? Lawmakers work to classify low-speed, electric bikes

BY: - February 13, 2020

Low-speed, electric bicycles are blazing trails in traffic laws around the country and Iowa lawmakers are trying to decide how to treat these new hybrids. So-called e-bikes are designed so that a rider may pedal them with or without assistance from a low-power motor.  Bicycle advocates want them to be classified more like unpowered bikes, […]

Iowa employers, religious leaders clash over religious freedom bill

BY: - February 13, 2020

Representatives of some of Iowa’s major employers squared off against religious conservative advocates for the third straight year over legislation to replicate federal religious freedom language in Iowa law. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act sets a higher court standard for consideration of cases in which government is alleged to burden a person’s exercise of […]

U.S. Senate approves bipartisan measure to curb Trump’s military power

BY: - February 13, 2020

  WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate issued a rare bipartisan rebuke to President Donald Trump Thursday when it approved a resolution that would curtail his ability to take military action against Iran without first securing congressional approval. The resolution passed with support from 55 senators, including eight Republicans. Both of Iowa’s GOP senators, Chuck Grassley and […]

U.S. House votes to remove ERA obstacle

BY: - February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted on Thursday to remove one barrier to adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but plenty of legal and political obstacles remain. The House voted 232-183 on Thursday — largely along partisan lines — to approve a resolution that would remove an expired congressional deadline for the ratification of a constitutional […]

Public information board warns against document-request restrictions

BY: - February 13, 2020

The Iowa Public Information Board is asking all state agencies to refrain from requiring that information requests be put in writing and submitted through an online portal. Last month, the Iowa Capital Dispatch filed a complaint with IPIB about the public-access policies of Iowa Workforce Development. Like other state agencies, IWD now requires individuals who […]

Troy Price resigns as Iowa Democratic Party chairman

BY: - February 12, 2020

Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price will resigned his position Saturday in the wake of the party’s failure to deliver timely results of the Feb. 3 caucuses. Price’s resignation will be effective after an emergency meeting Saturday of the party’s state central committee, which will elect a new chair. “While it is my desire to […]

Should Iowa’s Hospital Licensing Board be eliminated?

BY: - February 12, 2020

The Iowa Hospital Licensing Board, which has long been accused of being a tool of the hospital industry, would be eliminated under a bill now being considered by state lawmakers. The board is controlled largely by active and retired hospital executives. Although its name suggests it’s responsible for the licensing of hospitals, it actually is […]

Constitutional amendment denying abortion rights clears House panel

BY: - February 12, 2020

A resolution calling for a constitutional amendment that would specify that Iowans have no right to an abortion passed the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday on a party-line 11-9 vote.  The legislation, House Study Bill 577 also would specify that Iowans have no right to public funding for an abortion. Democrats requested a public hearing […]

Evening sunshine, more shopping cited as benefits of year-around Daylight Saving Time

BY: - February 12, 2020

Sen. Jason Schultz summed up his constituents’ reaction to the idea of having Iowa on Daylight Saving Time year-around: “I don’t care what you gotta do, but I want it light at night,” the Republican from Schleswig said. An Iowa Senate subcommittee voted unanimously Wednesday to advance legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent. […]

‘We are bare bones’: Iowa school districts plan cuts as lawmakers debate funding

BY: - February 12, 2020

When fights broke out in Kalyn Cody’s middle school math class, he would pick up the phone and call the school office for help. Cody, a former Des Moines school teacher, tried to quell disruptive behavior in his classroom at Goodrell Middle School, but he said he didn’t have enough staff to help maintain the […]

Reynolds launches town-hall tour to promote Invest in Iowa Act

BY: - February 12, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds launched a town-hall tour on Wednesday to promote her proposed Invest in Iowa Act. House Study Bill 657 would raise the state sales tax to generate an estimated $540 million for environmental programs, mental health resources and income-tax relief. “I’m going to go out there and drive this,” Reynolds said during her […]

DOT doles out $9 million for city buses

BY: - February 12, 2020

A state panel has cleared the way for 21 Iowa transit agencies to replace a 107 vans and buses. The Iowa Transportation Commission voted Tuesday to provide $9 million in federal funds for the replacement vehicles. In some cases, local agencies are experimenting with buses using natural gas or batteries for power. There was a […]