Government + Politics

A man uses an e-cigarette

Iowa health officials propose a ban on vaping in public 

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa may soon join 13 other states that prohibit vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in public. Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits smoking in almost all public places – including offices, restaurants, bars, and outdoor entertainment venues. Under new legislation proposed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the law would be […]

Bill would create special driver’s license for teen farm workers

BY: - January 13, 2020

For Iowa teenagers helping their families out on the farm, there’s a new bill that would create a new special license that could let them drive a vehicle up to 50 miles in Iowa. The bill, introduced by Iowa Sen. Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone, authorizes the Iowa Department of Transportation to issue a “special minor farm […]

Jennifer Easler named consumer advocate

BY: - January 13, 2020

Jennifer Easler has been appointed consumer advocate for regulated utility issues, replacing Mark Schuling, who retired Jan. 10, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced. Easler, an attorney in the office since 1996, must be confirmed by the Iowa Senate. She will oversee a staff of 14 people who investigate services regulated by the Iowa Utilities […]

DOT: Traffic fatalities running 40% above average

BY: - January 13, 2020

The year is young, but the seven traffic-related deaths in Iowa through Jan. 10 is two more than than five-year average — up 40%, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported. The DOT’s Monday newsletter noted that this can be a particularly dangerous time of year to drive, and not just because of the snow and […]

Lawmakers open session with focus on workforce

BY: - January 13, 2020

Despite a minor glitch with some of their microphones, Iowa legislative leaders were loud and clear about their priorities as they opened the 2020 legislative session on Monday. “Yes, I know the sound is off – you’re just going to have to strain your ears and I apologize for that,” Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West […]

COMMENTARY
he State Capital of Iowa is reflected by the Henry A Wallace Building

Iowa Legislature 2020: IWILL or IWON’T?

BY: - January 13, 2020

IWILL or IWON’T?  That’s a dilemma for Iowa Republican legislators as they open their new session in an election year that could challenge their majority. Will they raise the state sales tax a penny to pay for expensive water quality and mental-health programs? Or won’t they? Here are a few factors lawmakers may consider as […]

Panel lets dust gather on cremation rule

BY: - January 10, 2020

Melissa Bird of the Iowa Department of Public Health walked into a state meeting Friday with a proposed rule that navigated the apparently touchy world of getting a permit to dig up or otherwise retrieve the cremated remains of a person. She walked out with dust. If not ashes. After the board chairwoman expressed frustration […]

COMMENTARY
The Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines serves as a water supply and a growing recreational draw.

Don’t let special interests hijack natural resources fund

BY: - January 10, 2020

I have lived and worked on a small Sac County farm for the past 41 years. During our time on the farm, my family has restored wetlands and used sustainable farming methods. We have planted native trees and shrubs and worked to restore native fish habitats for endangered species. We have planted native grasses in […]

What’s Gov. Kim Reynolds got to worry about?

BY: - January 10, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds doesn’t seem to have a lot of worries these days.  She’s starting the second legislative session of her four-year term.  Her Republican Party controls both chambers of the Legislature. And her campaign just announced record-breaking fundraising for this stage of any Iowa governor’s term. Reynolds sat down with Iowa Capital Dispatch recently […]

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg at an ethanol plant in Iowa

Pete Buttigieg on wine caves and white privilege

BY: - January 10, 2020

“I went and looked up the house I lived in as a little kid, just to see what it’s going on the market for now.  I think it’s 60,000 bucks,” Buttigieg said.

Longtime DOT staffer named interim department chief

BY: - January 10, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed longtime Iowa Department of Transportation staffer Stuart Anderson as interim director effective Friday. He replaces Mark Lowe. He resigned effective Friday at the request of Reynolds, who indicated she wanted a change in leadership. Lowe served at-will, meaning he could be dismissed for any reason. He told DOT staff […]

U.S. House votes to check Trump on military action against Iran

BY: - January 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Thursday on a resolution to curtail President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran without first securing congressional approval.  The chamber voted 224-194, largely along party lines, to approve the resolution from Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), which would direct Trump to halt the use of U.S. armed […]