Government + Politics

DHS accelerates Iowa’s move from institutional care for people with disabilities

BY: - March 11, 2020

The Iowa Department of Human Services is embarking on a new effort to institutionalize fewer intellectually disabled people and provide them with services that better integrate them into their communities. Like many states, Iowa has long aspired to provide more community-based services to people with intellectual disabilities so they don’t have to live in congregate, […]

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testifies during a Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee discussing proposed budget estimates and justification for FY2020 for the Education Department on March 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Ernst joins Democrats in vote to ax DeVos student loan policy

BY: - March 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to overturn a controversial regulation from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos that her critics say hurts defrauded student loan borrowers. Senate Democrats forced the vote under the Congressional Review Act, a law that allows Congress to overturn federal rules within 60 days after they’re finalized. The U.S. House […]

Coronavirus in Iowa: News roundup

BY: - March 11, 2020

Governor’s office reports 14th Iowa coronavirus case Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office on Wedneday reported a 14th case of coronavirus in the state, just one more than was reported on Tuesday. An additional 21 tests were negative. The newest case is an adult between 61 and 80 years old from Johnson County, who was part of […]

Iowa officials again question firm’s plan to export water

BY: - March 11, 2020

A northeast Iowa sand mining company’s amended proposal to export water to drought-stricken western states has again drawn criticism from environmental officials. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources already blocked Pattison Sand Co.’s plan earlier. Now, state water officials have notified Pattison that its amended application is incomplete and strays from state rules. Pattison had […]

Hand sanitizer and mah-jongg: How the Branstads are coping with coronavirus in China

BY: - March 11, 2020

Ambassador Terry Branstad hasn’t had so much as the sniffles in the time he’s served as the United States’ top diplomat in China. “You know, amazing thing, I’ve been here in China over two and a half years, and I’ve not even had a cold,” Branstad said in a phone interview from Beijing. He said […]

Reynolds: ‘The reality is that COVID-19 is now here’

BY: - March 10, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office announced five new cases of coronavirus late Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Iowa to 13. All but one of the 13 Iowans who have tested positive for coronavirus are Johnson County residents who were on a cruise to Egypt along with nine other Iowans, Gov. Kim […]

Iowa House approves five bills addressing child care ‘crisis’

BY: - March 9, 2020

The Iowa House approved five bills Monday aimed at addressing what business leaders and public officials have called a child care crisis in the state. Rep. Lindsay James, D-Dubuque, said when women in her town get pregnant, the first call is to child-care providers to get on the lengthy waiting list. The second call is […]

Which felons get to vote? Republicans and Democrats argue exemptions

BY: - March 9, 2020

To ultimately pass a constitutional amendment granting felons the automatic right to vote, Republican legislators argue lawmakers must first pass a bill that continues to exempt some felons from voting restoration. But it’s a measure that will continue to unequally disenfranchise felons who have served their time, Democrats and religious organizations argued during a House […]

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Gas prices in Iowa fall with oil war

BY: - March 9, 2020

The oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia has left Des Moines with its cheapest gas since January 2019. AAA reported an average price for regular gas of $2.21 a gallon across Iowa, with a national average of $2.38, as of Monday. The website GasBuddy showed regular gas selling in Polk County for an average […]

Is feeding firefighters a ‘public benefit’?

BY: - March 9, 2020

State Auditor Rob Sand’s office has taken exception to the city of Griswold springing for beef patties or pizza at a firefighters’ training session and two meetings. The total cost: $210. State auditors wrote that the Iowa Constitution and a 1979 attorney general’s opinion cast doubt on the city’s decision to provide the food without […]

Iowans ranked among most conservative of Dems in U.S. House

BY: - March 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — Iowa Republicans are known for their conservative bona fides, but the three Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation are also among the most conservative in their party. All three ranked among the top 20 most conservative Democrats in the U.S. House, according to annual rankings compiled by, a nonpartisan organization that tracks […]


Three tickets? Super Tuesday offers clues to Iowa caucuses’ relevance

BY: - March 9, 2020

After a month of hand-wringing over the delayed results of the Iowa Caucuses, you may not want to hear this.  But we are still months away from knowing the caucuses’ full impact on the presidential race. This isn’t about the future of the caucuses or the glitches, errors and snafus that have put that future […]