Justice

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 […]

Iowa lawmakers work to salvage medical cannabis program update

BY: - February 11, 2020

State lawmakers on Tuesday began the work of trying to salvage an update to Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program after a veto last year from Gov. Kim Reynolds. The fighting issue in House Study Bill 653, and the one that led to the governor’s veto, was the cap on THC. That’s the psychoactive compound in cannabis […]

Bill would restrict restoration of voting rights if voters amend the state constitution

BY: - February 10, 2020

GOP state senators advanced a bill Monday that would restrict restoration of voting rights for Iowans who have committed certain serious crimes and who still owe restitution to their victims. Senate File 2129 was designed to take effect only if Iowa voters approve a constitutional amendment that Gov. Kim Reynolds has requested for automatic restoration […]

Metal detectors at Iowa libraries? Bill would require gun-free buildings to increase security

BY: - February 10, 2020

A new bill moving forward in the Iowa Legislature would loosen firearms restrictions in county courthouses and require local buildings that ban guns to increase their security.  Iowa gun owners typically can’t carry firearms into courthouses, but Republican-backed House Study Bill 615 negates any court orders banning firearms in courthouses deeming them unenforceable, except in […]

Casinos to lawmakers:  Reduce the role and cost of DCI enforcement

BY: - January 29, 2020

The casino industry is calling for the number of Division of Criminal Investigation agents assigned to casinos to be cut from about 60 agents to 10 and for more enforcement duties to shift to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. But state public safety officials say the move is premature and could harm the integrity […]

LGBT flags

LGBT advocates: GOP bill would strip rights from transgender Iowans

BY: - January 29, 2020

Update: Iowa Rep. Steven Holt, R-Denison, tweeted Wednesday evening that he is not moving the gender identity bill forward. Holt is the chair of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee. —— A new bill supported by a group of Iowa House Republicans aims to remove “gender identity,” from the Iowa Civil Rights Act — a move […]

Iowa lawmakers want improved CBD labeling, transparency as sales boom

BY: - January 29, 2020

As methamphetamine use grows in the state of Iowa, some state senators want to create more regulations on who is allowed to sell glass and metal pipes. The sale of drug paraphernalia is already illegal in the state of Iowa, but stores are bypassing that law and selling pipes under the connotation that they’re for […]

Reynolds names Oxley to Iowa Supreme Court

BY: - January 28, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday named veteran Cedar Rapids attorney Dana Oxley to the Iowa Supreme Court, filling a vacancy left by the death of Chief Justice Mark Cady in November.  Oxley, of Swisher, is an attorney with Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, P.L.C. in Cedar Rapids. She also has worked as adjunct law professor at […]

Cars parked in a snowy parking lot

Vehicle scams top list of consumer complaints

BY: - January 27, 2020

Vehicle issues top the list for consumer complaints filed by Iowa residents in 2019, according to the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. Complaints regarding the automotive industry grew nearly 15%, up to 535 reports. Reports from Iowans increased regarding fraudulent auto warranty plans and services, particularly as scammers call and promise renewals on a policy. It’s […]

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

Bill aims to eliminate legal fees for accessing public documents

BY: - January 23, 2020

The Iowa Legislature is considering a bill that would prevent governmental agencies from charging citizens a fee to determine whether they’re entitled to see documents in the agency’s possession. The fees have been the subject of controversy for years. Under the current law, anyone who requests a government document from a public entity may be […]

Iowa sees spikes in complaints about mobile home park rent increases, conditions

BY: - January 22, 2020

The Iowa Attorney General’s office saw a spike in complaints last year from mobile-home owners, some of whom faced drastic increases in their rent. In 2019, the attorney general received 23 such complaints, compared to 10 in 2018, said Lynn Hicks, spokesman for the office. The increase in complaints might be the result of new […]

A woman holds her hands in front of her face.

‘It’s a real loss for survivors.’ Domestic violence law stalled in U.S. Senate

BY: - January 22, 2020

WASHINGTON — For decades, the Violence Against Women Act was an issue that could transcend partisan politics on Capitol Hill.  Not anymore.  The landmark law — first passed in 1994 to protect victims of domestic crimes — funds programs like rape crisis centers, shelters and legal services to victims of domestic abuse.  But after several […]