School groups say staff would have to review thousands of books if governor’s bill passes

BY: - March 29, 2023

Lobbyists for schools and teachers’ groups told lawmakers the provision in Gov. Kim Reynolds’ “parental rights” bill requiring removal of all books with depictions of sex acts from school libraries would be difficult for Iowa schools to accomplish. “I’m not quite sure how we’re going to find all of those books without having to read […]

Bernie Sanders confronts former Starbucks CEO over union-busting allegations

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Democratic senators at a hearing on Wednesday grilled the former CEO of Starbucks over allegations that the giant coffee company intimidated, harassed and fired workers who tried to form unions. Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent and former presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, focused on Starbucks’ […]

U.S. Senate clears measure to undo Biden WOTUS rule on wetlands

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Both Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the Biden administration’s intensely contested expansion of what qualifies as wetlands that the federal government can regulate. The Senate approved a resolution, sponsored by West Virginia Republican Shelley Moore Capito, that would revoke the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of […]

House panel advances restrictions on state auditor’s access to information

BY: - March 29, 2023

Staff with the auditor’s office told a panel of lawmakers Wednesday that proposed privacy protections passed by the Senate would keep the office from effectively stopping and preventing misuse of taxpayer funding. Senate File 478, which passed the Senate earlier in March on a 33-16 vote, would prohibit the state auditor’s office from accessing information […]

Public lands bill gets second nod from Iowa House subcommittee

BY: - March 29, 2023

A bill that has the potential to restrict new public lands acquisitions — and that was shifted to its second Iowa House committee after passage by the first committee was in doubt — got preliminary approval on Wednesday. The bill would prioritize the maintenance of state-owned lands over acquisitions. Its supporters in a Wednesday subcommittee […]

Citing ‘crony capitalism,’ Iowa Supreme Court blasts late-night legislative logrolling

BY: - March 29, 2023

In a decision that appears to be highly critical of Iowa legislators, the Iowa Supreme Court has sided with electric transmission companies challenging a law that restricts competition among utilities. Calling the legislation “quintessentially crony capitalism,” the court described the bill as a “protectionist” maneuver that had to be approved in the dark of night […]

Experts see economic problems for U.S. as struggle over debt limit, spending cuts extends

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — Experts told the U.S. House Budget Committee on Wednesday the country’s economic outlook is problematic, as a fierce debate over the nation’s budget remains front and center. House Republicans, led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, have repeatedly rejected raising the debt limit unless President Joe Biden agrees to a series of spending […]

Governor signs ‘Rural Emergency Hospital’ licensing into law

BY: - March 29, 2023

Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a measure intended to help keep some hospitals open in rural Iowa. House File 75 creates a state licensure process allowing some hospitals to get a “Rural Emergency Hospital” (REH) designation. The designation comes from a federal program, in which hospitals stop providing inpatient services but are able […]

U.S. Senate in bipartisan vote repeals decades-old Iraq war authorizations

BY: - March 29, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators revoked their approval for the Gulf and Iraq wars on Wednesday, taking a broadly bipartisan vote to repeal the Authorizations for Use of Military Force that have stayed on the books years after the two wars ended. The 66-30 vote sends the measure to the U.S. House, where Speaker Kevin McCarthy remains […]

Iowa Public Information Board has a new executive director

BY: - March 29, 2023

The Iowa Public Information Board has a new executive director. Erika Eckley of Carlisle has filled the vacancy left by Margaret Johnson upon her retirement earlier this month. Eckley is IPIB’s fourth executive director in the 10 years since the board was created. “We are excited to have Erika join the staff of the board,” […]

COVID cases decline with state poised to reduce reporting

BY: - March 29, 2023

State health officials are expected to switch away from an online dashboard to display COVID-19 data at the end of this week, which was the third in a row to have declining new reported infections for Iowa. That reporting change — along with eliminating a requirement for clinical labs to report confirmed infections by the […]

Asa Hutchinson calls for armed personnel in every school

BY: - March 28, 2023

In the aftermath of a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, former Arkansas governor and potential presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson called Tuesday for armed officers in every school. Hutchinson, a Republican, made his comments during an event with Drake University students in Des Moines.  “My belief is that every school should have armed personnel,” Hutchinson said. […]