Lawmakers propose $2,000 regulatory license for abortion clinics

BY: - February 18, 2020

Medical facilities that perform abortions would need to acquire a special $2,000 license under a bill moving forward in the Iowa House. House Study Bill 678 requires abortion clinics to apply for a license through the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and prove there is at least one licensed physician on staff. The department […]

Do Iowa’s rest areas need a facelift?

BY: - February 18, 2020

Iowa’s rest areas could be getting a mass remodeling.  A House subcommittee on Tuesday advanced a bill that calls for a study of the condition of the rest areas. The roadside stops with restrooms and vending machines have been popular with Iowans and motorists passing through on the interstate highways.  Over the years, there have […]

State agency’s financial reporting cited by state auditor

BY: - February 18, 2020

The Iowa Auditor of State has faulted Iowa Workforce Development for material weaknesses in its financial reporting. According to the auditor, IWD has developed a system to track the unemployment insurance contributions made by Iowa employers. That system generates information regarding delinquent accounts and money that that’s still owed to the state. But for the […]

Iowa grants license to psychiatrist with history of disciplinary actions

BY: - February 18, 2020

The Iowa Board of Medicine has granted a medical license to a psychiatrist accused of repeatedly violating standards of care in another state. The board has granted a license to Patrick Kin-Lee Chau, a 67-year-old physician who practices psychiatry in the state of Washington. At the same time, the Iowa board has issued Chau a […]

Lawmakers: Anti-discrimination housing ordinances threaten landlords’ rights

BY: - February 17, 2020

Iowa cities and counties would no longer be able to block discrimination against renters who are on public assistance under a bill advanced by a Senate subcommittee Monday.  Des Moines, Iowa City and Marion County have all passed ordinances that would be repealed under the legislation.  Senate Study Bill 3178 was backed by Greater Iowa […]

Bill would end Iowa school districts’ voluntary diversity plans

BY: - February 17, 2020

An Iowa law aimed at desegregating schools by restricting wealthier students from leaving low-income districts may be eliminated in favor of giving more school choice for families. Senate File 119 would eliminate “voluntary diversity” plans that five low-income districts use to restrict higher-earning families from enrolling out students. Schools that qualify for a diversity plan […]

Bill would outlaw trespassing at food production facilities

BY: - February 17, 2020

People who trespass at a food production operation would be guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor under a bill approved by an Iowa legislative subcommittee Monday.  At least one lobbyist attending the subcommittee wondered if Senate Study Bill 3171 was a third attempt by lawmakers to pass an “ag gag” rule to fight protesters who infiltrate […]

Senators advance $250K cap in medical malpractice cases

BY: - February 17, 2020

Representatives of Iowa’s medical community blamed soaring awards in medical malpractice cases for the erosion of health-care access in rural Iowa Monday. They were arguing for legislation to put a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in lawsuits that arise from medical errors. But lawyers who litigate medical malpractice cases say claims against insurance carriers are […]

Pattison Sand withdraws plan to export Iowa water

BY: - February 17, 2020

Pattison Sand Co. of Clayton has officially withdrawn its permit application to export Iowa water from Jordan wells to drought-stricken western states. The action came after the Iowa Department of Natural Resources announced it planned to deny the permit because the plan would not benefit Iowans or meet the state’s goal to conserve water. Pattison […]

Ombudsman: Natalie Finn’s death followed ‘a tragedy of errors’ by state agency

BY: - February 17, 2020

The death of teenager Natalie Finn followed a series of errors and missed opportunities within Iowa’s child-protection system, according to the state Office of Ombudsman. The office on Monday released a long-awaited, 160-page report detailing its investigation into the manner in which the Iowa Department of Human Services handled child-abuse reports pertaining to 16-year-old Natalie […]

How accountable are private groups that conduct public business?

BY: - February 17, 2020

A tiny, four-acre plot of land in western Iowa is at the center of a dispute that could have major implications for private organizations that perform basic governmental functions. Under Iowa law, private organizations that are paid by cities and counties to conduct the business of government are typically treated as public entities subject to […]

State Rep. Mark Smith is the new Iowa Democratic Party chairman

BY: - February 15, 2020

State Rep. Mark Smith of Marshalltown, elected Saturday as chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, said his first job would be to “restore the faith in the Iowa Democratic Party.” He said he would travel across the state to hear and address concerns by Iowa Democrats in the wake of harsh national criticism about the […]