State pledges $1 million for added local election security

BY: - March 13, 2020

State cybersecurity workers plan to scan all Iowa counties’ websites and internal systems before the election, and will offer $1 million statewide to help pay for upgrades, Secretary of State Paul Pate announced. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the office of the chief information officer will conduct the scans. “We built a very […]

LGBT students escorted out of the Capitol after complaint of transgender kids in restroom

BY: - March 12, 2020

Over 150 LGBT students were escorted out of the Iowa Capitol on Thursday after a group of transgender kids refused to leave the men’s restroom and use gender-neutral bathrooms instead, according to Iowa Safe Schools, an LGBT student advocacy group. Middle- and high-school students draped in rainbow flags toured the Capitol in the morning as […]

Iowa adds two new positive COVID-19 cases for a total of 16

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa has two more positive cases of COVID-19, both linked to the same Egyptian cruise that is responsible for most of the positive cases in the state. The new positive cases bring the total number to 16 in Iowa.  Both are adults between the ages of 61 and 80; one is from Johnson County and […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Iowa Judicial Branch sets rules for coronavirus response

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen has issued an order governing how the courts will operate amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus that’s currently spreading in the United States and in many countries around the world. “Preparation is key to minimizing coronavirus/COVID-19 impact on the services the judicial branch provides Iowans,” […]

Coronavirus ‘social distancing’ raises concerns about Iowa’s blood supply

BY: - March 12, 2020

Canceling university classes and other “social distancing” measures aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 could have an unintended public health consequence: reducing the state’s and nation’s blood supply. Stacy Sime, president and CEO of Lifeserve Blood Center, said as of Wednesday, nine blood drives had been canceled, reducing collections by about 275 units of […]

Controversial housing voucher legislation advances

BY: - March 12, 2020

A controversial bill intended to block Iowa local governments from banning housing discrimination against people with rental vouchers advanced in the Iowa House Thursday.  The bill, Senate File 2368, already passed the Senate. It next will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee. The subcommittee was chaired by Rep. Brian Lohse, R-Bondurant. Lohse said he […]

State revenue estimates hold steady; officials say impact of COVID-19 is uncertain

BY: - March 12, 2020

Citing the lack of hard evidence that state revenues will be affected by the early stages of COVID-19, Iowa’s three-member Revenue Estimating Conference kept its projections largely the same for the current budget year and next year. “The sky is not falling.  It’s a little cloudier than usual but Iowa has a stable, albeit slowly […]

Bill would extend time for public information and open meetings complaints

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowans would have more time to file a complaint with the Iowa Public Information Board under a bill approved by a Senate committee Thursday.  House File 2416 would give people 90 days after the violation of the state’s open records or open meetings laws to file a complaint. The current deadline is 60 days.  The […]

Report: Trails provide a $1 billion boost to Iowa

BY: - March 12, 2020

Dozens of trail supporters rallied on the steps of the Iowa Capitol Thursday, noting that recreation and transportation related to the paths is a $1 billion economic boost for Iowa, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy reported. The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation helped organize the rally with the conservancy, and attendees were there largely to support Gov. Kim Reynolds’ […]

Gov. Kim Reynolds names new Department of Education director

BY: - March 12, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Ann Lebo, the executive director of the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, will serve as the new head of the Department of Education, according to a news release. “Ann will be an important partner in preparing our students for the challenges of the 21st century,” Reynolds said in a statement. […]

A sweet buzz in the Senate

BY: - March 11, 2020

On the birthday of Sen. Nate Boulton’s beekeeping wife, the Iowa Senate voted 46-0 to declare the honey bee the official state insect. So, dear Iowans, the humble honey bee has reached a level of fame that the simple butterfly couldn’t reach in another session. And a similar effort to declare the catfish the state […]

Iowa governor continues push for water quality, mental health action this year

BY: - March 11, 2020

Iowans are demanding action now on a 10-year-old proposal to use a new sales tax to pay for conservation, water quality, trails and public land, an aide to Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday.  The governor will extend her string of nearly a dozen town halls about that proposal and other parts of the Invest in […]