Industry report: Municipal utilities a $1 billion business

BY: - January 29, 2020

Iowa’s municipal utilities boost Iowa’s gross regional product by $1 billion a year, according to a study released Wednesday by the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities.  Other key findings include: The utilities serve 69% of Iowans. An estimated 3,274 people work for the utilities, which support another 5,000 jobs indirectly.  Combined assets of the utilities […]

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 […]

Feel wrongly graded because of politics? Some GOP senators want to change that.

BY: - January 28, 2020

Students who feel wrongly graded for an assignment by a college professor or a high school teacher because of the instructor’s political beliefs could get the chance to appeal their grade through a new bill in the Iowa Legislature. Senate File 2057 creates an appeals process for both college and high school students who feel […]

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 […]

A woman holds a baby while working at a laptop.

Congress is talking about paid family leave. Will they do anything? 

BY: - January 28, 2020

WASHINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Congress seem to agree on expanding access to paid family leave.  But they disagree on how to do it.  U.S. House lawmakers debated three bills on Capitol Hill this week that would take dramatically different approaches to expanding access to paid leave, with Democrats and Republicans deeply divided on […]

Redhead teenage male bullying mixed race teenage boy in the corridor at school.

Bill would give teachers more protections if they physically restrain students

BY: - January 28, 2020

Iowa teachers are not only overwhelmed by the amount of violence and disruptions they’re facing in classrooms by students, but they’re also afraid of the financial and workplace repercussions if they respond to it, said state Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton. After speaking with educators and parents across the state amid growing media reports about violence […]

Natural resources panel eyes water quality, parks, dams

BY: - January 28, 2020

The Iowa Natural Resource Commission is pushing a major new conservation and recreation plan and continued support for existing programs, as Iowa celebrates the centennial of the state park system.  The governor-appointed panel is calling for:   — Approval of a sales tax increase to fund the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. That […]

Lawmaker: ‘KKK’ or ‘Nazi’ flag could fly after transgender flag allowed

BY: - January 27, 2020

The Iowa Senate is considering a bill that limits the flags that are allowed to fly at the state’s public buildings and schools to three options: The U.S., Iowa and Prisoner of War flags. Legislators brought up the bill after a flag representing the transgender community was flown at the Iowa Capitol last year on […]

Iowa’s major medical groups continue to oppose state licensing for midwives

BY: - January 27, 2020

Hayli Netterlund’s first home birth went well. The 27-year-old mom from Reinbeck wanted to use a midwife, rather than go to a hospital to give birth, after she saw the U.S. ranking when it came to maternal mortality, which has increased substantially, according to the Center for Disease Control. Death rates have grown in the […]

Proposed bill requires lights on bikes, not the riders

BY: - January 27, 2020

Bicycle riders would need lights on the front and rear of their bikes at night and in inclement weather under legislation approved by the Senate Transportation Committee on Monday. The committee sent several bills to the full Senate Monday, including a constituent’s bicycle safety bill, Senate File 51, that prompted a brief discussion of safe […]

Panelists: Renewable energy could be an economic boon to rural Iowa

BY: - January 27, 2020

Renewable energy promises to be a powerful economic development tool for rural Iowa, an American Wind Energy Association-sponsored panel of renewable energy supporters said Monday at Drake University. It only took panelists a few moments to cast aside President Trump’s widely discredited claim that wind turbines cause cancer and to suggest that bird-kill concerns are […]