American Rescue Plan

A beacon of hope: Iowa entertainment venues wait for federal funding to hit

BY: - July 3, 2021

Two months after applications opened for federal pandemic assistance, Iowa venues continue to wait for federal money to keep their businesses afloat.  The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or SVOG, program, will allocate $16 billion to venues across the country as part the federal pandemic aid approved earlier this year.   Robert Warren, executive director of Hoyt […]

Iowa schools to use $774.5M in federal aid to improve literacy, achievement gaps

BY: - June 14, 2021

Iowa state education officials laid out plans for spending $774.5 million in federal aid from the American Rescue Plan, including efforts to address a drop in student literacy.  The pandemic-related aid is aimed at elementary and secondary schools, part of a $122 billion effort nationwide.  Iowa and other states got access to two-thirds of their […]

Homeless students slipping through the cracks during the pandemic, congressional panel told

BY: - May 20, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal relief aid can help bridge educational gaps among children who are homeless and in foster care during the pandemic, members of Congress heard this week. “While housing is critical, housing alone does not close the educational gap faced by students who have experienced homelessness,” Jennifer Erb-Downward, a senior research associate at Poverty […]

More than $350B in federal recovery cash starts rolling out to states, cities, counties

BY: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced Monday. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted earlier this […]

Biden calls for sweeping ‘once-in-a-generation investment’ to reshape the nation

BY: - April 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same House chamber where a violent mob temporarily disrupted the certification of his victory, President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded the country as “on the move again” as he sketched out his expansive vision for a post-pandemic America. Biden, in his first address to a joint session of Congress, touted quick […]

COMMENTARY

America gets a D+ for school infrastructure – but federal COVID relief could pay for many repairs

BY: - April 3, 2021

Many kids are attending public schools this spring with the use of COVID-19 safety protocols, including more desk spacing, more frequent cleaning and mandates to wear masks. But far too many of the school buildings themselves remain dilapidated, toxic and in desperate need of structural improvements. On average, U.S. public schools are more than 50 […]

A voter asked Biden to cancel student debt. She’s not giving up.

BY: - April 1, 2021

WASHINGTON — Joycelyn Fish drove through several feet of snow that blanketed Wisconsin one February night so she could get to a nationally televised town hall and question President Joe Biden about the crush of student debt. The blunt reply she got from Biden — that he wouldn’t take action to eliminate $50,000 in debt […]

Legislative leaders still uncertain about effect of tax-cut plans on federal COVID relief

BY: - March 25, 2021

Iowa lawmakers may have to decide whether to proceed with plans for tax cuts before knowing for sure if the action could jeopardize federal coronavirus relief dollars, House Speaker Pat Grassley said Thursday. Grassley, speaking with reporters before a Senate committee meeting, said the status of any tax cuts remains uncertain because of restrictions in […]

Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff to visit Iowa

BY: - March 19, 2021

Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will visit Iowa on Monday, the White House announced Friday. Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, is scheduled to join U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack for an event in Des Moines. Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, was confirmed last month for his second tenure as head of the […]

GOP attorneys general slam tax cut ban in stimulus law as ‘unprecedented and unconstitutional’

BY: - March 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republican attorneys general from 21 states are attacking the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief law as an “unprecedented and unconstitutional infringement” on state sovereignty because it restricts tax cuts by states. The attorneys general in a letter to the Treasury Department threatened to take action against the Biden administration over the law’s tax cut provision. The group […]

States question whether new federal stimulus law rules out tax cuts

BY: - March 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s massive pandemic stimulus law pumps a welcome infusion of federal aid into state and local government coffers — but one brief section is raising questions about whether states are barred from cutting their own taxes if they accept the federal help. The Senate added language to the COVID-19 relief package prohibiting […]

Iowa House speaker: Federal coronavirus aid may stymie Iowa tax cuts

BY: - March 11, 2021

Iowa Republican lawmakers’ plans to cut taxes this year may be stymied by language in the new federal coronavirus relief package. House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said Thursday the federal aid might prevent Iowa and other states from cutting taxes this year. Iowa is expected to receive an estimated $2.7 billion from the American […]