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Under the Golden Dome
23 minutes | 7 days ago
Election Changes and School Boards
A controversial bill proposes changing Iowa’s election laws and increasing penalties. It receives a public hearing, then two days later it passes in the House and Senate. Also, a bill from a Senate Education subcommittee advances that would make it easier for superintendents and school board members to be removed if they willfully violate Iowa laws concerning Iowa schools.
24 minutes | 14 days ago
Fuels and Elections
A bill about fuel would require gas stations to greatly expand renewable fuel pumps for gasoline and diesel. Opponents of the bill mostly say they aren’t against biofuels but implementing the quantity of these pumps especially in rural areas isn’t feasible. A 58-section bill changing election laws and penalties fast tracks through Senate and House committees.
24 minutes | 21 days ago
Education Appropriations & Appropriateness
The Senate and House pass an increase of 2.4% funding of state supplemental aid for K-12 public schools. The House Education subcommittee advances a bill that would remove some funding from a school that uses material from The 1619 Project and the Senate Education subcommittee advances a bill about gender identity and bathroom use.
18 minutes | a month ago
Asking for Funds
The three state universities are asking for $26 million more for the next fiscal year. A House subcommittee advances a bill that would not allow public or private colleges to implement a mask or social distancing rule for students and employees when they are off-campus. And the governor’s broadband bill is discussed in a Senate subcommittee.
28 minutes | a month ago
Vaccine Supply and Demand
States decide how to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines. In Iowa, there are two phases that involve nearly one million Iowans. The will be around 50,000 doses per week in February. While it’s expected to increase, it will be awhile until the supply begins to meet the demand.
20 minutes | a month ago
The Iowa House and Senate committees and subcommittees are available to the public using video conference systems but both have different rules. There are also changes to the House rules for this new Iowa General Assembly, but those changes do not include amendments from Democrats that would require masks to be worn at the Capitol.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
The Conditions Of The 2021 Legislative Session
As the 89th Iowa General Assembly begins, House Republicans have more seats from the November election and the party maintains a majority status in the Senate. With a Republican governor, this is the fifth year for the party’s trifecta. As is common in a session’s first week, leaders lay out their goals including the governor as she delivers her Condition of the State.
34 minutes | 9 months ago
During the last week of the 2020 legislative session a series of changes about absentee voting passes in the Senate, but the House changes the bill dramatically. A proposal titled "More Perfect Union" is drafted and passes unanimously in both chambers during one afternoon. And in the last 24 hours of the session a newly-introduced abortion restriction amendment passes. Also, the budget is amended with a new requirement about how county auditors must contact voters when there is incorrect voter identification information on absentee ballot request forms.
29 minutes | 9 months ago
Resuming Session Amid Pandemic And Protests
While the session was suspended for 12 weeks, 564 Iowans died from COVID-19 complications. Before returning, the legislative council met to discuss how to come back to the Capitol with new health and safety measures. The Revenue Estimating Conference also met to provide the legislature with a new number on which to base the FY 2021 budget. A legislative proposal, “More Perfect Union” is aimed at preventing violent conflicts between law enforcement and Iowa residents. And a constitutional amendment to restore the voting rights of felons moves forward in the Senate.
10 minutes | a year ago
With the coronavirus reaching community spread, Gov. Kim Reynolds and legislative leaders are suspending the 2020 legislative session. In order to do this, first the House and Senate must meet to pass some spending measures and a resolution. In this podcast episode, we bring you the final day of the session before they pause for 30 days.
25 minutes | a year ago
Estimates - Coronavirus Impact - Expanding Cannabidiol Act
The Revenue Estimating Conference meets to share a forecast of how much revenue the state will take in. For Fiscal Year 2020, things are on track from previous estimates, but FY 2021 is revised downward a bit over concerns about coronavirus. As of Thursday March 12, legislative leaders and the governor have not called to pause the session or restrict public access to the Capitol over coronavirus concerns. The 2017 Cannabidiol Act is revised this year in the House. The same was attempted last year, but the governor vetoed the bill. This year’s proposal has the THC at a lesser potency than last year’s bill. A bill passes the House that would require more information for asbestos lawsuits, including a complete work history.
29 minutes | a year ago
Three weeks ago the Senate and House passed different funding levels for K-12 public education. This week the chambers announced a compromise and now schools know where to set the budgets they will be submitting in April. A bill to help citizens of Puerto Rico move to Iowa for jobs passes a subcommittee, but with a much lower level of funding that originally proposed. Another House subcommittee moves forward a bill that passed in the Senate last year changing language and penalties in Iowa’s code concerning the termination of a pregnancy without the mother's consent. And the Senate passes a bill that puts additional requirements on a proposed constitutional amendment restoring a felon’s right to vote.
30 minutes | a year ago
Glass Pipe Tax - Confirmation - Income Verification - Abortion Testimony
The governor appoints hundreds of people to positions requiring Senate confirmation. This week some of the individuals making it through the required two-thirds majority vote are Department of Natural Resources director Kayla Lyon and Department of Human Services director Kelly Kennedy Garcia. The Senate takes up a bill requiring a third-party vendor to verify the income of a person on a public assistance program. And the House holds a public hearing on a controversial constitutional amendment stating the state constitution does not guarantee access to abortion services.
27 minutes | a year ago
Religion - Vaccination - Redemption
During funnel week, dozens of bills come before subcommittees hoping to make it past the committee level to stay in play for the rest of the session. One bill that would add clarity about “bona fide religious purpose” to Iowa Civil Rights Act of 1965 doesn't make it. Legislators say the language is too broad for it to advance. A bill requiring vaccination information to be on a child's death certificate passes a committee and is eligible for floor detate. And two bills about Iowa’s 41-year-old can and bottle redemption program come before subcommittees. One that would repeal the program does not make it past the funnel, but another that increases how much redemption centers receive does.
26 minutes | a year ago
Education: Spending, Parental Notification, Athlete Compensation
One of the first legislative debates of the year is over school state aid. Forty-three percent of the state’s budget goes to K-12 public education. This year the Senate and House are at odds over how much to increase funding. A bill in the House Education subcommittee has advanced that would require K-12 schools to notify parents if sexual orientation or gender identity are part of curriculum or school instruction of any kind. Parents would have the option of excusing the student from participating. And compensating college athletes for the use of their likeness would no longer be prohibited under a bill from a Senate subcommitte
19 minutes | a year ago
Tax Department Upgrade, Driving & Phones, Expanding Veterans Treatment Courts
Directors of state agencies visit appropriations subcommittees to explain their department goals, budget needs, and to answer legislators questions. The Iowa Department of Revenue director Craig Paulsen and deputy director Mory Mosiman speak about IT upgrades and improvements made in their taxpayer call center. A House subcommittee passes a bill that would fine drivers for using electronic communication devices. In the Senate, a subcommittee advances a bill expanding veterans drug treatment courts.
18 minutes | a year ago
Current law does not allow barbers in Iowa to cut hair in a mobile facility, but a bill is gaining support to change that as a Waterloo barber visits the Capitol to convince lawmakers.
17 minutes | a year ago
A Changing Judiciary
Last year a law changed how justices make their way to the bench. Senate Republicans supported the change because they claim some court rulings are examples of “judicial activism.” Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins says the job of the court is to make sure laws don’t violate the constitution. This year, Senate Republicans are trying to pass a state constitutional amendment in response to a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling about abortion access. This is also happening at a time when the governor will be appointing two new justices to the high court in 2020.
26 minutes | a year ago
Restarting The 88th Iowa General Assembly
The Iowa General Assembly lasts two years. As legislators pick up where they left off in 2019, we hear priorities from both parties and Gov. Kim Reynolds lays out her budget and policy proposals in the Condition of the State. The first week of this session also has new leadership roles for the majority party in the House of Representatives.
43 minutes | 2 years ago
Under the Golden Dome: End Game
This is the last week for the 2019 Iowa Legislative Session. It was scheduled for 110 days,but ended a bit early on day 104.
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