Ongoing Coverage:

Iowa legislature

Statehouse and Politics
9:59 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/29/13

Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon for an update on legislative news.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:29 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/22/13

Iowa's Capitol
John Pemble

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins 'Morning Edition' Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly conversation about legislative news.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:07 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/15/13

Iowa Statehouse
Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

IPR "Morning Edition" Host Sarah McCammon and Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell look ahead to the upcoming week in the Iowa Capitol.

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River to River
1:17 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Legislative Leaders and Radon

View of the Iowa Capitol 4-8-13
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Bills awaiting approval during the 2013 legislative session faced another funnel deadline last week.  Host Clay Masters talks with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Kraig Paulsen about the proposals still standing.  And, a plan to require schools to test for, and mitigate against, radon exposure stalled in a House subcommittee last week despite overwhelming support in the Iowa Senate.  We hear from Des Moines Senator Matt McCoy, Gail Orcutt a radon-induced lung cancer survivor and Gaylen Howsare from the Iowa Association of School Boards about the possibility of comprom

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River to River
4:33 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Commercial Property Tax Reform

The Iowa Capitol 4/1/13
Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

It's spring, at the Iowa Statehouse and lawmakers are turning attention to one of the big priorities of the session - reforming commercial property taxes.  Host Joyce Russell runs down the details of the competing plans, and talks with businesspeople, city leaders and taxpayers' rights representatives about how the differing bills would impact them, their businesses and their constituents.

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River to River
3:18 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Instructional Hours and Regents Nominees

A blanket of snow on the capitol lawn, one week after the beginning of Spring.
Credit John Pemble

There were some fireworks last week at the State Capitol as two of Governor Terry Branstad’s nominees to serve on the Iowa Board of Regents came before the Senate Education Committee.  Host Clay Masters talks with Senator Herman Quirmbach, Chair of the Senate Education Committee about lawmakers’ concerns.  And a discussion of whether the time students spend in school should be counted in days or hours.  A proposal making its way through the legislature would count instructional time in hours.

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River to River
2:09 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Quality Healthcare & Workforce Development

Iowa Capitol
John Pemble / IPR

Every Iowan should be able to get quality healthcare and find a job, but getting there is the battle. Today on River to River, Governor Branstad and the Democratic controlled Iowa Senate are sparring over how best to insure Iowans. We talk with the Governor’s top healthcare policy advisor about the governor’s recently unveiled Healthy Iowa plan. In the second half we talk with an economist about job creation in Iowa and hear from a Republican and Democratic lawmaker on bills that could create more jobs.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:51 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Lawmakers Dispute Tax Return Question

As Iowans are  filing their state income tax returns, there’s a controversy at the statehouse over one of the questions on the tax form.       The question  aims to locate working Iowans who may be eligible for subsidized health insurance for their children.   Some  Republicans in the Iowa House say that  goes beyond what the government needs to know when you file your taxes.

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River to River
2:23 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Juvenile Sentencing

Paul "710928003" / flickr

Bills making their way through the legislative process would set sentencing options for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder.  The debate comes after a U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled juvenile offenders can not be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.  But, how much time is enough?  40, 50 or even 60 years?  Today on River to River, we talk about the legislation and how the courts have ruled on the treatment of juvenile offenders.

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Politics
7:04 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Legislative Preview: 03/11/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins IPR "Morning Edition" Host Sarah McCammon for a preview of this week's Iowa legislative news.

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River to River
3:38 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Water Quality and River and Lake Restoration

Storm Lake, IA
Denise Krebs / flickr

Many of Iowa's rivers and lakes are unable to support recreation and fishing and are in need of restoration. Governor Branstad's proposed budget cuts funding for restoration projects. Today on River to River, we talk with the Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, as well as people in communities impacted by the cuts.

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Politics
6:59 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Legislative Preview: 03/04/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss the latest news from the Iowa Statehouse.

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Politics
6:58 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Property Tax and the Democrats

Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Democrats in the Iowa Senate and Governor Branstad’s office are exchanging barbs  as the two sides promote competing plans to reduce commercial and industrial property taxes.  Both sides agree the taxes are disproportionately  high, but the rhetoric Monday made compromise look elusive. 

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Politics
7:23 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/25/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly preview of Iowa legislative politics.

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Politics
6:44 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/18/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell for a look at the week ahead at the Iowa Legislature.

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Politics
9:50 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Lawmaker Pushes to Keep Gun Permits Private

Credit Flickr Creative Commons

The names of Iowans who obtain permits to carry a weapon would not be public record under a proposal introduced to a committee in the Iowa House.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Matt Windschitl (R - Missouri Valley), is a leading gun rights advocate. He sees keeping private the names of Iowans who get permits to carry or acquire weapons as a matter of public safety.

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Politics
8:06 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Legislative Preview: 02/04/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Morning Edition  Host Sarah McCammon for a look at the upcoming week in Iowa legislative politics.

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Teacher Evaluations
11:25 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Teacher Evaluations Under Fire

Whether student performance should be considered  when teachers are evaluated has once again become a divisive issue at the statehouse.    The Department of Education proposes scrapping Iowa’s current teacher evaluation standards, and writing new ones to satisfy the federal government.   Otherwise, they say, Iowa will remain under the demanding requirements of federal education law.

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River to River
1:07 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Education Reform from the Statehouse

Iowa's Capitol
John Pemble

Education reform is front and center at the statehouse. Iowa Public Radio's statehouse correspondent, Joyce Russell, talks with Governor Terry Branstad's Special Assistant on Education, Linda Fandel, in the first half of this session of River to River about the governor's plans for Iowa's schools this year.

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Politics
6:43 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/28/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR


IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Education
7:44 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Iowa's Education Department Seeks Funding for Online Classes

The Iowa Department of Education is seeking state funding to expand on-line education for high school students. The Department is now operating what’s called “Iowa Learning Online” with federal funding that’s expiring.

State Education Director Jason Glass says the program is serving students who aren’t doing well in traditional classrooms.

“We have students that are bullied. We have students that are medically fragile. We have students that need to be home for any number of reasons, “ Glass says. “Those are the kind of students we want to make this an option for.”

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River to River
1:14 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Marijuana's Legal Status in Iowa

Wild marijuana plant, Tadapani
Dey / Flickr account

After this year’s November election, where voters in Colorado and Washington voted to make marijuana legal for recreational use, people in Iowa are proposing similar legislation.Two bills will be proposed in the Iowa legislature, one on making medical marijuana legal in the state, and one decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of the substance.

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Education
8:45 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

New Tests for New Teachers

Starting next year, graduates  of Iowa’s teacher preparation programs will be required to pass exams with a minimum score in order to get a license to teach.   Iowa is one of the last  holdouts in the country in not requiring  testing of new teachers.  But at a statehouse committee meeting  today  there were complaints that this year’s graduating seniors  didn’t get enough advance warning.   

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Politics
4:10 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Republicans Regroup

Republicans in the Iowa House re-elected their top leadership in a closed-door meeting  at the statehouse.     They’ll return to the capitol on January 14th with a far slimmer majority following the 2012

elections.

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Education
3:15 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Iowa Educators Could See Pay Increase

Iowa Department of Education

Iowa teachers would see their base pay bump if new recommendations from an education task force are put into place. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

River to River
1:06 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Retiring from the Statehouse

At a time in our politics when every debate seems to be dominated by rancor and partisanship… retiring Representative Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield got up on the floor of the Iowa House last month and proclaimed his love for his colleagues, their staffs and the political system.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rep. Swaim and Representative Lance Horbach as they prepare to leave lawmaking behind.  He also speaks to Mike Glover, who recently retired as Senior Legislative and Political Correspondent for the Associated Press in Des Moines, about his long career covering Iowa politics.

River to River
1:06 pm
Mon April 30, 2012

Author Erik Larson and Statehouse Update

History offers the benefit of hindsight. But New York Times Bestselling author Erik Larson tries to transport readers back in time, before the outcome of events was known.  In his latest book, In the Garden of Beasts he takes us to pre-war Berlin with the family of the first U.S. Ambassador to Nazi Germany, William E. Dodd.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with him about narrative non-fiction in advance of a visit to Des Moines.  And Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell tells us how close Iowa lawmakers may be to adjournment.

River to River
1:13 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Legislative Monday: Funding for Higher Education / Government Transparency

Funding for Iowa’s public universities is still up for debate at the statehouse. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we discuss a multi-million dollar budget gap between what Senate Democrats and House Republicans have proposed for higher education. Later in the conversation we’ll talk about government transparency and about the pros and cons of a longtime effort to create an Iowa Public Information Board.

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