Iowa legislature

John Pemble

A large majority of Iowa households have broadband access, but less than half of Iowans have access to speeds at 50 Mbps or greater. This creates disparity among certain demographics and can be exceedingly expensive for the increasing number of people who work online from home. Two proposals, from Governor Branstad and the Iowa Senate, aim to lower these gaps and provide affordable broadband access to all Iowans. Today on River to River, host Clay Masters sits down with representatives to...

John Pemble / IPR

The state cost per student in Iowa’s K-12 public schools is over six thousand dollars per year - increasing steadily over the past couple decades. The Iowa legislature is supposed to set the amount of state aid for K-12 school budgets more than a year in advance. Schools say they need the budget in advance so they can plan teacher salaries, but republican law makers are hesitant to plan the budget too far ahead. Today, host Clay Masters talks with Iowa City’s superintendent to find out how...

The All-Nite Images

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin has introduced federal legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10/hour. That proposal has also sparked discussion at the state level. Iowa legislative leaders in the democratically-controlled Iowa Senate have identified a minimum wage increase as a priority this session. Host Clay Masters talk with David Cooper, Economic Analyst for the Economic Policy Institute about how Iowa's minimum wage compares with other states, and a report that outlines how many Iowans...

Hubble Heritage

Today we bring you four stories. First, the Iowa legislative session kicks off this week. IPR's Joyce Russell brings us inside the statehouse to give us an idea of what will and won't be worked on this year. An otherwise healthy young boy died from the influenza virus. Patricia Quinlisk talks to host Ben Kieffer about why this flu season is different than previous years and how to limit spread of the virus. In the second half of the program, Wartburg physics and astronomy Professor Charles...

John Pemble/IPR file photo

Governor Terry Branstad outlined legislative and spending priorities in his annual Condition of the State address in the House chamber at the Iowa State Capitol. He is proposing measures to attract veterans, prevent bullying and expand broadband access in the state. Host Charity Nebbe talked with Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa, IPR's Clay Masters and listeners about what was and was not included in the speech.

John Pemble / IPR

Host Clay Masters sits down with legislative leaders on opening day of the 2014 session, to discuss priorities. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, leads the only democratically-controlled chamber in Iowa's divided state government. Representative Linda Upmeyer is Majority Leader in the republican-controlled House. Each said lawmakers are not likely to tackle major issues this session, but also left open the possibility of taking up some big ideas. We've listed those ideas below. Senate...

Washington State Deptartment of Transportation

This program includes hearing from one Iowa community that has incorporated new roundabouts aimed at easing traffic flow, and state lawmakers talk about what projects might be in store for the state, and how they might want to fund those projects. A House Republican and a Senate Democrat find agreement on one aspect of the issue: the gas tax.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Lawmakers from both political parties are calling the 2013 legislative session successful. They were able to find compromise on three big issues: education reform, commercial property tax relief, and expanding health insurance coverage. Host Clay Masters talks about the deals with Republic an House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. Then, Statehouse reporters discuss how unusual political compromise is in the current climate.

Photo by John Pemble

Iowa lawmakers are returning to Des Moines for a third week of overtime. The session was scheduled to wrap up May 3, but legislators continue to negotiate education reform, property taxes, Medicaid expansion, and other key issues.

John Pemble / IPR

Lawmakers at the Statehouse have received their final payments, pages and interns have left for summer, but the legislative session continues into May. It’s legislative day today on River to River. Host Clay Masters discusses two bills still up for discussion: a state online sales tax bill and a bill requiring DNA testing for certain convictions. Masters also takes a look at the day-to-day in the capitol, by talking with statehouse employees that work alongside Iowa’s representatives.

Photo by John Pemble

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Under an agreement with the EPA, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have to inspect 1,600 livestock facilities each year, for the next five years. Debate at the Iowa Statehouse is centering around how many inspectors are needed to do the job. Then, Iowa was one of the first states to approve a graduated driver's license system for teens. Since then, the state has dropped to 49th in rankings of teen driving safety. A new Iowa law puts more restrictions on the youngest and most...

John Pemble / IPR

Friday is the last day lawmakers are scheduled to be at the Iowa Statehouse, but adjournment seems unlikely. Host Ben Kieffer talks about the issues and the sticking points dragging out the 2013 session with Chris Larimer, University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, University of Iowa. They also discuss the President's renewed push to close the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay and the likely Republican candidates for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin's seat.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

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

Legislative Preview: 04/22/13

Apr 22, 2013
John Pemble

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

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.

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...

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.

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.

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...

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.

Juvenile Sentencing

Mar 11, 2013
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.

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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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.

John Pemble / IPR

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

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.

John Pemble / IPR

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

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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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. "We need to make sure that we’re protecting the identities of those who choose to get a permit to acquire or carry a weapon, but also...

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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