Statehouse and Politics

Statehouse and Politics
9:13 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Petroleum Interests Divided Over Ethanol

A fight is underway at the statehouse between petroleum marketers and petroleum refiners, and ethanol is in the middle of it.   An upcoming change  will result in a lot more blending  of biofuels for sale at the pump.      The fight is over who gets to do the blending, and there’s money at stake.   

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Statehouse and Politics
8:30 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Legislative Preview: 05/06/13

Iowa's Capitol
Photo by John Pemble

As Iowa lawmakers go into overtime, IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss what's left to hash out at the statehouse.

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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
11:11 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Debate on Expanding Medicaid in Iowa Continues

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Democratic-controlled Iowa Senate wants to expand Medicaid in the state. Republican Governor Terry Branstad does NOT and has introduced his own plan. Medicaid is the joint federal-state healthcare program for low-income people. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports the Republican-controlled House held a public hearing on the Senate’s expansion bill Tuesday night.

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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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Statehouse and Politics
6:54 am
Mon April 1, 2013

A new frontier in genetically engineered food

The Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to approve AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon for the U.S. market.
Credit Courtesy Barrett & MacKay Photography Inc.

Kevin Wells has been genetically engineering animals for 24 years.

“It’s sort of like a jigsaw puzzle,” said Wells recently as he walked through his lab at the University of Missouri - Columbia. “You take DNA apart and put it back together in different orders, different orientations.”

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Statehouse and Politics
6:11 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/01/13

Photo by John Pemble

IPR's Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon for an update on news from the Iowa General Assembly. 

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Statehouse and Politics
6:11 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Jobs Bill Advances at Statehouse

Credit John Pemble / IPR

It looks like smooth sailing for a bill at the statehouse to let Iowa’s  job creation experts hand out more tax credits to potential employers.    Officials say the current cap on credits isn’t enough to meet the demand, as more companies are looking to expand.    But not everyone agrees with  a plan to make sure the employers  come through with the jobs they promise.  

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Statehouse and Politics
12:04 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Senate Passes Medicaid Expansion in Iowa

Sen Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) introduces bill to expand Medicaid in the state before the full Senate on Monday March 25, 2013.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Republican and Democratic Senators clashed over a bill that would expand Medicaid in the Iowa. That’s the joint federal-state program that provides healthcare for low-income people. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that under the Affordable Care Act… sometimes called Obamacare... it’s optional for states to expand Medicaid. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, the senate passed the bill along party lines.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:17 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Legislative Preview: 03/25/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell on legislative news.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:32 am
Wed March 20, 2013

New Board of Regents Appointee Draws Controversy

The Board of Regents Governs Iowa's State Universities.

 

Two new candidates went to the Capitol for job interviews yesterday--  as new appointees to the Board of Regents, which governs Iowa's public Universities. Iowa Public Radio’s Sandhya Dirks reports one of those candidates—Robert Cramer—provoked a lot of controversy for his conservative views. 

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Statehouse and Politics
6:08 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Legislative Preview: 03/18/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

IPR's Joyce Russell and Sarah McCammon check in on news from the Iowa Statehouse.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:10 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Senate Democrats Unveil Plan to Expand Medicaid with Opt-Out Option

Flanked by Senator Jack Hatch (left D-Des Moines) Senate Majority leader Mike Gronstal (right D-Council Bluffs) talks with reporters about the Democrats' Medicaid expansion plan on March 14, 2013.
Credit Clay Masters / IPR

Democrats in the Iowa senate say they’re extending an olive branch to Republican Governor Terry Branstad regarding their proposal to expand Medicaid in the state. The governor is opposed to expanding the joint federal state healthcare program for the poor mainly because he doesn’t believe the feds can continue to pay for it. Democrats are offering an opt-out provision in case federal funding levels would change.

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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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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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Statehouse
9:04 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Bill Advances for Dreamer Tuition

Credit flickr

  A Democrat-dominated panel in the Iowa Senate has  signed off on a bill to give certain young immigrants a break if they want to attend an Iowa  community college or Regents University.    The bill would mandate  in-state tuition for so-called dreamers, young people who were brought to the United States as children by undocumented parents, and who have attended Iowa primary and secondary schools.   In the meantime,  the Regents  universities say at least some dreamers are already claiming  status as Iowa residents.

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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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Statehouse
9:21 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Environmentalists Seek More Inspectors

It was  Environmental Lobby Day at the statehouse.   The Iowa Environmental Council is  pushing for more  inspectors to make sure Iowa’s large animal confinement facilities are following clean water rules.    At the same time the  Iowa Department of Natural Resources is locked in a battle with the federal environmental protection agency over how much inspection is enough.

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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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Statehouse
4:54 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Starts Moving in the Senate

Senators Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines) and Pam Jochum (D-Dubuque) advanced a bill out of subcomittee to expand Medicaid in Iowa.
Clay Masters IPR

A plan to add 150,000 Iowans to Medicaid, the joint federal-state healthcare program for the poor is advanced today in the Democratic-controlled Senate. That comes the day before Republican Governor Terry Branstad meets with President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services to talk about healthcare options. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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Statehouse
5:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Reining in the Regents

Sen. Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) talks with IPR's Clay Masters on "River to River" February 11, 2013. Danielson is the sponsor of the bill that intends to make the Iowa Board of Regents more accountable.
John Pemble IPR

A bill intended to rein in the power of members of the Iowa Board of Regents drew various degrees of support from Iowans Wednesday at the statehouse. The proposal follows controversy over Regent Bruce Rastetter. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.

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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
6:29 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Democrats Answer Back on Commercial Property Taxes

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Democrats in the Iowa Senate are upping the ante for property tax cuts, but agreement with Republicans still appears elusive.   Both parties say commercial property tax relief is a high priority this year.

There’s consensus that commercial property taxes are disproportionately high.   The latest Democratic plan, again  helps small main street  businesses  more than large out of state corporations.  

Des Moines Democrat Matt McCoy says a business in his own family   is a good example:

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Politics
10:41 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Ethics Complaint Against Iowa Sen. Sorenson Dismissed, At Least For Now

Iowa State Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Milo)
Credit Facebook

An Iowa Senate committee has dismissed an ethics complaint for now against State Sen. Kent Sorenson (R-Milo), who was accused of taking money from Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) presidential campaign.

Sorenson was the state chairman of Bachmann’s campaign in Iowa.  State Sen. Sandra Greiner (R-Washington) says the committee needs more information. 

“We cannot cite anybody for an ethics violation unless we have clear cut proof. So it’s on the complainant’s shoulders to provide us with the proof," Greiner says. "Sen. Sorenson is innocent until proven guilty.”

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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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Medicaid Expansion Spat
4:36 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Politics Charged over Medicaid Expansion

Tempers flared at the statehouse over whether Iowa should extend government health care to more low-income families.  Governor Branstad  and some  Democrats are at odds over whether to expand Medicaid as part of the federal health care program known as Obamacare.  But a key  Republican lawmaker says Democrats are politicizing the issue.

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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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Politics
8:06 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Former Romney Advisor Says GOP Should Accept Same-Sex Marriage

Some high-profile Republicans are saying it’s time to “let go” of one battle in the culture wars — the fight against same-sex marriage.

David Kochel was an advisor to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. Kochel says he wants to begin a conversation about changing the Republican Party’s idea of family values.

“I like to think of it as my Republican values, and my conservative values—being pro-marriage, pro-family, and believing in intact families as the best place to give children a hope for the future,” he says.

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