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Iowa General Assembly

Longer Bus Rides Debated: “It’s Only Going to Get Worse”

On a vote of 30 to 20, the Iowa Senate passed a bill to allow longer bus rides for schoolchildren in large rural districts struggling with transportation costs. Under the bill, both elementary and secondary students could ride up to 75 minutes one way. Longer bus rides would be allowed if public hearings are held and parents are notified 30 days before a route is changed. Currently, younger children’s rides are limited to 60 minutes. Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Chariton) used the example of Green...

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With the 2018 Legislature now in session, stay up to date on the latest bills, activities, and news from the Iowa Statehouse here.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida on Feb. 14, President Trump is directing the Department of Justice to develop regulations to ban bump stocks.

"Just a few moments ago I signed a memorandum directing the AG to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized, Jeff, very soon," Trump said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

An outside legal review of NPR's handling of allegations against its former top news executive, Michael Oreskes, found that questions were raised about his behavior toward women even before he was hired. And concerns about misconduct were reportedly flagged throughout Oreskes' 2 1/2-year tenure at the network right up to the day he was fired.

Iowa General Assembly

On a vote of 30 to 20, the Iowa Senate passed a bill to allow longer bus rides for schoolchildren in large rural districts struggling with transportation costs.  

Under the bill, both elementary and secondary students could ride up to 75 minutes one way. 

Longer bus rides would be allowed if public hearings are held and parents are notified 30 days before a route is changed.

Currently, younger children’s rides are limited to 60 minutes.

The school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that took 17 lives followed one in rural western Kentucky by three weeks. The Kentucky shooter killed two high school sophomores and injured 18 other people.

In the wake of the tragedy at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky's Republican governor and legislature say they won't consider gun any control proposals. Rather, a measure allowing teachers or staff to carry guns on campus has gained traction.

Republican state Sen. Steve West admits his bill isn't going to stop all school shootings, but he hopes it'll help.

Botanist David Fairchild grew up in Kansas at the end of the 19th century. He loved plants, and he loved travel, and he found a way to combine both into a job for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Venezuela's downward economic spiral has led to widespread food shortages, hyperinflation and now mass migration. Many Venezuelans are opting for the easiest escape route — by crossing the land border into Colombia.

Food Bank of Iowa

One in eight Iowans struggle with hunger. One in six of those Iowans are children, according to the nonprofit organization Feeding Hunger. The Trump Administration has proposed replacing SNAP benefits with blue apron style food boxes, and calls for cutting food assistance for Iowans drastically in his proposed budget. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The 2018 Iowa legislative session is underway, and Iowa Public Radio is covering what's happening. Listen to our weekly podcast "Under the Golden Dome" and stay current on issues that impact you.

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