Statehouse and Politics http://iowapublicradio.org en Bradstad Defends Stance on Immigrant Children http://iowapublicradio.org/post/bradstad-defends-stance-immigrant-children <p>Governor Terry Branstad is defending his reluctance to grant asylum to unaccompanied children fleeing extreme violence in Central America.</p><p>"It would be wrong for us to send a signal that if you come here illegally, we're just gonna disperse you throughout the country and you don't have to go home."</p><p>Social justice advocate Connie Ryan Terrell of the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa says many in Iowa’s faith community are disappointed with Branstad's decision, since the state has a history of welcoming immigrants.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:22:30 +0000 Sarah Boden 44053 at http://iowapublicradio.org Bradstad Defends Stance on Immigrant Children What Quinnipiac Reveals About Gender http://iowapublicradio.org/post/what-quinnipiac-reveals-about-gender <p>Today’s Quinnipiac University <a href="http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/iowa/release-detail?ReleaseID=2053">poll</a> shows if the election for U.S. Senate were held today, 44 percent favor Democrat <a href="http://www.brucebraley.com/">Bruce Braley</a> and 40 percent favor Republican <a href="http://www.joniforiowa.com/home/">Joni Ernst</a>.</p><p>Additionally, Quinnipiac finds Braley polling stronger with women by 11 percentage points, and Ernst holding a 4 percent lead with men.*</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:58:15 +0000 Sarah Boden 42436 at http://iowapublicradio.org What Quinnipiac Reveals About Gender Ernst Wins Republican Nomination http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ernst-wins-republican-nomination <p>After pulling ahead late in a crowded field, State Senator Joni Ernst won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate &nbsp;to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 41675 at http://iowapublicradio.org Ernst Wins Republican Nomination Hopes of Breaking up the Political Boys Club in Iowa http://iowapublicradio.org/post/hopes-breaking-political-boys-club-iowa <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Iowa will hold its primary on Tuesday, June 3. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring and that’s set off a domino effect of politicians vying for higher office and this midterm election could make history if voters send a woman to Washington. It’s just one of two states that have never done so or elected a woman as governor; the other is Mississippi.</span></p> Fri, 30 May 2014 12:40:00 +0000 Clay Masters 41461 at http://iowapublicradio.org Hopes of Breaking up the Political Boys Club in Iowa 2014 Primary Elections: U.S. Senate http://iowapublicradio.org/post/2014-primary-elections-us-senate <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Democratic Senator Tom Harkin announced last year he was retiring. It’s been decades since Iowa’s had an open senate seat.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 16 May 2014 12:52:09 +0000 Clay Masters 40721 at http://iowapublicradio.org 2014 Primary Elections: U.S. Senate 2014 Primary Elections: The Third District http://iowapublicradio.org/post/2014-primary-elections-third-district <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">One of the biggest surprises this 2014 Iowa election season was Third District Republican Congressman Tom Latham’s announcement late last year he would not seek re-election. Thanks to redistricting in 2012 it was incumbent versus incumbent in the third district when Latham faced another longtime congressman, Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell.&nbsp;</span></p><p>In 2014, it’s a crowded group of Republicans running to face a Democrat who’s been in the race for almost a year.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 12:36:38 +0000 Clay Masters 40658 at http://iowapublicradio.org 2014 Primary Elections: The Third District 2014 Primary Elections: The First District http://iowapublicradio.org/post/2014-primary-elections-first-district <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More than a year ago, the 2014 mid-term election looked like a sleepy one in Iowa. But a U.S. Senate seat and two congressional districts are up for grabs without incumbents. With the primary election a little more than two weeks away, </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">IPR's</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Clay Masters takes a look at the open races. Iowa's first congressional district is in northeast Iowa and includes the cities of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. Wed, 14 May 2014 11:27:38 +0000 Clay Masters 40600 at http://iowapublicradio.org 2014 Primary Elections: The First District What Got Done in the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/what-got-done-2014-iowa-legislative-session <p></p><p></p><p>The Iowa Legislature adjourned last week. Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse&nbsp;Correspondent Joyce Russell to discuss what got done this legislative year.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 05 May 2014 12:33:10 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 40154 at http://iowapublicradio.org What Got Done in the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session? Juvenile Home Reopening Nixed http://iowapublicradio.org/post/juvenile-home-reopening-nixed <p>A compromise budget bill &nbsp;means the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo will not reopen next year.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Democrats say the&nbsp; home will remain closed for the time being, regardless of the outcome of their lawsuit against the governor. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:55:07 +0000 Joyce Russell 39866 at http://iowapublicradio.org Juvenile Home Reopening Nixed Four Iowa Sites Deemed Project Ready http://iowapublicradio.org/post/four-iowa-sites-deemed-project-ready <p>The Branstad administration has spent close to half a million dollars on an initiative &nbsp;designed to convince more companies to locate here rather than in another state.&nbsp;&nbsp; Four industrial sites have been designated as project ready, a trend officials say is catching on around the country. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:51:54 +0000 Joyce Russell 39827 at http://iowapublicradio.org Four Iowa Sites Deemed Project Ready Iowa Lawmakers Expect to Adjourn this Week http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-lawmakers-expect-adjourn-week <p></p><p>The predictions are out there that Iowa's legislative session will wrap up early this week. On Mondays we check in with IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to make sense of everything going on up at the capitol.</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 13:04:10 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 39809 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Lawmakers Expect to Adjourn this Week Medical Marijuana Bill Advances http://iowapublicradio.org/post/medical-marijuana-bill-advances <p>A bill to allow Iowa families to travel to other states and bring back a form of medical marijuana advanced &nbsp; in the Iowa Senate. &nbsp; Mo<span style="line-height: 1.5;">thers of epileptic kids pushed &nbsp;hard for the legislation, saying &nbsp;cannabis oil can help relieve &nbsp;their children’s seizures.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:43:20 +0000 Joyce Russell 39610 at http://iowapublicradio.org Medical Marijuana Bill Advances Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Advances at Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/limited-medical-marijuana-bill-advances-statehouse <p>A senate subcommittee has approved a bill that would let the parents of children with a severe form of epilepsy go out of state to get an oil-based form of medical marijuana for their children.&nbsp; The bill will be considered by a full senate committee sometime after five o'clock today.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:54:10 +0000 Katherine Perkins & Radio Iowa 39593 at http://iowapublicradio.org Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Advances at Statehouse Tax Hike for Environment Advances http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tax-hike-environment-advances <p>Democrats in the Iowa Senate &nbsp;got the ball rolling on a bill that’s a dream come true for&nbsp; environmentalists&nbsp; and natural resource advocates.&nbsp;&nbsp; The bill raises the state&nbsp; sales tax for a natural resources trust fund that voters approved by constitutional amendment two years ago. &nbsp;Backers added a tax <u>cut</u>​&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">to the bill to soften the blow. &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:23:15 +0000 Joyce Russell 39200 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tax Hike for Environment Advances Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments http://iowapublicradio.org/post/administrators-grilled-over-secret-payments <p>The Iowa legislature’s oversight committee questioned top administrators at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services over payments made to laid-off state workers for keeping their settlements with the state confidential.&nbsp;&nbsp; But lawmakers still don't know where the authorization for the so-called hush money came from.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:02:39 +0000 Joyce Russell 39149 at http://iowapublicradio.org Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments Food Aid Turned Down by Legislature http://iowapublicradio.org/post/food-aid-turned-down-legislature <p>In a procedural vote, the Iowa House <u>turned down</u> a million dollar appropriation to match private donations to Iowa’s food banks.&nbsp;&nbsp; The legislature <u>passed</u> a similar measure last year, but Governor Branstad vetoed it.&nbsp;&nbsp; One House Democrat spoke with unusual authority.&nbsp;&nbsp; Representative Ako&nbsp;Abdul-Samaad&nbsp; of Des Moines runs a soup kitchen as part of the Creative Visions social service agency he heads.&nbsp; Here are some of his remarks.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:18:40 +0000 Joyce Russell 38960 at http://iowapublicradio.org Food Aid Turned Down by Legislature Tuition Freeze Deal Threatened http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tuition-freeze-deal-threatened <p>In the Iowa House, the wheels fell off an agreement to <u>freeze tuition</u> for another year at Iowa’s Regents Universities, but only if all three schools get&nbsp; a 4% increase in state funds.&nbsp;&nbsp; Republicans have agreed to mandate the&nbsp; freeze,&nbsp; but not all the schools will get their promised raise. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:09:56 +0000 Joyce Russell 38959 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tuition Freeze Deal Threatened Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Momentum in Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/medical-marijuana-bill-gains-momentum-statehouse <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>A bill allowing Iowans to use medical marijuana in the form of cannabis oil is still alive at the statehouse. The Iowa Senate will move a medical marijuana bill before the end of the session. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 21:50:17 +0000 Clay Masters 38953 at http://iowapublicradio.org Medical Marijuana Bill Gains Momentum in Statehouse Branstad on Settlements, Medical Marijuana http://iowapublicradio.org/post/branstad-settlements-medical-marijuana <p>Despite predictions for a speedy session in which nothing of substance was accomplished, the 2014 legislative session has had plenty of controversy.&nbsp; <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/post/branstad-medical-cannabis-juvenile-home-and-secret-settlements">Governor Terry Branstad was a guest on IPR’s River to River on Monday.</a></p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 11:35:04 +0000 Clay Masters 38774 at http://iowapublicradio.org Branstad on Settlements, Medical Marijuana Debate over Confidential Settlements to State Workers Continues http://iowapublicradio.org/post/debate-over-confidential-settlements-state-workers-continues <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:12:20 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38724 at http://iowapublicradio.org Debate over Confidential Settlements to State Workers Continues Fired Workers Tell Their Stories http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fired-workers-tell-their-stories <p>Democrats in the Iowa Senate &nbsp;heard from four former state employees who lost their jobs in what the Branstad&nbsp; administration terms&nbsp; a reorganization of state government.&nbsp;&nbsp; Democrats object to what they call mass layoffs of so-called merit employees who were hired for their expertise, not their political connections.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One worker&nbsp; told of receiving money for keeping her settlement private,&nbsp; a practice which&nbsp; Governor Branstad has now banned. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:25:10 +0000 Joyce Russell 38557 at http://iowapublicradio.org Fired Workers Tell Their Stories New Iowa GOP Chairman on Uniting Party http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-iowa-gop-chairman-uniting-party <p></p><p>The Iowa Republican party has a new chairman. Former chair A.J. Spiker announced his resignation last month, he left to join Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s political action committee. Over the weekend the Iowa GOP Board elected former state legislator and lobbyist for social conservative organization The Family&nbsp;Leader, Danny Carroll. He shares his thoughts on several issues with IPR's Clay Masters.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 12:35:57 +0000 Clay Masters 38494 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Iowa GOP Chairman on Uniting Party Price Tag for Bullying Bill Debated http://iowapublicradio.org/post/price-tag-bullying-bill-debated <p>A bill on Governor Branstad’s to-do list is sparking controversy&nbsp; at the statehouse.&nbsp; The bill addresses the problem of bullying in the schools,&nbsp; especially as it occurs on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But how much money to spend on the&nbsp; problem remains a stumbling block.&nbsp;&nbsp; Also,&nbsp; a coalition of&nbsp; conservative House Republicans has its&nbsp; own ideas. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:26:06 +0000 Joyce Russell 38475 at http://iowapublicradio.org Price Tag for Bullying Bill Debated Confidential Settlements Still Front and Center at Iowa Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/confidential-settlements-still-front-and-center-iowa-statehouse <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>The issue of the Branstad&nbsp;administration's confidential settlements with laid-off state workers still seems to be front and center at the capitol. As much as $400,000 &nbsp;was given out to fired workers. That doesn't show up on any budgets or balance sheets. The governor for his part has outlawed such settlements. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to discuss where things stand with the settlements and other issues up for discussion in the legislature this week.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:53:11 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38372 at http://iowapublicradio.org Confidential Settlements Still Front and Center at Iowa Statehouse Senator McCaskill is ISU’s Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics http://iowapublicradio.org/post/senator-mccaskill-isu-s-mary-louise-smith-chair-women-and-politics <p>There are 20 women now serving in the U.S. Senate including Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri. She is this semester’s Iowa State University Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics where Friday she delivered a lecture on the Ames campus. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 22:36:14 +0000 Joyce Russell 38293 at http://iowapublicradio.org Senator McCaskill is ISU’s Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics Greyhound Industry Fights Racetrack Bill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/greyhound-industry-fights-racetrack-bill <p>A three-member panel at the statehouse signed off on a &nbsp;bill to end greyhound racing at casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The casinos and the communities where they’re located say dog racing is a dying sport.&nbsp; But the greyhound industry is putting up a good fight. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:51:38 +0000 Joyce Russell 38172 at http://iowapublicradio.org Greyhound Industry Fights Racetrack Bill Sen. John Culver Reflects on Bipartisanship of Congress http://iowapublicradio.org/post/sen-john-culver-reflects-bipartisanship-congress <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Former Democratic U.S. Senator John Culver served 16 years in Congress. He now lives in Washington D.C., but he’ll be back in Iowa later this week to visit the Culver Public Policy Center at Simpson College in&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Indianola</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 12:56:18 +0000 Clay Masters 38079 at http://iowapublicradio.org Sen. John Culver Reflects on Bipartisanship of Congress Appropriations to Address Shortage of State Troopers http://iowapublicradio.org/post/appropriations-address-shortage-state-troopers <p>Cuts to the Department of Public Safety during the recession have left some Iowa counties without a single state trooper in residence. Now, the shortage may be alleviated under a justice system budget bill at the Statehouse.&nbsp;</p><p>Under the bill, the Department of Public Safety would receive about $6 million to hire 33 new troopers. Representative Gary Worthan (R-Storm Lake) says in the overnight hours, there are as few as 6 patrol officers on duty in the entire state.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:48:21 +0000 Joyce Russell 38018 at http://iowapublicradio.org Anti-Bullying and Rural Broadband Bills on Rocky Ground http://iowapublicradio.org/post/anti-bullying-and-rural-broadband-bills-rocky-ground <p></p><p>There are a number of signs that things are wrapping up much earlier this year at the Iowa statehouse. Republican and Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate say they are well ahead of schedule and there’s a few issues shaking out that will likely be fodder in 2014 campaigns.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:50:14 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38014 at http://iowapublicradio.org Anti-Bullying and Rural Broadband Bills on Rocky Ground Investigating Iowa's Secret Settlements http://iowapublicradio.org/post/investigating-iowas-secret-settlements <p></p><p>A recent investigative report by the Des Moines Register uncovered secret settlements made by the state to fired state workers. Those ex-staffers say they were let go because of their ties to Democrats.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 11:25:58 +0000 Clay Masters 37892 at http://iowapublicradio.org Investigating Iowa's Secret Settlements