Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org en 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 The Political Gap: Campaigning and Serving as a Woman http://iowapublicradio.org/post/political-gap-campaigning-and-serving-woman <p>Women currently make up 18.5 percent of the U.S. Congress. Yet Iowa is one of only two states that has never elected a woman to Congress nor had a female governor.</p><p>This hour, a look at the gender gap in politics – Why do women run for office less than their male counterparts? When they are in office, how do they govern?</p><p><em>Some highlights from today's guests:</em></p><p><strong>Three reasons for the gender gap in political ambition:</strong> from Jennifer Lawless, Director of the Women &amp; Politics Institute and Professor of Government at American University</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:57:48 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Emily Woodbury 39166 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Political Gap: Campaigning and Serving as a Woman The End of Session and Soil Conditions http://iowapublicradio.org/post/end-session-and-soil-conditions <p>Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa Public Radio statehouse correspondent <a href="http://iowapublicradio.org/people/joyce-russell">Joyce Russell</a> about developments surrounding the confidential settlements within Governor Branstad's administration and the end of the legislative session.</p><p>Also, planting season is right around the corner. Iowa State University agronomist and ISU Extension climatologist <a href="http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/faculty/taylor.html">Elwynn Taylor</a> discusses soil conditions throughout Iowa.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:24:47 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Sarah Boden 39009 at http://iowapublicradio.org The End of Session and Soil Conditions 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 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 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 Democrats To Investigate anti-Branstad claims http://iowapublicradio.org/post/democrats-investigate-anti-branstad-claims <p>Statehouse Democrats say the legislature's oversight committee will be very busy in the coming weeks, as they look into recent allegations against &nbsp;the Terry Branstad &nbsp;administration.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; They say the panel will first look into reports of secret settlements to fired state workers. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:24:12 +0000 Joyce Russell 37863 at http://iowapublicradio.org Democrats To Investigate anti-Branstad claims Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-funnel-more-bills-forward-primary-election-looming <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Last week was another deadline at the Iowa statehouse for lawmakers to get more laws through committee so they can be debated on the floor.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:37:57 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 37669 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming Lawmakers talk Bullying, Budgets, Minimum Wage http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-talk-bullying-budgets-minimum-wage <p></p><p>Many were anticipating budget targets last week, Democrats who control the Senate and Republicans who control the House, have come to some kind of an agreement or a launching point. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to preview the week ahead at the capitol. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:27:35 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 37312 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers talk Bullying, Budgets, Minimum Wage Which Bills Survived Funnel Week? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/which-bills-survived-funnel-week <p>Last week was "funnel week" at the statehouse.&nbsp; Now bills that couldn't make it through committee stand little chance of becoming law this session as lawmakers shift their focus to legislation that has more momentum to pass this year.&nbsp; However many of these issues might be revived in future legislative sessions.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:13:58 +0000 Clay Masters & Katherine Perkins 36713 at http://iowapublicradio.org Which Bills Survived Funnel Week? Iowa Lawmakers Push Forward At Least 100 Bills http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-lawmakers-push-forward-least-100-bills <p></p><p>Last week was funnel week at the Iowa Capitol, a time when lawmakers need to get their priority bills out of committee and into either the Iowa House or Senate. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to talk about the week ahead in the legislature. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:41:32 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 36698 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Lawmakers Push Forward At Least 100 Bills Expanding Broadband, Preventing Bullying: Bills Likely to Advance http://iowapublicradio.org/post/expanding-broadband-preventing-bullying-bills-likely-advance <p></p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 13:50:34 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 36384 at http://iowapublicradio.org Expanding Broadband, Preventing Bullying: Bills Likely to Advance Grieving Couple Advocates for Child Care Bill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/grieving-couple-advocates-child-care-bill <p>A couple from Adel brought tearful testimony to the statehouse. &nbsp; &nbsp;Their&nbsp; infant daughter died as a result of her care at an in-home child care provider.&nbsp;&nbsp; A Republican-sponsored bill would require more in-home day cares to register with the state. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 11:53:29 +0000 Joyce Russell 36212 at http://iowapublicradio.org Grieving Couple Advocates for Child Care Bill Restoring Ex-Convicts' Right to Vote http://iowapublicradio.org/post/restoring-ex-convicts-right-vote <div class="msg 1st"><p>A bill backed by Democrats in the Iowa Senate will make it easier for felons who have completed their sentences to have their voting rights restored. The bill passed a divided Senate subcommittee last week.</p><p>As the law stands, people who commit felonies must serve their sentences and pay all court-ordered compensation to victims before they can apply to the governor to restore their voting rights. The policy comes from an executive order signed by Governor Branstad in 2011.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 22:27:23 +0000 Clay Masters & Emily Woodbury 36086 at http://iowapublicradio.org Restoring Ex-Convicts' Right to Vote Plans to Provide Affordable Broadband Access to all Iowans http://iowapublicradio.org/post/plans-provide-affordable-broadband-access-all-iowans <p>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.</p><p>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 find out more about rural broadband expansion plans being considered at the Iowa Capitol.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 21:52:12 +0000 Clay Masters & Emily Woodbury 36069 at http://iowapublicradio.org Plans to Provide Affordable Broadband Access to all Iowans Juvenile Home's Future Unsure, The Likelihood of a Gas Tax Hike http://iowapublicradio.org/post/juvenile-homes-future-unsure-likelihood-gas-tax-hike <p></p><p>Governor Terry Branstad&nbsp;ordered the closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo last month. It was after an investigation uncovered some girls were held in isolation cells. Last week Senate Democrats unveiled a bill to reopen the home under a new program. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Statehouse Correspondent about the juvenile home as well as the likelihood of lawmakers raising&nbsp;the state's &nbsp;gas tax.</p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 13:43:46 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 35711 at http://iowapublicradio.org Juvenile Home's Future Unsure, The Likelihood of a Gas Tax Hike Stricter Training of Stun Guns Considered in Iowa Prisons http://iowapublicradio.org/post/stricter-training-stun-guns-considered-iowa-prisons <p></p><p>A committee in the Iowa Senate heard from experts on using stun guns, so-called tasers, to subdue difficult inmates. Two prisoners have died in Iowa jails after being tased by officers. A number of other law enforcement agencies have faced lawsuits for their use of stun guns. Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell reports</p> Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:53:49 +0000 Joyce Russell 35495 at http://iowapublicradio.org Stricter Training of Stun Guns Considered in Iowa Prisons Lawmakers Hear from Former Juvenile Home Residents, Employees http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-hear-former-juvenile-home-residents-employees <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Democrats in the Iowa Senate plan to introduce a bill to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.&nbsp;&nbsp; Governor Branstad ordered the home closed after an&nbsp; investigation revealed that some girls were being held in long-term isolation.&nbsp;&nbsp; On Wednesday, a Senate committee heard testimony from former residents and staff, as well as Toledo boosters. &nbsp;Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports:</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:53:20 +0000 Joyce Russell 35213 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers Hear from Former Juvenile Home Residents, Employees Iowa Politicians Save Venom for 2014 Elections http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-politicians-save-venom-2014-elections <p>The first of the 2014 legislative session comes to a close today, perhaps overshadowed by Governor Terry Branstad announcing he’s running for reelection. Many state lawmakers have their eye on looming national and state elections. Associated Press Statehouse and Political Reporter Catherine Lucey talks with IPR’s Clay Masters about how Iowa politics are shaping up at outset of 2014. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:54:59 +0000 Clay Masters 34977 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Politicians Save Venom for 2014 Elections Minimum Wage Increase and Income Tax Cuts hoped for in 2014 Session http://iowapublicradio.org/post/minimum-wage-increase-and-income-tax-cuts-hoped-2014-session <p>Host Clay Masters sits down with legislative leaders on opening day of the 2014 session, to discuss priorities.&nbsp; Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, leads the only democratically-controlled chamber in Iowa's divided state government.&nbsp; Representative Linda Upmeyer is Majority Leader in the republican-controlled House.&nbsp; Each said lawmakers are not likely to tackle major issues this session, but also left open the possibility of taking up some big ideas.&nbsp; We've listed those ideas below.</p><p></p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:01:02 +0000 Clay Masters & Katherine Perkins 34808 at http://iowapublicradio.org Minimum Wage Increase and Income Tax Cuts hoped for in 2014 Session Will the 2014 Legislative Session Be as Productive as Last Year? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/will-2014-legislative-session-be-productive-last-year <p></p><p>Today is the first day of the 2014 Iowa legislative session. It’s an election year, which usually means the time lawmakers meet will be short so people can go run for re-election. IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell talks with Clay Masters about the 2014 legislative session.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:52:16 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 34773 at http://iowapublicradio.org Will the 2014 Legislative Session Be as Productive as Last Year? Questions Remain at Juvenile Home http://iowapublicradio.org/post/questions-remain-juvenile-home <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">State lawmakers&nbsp;</span>grilled administrators about illegal practices at the Iowa Juvenile &nbsp;Home in Toledo.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Officials say they have turned things around &nbsp;since investigators last year found girls confined to isolation cells for months at a time.&nbsp; But the advocacy group which unveiled the abuse says there’s more work to be done. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 17 Sep 2013 22:42:17 +0000 Joyce Russell 29247 at http://iowapublicradio.org Questions Remain at Juvenile Home Gronstal and Paulsen Praise Statehouse Compromises http://iowapublicradio.org/post/gronstal-and-paulsen-praise-statehouse-compromises <p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: 'lucida grande', tahoma, verdana, arial, sans-serif; font-size: 13px;">Lawmakers from both political&nbsp;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. Fri, 24 May 2013 19:11:43 +0000 Clay Masters & Katherine Perkins 21328 at http://iowapublicradio.org Gronstal and Paulsen Praise Statehouse Compromises Legislative Preview: 05/20/13 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-preview-052013 <p>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.</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 12:55:56 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Joyce Russell 21046 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Preview: 05/20/13 Inside The Gold Dome http://iowapublicradio.org/post/inside-gold-dome <p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p></p> Mon, 13 May 2013 20:09:57 +0000 Emily Woodbury & Clay Masters 20698 at http://iowapublicradio.org Inside The Gold Dome Livestock Inspections and Teen Driving http://iowapublicradio.org/post/livestock-inspections-and-teen-driving <p> 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.&nbsp; Debate at the Iowa Statehouse is centering around how many inspectors are needed to do the job.&nbsp; Then, <span class="userContent">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</span><span class="userContent"> in rankings of teen driving safety.&nbsp; A new Iowa law puts more restrictions on the youngest and most inexperienced drivers. Mon, 06 May 2013 19:17:44 +0000 Katherine Perkins & Clay Masters 20325 at http://iowapublicradio.org Livestock Inspections and Teen Driving Legislative Preview: 05/06/13 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-preview-050613 <p>As Iowa lawmakers go into overtime, IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss what's left to hash out at the statehouse.</p> Mon, 06 May 2013 13:30:09 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Joyce Russell 20300 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Preview: 05/06/13 Legislative Day: Iowa's Gas Tax http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-day-iowas-gas-tax <p>Crumbling roads and bridges are fueling renewed debate over raising the gas tax in Iowa.&nbsp; That’s despite polling that shows a majority of Iowans do not support an increase. &nbsp;Hear the pros and cons and why some who would pay the most are the ones pushing for the increase.</p><p></p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 19:13:49 +0000 Clay Masters 19961 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Day: Iowa's Gas Tax Legislative Leaders and Radon http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-leaders-and-radon <p><span class="userContent">Bills awaiting approval during the 2013 legislative session faced another funnel deadline last week.&nbsp; Host Clay Masters talks with Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Kraig Paulsen about the proposals still standing.&nbsp; 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.&nbsp; We hear from Des Moines Senator Matt McCoy, Gail Orcutt a radon-induced lung cancer survivor and Gaylen Howsare from the Iowa Association of Schoo Mon, 08 Apr 2013 18:17:31 +0000 Clay Masters 18876 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Leaders and Radon Jobs Bill Advances at Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/jobs-bill-advances-statehouse <p>It looks like smooth sailing for a bill at the statehouse to let Iowa’s&nbsp; job creation experts hand out more tax credits to potential employers.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Officials say the current cap on credits isn’t enough to meet the demand, as more companies are looking to expand.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But not everyone agrees with&nbsp; a plan to make sure the employers&nbsp; come through with the jobs they promise.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Fri, 29 Mar 2013 11:11:52 +0000 Joyce Russell 18448 at http://iowapublicradio.org Jobs Bill Advances at Statehouse