Joyce Russell

Correspondent

Joyce Russell is a correspondent based at the Iowa Statehouse. Joyce has been covering the Iowa Statehouse since shortly after joining the news staff at WOI Radio in 1988. Her earlier broadcasting experience included news reporting at commercial stations in Oklahoma City and Fort Wayne, Indiana. Joyce’s reports can be heard on National Public Radio and American Public Media programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Marketplace.  She covered the last six Iowa caucus campaigns and interviewed numerous candidates for president, including some who went on to attain the highest office in the land.   

Joyce  has a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Louis University and  a master’s degree in English from the University of Oklahoma.   

Joyce’s favorite public radio program is Fresh Air.

Ways To Connect

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There was an angry debate in the Iowa House Education Committee.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Juvenile court officers are painting a bleak picture for delinquent girls since the state’s training school closed.   

Photo by John Pemble

Gov. Branstad today gave his clearest signal to date that he is prepared to sign a gas tax increase into law. 

John Pemble / IPR

Talks about an increase of ten cents a gallon to the state’s gas tax have really been the dominant topic to come out the statehouse this session.  IPR's Clay Masters speaks with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about the gas tax and other issues being discussed at the statehouse. 

Joyce Russell/IPR

Democrats in the Iowa Senate fought back against the Branstad administration’s hiring and firing practices.

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A bipartisan senate committee voted overwhelmingly to ease the penalties for some cases of first-time marijuana possession.  

Photo by John Pemble

Junior high and high school students from across the state rallied at the capitol today.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Academic counselors from the University of Iowa will be on the campus of the American Institute of Business in Des Moines this week.

John Pemble/IPR

Iowa state senators today questioned Greene County social worker Sherry Bates, Governor Branstad’s nominee to the Iowa Board of Regents.

Cedar Rapids Democrat Liz Mathis did not vote to send Bates’s nomination to the full Senate, saying she wants more information about the nominee. Mathis says there’s some concern that Bates is registered as an independent on the state’s voter rolls, instead of Republican or Democrat.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter denies that there’s a political agenda behind a new proposed funding formula for Iowa's three state universities.

John Pemble / IPR

Democrats who control the Iowa Senate are proposing a big push for school funding. But it could be a tough sell. It’s just one of the issues being discussed up at the statehouse. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about that as well as challenges in the overall proposed state budget and continued talks about a hike in the state's gas tax to pay for the state's deficient roads and bridges. 

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There’s a new coalition at the statehouse of African-American Democrats and free enterprise Republicans.  

John Pemble/IPR

A bill to allow Iowa’s two fully online schools to continue operation cleared a hurdle in the House yesterday.    

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More Iowa four-year-olds could enroll in preschool under a bill in the Iowa Senate. 

Photo by John Pemble

Today Governor Terry Branstad announced the details of a bill to toughen penalties for repeat domestic violence offenders.

Photo by John Pemble

Lawmakers gained ground on a method to pay for the state’s deficient roads and bridges last week. It was one of the many issues likely to be an issue this week. 

Gas Tax Dreams

Jan 29, 2015
Joyce Russell/IPR

A coalition of cities, counties, and economic development officials lobby lawmakers for better roads.  

Joyce Russell/IPR

The head of the Iowa Board of Regents says Iowa is behind other states in performance-based funding for public universities. 

Frank Guido

Iowa has a shortage of skilled workers, leaving jobs in some of the most thriving industries unfilled.

John Pemble / IPR

  Debates over how much of a raise to give to the state's schools usually dominates early discussions at the capitol. Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell tells IPR's Clay Masters this year the debate is on time. The two discuss other education topics and what's ahead this week. 

Iowa Public Radio

Iowa’s top prison official was in the hot seat at the Capitol.   

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A yearly battle over how much of a raise to give K-12 schools is getting underway early at the statehouse this year.   

Joyce Russell/IPR

Specialty crop farmers were at the capitol today complaining of damage to their produce from pesticide drift.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Niece of  slain civil rights leader speaks in Des Moines.

Photo by John Pemble / IPR

Governor Branstad outlined his priorities for this year’s legislative session in a thirty minute Condition of the State speech Tuesday.

Photo by John Pemble

Lawmakers reconvened at the State Capitol for opening day of the 2015 legislative session with the usual pomp and circumstance and promises of bipartisanship.   But with a divided legislature, it’s not all sweetness and light.  With a Republican controlled House and a Democratic Senate, both parties agree bills won’t pass this year unless they’re bipartisan, and both parties say there won’t be a lot of slack in the budget.

Gas Tax Revisited

Jan 12, 2015
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Some issues will be very familiar when the 86th Iowa General Assembly convenes  for the 2015 legislative session.

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Where to put cell phone towers in Iowa towns will be on the agenda when state lawmakers reconvene next week.   

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A Republican-sponsored tax credit will be so small this year that many taxpayers may not even notice it.     

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Schools around the state are keeping a close eye on first graders’ reading skills.

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