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.

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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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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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Teacher Evaluations
11:25 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Teacher Evaluations Under Fire

Whether student performance should be considered  when teachers are evaluated has once again become a divisive issue at the statehouse.    The Department of Education proposes scrapping Iowa’s current teacher evaluation standards, and writing new ones to satisfy the federal government.   Otherwise, they say, Iowa will remain under the demanding requirements of federal education law.

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River to River
1:07 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Education Reform from the Statehouse

Iowa's Capitol
John Pemble

Education reform is front and center at the statehouse. Iowa Public Radio's statehouse correspondent, Joyce Russell, talks with Governor Terry Branstad's Special Assistant on Education, Linda Fandel, in the first half of this session of River to River about the governor's plans for Iowa's schools this year.

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Politics
6:43 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/28/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR


IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.

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Politics
5:44 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Right to Work Amendment Debated

Flickr Image

Dozens of union members  crowded  a committee room at the statehouse, objecting to a resolution  to enshrine Iowa’s right to work law  in the Iowa constitution.   All 53 Republicans in the House have signed on to the measure they say is needed to ensure that Iowa workers are never forced to join a union.

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Politics
11:30 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/21/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday; they’re off Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday.

IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

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Politics
11:30 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Legislative Preview: 1/21/13

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Iowa lawmakers have completed the first week of the 2013 legislative session. They’ll return for the second week beginning Tuesday. IPR Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon spoke with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about how the session is shaping up so far.

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Governor Speech
5:33 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Governor's Agenda Unveiled

Governor Terry Branstad delivers his Condition of the State
John Pemble

  

Governor Branstad highlighted tax cuts, education, and health care in his condition of the state speech.    Earlier he  unveiled the outlines of a six point five  billion dollar budget for next year.  Now begins the hard work of getting his agenda through the divided legislature.

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Legislature Returns
6:15 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Opening Day at the Legislature

Credit John Pemble

150 state legislators were sworn into office at the capitol  as the 85th Iowa general assembly convened for their 2013 session.    Governor Branstad stole a little thunder on opening day by unveiling his plans to pay teachers more and improve Iowa schools.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Statehouse
11:00 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

2013 Legislative Session Begins

Credit John Pemble / IPR

The Iowa General Assembly reconvenes Monday, Jan 14. It’s a new year, with some new faces after the 2012 election. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce  Russell sat down with Morning Edition Host Sarah McCammon for a look ahead at the 2013 session.

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Immigrants in College
6:04 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Undocumented Immigrants at University

Credit flickr

Two young Mexican immigrants living in a small northeast Iowa town are defying the odds by  pursuing degrees  from the University of Northern Iowa. Because they are undocumented they are working their way through college without the help of student loans or other benefits of citizenship.      A new Obama administration order granting them temporary work permits is helping to ease the  way.

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Immigrant Licenses
6:46 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Immigrant Licenses Denied

Immigrant Testimony at the Statehouse

The Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation was in the hot seat at the statehouse.   Critics turned out to rally against the DOT’s recent policy decision denying  driver’s licenses  for young undocumented immigrants in Iowa.   That’s even though the Obama administration recently approved work permits for immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children years ago.  

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School Shooting React
8:03 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Iowans React to School Shooting

Statehouse News Conference

The Branstad administration as well as school districts all over the state are reacting to Friday’s school shootings in Connecticut.   One official  is  encouraging schools to review their security procedures.       But the governor and key lawmakers aren’t jumping to any conclusions about needed legislation to prevent such a tragedy here.       

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Education
8:45 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

New Tests for New Teachers

Starting next year, graduates  of Iowa’s teacher preparation programs will be required to pass exams with a minimum score in order to get a license to teach.   Iowa is one of the last  holdouts in the country in not requiring  testing of new teachers.  But at a statehouse committee meeting  today  there were complaints that this year’s graduating seniors  didn’t get enough advance warning.   

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EPA and Iowa Water
4:31 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

More Money for Livestock Inspectors

The head of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources  asked the governor and his budget advisors for  more than a million dollars to hire new inspectors for the state’s livestock facilities.  But that  may not be enough to prevent the federal Environmental Protection agency 

from taking over enforcement of clean water standards.

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Politics
4:10 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Republicans Regroup

Republicans in the Iowa House re-elected their top leadership in a closed-door meeting  at the statehouse.     They’ll return to the capitol on January 14th with a far slimmer majority following the 2012

elections.

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Parole Board
4:31 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Parole Board Votes

Behind Bars

A new rule at the Iowa Board of Parole scheduled to go into effect next month is giving  some victims advocates heartburn.    A panel of state lawmakers declined to delay a new guideline to 

grant parole to high-risk inmates with a simple majority vote.

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Politics
4:11 am
Wed November 7, 2012

Wiggins Stays on Court

Credit Facebook

An effort by religious conservatives to oust  another Iowa Supreme Court Justice has failed.  Iowans voted yesterday to retain Justice David Wiggins on the court. Iowa Public Radio's Joyce Russell reports.

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Senate Battle
7:24 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Battle for the Iowa Senate

A battle is underway for control of the Iowa Senate where Democrats hold a slim one-vote majority.   After next  month’s elections, religious  conservatives are hoping a  new Republican majority will  vote their way on social issues including same sex marriage and abortion.     They say defeating the Senate’s top Democrat would be their biggest prize.

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Year-Round School
2:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Year-Round School Considered

A state task force wants Iowa schools to move toward  air-conditioning their classrooms.   It’s part of a drive toward year-round schedules  which experts say can boost student achievement.

Teacher Salaries
4:15 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

School Administrator Warning on Teacher Raises

Advocates  for higher teacher pay better be upfront about just how much it’s going to cost, and who’s going to cover it, if they want to achieve their goal.    That's according to a representative of Iowa’s school administrators who’s serving on a task force on teacher salaries.

Wiggins Battle
2:48 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Wiggins on the Ballot

Advocates for and against an Iowa Supreme Court Justice are wrapping up their bus tours across the state.   Critics of the court’s same-sex marriage ruling  urged voters to reject Justice David Wiggins.   The other side is advocating a yes vote for all the judges on the ballot.   But one justice who was thrown off the court two years ago worries that might not work.

It's All Politics
5:26 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Another Iowa Judge Faces Ballot Box Battle Due To Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins, right, faces a retention vote Nov. 6.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:27 pm

A battle is under way in Iowa over whether a state Supreme Court justice can keep his job.

Critics have launched an all-out campaign to throw him off the bench because of his ruling three years ago clearing the way for same-sex marriage. The judge's supporters are fighting back, but they may need to get over their reluctance to mix politics and the judiciary.

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Dueling Buses
6:54 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Dueling Bus Tours Launched


Two statewide bus tours begin in Des Moines with stops planned in more than a dozen communities.    They’ll be promoting opposing views on whether Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins should stay on the court.     
Politics
7:08 am
Fri September 7, 2012

King, Vilsack Meet for First Debate

The Democratic challenger in Iowa’s new Fourth Congressional District, Iowa's former first lady Christie Vilsack, came out swinging in the first face-to-face debate of the campaign.   Incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King was caught a little off guard.   

Romney in Des Moines
5:51 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Romney blasts Obama in Des Moines

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a two-day campaign trip to Iowa Wednesday.   At a rally in downtown Des Moines, he did not back off a controversial claim that President Obama wants to end work requirements for welfare recipients.   Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports:

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