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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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.

Ben McLeod/flickr

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.     

Marie/flickr

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

Joanne Johnson/flickr

A pilot program to beef up Iowa teacher preparation is underway.

John Pemble/IPR

Officials with Iowa Public Television are asking for more than a quarter of a million dollars from the state.

Jimmy Centers / Office of Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Branstad is surprised that Florida Governor Jeb Bush has announced his potential candidacy for President so early.   

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The state board that oversees campaign finance laws plans to take its show on the road.

John Pemble/IPR

Iowa has received a failing grade for its laws governing campaign finance reporting for state offices.   

Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa motorists will soon be able to show identification by pulling out a cellphone.

John Pemble/IPR

Lawmakers of both major parties predict that next year schools will get early word about state funding .

Joyce Russell/IPR

At a forum today, Democratic and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on whether the legislature can honor its commitments to local governments.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa’s top drug enforcement official says a new marijuana derivative is showing up in Iowa.

John Pemble/IPR

State assistance to attract Google, Microsoft, and Facebook to Iowa is under scrutiny by a statehouse committee.

Joyce Russell/IPR

It was standing room only when roughly 350 people turned out at a meeting yesterday in Fort Madison.     

Informational meetings begin this week  for landowners  in 18 Iowa counties.

J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

Recidivism is down in Iowa prisons because fewer African-Americans are returning to incarceration.

Photo by John Pemble

Attorneys are keeping an eye on a juvenile sentencing case before the Iowa Supreme Court.  

John Pemble/IPR

Iowa’s first woman elected to the U.S. Senate will be vacating her Iowa Senate seat. 

Joyce Russell/IPR

Obamacare critics have gone to court to eliminate federal tax credits in most states.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says the new Republican majority will carefully vet President Obama’s judicial appointments.

photo by Kate Ter Haar/flickr

The state’s largest public employees union is suing the Iowa prison system over the right to wear anti-Branstad pins at work. 

photo by John Pemble / IPR

Voter turnout Tuesday was not as high as the historic turnout in the 2010 midterm election, but the Secretary of State's office says it came close. 

John Pemble/IPR

Republican State Senator and National Guard officer Joni Ernst will be the first woman to represent Iowa in the United States Congress. She defeated Democrat Bruce Braley to replace Tom Harkin in the U.S. Senate. 

It was a roller coaster race throughout the campaign. But late polls showed Ernst surging. She declared her victory to a packed room at the West Des Moines Marriott. Ernst said it’s a long way from Red Oak, Iowa, to the United States Senate.

“Thanks to all of you, we are heading to Washington and we’re going to make them squeal,” she said.

John Pemble/IPR

As predicted, Governor Terry Branstad cruised to victory to win his sixth term as the state’s chief executive, easily defeating his Democratic opponent Jack Hatch. 

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