Iowa legislature

John Pemble/IPR

How to sentence teenagers who’ve committed heinous crimes continues to elude state lawmakers.

Joyce Russell/IPR

School choice advocates flooded the Iowa statehouse Tuesday.

John Pemble

As Iowa lawmakers prepare for the first so-called "funnel deadline," of the 2015 session IPR Statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell talks with IPR's Julie Englander about sifting through the items on the slate in the coming weeks. 

John Pemble/IPR

A standoff between Democrats and Republicans over funding for K-12 schools next year continues at the statehouse.

Wes Thorpe/flickr

Cell phone companies are going head to head at the statehouse with Iowa’s towns and cities.

Joyce Russell/IPR

With broad bipartisan votes, the Iowa House and Senate approved a bill raising Iowa’s gasoline tax by 10 cents a gallon.

John Pemble

So-called conversion therapy seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian youth.

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. 

Joyce Russell/IPR

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

Photo by John Pemble

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

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.

Barnaby Wasson/flickr

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

Frank Guido

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

Ben McLeod/flickr

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

John Pemble/IPR

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

Joyce Russell/IPR

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

Photo by Joyce Russell/IPR

Governor Branstad’s campaign schedule this week includes helping Republican candidates for the Iowa Senate.   

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

At a campaign rally on the University of Iowa campus, First Lady Michelle Obama joked about a gaffe she made earlier this month when she called Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley, Bruce “Bailey.” 

Iowa’s Crime Victim Assistance Program was under scrutiny before a Republican-dominated committee at the statehouse.     The committee’s chairman says he got his questions answered about whether money was being misspent.   

The head of  Iowa Workforce Development Teresa Wahlert  took questions for nearly two hours from the Iowa Senate Oversight Committee.   One senator calls the agency dysfunctional, but Wahlert defends her leadership style.  

Wyoming_Jackrabbit / flickr

State money is helping to build a new Christian park in Sioux City. Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, a Satanic statue will be erected outside a courthouse, next to the Ten Commandments.

Mehul Gala

Iowa has the second largest number of large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities in the country. This hour, concerns about what are commonly known as puppy mills.

The U.S. Humane Society's 2014 report includes six problem puppy breeders in Iowa. Today, we talk about concerns over large-scale dog breeders with Mary LaHay, President of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals. She says that Iowa has "over 15,000 adult dogs in Iowa puppy mills, and we can do better than this."

USA.gov

Iowa's June primary election is heating up.  Republican senatorial candidates have been debating, buying ads, and collecting big name endorsements.  But, only one will be campaigning to take incumbent Democrat Tom Harkin's seat.  Host Dean Borg talks with Kathie Obradovich, Political Columnist for the Des Moines Register and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about Iowa's primary races for Congress and U.S.

John Pemble/IPR

A bill to allow Iowa families to travel to other states and bring back a form of medical marijuana advanced   in the Iowa Senate.   Mothers of epileptic kids pushed  hard for the legislation, saying  cannabis oil can help relieve  their children’s seizures.

    

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.   But lawmakers still don't know where the authorization for the so-called hush money came from.

John Pemble

Views on medical marijuana appear to be shifting in the Iowa Senate and among the GOP.

Today on River to River - what this may mean for cannabis in Iowa moving forward.

Jeff Golden

On the Fourth of July, Iowans may hear fireworks going off in their neighborhoods, but it is still illegal to buy and light large aerial fireworks in the state.

This legislative session, lawmakers at the Iowa Statehouse are considering whether to lift the ban on the sale and use of fireworks. State Representative Matt Windschitl and Al Esch, of the Iowa Firefighters Association, sound off with their opinions on the matter, along with River to River listeners.

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Do you feel strongly about whether fireworks should be legal in Iowa?

JLM Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican Governor Terry Branstad identified legislation to combat bullying as one of his top priorities for this legislative session.  However, a bill has stalled in the Iowa House, bogged down by 17 amendments.  Concerns have arisen in the Republican-controlled chamber over whether schools should be responsible for bullying that occurs online or off school grounds.  In his weekly news conference Monday, Governor Branstad said he plans to talk with Iowa House members about moving the legislation forward.  In the meantime, a bill is advancing in the Democratically-controlled Iowa Senate th

Daniel R. Blume / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

On this News Buzz edition of the program, hear about a legislative shouting match, legalizing fireworks, the ACLU lawsuit against the Iowa Secretary of State, a survey of Iowans' thoughts on gay marriage, the Kepler mission, and a push to increase studying abroad.

Legislative shouting match and and other legislative fireworks:

ACLU lawsuit:

Same-sex marriage opinions:

Finding exoplanets:

Studying abroad:

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