Statehouse and Politics

John Pemble / IPR

Clay Masters: It's Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I'm Clay Masters. Governor Terry Branstad delivers his condition of the state speech this morning where he'll lay out his priorities in 2015. We sat down with the governor in his formal office at this capitol yesterday to get a bit of a preview. I start by asking the governor if this is the year a funding method will be approved to fix the state's deficent roads and bridges. 

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.

Gage Skidmore

Though Ohio Republican John Boehner won a third term as Speaker of the House, he does not have a friend in Iowa Congressman Rod Blum of Dubuque.

We're doing more and more things with our smartphones, so why not use them to store our driver's license? But when you think about it, you may not be comfortable handing your phone over to a police officer.

Motorists in Iowa may be among the first in the nation to be able to whip out their smartphones to access their licenses at traffic stops. The Iowa Department of Transportation is developing a smartphone app that would allow drivers to access a digitally encoded license that would take the place of the conventional plastic ID card.

Gage Skidmore

With the 114th Congress sworn in, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley takes the reins of the Senate Judiciary Committee as chairman.

Ben McLeod/flickr

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

401kcalculator.org/flickr

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

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

In 2014, Gov. Terry Branstad won an unprecedented sixth term as Governor of Iowa, and Iowans elected the state’s first woman to Congress when Republican Joni Ernst won her seat in the U.S. Senate. 

League of Women Voters of California / Flickr

Republican Secretary of State-elect Paul Pate says he hopes to have the option for Iowans to register to vote online before the 2016 primaries. But at a public hearing  Tuesday in Des Moines, voter rights groups say it’s unfair.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia / Flickr

The invisible primary has ramped up with Jeb Bush's declaration that he is "exploring" a presidential run.

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

John Pemble

Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin delivered his Farewell speech on the Senate floor today.  He is retiring after 40 years in Congress.

John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

John Pemble/IPR

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

John Pemble/IPR

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

Photo by John Pemble

Sen. Tom Harkin retires from the U.S. Senate in January. He discusses his congressional legacy with Morning Edition, and gives a hint to his life's next chapter. 

Clay Masters: It’s Morning Edition on Iowa Public Radio. I’m Clay Masters. U.S. Democratic Senator Tom Harkin is retiring. He’s been a member of congress for 40 years—10 years in the House, and 30 in the Senate. Sen. Harkin is with me to discuss his career, and also what’s next.  Hello, Senator.

Sen. Tom Harkin: Good Morning. Good to be with you, Clay.

Joyce Russell/IPR

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

John Pemble/IPR

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

Wikimedia Commons

There’s no denying the racial tensions flaring in the United States. The question of how to solve them, however, has yet to be answered.

Wikimedia Commons

Over the course of the next two years, political analyst Charlie Cook says we could see some infighting in Congress.

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. 

Mauro Heck Photography

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley delivered an emotional tribute to his fellow Iowa senator Tom Harkin, who turned 75 today and is retiring at the end of January. 

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. 

Ernst/Braley Campaign Facebook Pages

With the midterm elections less than a week away, the Iowa Senate race looks closer than ever.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Governor Branstad says he has not ruled out funding a tuition freeze for students at Iowa’s Regents universities for next year.

Controversial new rules for  large animal confinement operations got another airing  at the statehouse Tuesday.   

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