Statehouse and Politics

Statehouse and Politics
6:01 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Lawmakers Differ on Education Funding

Iowa’s Capitol during the first month of the 2014 legislative session.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Leaders in the Democratic Iowa Senate say they plan to set state aid funding for the 2016 school year and provide more money to expand access to preschool. But Republicans who control the Iowa House see things a bit differently. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell about the week ahead in the state legislature.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:53 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmakers Hear from Former Juvenile Home Residents, Employees

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Democrats in the Iowa Senate plan to introduce a bill to reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.   Governor Branstad ordered the home closed after an  investigation revealed that some girls were being held in long-term isolation.   On Wednesday, a Senate committee heard testimony from former residents and staff, as well as Toledo boosters.  Iowa Public Radio’s Joyce Russell reports:  

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Statehouse and Politics
6:43 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Iowa Caucuses Still Important in Off-Year

Credit Iowa Caucus

  Today Iowa Republicans and Democrats will hold caucuses across the state. It’s not a presidential year but there’s still plenty of drama with the Iowa caucuses this year. IPR's Clay Masters talks with Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich about the caucuses and it's importance in a year with no presidential election.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Sorting Out the Governor's 2014 State Budget

The Iowa legislature remains adjourned during the federal holiday Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Lawmakers kicked off the 2014 legislative session last week and Governor Terry Branstad laid out his priorities: create job opportunities to incentive military veterans to move and work in Iowa, bring high speed internet access to the entire state and introduce legislation that would prevent school bullying. These issues can likely get bipartisan support in an election year. Clay Masters talks to statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell about the one thing both parties agree has to get done this legislative session: the budget.

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Statehouse and Politics
5:54 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Iowa Politicians Save Venom for 2014 Elections

The Iowa State Capitol on the opening day of the 2014 Iowa legislative session.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

The first of the 2014 legislative session comes to a close today, perhaps overshadowed by Governor Terry Branstad announcing he’s running for reelection. Many state lawmakers have their eye on looming national and state elections. Associated Press Statehouse and Political Reporter Catherine Lucey talks with IPR’s Clay Masters about how Iowa politics are shaping up at outset of 2014.  

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Statehouse and Politics
5:52 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Will the 2014 Legislative Session Be as Productive as Last Year?

The Iowa State Capitol on the last day of the 2013 legislative session.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

Today is the first day of the 2014 Iowa legislative session. It’s an election year, which usually means the time lawmakers meet will be short so people can go run for re-election. IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell talks with Clay Masters about the 2014 legislative session. 

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Juvenile Home Video Challenged
7:32 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Information Board Passes on Controversial Video

Photo by photolibrarian

A new state board charged with enforcing Iowa’s open meetings and open records laws  is facing a tough case.   The Des Moines Register is seeking the release of a video it believes  will show the mistreatment of a young girl at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.     But the  new Iowa Public Information board declined to rule.   

      

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Rastetter on Tuition Freeze
2:23 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Regents President Insists on Funding Hike

The head of the Iowa Board of Regents says  he will insist on a 4% hike in state funding, if Iowans want the board to freeze tuition next year.      President Bruce Rastetter was the featured speaker at the Des Moines Conservative Breakfast Club. 

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Bullying Prevention Summit
9:48 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Bullying Prevention Views Differ

Students, teachers, and other school personnel turned out in Des Moines Monday for Governor Branstad’s second Bullying Prevention Summit.    The  governor  vowed to strengthen state law to combat  bullying online.    But  not everyone  agrees.   

  

    

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ATV's On The Road
8:03 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Off-Road Vehicles May Join the Road

An interim committee at the statehouse today heard from safety experts and off-road vehicle manufacturers as they consider whether to allow all-terrain vehicles to operate on public roadways.   A bill passed the House to open up county roads and highways  to ATV's  travelling as fast as 45 miles an hour.  But  it died in the Senate, and promoters say they’ll try again next year.   

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Statehouse and Politics
5:39 am
Thu October 24, 2013

GOP Candidates Establish Themselves in First Senate Primary Debate

Credit Iowa GOP Facebook

The half dozen Republican candidates in the 2014 primary race for U.S. Senate met Wednesday night in Des Moines for a debate. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports it wasn’t much of a debate… more of a chance for voters to figure out who’s running.

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Mezvinsky Papers to ISU
6:09 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Mezvinsky Watergate Documents Donated to ISU

A former Democratic Iowa Congressman has donated his papers to Iowa State University.   Ed Mezvinsky  was  on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate scandal.     

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Statehouse and Politics
7:46 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Shutdown Could Cloud Iowa's Otherwise Bright Revenue Forecast

Credit John Pemble / IPR

Statehouse analysts are giving a cautiously optimistic forecast for modest  growth in the Iowa economy.    But they say that could change if Congress doesn’t act soon to end the federal government shutdown.    

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Statehouse and Politics
10:45 am
Wed October 9, 2013

DCI Pursues New Leads in Lottery Probe

Photo credit: barbourians

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has granted immunity to a person of interest in Canada, as they continue to probe a questionable claim for a more than 14 million dollar Iowa Lottery jackpot from nearly three years ago.    

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Statehouse and Politics
7:15 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Sorenson Resigns After Ethics Report

Image by Gage Skidmore

An embattled state senator facing ethics complaints has resigned at the request of the minority leader in the Iowa Senate.   An independent counsel concluded Senator Kent Sorenson may have been guilty of criminal misconduct in office.   

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Statehouse and Politics
11:20 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Sweeping Changes Considered for Juvenile Home

Photo by "photolibrarian"

A task force appointed by the governor will soon be recommending major changes at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo.   An inspection last year revealed that teen-aged girls were being held in isolation for months at a time.  An  interim administrator told the task force about improvements at the home.     But the  advocacy group which unveiled the abuse still has concerns about restraining young girls.  

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Statehouse and Politics
5:42 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Questions Remain at Juvenile Home

State lawmakers grilled administrators about illegal practices at the Iowa Juvenile  Home in Toledo.    Officials say they have turned things around  since investigators last year found girls confined to isolation cells for months at a time.  But the advocacy group which unveiled the abuse says there’s more work to be done.   

  

 

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Statehouse and Politics
9:25 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Biden Featured at Harkin Steak Fry

Vice-president Joe Biden and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro were the featured speakers in Indianola for Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry.    

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Clovis at Breakfast Club
4:16 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Conservatives Hear Senate Hopeful

Sioux City conservative talk show host  and Morningside College professor Sam Clovis  was the featured speaker  at the  Des Moines Conservative Breakfast Club.    One by one the club is hearing from each of the  candidates in the crowded  race for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.    Clovis predicts the candidates are going to sound a lot like each other, and one long-time Republican activist agrees.   

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David Young for Senate
3:12 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Republicans Vie for U.S. Senate Seat

Credit to flickr

  Republican candidate for U.S. Senate David Young introduced himself to Polk County Republicans at a breakfast in Des Moines.   Young is  the former chief of staff for Senator Chuck Grassley.    Political observers say that alone won’t catapult  him to victory in the Republican primary.    

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Statehouse and Politics
7:59 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Legislative Wrap-up 2013

Shortly after 11am the Iowa House of Representative adjourns on May 23rd, ending the 2013 legislative session.
Photo by John Pemble

IPR's Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon to wrap up the 2013 session. Lawmakers adjourned in their third week of overtime on Thursday, May 23.

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Statehouse and Politics
4:08 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Branstad: 2013 Legislative Session 'Best He Can Remember'

The 2013 Iowa legislative session ends after the House of Representatives adjourns one day after the Senate.
Credit John Pemble / IPR

 Iowa’s 2013 legislative session ended Thursday morning. Democratic and Republican leaders called the session historic as bipartisan compromises on insuring low-income Iowans, reforming the state’s education system and property taxes were passed. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports. 

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Statehouse and Politics
7:55 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Legislative Preview: 05/20/13

Photo by John Pemble

Iowa lawmakers are returning to Des Moines for a third week of overtime. The session was scheduled to wrap up May 3, but legislators continue to negotiate education reform, property taxes, Medicaid expansion, and other key issues.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:58 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Legislative Preview: 05/13/13

Iowa's Capitol
Photo by John Pemble
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Statehouse and Politics
12:45 am
Sat May 11, 2013

Paul Name Could Be Asset, or Liability, for Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul headlined an annual fundraiser for Iowa Republicans in Cedar Rapids.
Credit Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he’s considering a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He headlined a fundraiser for Iowa Republicans Friday night in Cedar Rapids.

He may be picking up where his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx.), left off his 2012 campaign.

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Statehouse and Politics
6:46 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Republicans Consider Alternative to Governor's Health Care Plan

The light of the sun beams through the windows of Iowa’s Capitol dome.
Photo by John Pemble

Republicans in the Iowa House say they hope to  offer an alternative to Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s plan  for insuring  thousands of low-income Iowans.    It’s part of the negotiating  on health care, which is  delaying adjournment of this year’s legislative session.

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Statehouse and Politics
9:13 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Petroleum Interests Divided Over Ethanol

A fight is underway at the statehouse between petroleum marketers and petroleum refiners, and ethanol is in the middle of it.   An upcoming change  will result in a lot more blending  of biofuels for sale at the pump.      The fight is over who gets to do the blending, and there’s money at stake.   

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Statehouse and Politics
8:30 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Legislative Preview: 05/06/13

Iowa's Capitol
Photo by John Pemble

As Iowa lawmakers go into overtime, IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell discuss what's left to hash out at the statehouse.

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Statehouse and Politics
9:59 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/29/13

Credit John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins Sarah McCammon for an update on legislative news.

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Statehouse and Politics
7:29 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Legislative Preview: 04/22/13

Iowa's Capitol
John Pemble

IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins 'Morning Edition' Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly conversation about legislative news.

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