legislature http://iowapublicradio.org en Medical Marijuana Bill Advances http://iowapublicradio.org/post/medical-marijuana-bill-advances <p>A bill to allow Iowa families to travel to other states and bring back a form of medical marijuana advanced &nbsp; in the Iowa Senate. &nbsp; Mo<span style="line-height: 1.5;">thers of epileptic kids pushed &nbsp;hard for the legislation, saying &nbsp;cannabis oil can help relieve &nbsp;their children’s seizures.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:43:20 +0000 Joyce Russell 39610 at http://iowapublicradio.org Medical Marijuana Bill Advances Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments http://iowapublicradio.org/post/administrators-grilled-over-secret-payments <p>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.&nbsp;&nbsp; But lawmakers still don't know where the authorization for the so-called hush money came from.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:02:39 +0000 Joyce Russell 39149 at http://iowapublicradio.org Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments Which Bills Survived Funnel Week? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/which-bills-survived-funnel-week <p>Last week was "funnel week" at the statehouse.&nbsp; Now bills that couldn't make it through committee stand little chance of becoming law this session as lawmakers shift their focus to legislation that has more momentum to pass this year.&nbsp; However many of these issues might be revived in future legislative sessions.</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:13:58 +0000 Clay Masters & Katherine Perkins 36713 at http://iowapublicradio.org Which Bills Survived Funnel Week? Iowa Lawmakers Push Forward At Least 100 Bills http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-lawmakers-push-forward-least-100-bills <p></p><p>Last week was funnel week at the Iowa Capitol, a time when lawmakers need to get their priority bills out of committee and into either the Iowa House or Senate. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to talk about the week ahead in the legislature. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 14:41:32 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 36698 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Lawmakers Push Forward At Least 100 Bills News Buzz: Funnel Week and Northwood Evacuation http://iowapublicradio.org/post/news-buzz-funnel-week-and-northwood-evacuation <p>Residents of Northwood are back in their homes after being asked to evacuate yesterday due to an explosion and fire at the city's municipal airport.&nbsp; Iowa Public Radio statehouse <span class="st">correspondent </span>Joyce Russell discusses which bills in the legislature might become laws in 2014.&nbsp; The Blank Park Zoo's Amur tiger has died, and what Iowa City is doing about a recent rash of sexual assaults in taxicabs.&nbsp; Also, an Olympics update from the Des Moines Register's sports columnist Bryce Miller in Sochi.</p><p></p> Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:11:54 +0000 Ben Kieffer, Sarah Boden, Ben Stanton & Emily Woodbury 36610 at http://iowapublicradio.org News Buzz: Funnel Week and Northwood Evacuation Democrats Target Wellmark Reserves http://iowapublicradio.org/post/democrats-target-wellmark-reserves <p>On a strict party-line vote, a committee in the Iowa Senate today addressed&nbsp; what they say may be&nbsp; excessive reserves&nbsp; at the state’s leading health insurance company.&nbsp;&nbsp; The bill would give the state insurance commissioner authority to order Wellmark to give profits back to consumers depending on the results of an audit of the company’s bottom line.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; An earlier audit showed the company’s reserves might be <u>too low</u>. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:12:56 +0000 Joyce Russell 36550 at http://iowapublicradio.org Democrats Target Wellmark Reserves Legislative Preview: 04/22/13 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-preview-042213 <p></p><p>IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell joins 'Morning Edition' Host Sarah McCammon for a weekly conversation about legislative news.</p> Mon, 22 Apr 2013 12:29:10 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Joyce Russell 19574 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Preview: 04/22/13 Lawmakers Dispute Tax Return Question http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-dispute-tax-return-question <p>As Iowans are&nbsp; filing their state income tax returns, there’s a controversy at the statehouse over one of the questions on the tax form. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; The question&nbsp; aims to locate working Iowans who may be eligible for subsidized health insurance for their children.&nbsp;&nbsp; Some&nbsp; Republicans in the Iowa House say that&nbsp; goes beyond what the government needs to know when you file your taxes.</p><p></p> Wed, 13 Mar 2013 11:51:40 +0000 Joyce Russell 17604 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers Dispute Tax Return Question Teacher Evaluations Under Fire http://iowapublicradio.org/post/teacher-evaluations-under-fire <p>Whether student performance should be considered &nbsp;when teachers are evaluated has once again become a divisive issue at the statehouse.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The Department of Education proposes scrapping Iowa’s current teacher evaluation standards, and writing new ones to satisfy the federal government.&nbsp;&nbsp; Otherwise, they say, Iowa will remain under the demanding requirements of federal education law.</p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 05:25:08 +0000 Joyce Russell 14216 at http://iowapublicradio.org Teacher Evaluations Under Fire Education Reform from the Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/education-reform-statehouse <p>Education reform is front and center at the statehouse. Iowa Public Radio's statehouse correspondent, <a href="http://news.iowapublicradio.org/people/joyce-russell" target="_blank">Joyce Russell</a>, talks with Governor <a href="https://governor.iowa.gov/" target="_blank">Terry </a><a href="https://governor.iowa.gov/" target="_blank">Branstad</a>'s Special Assistant on Education, <a href="http://iowaeducation.iowa.gov" target="_blank">Linda Fandel</a>, in the first half of this session of River to River about the governor's plans for Iowa's schools this year.</p> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 19:07:10 +0000 Joyce Russell 14127 at http://iowapublicradio.org Education Reform from the Statehouse Legislative Preview: 1/28/13 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-preview-12813 <P></P> <P>IPR's Sarah McCammon and Joyce Russell catch up on the week's news from the Iowa General Assembly.</P> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 12:43:12 +0000 Sarah McCammon & Joyce Russell 14118 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Preview: 1/28/13 New Tests for New Teachers http://iowapublicradio.org/post/new-tests-new-teachers <p></p><p>Starting next year, graduates&nbsp; of Iowa’s teacher preparation programs will be required to pass exams with a minimum score in order to get a license to teach.&nbsp;&nbsp; Iowa is one of the last&nbsp; holdouts in the country in <u>not</u> requiring&nbsp; testing of new teachers. &nbsp;But at a statehouse committee meeting&nbsp; today &nbsp;there were complaints that this year’s graduating seniors&nbsp; didn’t get enough advance warning. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 02:45:03 +0000 Joyce Russell 11894 at http://iowapublicradio.org New Tests for New Teachers Republicans Regroup http://iowapublicradio.org/post/republicans-regroup <p>Republicans in the Iowa House re-elected their top leadership in a closed-door meeting&nbsp; at the statehouse. &nbsp; &nbsp; They’ll return to the capitol on January 14<sup>th</sup> with a far slimmer majority following the 2012</p><p>elections.</p> Wed, 14 Nov 2012 22:10:04 +0000 Joyce Russell 10764 at http://iowapublicradio.org Republicans Regroup Iowa Educators Could See Pay Increase http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-educators-could-see-pay-increase <p><span style="font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Iowa teachers would see their base pay bump if new recommendations from an education task force are put into place. Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports.</span></p> Thu, 11 Oct 2012 20:15:30 +0000 Clay Masters 9254 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Educators Could See Pay Increase Retiring from the Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/retiring-statehouse <p>At a time in our politics when every debate seems to be dominated by rancor and partisanship&hellip; retiring Representative Kurt Swaim of Bloomfield got up on the floor of the Iowa House last month and proclaimed his love for his colleagues, their staffs and the political system.&nbsp; Host Ben Kieffer talks with Rep. Mon, 07 May 2012 18:06:28 +0000 Ben Kieffer 1125 at http://iowapublicradio.org Retiring from the Statehouse Author Erik Larson and Statehouse Update http://iowapublicradio.org/post/author-erik-larson-and-statehouse-update <p>History offers the benefit of hindsight. But New York Times Bestselling author Erik Larson tries to transport readers back in time, before the outcome of events was known.&nbsp; In his latest book, <em>In the Garden of Beasts </em>he takes us to pre-war Berlin with the family of the first U.S. Ambassador to Nazi Germany, William E. Dodd.&nbsp; Host Ben Kieffer talks with him about narrative non-fiction in advance of a visit to Des Moines.&nbsp; And Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell tells us how close Iowa lawmakers may be to adjournment.</p> Mon, 30 Apr 2012 18:06:34 +0000 Ben Kieffer & Joyce Russell 728 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: Funding for Higher Education / Government Transparency http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-funding-higher-education-government-transparency <p>Funding for Iowa’s public universities is still up for debate at the statehouse. Join guest host Jonathan Ahl as we discuss a multi-million dollar budget gap between what Senate Democrats and House Republicans have proposed for higher education. Later in the conversation we’ll talk about government transparency and about the pros and cons of a longtime effort to create an Iowa Public Information Board.</p> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 18:13:38 +0000 Ben Kieffer 286 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Issues on the Campaign Trail http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-issues-campaign-trail <p>As we enter the waning days of the legislative session, behind-the-scenes negotiations on the big issues remaining to be resolved begin in earnest.&nbsp; Lawmakers have yet to agree on budget targets, education reform or commercial property tax relief. &nbsp;But, how will upcoming elections impact those negotiations?&nbsp; Host Joyce Russell&nbsp; talks with Democratic and Republican leaders about the issues lawmakers want to take on the campaign trail this fall&hellip; and how that may impact debate over issues yet to be decided.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 16 Apr 2012 18:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 115 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: School Start Date / Direct Care Workers http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-school-start-date-direct-care-workers <p>Iowa law prevents school districts from starting classes before September first but the Iowa Department of Education routinely grants waivers. Join host Joyce Russell as we discuss a proposal in the Iowa House that would make it harder for schools to start in mid-August. School superintendents say it should be a local decision while the tourism industry says an early start date hurts business. Later, we&rsquo;ll have a discussion about professionalizing direct care workers.</p> Mon, 09 Apr 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 475 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Day: Property Tax Reform http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-day-property-tax-reform <p>One of the top priorities heading into this year&#39;s legislative session was property tax reform. With scheduled adjournment only weeks away time is once again running out for lawmakers to act. Host Joyce Russell examines the long history of the property tax debate in Iowa, and the Democratic and Republican plans to fix the system. Among the guests- Democratic Senator Joe Bolkom from Iowa City, Republican Representative Tom Sands from Wapello and Des Moines City Manager Rick Clark.</p> Mon, 02 Apr 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 470 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: Education Reform http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-education-reform <p>Governor Terry Branstad has proposed sweeping reforms to Iowa&rsquo;s education system and the debate is likely to intensify now that the Republican-controlled Iowa House has approved its reform package.&nbsp; The measure now goes to the Democratically-controlled Iowa Senate.&nbsp; Host Joyce Russell discusses topics ranging from third grade retention and online learning to new teacher probation and end of course exams on our next legislative show from the law library at the state capitol.</p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 209 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: State Support for Local Projects http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-state-support-local-projects <p>A flood bill making its way through the legislature would provide a sales tax rebate to communities to prevent future flooding. The bill is still alive despite Cedar Rapids residents, who were expected to benefit most from the legislation, voting down a sales tax extension designated for flood mitigation. Then, new owners of the &ldquo;Field of Dreams&rdquo; movie site in Dyersville want to build a softball and baseball complex on the property and are seeking state support.&nbsp; We&rsquo;ll discuss the project and why there&rsquo;s some support and opposition to it.</p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 04:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 205 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: Health Exchanges and K2 http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-health-exchanges-and-k2 <p>States are forming health insurance exchanges in advance of a mandate from the federal government.&nbsp; Host Joyce Russell talks about the bill to set up Iowa&rsquo;s exchange.&nbsp; Then, we talk about efforts to put further restrictions on synthetic marijuana, or K2.&nbsp; That comes after a death, and several hospitalizations involving Iowa teenagers.</p> Mon, 27 Feb 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 194 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: Traffic Cameras http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-traffic-cameras <p>Iowa lawmakers are considering a bill to ban traffic cameras. Host Joyce Russell leads a discussion of the bill, which would give the eight Iowa cities now using cameras until July to remove them.&nbsp; Local officials say cameras improve safety.&nbsp; Critics say they violate privacy.&nbsp; Guests include State Representative Walt Rogers, a Republican from Cedar Falls, Captain Steve O&#39;Konek of the Cedar Rapids Police Department and Matt Lindholm a Des Moines attorney and Board Member of the Iowa Association for Justice.</p> Mon, 13 Feb 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 184 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: Ag Compromise and Gun Legislation http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-ag-compromise-and-gun-legislation <p>Gun Rights advocates are back at the statehouse.&nbsp; Host Joyce Russell talks with Representative Matt Windschitl and Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner about several bills expanding gun rights. They follow up on the 2010 law clearing the way for more weapons permits.&nbsp; Also a compromise in the Iowa Senate over documenting practices at large scale livestock facilities.</p> Mon, 06 Feb 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 179 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Monday: 2012 Priorities and Education http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-monday-2012-priorities-and-education <p>Iowa lawmakers are getting ready to convene for the 2012 legislative session.&nbsp; Statehouse Reporter Joyce Russell looks ahead to priorities of Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and House Speaker Pro Tempore Jeff Kauffmann.&nbsp; Then we talk with Senator Herman Quirmbach and Representative Greg Forristall who Chair the Education committees of their chambers, and will oversee the Governor&#39;s education reform plans.&nbsp; It&#39;s part of our weekly series from the Law Library at the Iowa Statehouse.</p> Mon, 09 Jan 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 148 at http://iowapublicradio.org Legislative Session Preview http://iowapublicradio.org/post/legislative-session-preview <p>Iowa&rsquo;s 85th General Assembly convenes in Des Moines at the state capitol Monday. We take this hour to check in with a few of the state&rsquo;s representatives and senators and ask what is on their agendas for the 2012 session. In the first half, host Ben Kieffer speaks with&nbsp;Representatives&nbsp;Josh Byrnes from Osage and Tom Sands from Columbus Junction. Then in the second half, we&#39;ll hear from Senators Matt McCoy from Des Moines, Randy Feenstra from Hull and Rob Hogg from Cedar Rapids.</p> Fri, 06 Jan 2012 05:00:00 +0000 Ben Kieffer 147 at http://iowapublicradio.org