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Siouxland Public Media News, 4:04, 03.27.19

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Siouxland Public Media Newscast, 4:04, 03.27.19
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  Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law she says will protect free speech and expression on Iowa’s public college campuses.

It requires colleges to promote free expression and to avoid attempts to shield students from the speech of others. The new law also bans “free speech zones,” which some lawmakers say infringe on constitutional rights by only allowing expression in certain areas of campus. 

Opponents say one phrase in the new law makes it legal for student organizations to discriminate against people who don’t share their exact values or beliefs. 

Reynolds signed the bill today (Wednesday) in a ceremony closed to media with some conservative leaders and others in attendance.

The House and Senate passed the bill about two weeks ago. A few Democratic senators joined Republicans in voting for it. 

Farmers in western Iowa are continuing to assess damage from recent flooding. There are effects for the broader agricultural economy as well.

Closed interstate highways and submerged train tracks are creating challenges for moving grain and livestock. But Mike Steenhoek of the Soy Transportation Coalition says washed-out county bridges and impassable gravel roads are equally important because local infrastructure connects farms to global markets. 

0327steenhoek: And it’s also the system that is largely the responsibility of local and county government and these are entities that are not flush with money. (:09)

Initially, some livestock trucks had to take longer routes or go to different meatpacking plants. But Lee Schulz of Iowa State University says businesses worked together to keep up with meat processing.

He also says prices for meat are volatile thanks to ongoing tariffs and animal diseases, so it may never be possible to tease out whether flooding affected consumer prices

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