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Felon Voting Rights Bill Fails to Pass Senate Committee, Siouxland Public Media News, 5:04

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Republicans on an Iowa Senate committee say they won’t consider the governor’s proposed constitutional amendment to automatically restore felon voting rights when a person completes their sentence. That effectively kills the proposal for this year.  

Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale says there wasn’t enough support among his fellow Republicans on the committee to pass it.

0404zaun1: 13  “There were no conditions. That was the biggest problem with moving this bill. There were no conditions in regards to probation or who would qualify based on whatever crime or whatever they were sentenced with.”

The House of Representatives had already passed the resolution 95 to 2, with the understanding they’d discuss adding restrictions next year.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s “disappointed in today’s setback” but she’s still committed to getting this done. Zaun says the Senate could consider this again next year.

Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen called the decision “shameful” and called on Reynolds to restore voting rights through an executive order.

The University of Iowa is moving forward with a plan to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at the school. The UI published survey results today (Thursday) showing a clear majority of the campus community values diversity. But overall satisfaction varies greatly across demographic groups.

Now the UI is working on goals to sustain an inclusive environment, and recruit and retain more diverse faculty, staff, and students. Assistant Provost Diane Finnerty [FIH-ner-tee] helped develop the plan.

0404finnerty               :15

“It’s how do we do the business of what we do, and our academic mission, in a way that truly puts into place the commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as inextricably linked with our success.”

Next steps for the UI include surveying underrepresented employees on why they leave, strengthening services like mentoring and the campus food bank and making available university-wide diversity training.

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