More than 900 Small Iowa Cities to Get Federal Funds; Critical Race Theory
Cities across Iowa will have a month to decide what to do with a windfall of federal money coming their way over the next two years, thanks to the pandemic relief bill passed by Congress in March.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that 930 cities with less than 50,000 population are eligible for $220 million distributed by the Iowa Department of Management. The cities can use it for water, sewer, and broadband investments, enhance pandemic preparedness, or launch programs that directly support workers and small businesses.
The money is in addition to the $1.5 billion the state receives over the next two years from the American Rescue Plan Act. A dozen larger cities, including Sioux City and Council Bluffs, are drawing down their own allocation of $339 million in federal money, according to the National League of Cities.
Iowa's Attorney General has joined 37 of his counterparts to file a lawsuit against Google. The state is alleging that Google has an unfair monopoly regarding their app store and how that works in the android system. The states accuse Google of using its dominance to unfairly restrict competition with the Google Play Store, harming consumers by limiting choice and driving up app prices.
This year is shaping up to be one of the driest on record because drought conditions are lingering throughout most of the Missouri River basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said yesterday that this year could be the 10th driest year on record along the river, and only about 60% of the normal amount of water is expected to flow into the river.
Nearly three-quarters of the Missouri River basin is currently experiencing either drought or abnormally dry conditions — particularly upstream of Sioux City, Iowa — and the amount of snow in the mountains that feed into the river was also below average this year.
Republican gubernatorial candidate and University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen is asking the Board of Regents to adopt a resolution opposing the imposition of critical race theory as part of the university curriculum. Pillen says he believes critical race theory is factually and morally wrong, according to the Argus Leader. Critical race theory is loosely defined as a critical examination of social, cultural, and legal issues related to race and racism in the U.S. Pillen's resolution will be presented at the regents' meeting next month.
Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska has vocally opposed critical race theory, calling it "un-American." Last month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a law that will target critical race theory and other concepts in government diversity training and classroom curriculum.