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NEWS 10.4.21: IA Special Session Starts Tomorrow, Trump Poll, & Prison C19 Outbreak, & More


State lawmakers will be back at the Iowa Capitol tomorrow for a rare special session. They’ll vote to accept or reject new political boundaries.

Some states, led by Republicans and Democrats, have already been sued this year over their redistricting plans. Some lawsuits allege state lawmakers purposefully diluted the voting power of various racial and ethnic groups.

In Iowa, the president of the state NAACP Betty Andrews says the organization hasn’t taken a position on the proposed maps yet, but she’s monitoring the process.

Iowa’s two major parties have announced the 2022 Iowa Caucuses will be held on Monday, February 7.

2022 is a so-called “midterm” election, so there will be no presidential preference voting among Iowa Republicans or Democrats at these caucuses.

A new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll finds former President Donald Trump’s favorability rating in Iowa is higher now than it was while he was president.

Radio Iowa reports Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Des Moines this Saturday, his first trip back to the state since leaving office in January.

The Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found 53% of those surveyed have a very favorable or mostly favorable view of the former president.

Among Republicans, Trump’s favorability rating is 91%. That’s 10 points better than Senator Chuck Grassley’s favorability measurement among Republicans.

Dozens of National Guard members from South Dakota will answer a call from the Pentagon to help at the country’s southern border. One-hundred-twenty-five members of the 1742nd Transportation Company will be deployed for 9 to 12 months.

Gov. Kristi Noem, Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds and Rep. Dusty Johnson were on hand for an activation ceremony Sunday at the University of Sioux Falls.

Thune says the soldiers will try to reinforce the border and establish some order and stability in a humanitarian way.

In July, Noem sent 50 South Dakota soldiers to the border following Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request for help.

More than three dozen inmates and staffers in Iowa prisons have had breakthrough cases of COVID-19, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Department staff say that 16 inmates and 26 employees have tested positive after being vaccinated.

The department’s Matthew Morris told the Board of Corrections last week that these breakthrough cases have typically been less severe, but not always.

“We did have one incarcerated individual that did have to go to the hospital and did have to be ventilated who was a breakthrough case. But he had some underlying conditions of COPD and some liver disease as well. So I think that probably contributed to that.” 

The number of prison employees getting the shots continues to lag far behind the number of incarcerated individuals doing so. According to the department, 85% of inmates and 58% of employees are fully vaccinated.

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