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NEWS 3.15.23

National Weather Service/Sioux Falls

Iowa House Republicans passed Governor Kim Reynolds’ bill to reorganize state government today (Wednesday), sending it to her desk for her signature. Five Republicans joined all Democrats in voting against the bill.

The 15-hundred-page bill would cut the number of cabinet-level state agencies from 37 to 16. And would expand the authority of the governor and attorney general.

Republican Representative Jane Bloomingdale of Northwood managed the bill’s passage. She says the bill isn’t perfect, but it’s necessary and it’s good for Iowa.

“We’re going to streamline the state government. We’re going to save taxpayer dollars. We’re going to create efficiencies. And with all of that, we are going to better serve all of Iowans.”

Democrats offered several amendments to address concerns raised by various groups of Iowans. Republicans rejected all of them. Democrats accused Republicans of being a rubber stamp for a power grab by the governor and of not listening to Iowans who will be affected by the bill.

Gov. Reynolds released the following statement in response to her Government Alignment bill passing the Iowa House:

“For decades, Iowans have seen state government grow beyond its means. Today, the Iowa House joined me and the Iowa Senate to declare an end to bloated bureaucracy. We are making government smaller, more efficient, and more effective. We are saving taxpayer dollars and putting Iowans' needs first. This transformational legislation will put Iowa in the best position to help our state thrive.

As Siouxland experiences much warmer weather this Wednesday, change is in the air, as a Winter Weather Advisory and a Winter Storm Warning kicks in overnight through Friday morning for much of the region. The Sioux City metro area was moved from a Winter Storm Watch to an Advisory.

With high winds expected, especially east of Interstate 29, blizzard conditions are possible with between 2 to 7 inches of snow and a light glaze of ice.

The National Weather Service says travel could be very difficult and blowing snow in spots will significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could even bring down tree branches. Keep a watch on the most up-to-date forecast by going to weather.gov.

The National Weather Service says travel could be very difficult and blowing snow in spots will significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could even bring down tree branches. Keep a watch on the most up-to-date forecast by going to www.weather.gov.

If you’ve hit some rough stretches on state highways recently, you are not alone, due to a tough winter.

The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved amending its budget to spend $15 million on weather repairs. DOT officials say there’s been an above-normal number of freeze-thaw cycles this winter. The money will help repair some of the issues but won’t address all of the damage done this season due to temperature changes and a lot of moisture. Also, older pavement doesn’t have the same drainage and infrastructure as newer materials. For more on the story from Radio Iowa, click here.

Nebraska state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh is three weeks into a pledge to filibuster every bill that comes before the Legislature — even the ones she supports. The Omaha lawmaker is pontificating on the Senate floor about everything from her favorite Girl Scout cookies to the plot of the animated movie “Madagascar” in protest against conservatives' advancement of a bill that would outlaw gender-affirming therapy for those 18 and younger. Cavanaugh declared she would “burn the session to the ground” in an effort to stymie the bill. And so far, she has, slowing the Legislature's business to a crawl. Wednesday marks the halfway point of this year’s 90-day session, and not a single bill will have passed thanks to the filibuster.

A new report has found unpaid family caregivers in Iowa that contributed an estimated 310 million hours in care in 2021.

The AARP report says Iowa has about 330 thousand unpaid caregivers.

When assigned an hourly value of 16 dollars 80 cents, their work had an estimated economic value of 5.2 billion dollars.

That’s an increase of more than 1 billion dollars from 2019’s estimate.

AARP Iowa State Director Brad Anderson says part of the reason for this increase is because Iowa’s 65-plus population continues to grow.

"Now we have more people that are going to need care, and then fewer people providing that care. So caregivers are going to be asked to do a lot in the coming years and we need policies in place that support them."

Anderson says Iowa’s severe shortage of direct care workers also makes it difficult for families to find the home care they need.

A longtime, well-known funeral home service in Siouxland has been sold to a Canadian company.

Siouxland News CBS/FOX 44 reports that Toronto-based Park Lawn Corporation says it's bought Meyer Brothers Funeral Homes which has been in business for more than 60 years. The purchase includes five Meyer Brothers funeral homes in Sioux City, South Sioux City, and Ponca.

The sale expands Park Lawn’s reach into Iowa and Nebraska.

The quarter-finals of the NAIA Women’s Basketball Tournament take place at the Tyson Event Center today. Both Briar Cliff and Dordt lost yesterday. Tournament action was delayed last night due to a leaking roof.


Submitted news release:

The League of Women Voters of Sioux City, Inclusive Sioux City, and Siouxland Cares are sponsoring a Legislative Town Hall on March 25, 2023 from 10:00 am to 11:30am at the Sioux City Public Museum, 607 4th Street, Sioux City. The public is invited to attend and share questions or concerns with their elected representatives. Siouxland area legislators will be asked to share their legislative priorities for 2023, followed by questions from the audience.

The event will be live-streamed on LWV's Facebook page, “League of Women Voters of Sioux City.” Questions may be posted in advance on the Facebook page or emailed to LWVSiouxCity@gmail.com. During the event, questions may be submitted on the Facebook page. This is the final Legislative Town Hall for 2023.

For more information, please call Dagna Simmons at 507-438-8001 or email dag11sim@gmail.com.

About League of Women Voters Sioux City (LWVSC)

The League of Women Voters of Sioux City is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

About Siouxland Cares

Siouxland CARES is a volunteer driven community coalition which aims to improve the quality of life in Siouxland by helping young people to make healthy choices about substances by strengthening protective factors and reduce risk factors

About Inclusive Sioux City

The mission of the Inclusive Sioux City Advisory Committee is to advise the Mayor and City Council on equity and inclusion strategies that strengthen connections among diverse communities living and working in Sioux City and with the city government and members of the Sioux City Business and non-profit communities. The goal of this work is to create more equitable outcomes for the people who live and work in our community.