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NEWS 5.10.23: Tax collection increase, physician assistant changes in Iowa, northwest Iowa grants, and more


A report on tax collections since July 1st of 2022 shows state revenue is up 1.9% compared to the previous 10 month period.

Radio Iowa reports, in March, the State Revenue Estimating Conference predicted state tax revenue would drop by half a percent this fiscal year. The uptick in actual tax receipts happened despite the state paying out $107 million more in state income tax refunds than it did through the end of April last year.

Iowa will no longer require physician assistants to work under physician supervision in order to practice medicine. Unsupervised physician assistants will be able to provide healthcare, as well as prescribe prescription drugs, controlled substances or medical devices for treatment.

Gov. Kim Reynolds was at Washington County Hospitals and Clinics today to sign a bill allowing that change. She says she hopes the bill will reverse a trend that has only 40% of Iowa’s PAs choosing to stay in the state.

The bill does require two years of experience as a supervised PA before they can practice medicine without a supervisory agreement. The Iowa Physician Assistant Society says there are more than 1,300 licensed PAs practicing medicine across Iowa. Over 50% of them practice in rural communities.

A broadcast reporter has pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge filed for making a prank phone call using South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s personal cell phone number. Reporter Austin Goss pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor that stemmed from a prerecorded prank call he made Jan. 22 to the former chair of the South Dakota Republican Party. The call came from a website called PrankDial, which made it appear that it was coming from Noem’s cell phone. Goss was fired from his job as the Capitol bureau reporter for Dakota News Now after the news organization learned of the matter. Goss’s news reports were also shown on the local NBC affiliate. Goss’ lawyer, Jason Glodt, called the call a “practical joke” between Goss and a friend.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley sat down for a budget committee hearing today with a familiar person testifying.

Former Iowa Governor and U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad offered his perspective on climate change. Check out Radio Iowa for the full story.

Submitted news releases:

Onawa, Iowa - On Wednesday, May 10th, 2023, at approximately 1:50am, the Monona County Communications Center responded to an individual suffering from being stabbed and was subsequently receiving medical treatment at the Burgess Health Center, Onawa, IA. The individual was flown Mercy One in Sioux City, Iowa.

After an investigation by the Monona County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the stabbing victim has been identified as 32-year-old Derek Webster Jr of Monona, Iowa. Webster Jr is currently in stable condition at Mercy One. Inessa Lyons, 30 year old, of Monona, Iowa was arrested by the Monona County Sheriff’s Office and has been charged for Attempted Murder and Willful Injury.

This is an on-going criminal investigation, and no further details will be released at this time. Anyone with information is asked to call the Monona County Sheriff’s Office at 712-433-1414.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program 

Receives Funding Boost, Duration Extension 

Program strengthens supply chains and builds connections between Iowa farmers and consumers

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 10, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has received an additional $2.9 million for utilization in the Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program (ILFPA). The statewide program launched in June of 2022 to facilitate the purchase and distribution of Iowa grown and produced food for use by underserved communities.

The program, which also received an extension through May of 2025, is funded through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) via the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act. Iowa originally received approximately $2.7 million, and the extension adds an additional $2.9 million, bringing the total to over $5.6 million in program funding. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has an operating agreement with Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development (Iowa Valley RC&D), which will continue to lead project management and ensure successful program implementation.

“Given the rising consumer interest in local foods, I love that we can build connections between Iowa farmers and Iowa consumers while also strengthening supply chains,” said Secretary Naig. “The Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program establishes the foundation for longer term partnerships that will create new markets for farmers, increase access to nutritious food and help our community members who are food insecure.”

During the first phase of the program, $684,456 in food value was paid to farmers and producers in the state, including nearly $393,193 to socially disadvantaged farmers.

ILFPA is expected to benefit at least 300 Iowa farmers. With a reach of 2,000 food distribution sites through partnerships with 16 distributors, including food hubs, food banks, and the Meskwaki Nation, the decentralized emphasis allows local specialists to meet the community's needs through the implementation plans they design for their area.

To learn more about the program or how to participate, visit www.iowalfpa.org or https://iowaagriculture.gov/ILFPA.