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Newscast 08.30.23: Iowa Attorney General appeals court ruling on voting materials languages; Nebraska group gains ground to repeal private school scholarships law

Iowa Secretary of State Brenna Bird (R)
Iowa Secretary of State Brenna Bird (R)

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird has filed an appeal to a recent court ruling clarifying that some voting materials can be printed in languages other than English.

Iowa’s English Language Reaffirmation Act was signed into law in 2002 by then-Gov. Tom Vilsack. It requires all official documents representing the state be in the English language.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa, or LULAC, sued the Secretary of State’s office in 2021 asking that voting materials like ballots and voting notices be exempt from the law. And sought to overturn a previous court decision barring the state from printing registration forms in languages other than English.
Bird says her office is appealing the Polk County judge’s decision in favor of LULAC to quote secure the integrity of our elections.

According to U-S Census data, around 9 percent of Iowans ages 5 and older speak a language other than English at home.

A campaign looking to repeal new tax credits for donations to private and parochial school scholarship funds claims they have garnered enough support to put the question on the 2024 ballot, according to the Omaha World Herald. Iowa passed a similar law this year.

Support Our Schools Nebraska officials announced Wednesday that their 90-day petition drive brought in over 117,000 signatures, surpassing their initial goal of 90,000 signatures.

That's well above the minimum required signatures to make it on the ballot, which is around 60,000 signatures, representing 5% of the state's registered voters. The signatures must first be validated by the Nebraska Secretary of State's Office to make it official.

The tax credit law was passed earlier this year. Under the bill, $25 million will be available for credits in 2024, with the same amount available for the next two years.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig is encouraging Iowa fuel retailers to apply for cost-share grants through the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) to upgrade fueling systems and provide consumers with greater access to higher blends of lower-cost biofuels.

The RFIP helps fuel retailers provide more consumer options for higher blends of lower cost Iowa grown biofuels by incentivizing the installation, replacement and conversion of ethanol and biodiesel dispensing and storage infrastructure. Incentives to upgrade biodiesel terminal and storage facilities are also available.

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