The Dakota Access Pipeline Gets Support from IA Sup Court, Neb Leg Ends Session, 4:32

May 31, 2019

The Dakota Access Pipeline, Iowa

053119 432 

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed a state regulator’s 2016 decision to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built diagonally across the state. ‘Court also upheld the use of eminent domain to make way for the pipeline against the objections of landowners. 

Landowners and the Sierra Club sued the pipeline and the Iowa Utilities Board because they said the pipeline doesn’t meet the legal standard of “public convenience and necessity” and presents serious environmental risks. 

The plaintiffs in the case say it’s bad news for the environment, landowners, and climate. They also say affected farmland hasn’t been returned to full productivity since the pipeline was built.

Crude oil has been flowing through the pipeline since June 2017.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed a lawsuit challenging a new state law that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding for gender reassignment surgery. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill on May 3 that included language amending the state's Civil Rights Act so that government officials are not required to pay for gender reassignment surgery.

The ACLU has sued in state court to block enforcement of the law on behalf of One Iowa, a group that advocates for transgender rights, and two transgender Iowans who qualify for Medicaid and whose doctors say they need the surgery.

Nebraska lawmakers headed home for good today after passing a few last bills, overriding a gubernatorial veto and receiving thanks from the governor.

The 2019 session was marked the relatively easy passage of a 9.3 billion dollar budget,  but major disappointments over property taxes and business incentives.

The budget included a 23% increase in the state's property tax credit fund, which boosted the total to $275 million a year. The credits offset a portion of each property owner's tax bill.