NEWS 10.5.21: IA Legislature Special Session, Gov. Reynolds Visits U.S. Border, and More

Oct 5, 2021

Update: Iowa Senate Republicans have voted to reject the state’s first proposed redistricting plan. The proposed legislative and congressional districts were drawn by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.

All 32 GOP senators voted against the plan, and all 18 Democrats voted for it. 

The LSA has 35 days to draw a second set of redistricting maps. At that point, the Iowa Legislature will have to come back to the statehouse to vote to approve or reject them. They can’t amend the second set of maps, but they are allowed to amend a potential third set of maps.  

Previous information: 

The Iowa Legislature convened at 10 a.m. today in special session, to vote on the first plan for reconfiguring legislative and congressional district boundaries.

The new district maps are based on 2020 U.S. Census data, showing population loss in rural Iowa and gains in metro areas.

Republicans hold the majority of seats in both the Senate and the House. Republican leaders have avoided making any public declaration about the maps.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has blasted President Joe Biden over his handling of border security and now she’s getting an in-person look at the issue.

She sent 28 Iowa State Troopers to Texas in July to help with border enforcement and on Wednesday, Reynolds will see the border situation for herself. Iowa’s governor is scheduled to join nine other Republican governors in Mission, Texas.

Last month, Reynolds and 25 other Republican governors requested a meeting to talk about the surge in illegal border crossings.

Gov. Reynolds says illegal immigration is leading to more drug seizures in Iowa.  The president has not granted the request.

Her office sent out a news release to announce a news conference for tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 from Texas.

Owners of apartment buildings and other multi-residential properties in Sioux City face a 22 percent increase in their valuations for tax purposes under an order issued by the state.

The Sioux City Journal reports Sioux City Assessor John Lawson says he is appealing the Department of Revenue's equalization order.

State law requires city and county assessors every two years to reset valuations for all classes of property to ensure equity in the property tax system. 

Yesterday, the Sioux City Council did approve handing out more than $300,000 in Federal COVID-19 relief grants to several local charities.

The number of new virus cases and hospitalizations in Nebraska appear to be leveling out at an elevated level in recent weeks.

Data from the CDC shows the state reported 4,775 new cases for the week that ended Friday. The number is less than the average of 5,300 for three weeks in a row.

The number of virus hospitalizations averaged 415 a day over the past week, which was down slightly from 421 the previous week.

Supply chain experts are encouraging people to start holiday shopping now as the hurdles brought on by the pandemic will be similar to last year, with some new challenges.

The chair of Iowa State University’s department of supply chain management tells Radio Iowa there will likely be products not available in stores or online because of slow shipping times combined with a labor shortage.

He predicts the old standby of gift certificates may be a popular, and more reliable, present choice this year.

A grass fire north of Rapid City is growing in size and prompting officials to warn additional residents they may need to evacuate. Abnormally high temperatures, gusty winds and extremely dry conditions fueled a fire that began Monday afternoon. By Monday evening, the fire torched between 250 and 300 acres and burned uncontained. Rapid City police helped evacuate the Marvel Mountain neighborhood earlier Monday and helped divert traffic around road closures. An unknown number of residents were evacuated. It’s not known what ignited the fired and so far, no structures have been damaged.