Tonight the Sanford Center will hold an event at the Orpheum Theatre featuring Mitch and Emily Martin, Play It Forward, Kevin Keane, and more. The Center itself has served the Siouxland Community since the 1930’s, beginning as a settlement house for African Americans migrating north. Over time, its role in the community has expanded: setting up affordable, educational daycare; going into schools to help students and diminish gang presence; feeding families. Much of this growth happened under the directorship of George Boykin.
It was a busy week at the state capitol in Des Moines. Four hearings were held on issues including minimum wage and worker’s compensation, as well as a voter ID bill and a plan to do away with a local water authority in Des Moines. Hundreds of constituents showed up the hearings, mostly to voice their opposition.
House File 516 would require Iowa voters to present ID’s at the polls. It would also change some of the voter registration requirements.
The state legislature has been in session seven weeks and a lot has happened. Lawmakers passed the controversial Chapter 20 measure that largely ended collective bargaining for public employees in Iowa, changing the way their healthcare will be managed and might eventually affect their pension system.
For more than ten years, One Book One Siouxland has brought the community together to enjoy great books and quality programming that expands the reading experience. Today, I’m excited to recommend the 2017 One Book One Siouxland selection Shoeless Joe by the late W.P. Kinsella. Written while Kinsella attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa, and originally published in 1982, this much beloved and magical baseball novel continues to resonate with readers of all ages.
The Iowa House has set a time to end debate on a bill that would drastically reduce how public sector employees bargain over working conditions. Republican House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow made a motion this morning to end floor debate at noon, and it was approved by Republicans. After debate that has stretched over three days, the House will vote on the bill Thursday afternoon after some procedural moves. The Senate is working on a similar deadline.
The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees union is suing the state in reaction to passage last week of House File 291. The bill basically ended most collective bargaining for teachers and other public employees in Iowa. Lawmakers debated the bill all through the night, with some emotional pleas from house and senate Democrats.
We talked with state rep.s Chris Hall and John Wills.
Nearly a dozen parents at Monday night’s Sioux City School Board meeting spoke out against a plan to get rid of stand-alone reading classes at middle schools. A West Middle School teacher brought a petition with 560 signatures of opponents.
Roxanne Hutchinson has students in middle school. She said reading scores at Sioux City schools have improved because teachers with reading endorsements were teaching. The new teachers won’t have that special training.