Abortion

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Abortion-related bills advanced in the House and Senate today as Iowa lawmakers approach an end-of-week legislative deadline. 

An Iowa Senate panel advanced a bill mandating a three-day waiting period between a required ultrasound and an abortion.

There’s already a waiting period under Iowa law, but the state Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional in 2018 and blocked it from taking effect. IPR asked Republican Senator was one of those who proposed the measure.

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Iowa Democratic Party officials have agreed to hire two high-profile lawyers to investigate the factors leading to a meltdown in the state's lead-off presidential caucuses and how the party responded. 

The party's State Central Committee voted last night to spend up to $50,000 to retain Nick Klinefeldt, a former U.S. attorney, and Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general. 

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State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown is the first candidate to announce he’s running to be the next chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. Current chair Troy Price announced his resignation yesterday, after more than a week of confusion about the process and results of the Iowa caucuses. 

Smith announced in September he would not seek reelection to a tenth term in the Iowa House. Smith served as Democratic Leader for five and a half years, leading the effort to recruit and raise money for legislative candidates.

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A State Representative from Marshalltown says today he’s running to be the next chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. Mark Smith says that his background gives him the ability to step in and help restore confidence to his party. Current chair Troy Price announced his resignation yesterday, after more than a week of confusion about the process and results of the Iowa caucuses. 

Caucus Recanvassing to Begin Sunday

Feb 12, 2020

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Iowa is still dealing with the fallout of delayed Democratic caucus results. 

Today the Iowa Democratic Party accepted the requests from caucus frontrunners Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for a limited recanvass of more than 80 precincts. The two presidential campaigns will have 24 hours after receiving that to decide if they want to go forward with their requests.

The U.S. Senate ratified the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement today, cementing a major new trade deal that’s been years in the making.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says this is a vital pact with our neighbors to the north and south and promises a tremendous boost for the Iowa economy. Iowa is the nation’s number-one pork producer, and in 2018, Canada and Mexico bought more than 40-percent of all U.S. pork exports. Iowa is also the country’s number-one egg producer and the USMCA will raise U.S. exports of poultry and eggs to Canada alone by $207 million dollars.

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 A resolution that declares there is no right to an abortion was introduced today by Iowa Republican legislative leaders. It’s a move in the first week of the session guaranteed to prompt heated debate.

The proposed constitutional amendment is a response to a 2018 Iowa Supreme Court ruling striking down a law requiring a 72-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. In that ruling, the court said the state constitution guarantees women the freedom to make their own health decisions, including whether to have an abortion.

  

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In her condition of the State address this morning, Iowa Gov Kim Reynolds is asking lawmakers to consider increasing the state sales tax by 1 cent to fund increased spending on water quality, the environment, and mental health care programs. 

To offset the tax increase she's proposing an income tax cut of 10% and a property tax cut. 

She would also like to raise the limit for the childcare tax credit from 45 thousand to 90 thousand dollars, and she will ask for unique childcare ideas.

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds delivered her condition of the state address this morning at the Iowa State House. Reynolds unveiled the “Invest in Iowa Act”.  The move would increase the sales tax by one percent and lower others.

“I’m proposing to cut income tax by an additional 10 percent for almost every Iowan, with lower-income Iowans receiving as much as a 25 percent cut.” 

Reynolds also proposes reducing county property taxes.  The state would help pick up the cost of mental health services. 

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't expect to eliminate from its reservoir system all the leftover water from last year's near-record runoff that led to massive flooding along the Missouri River. Officials are raising the current releases in expectation of high spring runoff again this year. The Corps told the Omaha World-Herald the system needs to make as much space as possible in light of forecasts for warmer than normal weather and higher than normal runoff. 

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