Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

May 20, 2020
Associated Press

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is easing more restrictions in the state of Iowa.  Starting on Friday, movie theatres, museums, zoos and wedding venues will open with social distancing guidelines in place.  Pools can reopen for lesson and laps.

On Thursday, May 28th bars can open at 50% capacity.

However, public museums in Sioux City will stay closed on Friday.  That includes the Sioux City Art Center.  A spokesperson says there will be a gradual reopening of facilities. 

Siouxland District Health reports one more death in Woodbury County from COVID-19.   He was a man between the ages of 61 and 80 and passed away at home.  So, far seven have died in the Sioux City metro area from complications of the virus. 

Wednesday morning, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported a dozen additions deaths for a total of 219 Iowans.

There were 293 new cases for a total of just over 10,400.  There were two dozen new cases in Woodbury County. New numbers from Dakota County aren’t available because of technical difficulties.

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TYSON

Gov. Kim Reynolds says Iowa’s meatpacking plants will stay open.

She warns shutting them down would be devastating for farmers and the food supply.

“At some point we’re going to be talking about euthanizing hogs and we’re not that far from it.” 

On Monday, the state confirmed four new death and 257 new cases for a total of 3,100.

Woodbury County saw the biggest one day jump in cases of COVID-19.  There are 32 new positives for a total of 75.  More than a third are between the ages of 18 and 40.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced all schools will be closed through the end of the academic year.

She says it was a hard decision to make but the state hasn’t hit a peak for COVID-19 yet.

Reynolds also says the illness has claimed the lives of four more people for a total of 64 Iowans. 

There are 191 new cases, including four new cases in Woodbury County.

Out of 27 confirmed cases in Woodbury County, 17 have been the criteria to be released from monitoring and isolation.

IDPH

Iowa saw the biggest daily increase of COVID-19 cases today and six additional deaths.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reported 189 new cases for a total of 1,710.

Eighty-six of those new cases are tied to an outbreak at a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in southeast Iowa. A total of 186 workers there have tested positive so far.

The plant temporarily suspended operations last week and will continue to stay closed until at least next week.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says it still appears the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t come until the end of the month.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds ordering more businesses to shut down to try and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The move includes camp grounds, bowling alley, playgrounds and malls.

Police will be given guidance this week on how to enforce the statewide ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.

Stephan Bayens, the commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety, says misdemeanor charges are possible if people ignore warnings.

Associated Press

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued an order requiring all schools and non-essential businesses to stay closed through the end of April.

School district will need to come with a plan for educating students or they will be required to make up some of the lost days in class.

Reynolds says she continue to evaluate the situation to see if schools will be closed for the rest of the school year.

New trade deal for North America has passed another hurdle on its way toward approval in the United States.

The U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement passed out of the Senate finance committee today.

The USMCA will replace the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.

Two Republicans and one Democrat voted against the agreement. It still needs a vote from the full senate and Canadian approval.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says all pending voting rights applications from people with felony records will be reviewed before the Iowa Caucuses on February third. 

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Governor Kim Reynolds spoke this morning with the task force she’s assembled to come up with a series of criminal justice reforms, according to Radio Iowa.

HARD ROCK - SIOUX CITY, IA
Siouxland Public Media

The topic of cybersecurity took center stage at a Town Hall at the Hard Rock this morning.  

Senior Special Agent from the Omaha office of the FBI Ken Schmutz says cybercrime impact everyone from businesses to individuals.

“We want to work these investigations and learn how these adversaries get in and on the criminal side put them in jail and to further protect our infrastructure from these guys.”

Schmutz says 70-percent of hackers come from outside of the United States mainly from the countries of China, Russia and Iran.

PM News 7.30.19

Jul 30, 2019

Sports gambling in Iowa now has an official start date. The state Racing and Gaming Commission has given 18 casinos the initial go-ahead to start taking bets at Noon on August 15th,  although some may start at a later date.

However, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is not on that list.  Officials with the Hard Rock says they plan to be on the agenda next month because they haven’t worked out all of the details with a partnership agreement with their sports book.

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Top Republican lawmakers at the Iowa Capitol have denied a request from Democrats to start a special committee to study the state’s medical-marijuana program.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds vetoed a bipartisan bill this year that would’ve allowed for more potent medical marijuana products.

Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver says medical marijuana will be at the forefront of the 2020 legislative session, but he says a special committee isn’t necessary.

State regulators could soon finalize rules for legalizing sports betting in Iowa.  

iowacourt.gov

The Iowa Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lawsuit challenging a new state law that changed the way some judges are selected in Iowa.

A state court judge last month dismissed the lawsuit filed in May by a group of lawyers and Democratic lawmakers against Gov. Kim Reynolds, saying they didn't have legal standing to challenge the law.

The new law gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission, meaning the governor will appoint the majority of members.  

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Those who are challenging a new state law that restructures the state’s judicial nominating process got a setback today, according to the Sioux City Journal. The Iowa Supreme Court has refused to issue a temporary injunction in that lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the new state law but has granted a motion for an expedited appeal.

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The state of Iowa has agreed to pay two private insurance companies an additional 386 million state and federal dollars to operate the state’s Medicaid program. 

Under the newly-signed contracts, Iowa Total Care and Amerigroup will receive an eight-point six percent increase for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1.

State Medicaid Director Mike Randol told the Council on Human Services on Wednesday that reasons for the increase include changes in program and legislative requirements.

A Republican state senator who is challenging U.S. Rep. Steve King for the GOP nomination in Iowa's 4th Congressional District says he's stepping down as chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The committee has been at the center of significant tax legislation since Republicans regained the majority in 2016.  Feenstra says he's asked to be involved next year in drafting tax policy, just not as committee chairman.

He's in his third Senate term.

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Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s grateful the U-S Congress has finally approved a 19-billion-dollar disaster aid package that includes money for Iowa communities affected by flooding.

Floodwaters devastated western Iowa in mid-March, and floods have been affecting more and more of the state since then.

Reynolds says officials haven’t been able to get a complete damage assessment yet. 

Noon News 5.10.19

May 10, 2019
Nebraska Farm Bureau

A new report says a nearly $200 million decline in Nebraska's agricultural exports in 2017 was driven by President Donald Trump's threats to impose tariffs on U.S. trading partners.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau report attributes the drop to decreases in soybean and corn exports, while beef and pork exports both increased in 2017.

The findings come as Trump imposed his latest tariff hike on Chinese goods Friday. 

A bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Nebraska has advanced out of a legislative committee.  It will now go to the full Unicameral for debate.

Noon News 5.9.19

May 9, 2019
State of Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has signed into law judicial selection changes that will give her more power in the nominating process for judges appointed to the Iowa Supreme and appeals court.

The new law immediately removes the senior justice from the 17-member panel that selects names to send to the governor and allows the governor to choose the majority of nominating commision members.

In a statement, Reynolds said this gives “all Iowans a greater voice in the process.”

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds may soon face a lawsuit over a provision she signed into law.  It would restrict publicly-funded health insurance from covering surgeries for transgender Iowans. If she approves a bill that restricts the attorney general’s authority, a lawsuit will likely follow that, too. 

Several new laws in recent years have faced court challenges, and some have been struck down.

Asked why this seems to be happening a lot, Reynolds says it’s part of the process.

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Republican Governor Kim Reynolds says she signed a provision into law that would restrict publicly-funded health insurance from covering surgeries for transgender Iowans because that’s how it was before.

Republican lawmakers passed the provision in response to an Iowa Supreme Court decision pointing out Medicaid must cover transition-related surgeries under the Iowa Civil Rights Act.

Reynolds signed it into law last week.  

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The longest-serving Republican in the Iowa Legislature says he'll become a Democrat.

Rep. Andy McKean announced his decision today, saying one important factor was the presidency of Republican Donald Trump. McKean says he can't support Trump, and if his behavior and leadership is the new normal, "I want no part of it."

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is establishing a board to coordinate flood recovery efforts and is asking lawmakers for state funding to help those efforts along.  Lawmakers will consider a request of 15-million dollars for flood mitigation projects and 10-million dollars for housing tax credits. 

Representative David Sieck (SEEK), a Republican from Glenwood, says the funding is a good start. And he says the advisory board will be important moving forward.

Iowa Gov. Creates Flood Recovery Advisory Board, 4:04

Apr 15, 2019

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Governor Kim Reynolds is creating a new state board to oversee the response to last month’s catastrophic flooding.

Reynolds said, To move forward, it’s critical that we not only provide funding at the state level but also have a central point of coordination and plan to use the funds.

Reynolds issued an executive order this morning, establishing a 15-member Flood Recovery Advisory Board. She’ll be the board’s chairwoman.