The Iowa Legislature

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Republican senators from four states that have seen severe flooding from the Missouri River are backing legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change its management of the river to reduce flood risk. 

The proposal would require the Corps to take steps to reduce flood risks along the lower Missouri River by changing the way it manages the dams and by strengthening levees along the river.

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The governing body for Iowa’s three state universities is imposing new travel restrictions due to coronavirus.

The Iowa Board of Regents is immediately canceling all university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students at Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI for 30 days, including Spring Break.

In addition,  faculty, staff, and students who are already out of the country, are being recalled if they’re in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

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Fears about the coronavirus have prompted the Iowa Board of Regents is immediately canceling all university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students at Iowa, Iowa State and UNI for 30 days, including Spring Break.

The board says faculty, staff, and students who are already out of the country, are being recalled if they’re in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

The Iowa Senate has passed a bill to enhance criminal penalties for abuse and neglect of companion animals. 

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The governing body for Iowa’s three state universities is imposing new travel restrictions due to coronavirus.

The Iowa Board of Regents is immediately canceling all university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students at Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI for 30 days, including Spring Break.

The board says faculty, staff, and students who are already out of the country, are being recalled if they’re in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

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Two Sioux City residents announced today that they would run for the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors.  Retired Sioux City Police Department officer Kevin McCormick will run as a Democrat for the District 1 seat in November.

McCormick was shot in the head during a routine traffic stop in 2012, then returned to work within two weeks.  Republican Keith Radig currently holds the District 1 seat. 

And A Sioux City teacher has announced his candidacy for an open Supervisors position that will be determined in an April special election. 

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  The Iowa Senate has passed a K-twelve school funding deal nearly three weeks after a deadline passed for establishing the funding increase.

It would give a 2.3 percent increase or about 85-million new dollars for base per-student public school funding. Republicans in the Senate first proposed a 2.1 percent increase, and the House and the governor proposed 2.5 percent. 

Democratic Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames says it’s too little too late, and the state can afford to do more.

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Iowa’s senior senator took part in what he says was a “top secret” briefing in a congressional chamber this morning to discuss the impact of the coronavirus, according to Radio Iowa.

In a conference call with Iowa reporters, Senator Chuck Grassley didn’t want to reveal many details of the briefing but did say he met with officials from several federal agencies involved with public health. 

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Gov. Kim Reynolds says today she is ok with a state board's recommendation to change the level potency of legally available medical marijuana products. Some lawmakers wanted to allow higher amounts of THC. THC is the chemical that makes recreational marijuana users high.

Lawmakers have been searching for a bill that would meet Reynolds' approval after she vetoed a proposal last year that would have expanded the state's medical-marijuana program. 

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There is a possible case of the mumps in northeast Nebraska. The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department sent a letter this week to parents in the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School District about the contagious disease.  The possible case in the school district hasn’t been confirmed yet.  

A bill requiring some Medicaid recipients to work in order to maintain health coverage is moving to the floor of the Iowa Senate after passing in committee today.

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Health officials are looking into a possible mumps case at a school in northeast Nebraska.  The Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department sent a letter this week to parents in the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge School District about the contagious disease.  

They recommend young people be immunized against the mumps.  They also say women who are pregnant and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications from the mumps.  The possible case in the school district hasn’t been confirmed yet.  

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