Iowa Legislature

Iowa Department of Public Health

Mayors in the Sioux City metro area put out a statement calling for all public health organizations to increase the level of transparency in reporting COVID-19 cases to the community after a surge of new cases. 

The mayors of Sioux City, Sergeant Bluff, North, South and Dakota Cities signed the statement.

They also urge all tri-state-governors to use caution when lifting current restrictions across the region and for the public to be vigilant in following all health and safety guidelines.

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A massive fire last night killed more than 400,000 chickens at a poultry plant outside of Bloomfield, Nebraska.

Michael Foods operates the facility that produces eggs.  No employees got hurt but the fire destroyed a barn.

The National Weather service says the flames were so intense their weather satellite detected the heat more than 22,000 miles above the Earth.

Bloomfield is about 75 miles northwest of Sioux City in Knox County.

The latest attempt to lower property taxes in Nebraska faces an uncertain future as lawmakers squabble over whether it would hurt K-12 public schools that rely heavily on the revenue. Lawmakers debated the measure for nearly three hours Wednesday but failed to reach a vote before they adjourned for the day. A leading supporter says she believes she has enough votes to pass the complex bill but cautioned that lawmakers need more time to discuss and understand everything it does.

The Iowa Senate and House of Representatives gaveled in this morning.  Republican Pat Grassley of New Hartford is the new speaker of the house.

Tomorrow,  Republican Governor Kim Reynolds will deliver her third condition of the state address.

She’ll set out her agenda for the year and unveil her budget proposal. They’re expected to include workforce and rural Iowa initiatives, and restoring felon voting rights.

Listen for live coverage on Siouxland Public Media starting at 10 a.m.

wikimedia.org

State lawmakers are heading back to the Iowa Capitol next week for the 2020 legislative session, scheduled to start Monday, Jan. 13. This session will mark the fourth consecutive year with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the governor’s office

Some of the top issues include mental health funding, voting rights for felons, child care, tax policy, Medicaid oversight and medical cannabis. .

SIOUX CITY, IA - JANUARY 5, 2020
Siouxland Public Media

Less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the top tier is a cluster of four candidates: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate John Kerry will be in Sioux City tomorrow afternoon campaigning for Biden.  He’ll make an appearance at Biden’s campaign office on Hamilton Boulevard along with other national elected officials supporting Biden.

Over the weekend candidate and Maryland Congressman John Delaney visited Siouxland.

Associated Press

Today, Democrats unveiled articles of impeachment charging President Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

About an hour later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an agreement on a North American trade pact, giving a major win to the president amid impeachment.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa took to Twitter to talk about the trade deal with Mexico and Canada.

However, Grassley Iowa counterpart Joni Ernst took to Twitter this morning to talk about another issue regarding the Trump Administration:

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.”

Mary Hartnett

Welcome to The Exchange, on Siouxland Public Media, I’m Mary Hartnett.  Most kids these days can often be found glued to a phone or an Ipad, watching their favorite shows, playing games, and connecting on Facebook or other social media.  Parents use safety settings and other controls, yet it is still hard to make sure kids are safe when they are online.   “Parent Alert: How to Keep Your Kids Safe Online,” by Will Geddes and Nadia Sawahla gives parents some simple strategies that can keep you informed about your kids' activities online.  Geddes says he wanted to cut through the endless inf

Gretchen's guest this time is Marcia Poole. Poole will talk about the very early days of getting Siouxland Public Media (known then as KWIT) off the ground and over the air clear back in 1978. She talks about public radio bringing classical music, NPR News and other public radio mainstay's to a population that had none.

Welcome to The Exchange, on Siouxland Public Media. I’m Mary Hartnett.  

For the third year in a row, the Iowa House on Tuesday took up water quality legislation, and by noon the bill finally passed on a mostly partisan vote.    The legislation which is now on its way to the governor spends millions of dollars for water quality improvement projects over the next decade.       But the final version pitted farm groups against environmentalists and there was bitter debate.   

The Exchange, Legislative Preview 01/03/18

Jan 4, 2018

 

The Exchange 010318

Coming up today on The Exchange, a Sioux City state lawmaker is suing Governor Kim Reynolds for the way she transferred millions of dollars in reserve funds to balance the budget. Chris Hall says the budgeting process needs a hard look from lawmakers as well.

Also, we hear from newly-elected state senator Jim Carlin on his goals for the upcoming legislative session that starts Monday.  Carlin says he wants to focus on several financial issues, one of which is tax reform to help Iowa’s economic climate.

Newscast, 5:04, Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Jun 6, 2017

The trial over the lawsuit against ABC News continues in Elk Point today.  The network accused Beef Products Incorporated of producing what looked like "pink slime' and calling it meat.  US Republican Senator Charles Grassley is questioning information about wait times at Iowa VA Hospitals and one-time Fourth District Congressional candidate Kim Weaver's claims about Iowa government backlash over her running against Republican Steve King are challenged.  Weaver is a state government worker.  

Iowa's Summer Reading Program is No Longer an Option

Apr 17, 2017

Iowa has plans to eliminate its third grade summer reading program.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

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Governor Branstad on New Gun Rights Measure

Apr 12, 2017

Republican Governor Terry Branstad says he believes the gun rights bill passed by the Iowa House and Senate is fair and balanced. It would allow children to use handguns under adult supervision, enhance stand your rules, allow Iowans to sue cities or counties that enact gun-free zones, legalize short-barreled rifles and shotguns and allow permit-holders to carry handguns in the Capitol.  Speaking at his weekly news conference in Des Moines yesterday. the governor didn’t go as far as saying he would sign the bill.

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Lyme Disease BIll Would Let Doctors Presribe Freely

Mar 27, 2017

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The Iowa legislature has voted to let Iowa doctors prescribe more aggressive treatment for Lyme Disease, but the state’s medical community is against the move.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

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Bill Would Ban Security Cameras In Bathrooms

Mar 22, 2017

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An Iowa Senate subcommittee has advanced a bill that would ban the use of video cameras in bathrooms and locker rooms in state and local government buildings.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

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New Rules for Teachers Under the Influence

Mar 22, 2017

A new law will require supervisors to report teachers disciplined for being under the influence of alcohol or drugs at school to Iowa's licensing agency. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

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State financial analysts predict that Iowa will experience continuous budget deficits totaling over 191 million-dollars over the next few financial quarters.  The Republican-led state legislature has passed large budget cuts recommended by Governor Terry Branstad, and some of those cuts are in public safety.   Sioux City Democratic Representative Chris Hall and Democratic State Senator Bob Hogg (Hoag) of Cedar Rapids were in Sioux City Friday to take a close up look at the veteran’s law court.

Iowa Bill Could Give Immunity In Some Cases for Underage Persons

Mar 16, 2017

The Iowa Senate approved a bill yesterday that grants underage individuals immunity from certain alcohol-related crimes when they call for emergency help.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

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Senate File 415 is aimed at college students under age 21 who need to call 911 for help because a friend has drunk too much and is in trouble.

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A house committee approved a bill repealing Iowa's bottle deposit program yesterday, but it could be several years before the bill would become law. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

  

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Iowa Lawmakers Approve Collective Bargaining Bill

Feb 16, 2017

Iowa lawmakers have approved a controversial measure that will severely limit collective bargaining for public workers.  Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has more.

House File 291 passed on a party line vote of 53-to-47.  Once the bill had passed, several watching the proceedings shouted with anger after a failed attempt stop the chamber from going into recess.

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The House Ends Debate on Collective Bargaining Bill

Feb 16, 2017

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 House Ends Debate on Collective Bargaining Bill

Feb 16, 2017

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 House Ends Debate on Collective Bargaining Bill

Feb 16, 2017

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.

A Northwest Iowa state senator spoke out yesterday about defunding cultural programs.  Independent David Johnson of Ocheyedan in Osceola County left the Republican Party this summer.  Johnson said he couldn’t support President Donald Trump as the party’s nominee.  Johnson told the senate yesterday he couldn’t understand why the governor would want to cut funding to the Iowa Cultural Trust.  

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Senate Subcommitte Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood

Jan 24, 2017

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Iowa Republicans have succeeded in advancing a bill to “defund” Planned Parenthood. Siouxland Public Media’s Mary Hartnett has this report.

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The Exchange 01/18/17

Jan 18, 2017

On the Exchange this week we talk with Western Iowa Tech Community College President Terry Murrell about possible state budget cuts that could affect community colleges statewide.  We also talk with the author of a new book about the history of the meatpacking business in the Midwest.  

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