Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R)

This week on The Exchange:

Siouxland mayors, including Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott, demand more transparency about the source of the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the tri-state area.

Governor Kim Reynolds looks forward to opening up 77 Iowa counties this Friday, after many weeks of lockdown because of COVID-19.

Iowa's Home Rule Constitutional Amendment could affect local rules about shutdowns during the pandemic, but, so far, the governor has the last word.

  

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COVID-19 cases have increased to 179 in Iowa 

The Iowa Department of Public Health says 34 more people have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. 

Drive-through testing for COVID-19 will start in Woodbury County tomorrow.

But, testing isn’t available for everyone.  It’s being held in an undisclosed location for patients with recommendations from their doctors.

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Monona County has its first case of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

This is the fourth such case in Northwest Iowa.  Woodbury County was the first in the region to have a positive case announced over the weekend, followed by Sioux Countynthe following day. A second case was confirmed in Woodbury County this week. 

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Governor Pete Rickets, said Nebraskans showed the world what it truly means to be Nebraska Strong, in his State of the State address this morning in Lincoln.

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“Nebraskans not only rescued stranded neighbors, but they also sandbagged levees, donated hay and supplies, delivered hot meals, and raised money for those who had lost everything.”

A federal report released today says Nebraska suffered more than $3.4 billion in losses from disastrous weather last year while the toll was $1.9 billion in Iowa.

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The Iowa Legislature begins its work next Monday, January 13th. 

Leaders from both political parties say they believe this 2020 election-year session will feature a multipronged discussion of state tax policies encompassing income, sales, property and business taxes — but they would not be surprised if it takes most of the scheduled 100 days for a consensus to develop if one does at all.

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.

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Democratic lawmakers in the Iowa House and Senate are calling for an investigation of why Republican Governor Kim Reynolds asked a former state agency director to resign.