South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (R)

Two of Iowa's Democratic members of Congress are calling on Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue a stay-at-home order as the state confirms more cases of the novel coronavirus. U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne issued a letter this week calling for the statewide mandate, and U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer issued a similar letter letter last week.

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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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Iowa Republicans will hold county conventions tomorrow, but the Iowa Democratic Party has postponed its county conventions which were to be held later this month.

Republican Party leaders say they consulted with state public health officials and the governor’s office and decided to move forward with county conventions this weekend, but a spokesman for the party says they “strongly advise” Republicans who don’t feel well to stay home.

Iowa Democrats, meanwhile, say their county conventions on March 21 are postponed until a future date to be determined.

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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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President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a new trade deal with China this morning.

Part of the agreement includes China buying more soybeans and other U.S. farm products.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem were by Trump’s side in Washington, D.C.

Noem mentioned the potential positive impact for farmers during her “State of the State” speech yesterday in Pierre.

“I have a deep appreciation for the President for his commitment and leadership to mend this U.S. China Trade Agreement.”

 

 

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Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Bill Weld was in Sioux City today touring the Siouxland Community Health Center. 

Weld told reporters he offers an economic conservative alternative to President Donald Trump. 

I’d blow away the trillion-dollar deficit, so I’d be much more engaged with the world and with our allies, as people who are force multipliers and could help us to keep the peace and keep free trade an option for everybody.

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Gov. Kristi Noem says she won't veto legislation allowing hemp to be grown in the state. Noem announced that she won't veto a hemp bill provided it contains four “guardrails" she provided to lawmakers. In an interview with KELO, Noem made it clear she wants the crop to be tightly regulated, with government agencies providing licenses and inspections. She also wants legislators to come up with a way to pay for the hemp program. The Legislature convenes next week.

This week on The Exchange, as the new looms, we consider our goals and life choices and sometimes ask ourselves if we have sold out on our values.  We talk with the author of a new book called "The Ethical Sellout," about the many ways compromise can help us make decisions that accord with our values and the practical needs of our lives.

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is asking House Democrats to “act quickly” to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement before the week is out.  Yesterday Grassley told the Senate the agreement would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and help raise wages for Americans.  Grassley says if a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, he doesn’t see how the USMCA can be ratified this year.

Governor Kim Reynolds says she’s disappointed that a federal judge temporarily blocked a new law critics call “ag-gag two-point-oh”.