Guest Columns
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The final days of the legislative session are like Halloween without the candy: The ghosts of dead bills start haunting the Capitol. more
This week the U.S. Census Bureau released its first round of data for the decennial census of population. The apportionment results are the total number of residents in each state and dividing it among the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Census Bureau reported that the population of Iowa for the 2020 Census was 3,190,369 residents, an increase of 144,014 residents (4.7 percent) since 2010. Iowa ranks 28th in the country for percentage change from 2010, enough to ensure that Iowa will continue to have four elected representatives in the House of Representatives. more
This week was the 16th week of this legislative session. Although April 30 was the last calendar day of the session, we are still working through policy and budget bills, so we will return to the Capitol in May to focus on accomplishing our priorities for the year, like tax relief, support for first responders and responsible budgets. more
This week, Iowa House Republicans passed House File 889, a bill to ban vaccine passports in Iowa. more
One of the first things I learned when I started covering the Iowa Legislature almost 30 years ago was the only work lawmakers really have to do is pass a budget. Everything else is optional. more
Editor’s note: Former Bellevue Herald-Leader editor Lowell Carlson spent time recently in northwestern Ontario, Canada, to write about farming north of Lake Superior. Along with coverage of dairy and local food stories, Carlson visited a regional agricultural research station where long-term studies of cold climate crops are underway. more
On Wednesday (April 21), the House Health & Human Services budget subcommittee released its spending plan for Fiscal Year 2022. more
In the Iowa Senate, we are in the final few weeks of the 2021 session. This week we debated several bills, continued working on budget bills and confirmed governor appointments to boards and commissions. Several people have asked me about how to apply for these boards and commissions. Information and applications can be found at: https://talentbank.iowa.gov/. more
This week, the Iowa House sent a clear message to Iowans that telehealth expansion is necessary to increase mental health care access in Iowa. The House attached an amendment to Senate File 524 which requires health insurers to pay for mental health services delivered through telehealth at the same rate as they pay for in-person mental health treatment. Additionally, the House Health and Human Services Budget also includes this language. This amendment is extremely important as Iowa has a shortage of mental health providers. Iowa ranks 44th in the nation for psychiatrists per capita. more
“Now before we get into this debate tonight, let me be clear. If you support law enforcement — truly support law enforcement, you will be voting ‘yes’ tonight. If you stand up tonight and say you support law enforcement, your words will become meaningless with a ‘no’ vote on this bill. Actions speak louder than words.” more
Iowa’s 91 House and Senate Republican legislators want to outlaw classroom discussion of topics like racism and sexism (HF 802).  Furthermore, Iowa’s GOP attempt (HF 222) to ban discussion of the slavery-oriented 1619 Project book reveals their pro-white bias. more
We are in the homestretch of the 110-day legislative session! This week we debated bills, moved governor appointments to state boards and commissions and advanced budget bills in the Senate Appropriations Committee. more
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